- Style Eccentric, dramatic and cosy
- Setting Loch on the wild side
On a loch in the wild West Scottish Highlands, the Pool House hotel practically shouts romance from all seven waterfront suites. The owners travelled the world in order to source décor for their guesthouse, and it’s absolutely loaded with gorgeous antique pieces such as marble-inlay coffee tables and imposing, hand-carved wooden doors. The superlative restaurant serves a modern Scottish dinner with a well-chosen selection of wines. It wouldn't be Scotland, with the requisite whisky bar, and this one has an impressive line-up of single malts.
Need to know
- Rooms Four suites, all with views of the water.
- Rates Double rooms from $341.19 (£208), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Rates include full Scottish breakfast, tea and sherry.
- Facilities Full-size billiards table, malt whisky room, library, in-room massages with prior notice, fishing rod for the jetty. In rooms, flatscreen TV, DVD player, WiFi free of charge; some have iPod docks and underfloor heating.
- Check–out 11am, although this is a little flexible; check-in, 3pm.
Children Over-16s welcomed, but really this is a place for grown-up couples.
- Hotel closed The hotel is closed every Monday, and annually from early January until early February.
- Also Ask for a guided walk or a marine cruise from Gairloch to see Minke whales, dolphins, porpoise and seals. Visit a working perfume studio at Loch Ewe or haul creeds on a fishing boat and have a go at catching some lobster and langoustines.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Every quirkily decorated suite is enormous, with heart-melting views. Campania, in the main house, is as big as some city flats, with a fireplace-enhanced lounge, decking area, and Victorian canopied bath. The green, gold and terracotta-hued SMS Scharnhorst suite has a furnished balcony overlooking the river and mountains, perfect for the summer months; and a working coal fireplace for when the Highlands' chill sets in.
- Packing tips Walking boots and binoculars are essential.
- Also A car is crucial for exploring: you can rent one from SVR at Inverness airport – they’ll meet you at Arrivals if you pre-book (+44 (0)1463 236694).
Food and drink at Pool House
- Hotel restaurant A set four-course dinner is available Tuesday to Saturday, when the house is closed. Guests are seated at 7.30pm for John Moir’s Modern Scottish supper. Mains may include Loch Ewe lobster, or saddle of local venison with roast vegetables and buttery mash. Book dinner in advance and let the hotel know if you have any allergies so they can tailor the dishes accordingly.
- Dress code Smart in a special-occasion-visit-to-relatives way; rugged enough for rambling.
- Top table As close to the windows as you can get so you can watch the seals, sea birds and astonishing sunsets.
- Room service Order the night before and have a ‘picnic breakfast’ delivered between 8am and 10am.
- Hotel bar Sample from the vast array of single malts, including fine and rare examples, in the Billiard Whisky Room, or in front of an open fire in the cosy sitting room.