The Airds is one of the loveliest small luxury hotels in Scotland. Located on the West coast right in the Scottish Highlands. A Spot of Natural Beauty in the very heart of the Scottish Highlands, on the West Coast of Scotland, in Argyll
We have some great special offers on at the moment, so why not visit our special offers page for more information and our Short Breaks page. Winter is no upon us, so why not join us at Airds which has to be the perfect location with roaring fires, the snow shining on the tops of the mountains and a lot of fun.
Let us do all the shopping, cooking and clearing up after and join your fellow guests for pure indulgence! We offer many special packages to include a Luxury Package for that special weekend, a Gourmet Package for food lovers and of course a Romantic Package for those special romantic occasions.
Don’t miss out on our Christmas Package, guaranteed to be relaxing. This Luxury, Romantic, Boutique hotel on the west coast of Scotland, is set in one of the most stunning locations in the UK and is one of the AA’s Red Star award winning luxury romantic hotels in Scotland.
It is where personal service, luxury and a gourmet dining experience in the 3 Rosette restaurant (Michelin recommended) are the very essence of all that is great about a visit to this exclusive retreat.
Whether you come for the beautiful views, fantastic Scottish Seafood or romantic setting in luxurious surroundings, you will not be disappointed. The Airds is also the perfect destination for an Exclusive Use Weekend and for a Romantic Wedding.
The atmosphere we create is one of relaxed elegance where friendly staff are attentive & efficient yet not too formal. Our 11 bedrooms and suites are all uniquely designed to soothe your mind before enjoying a superb dinner in our romantic candlelit restaurant.
Don’t forget we also offer a luxury self catering accommodation in our luxury holiday cottages to rent, Bramble Cottage and The Old Smithy for those who would like a little more independence but with the flexibility of having hotel facilities right next door. The best of both worlds.
We also have the most amazing cycle tracks with a scenic cycle from Oban to Fort William, or perhaps starting from Port Appin for a little short cut!
Each of the eleven individually styled luxury bedrooms and suites have all recently been redecorated and convey a warm and inviting style of their own.
Each room is individually decorated with designer fabrics and wallpapers from such labels as Jane Churchill, Zoffany, Colfax and Fowler and Designers Guild, with styles varying from ‘country house’ to something a little more ’boutique’. Most of the rooms have stunning views of Loch Linnhe with the Morvern mountains behind.
A good night’s sleep is of paramount importance and that is why we use Vi Spring beds. There are numerous thoughtful touches: luxury fabrics, elegant furnishings, crisp Frette linen, complimentary newspapers, whisky mac, sumptuous bathrobes, comfortable slippers and Bulgari toiletries.
All rooms have satellite television, DVD and CD players, with a choice of over 130 DVD’s to choose from our extensive library. All rooms also have modern iPod docks. Free Wi- Fi access is available throughout the hotel including all bedrooms. All rooms are of course, en-suite with modern bathrooms with marble tops.
Whilst staying with us why not treat yourself to one of the many massages/treatments on offer and enjoy pure relaxation in the comfort of your own room – what better way to spend an afternoon, especially as the evenings start to draw in over the winter period.
Enjoy a short break and special offers at The Airds with the stunning views of the loch and mountains and enjoy the peace and tranquility of Port Appin. There is so much to do in the local area that you can be as active or as relaxed as you choose!
Luxury Holiday Cottages
If you’re looking for some space to yourself, but with all the facilities of our hotel and award winning restaurant on your doorstep, then why not consider a stay in one of our two bed luxury holiday cottages?
The holiday cottages are uniquely designed and beautifully furnished for a luxurious stay on the West Coast of Scotland. There is a small village shop and post office in the village of Port Appin and many activities in the Argyll area to keep you busy: from walking to seaplane tours – but not forgetting relaxing!
Reputed to be one of the best in Scotland, thanks to the abundance of fresh local ingredients and some of the best shellfish right on our doorstep. Add that to an enthusiastic brigade in the kitchen and hopefully we have a winning formula!
Three AA rosettes will provide the assurance that only the best will do. This inspiring environment has also assured a Gold Award with Eat Scotland and a continuous presence in the Good Food guide for 43 years!
The seasonal dinner menu offers a good choice each day and has achieved recommendation in the esteemed Michelin Guide in 2021. We also have a seafood tasting menu which always proves to be extremely popular.
The Restaurant style embodies crisp white table linens, fresh flowers and a romantic candle-light atmosphere, offering an à la carte menu which specialises in producing the best of Local Scottish Seafood, as well as our renowned Scottish meat and game.
All guests are automatically reserved a table in the restaurant where Head Chef provides the very best and freshest Scottish Seafood that the West Coast has to offer, together with local Scottish meat such as Venison, Beef and the best of Scottish lamb.
We also hold two wine evenings each year to celebrate unique blends from around the world and matching these to a gourmet meal. Watch out for the date of our next wine evening.
The restaurant is also open for lunch and in fine weather you can enjoy a casual lunch or early supper in the garden or the conservatory. We also offer a great value for money Sunday lunch menu and this is proving so popular that booking in advance is advisable.
Full Afternoon Tea is offered daily in the lounges, garden or the conservatory. It is all complemented by an impressive and varied wine list which includes some excellent vintages from some of the best growers. The cellar includes many affordably priced classics, both full and half bottles.
Locally sourced, seasonal Scottish food
Here at Airds we believe that fresh, local produce is right at the heart of excellent food and it is one of the reasons why our restaurant has gained such a strong reputation.
With such amazing Scottish seafood right on our doorstep we are in the enviable position of being able to choose the fish we select on a daily basis, ensuring that we only get the best! Quality is so key to us when choosing our local suppliers and we are uncompromising in our efforts to achieve excellence at all times.
We work hard to establish long standing relationships with our suppliers who must share our commitment to produce the high quality, locally sourced, with known provenance, that we demand. Nothing is compromised when it comes to our guests.
Here are just a few of our local suppliers, many of whom we have consistently used for years, so maintaining that strong bond between us and ensuring they only deliver the best.
Why not enjoy a wee dram in the comfort of our Hotel’s Whisky Bar, perhaps after a bracing walk or before or after dinner?
Mira and her team have had such fun putting together a range of whiskies to suit all palates and no doubt tasting a few on the way! Each whisky has been personally selected to ensure we have a broad range and many a fun evening has been had in the small and intimate bar.
REFLEXOLOGY & DELUXE FUSION TREATMENTS
Specialist integrated clinical complementary care combining Eastern & Western healing disciplineswith fusion massage & quality relaxation delivered within a single multi-disciplinary treatment. Treat yourself or a loved one to an exceptional, personalisedlevel of treatment & aftercare in the comfort of your own room
At The Airds Hotel, we are delighted to offer our guests an exclusive, specialist range of luxury integrated clinical & remedial complementary therapies to relax mind, body and spirit. Our highly skilled practitioner offers an impressive multi-disciplinary approach.
Combining Eastern and Western treatments within a single personalised treatment window, treatments include Clinical Aromatherapy & Fragrance Energetics, Traditional Chinese & Japanese Acupressure , Oriental Bodywork & diagnostics, Deep Tissue & Swedish massage, with Myofascial, Trigger Point & Neuromuscular techniques, Reflexology, Esui Reiki & Touch healing.
Simply choose which treatments you would like to enjoy, either as care for a current health issue or for essential relaxation and wellbeing, and we will arrange a convenient time for you to enjoy your personal ‘time out’ in the comfort and privacy of your own room.
Please ensure you book well in advance, ideally when making your hotel room reservation, for availability. Please note there is a 24hr cancellation policy for treatments booked.. For peace of mind, please ask if you would like to discuss any specific conditions with our therapist in confidence prior to your treatment.
The Airds Hotel is The ideal Scottish Wedding hotel for a perfect Romantic Scottish Highland Wedding celebration from 2 – 50 guests
A wedding is probably the single most important event you will ever have to organise, and you want to be certain that it will be stress free on the day and a great success. We are here to put your mind at rest.
With excellent attention to detail our understanding team and unparalleled service will ensure all goes smoothly and effortlessly. With a superb location and beautiful facilities, whatever you have in mind, we can make it happen.
Whether you are planning a civil wedding or a reception, from accommodation to dining and first night arrangements we can make sure both the bride and groom and their guests receive the best: a beautiful location, outstanding personal service, a wonderful atmosphere, and superlative cuisine.
From your first enquiry you will benefit from the service, experience, and attention to detail of the General Manager and his team who will be on hand at every stage to do away with anxiety and worry, leaving you free to plan and realize a truly memorable event.
We can cater for up to 36 seated guests or 50 buffet style and with our 11 bedrooms and two self catering cottages we can accommodate up to 36 guests on site. We can also make arrangements with the other accommodation providers within walking distance of the hotel.
At the very heart of The Airds are staff who care and who want to make your honeymoon special. We are committed to making memories that will last forever and make you want to return for ever after.
It is the friendliness of our staff, the relaxed atmosphere, wonderful food and stunning backdrop of Loch Linnhe and the Morvern mountains, which makes Airds such a special and romantic place to spend your honeymoon.
We have two main suites which have king size beds, baths and walk in showers and either separate lounge or lounge area. The Loch View Suite as its name would suggest has magnificent views of the Loch and mountains, whilst the Master Suite is larger with open plan lounge area and a private balcony.
Airds is a friendly, unpretentious, luxurious hotel that has always been family owned and run. This is the perfect hideaway for romance and where better to enjoy a luxurious and romantic honeymoon.
All honeymooners booked to stay a minimum 2 night stay will automatically receive a bottle of champagne on arrival and the gourmet tasting menu on a night of their choice. (A copy of wedding certificate is required to qualify)
Art at The Airds
Displayed around the public areas are a number of paintings and prints offered for sale. The paintings, mainly by British contemporary artists, are in a variety of media but mainly watercolour, oil and acrylic.
For the last ten years Airds has been a follower of art and felt the hotel environment, especially given the beautiful setting, lends itself to the display of artwork.
We offer a unique opportunity for visitors to sit with a cup of coffee and view the paintings in a relaxed and hopefully, inspiring atmosphere. However, visitors are welcome regardless of whether they purchase hotel services or not.
Several of the paintings are by Terry McKivragan RI who died in 2012 leaving a legacy of paintings in watercolour, oil and acrylic which are now managed by the hotels owner, Shaun McKivragan.
Things to Do
The Airds Hotel is a great base from which to explore the Highlands of Scotland including the Inner Hebridean Islands such as Mull and Skye. Indeed much can be achieved in half a day or for a fuller experience take a full day.
We can arrange boat trips, guided tours both on foot and by luxury car, or you may like to try either mountain biking or a leisurely cycle, for example on the Island of Lismore, which is directly opposite to the hotel, just a 5 minute ferry journey.
We can also arrange such activities as horse riding on the shores of Loch Linnhe, or recommend visiting one of the many castles which are within driving distance of the hotel, or for the more energetic either indoor or outdoor climbing. Whatever you enjoy doing, there is something for everyone.
We have collected together a great choice of activities, country sports, excursions and sightseeing to enhance your stay at Airds Hotel and the Explore Lismore Land Rover Tour comes particularly highly recommended by guests.
There are so many activities to do within a close proximity of the hotel and stunning scenery to see that you will never be bored.
In addition, we can also offer a range of aromatherapy treatments and massages to suit all, in the comfort of your own room. To ensure availability we advise you to book this in advance so as to avoid disappointment. Please contact the hotel to discuss any requirement you may have.
Land Rover Tours on the Isle of Lismore
Join local guide Robert for an unforgettable island adventure. Explore Lismore is a small tour operator on the Scottish Isle of Lismore.
This family business is run by local Robert Smith & his partner Iris, who offer bespoke private hire tours by Land Rover highlighting the island’s rich heritage, wildlife, spectacular scenery,delicious local foods and close-knit community.
Get a taste of island life on one of their exiting tours, suitable for all ages and abilities. We have received wonderful comments form guests who have taken the tour and who highly recommend it.
A weekend break in Argyll
There is certainly no shortage of things to see and do throughout North Argyll and a weekend here is to be highly recommended. The landscape and atmosphere of North Argyll and indeed Argyll as a whole is dominated by the dramatic landscape and coastline forming many islands and fiord like sea lochs.
This results in it being arguably the most picturesque region in Scotland, especially with the benefit of its lush vegetation thanks to the mild gulf stream. So needless to say, a drive or cycle round the area is highly recommended and the following areas are at the top of the list.
This small hamlet at the north end of the Crinan Canal lies in a spectacularly beautiful spot. One and a half hours drive south west from Port Appin brings you to this hamlet at the end of one of the most beautifully situated canals in the UK.
The canal is not that long so could be walked or perhaps cycled very easily. Just to the north of Crinan, and on route, lies the valley of Kilmartin, another beautiful area well known for its very old burial chambers.
The island of Mull lies in the north west corner of Argyll and is one of the largest islands on the west coast of Scotland. It also has a lot to offer such that it should be high on anyone’s list of islands to bag, dare I say it, higher than some other large west coast islands.
You will need to get the ferry from Oban but this is only 35 minutes from Port Appin and the crossing is 45 minutes affording beautiful views across to Duart Castle sitting on its own dramatic peninsula. Duart Castle is well worth a visit once you land on Mull.
Further south, on the western tip of Mull lies the separate island of Iona which is a ‘must’ visit for its sandy beaches and perfectly formed little abbey where Christianity first came over to Scotland from Ireland thanks to St Columbus.
In the north east of Mull lies the principal town of Tobermory which has a lovely little harbour surrounded by brightly coloured buildings housing some delightful shops offering typically celtic souvenirs.
It also boasts a whisky distillery and a very good fish restaurant above the ferry terminal. In addition, there is beautiful scenery everywhere but especially all the way down the west coast.
Inverary is another picturesque town worth a visit. It lies in a superb position on Loch Fyne and in addition to its interesting architecture, boasts Inverary Castle, home to the Duke of Argyll and open to the public in season, Inverary Jail and, just outside the town, the original Loch Fyne Oyster Bar.
The drive there takes one and a half hours and is full of great views, particularly as you drive along the side of Loch Awe with the atmospheric Kilchurn Castle lying on its island near one end.
Also, all along the southern shore of Loch Linnhe between Ledaig and Duror a stunning cycle path has been created from a disused railway line. You can take a leisurely cycle along here, occasionally crossing the road, with beautiful views across the loch – well worth hiring a bike for. Port Apoin is perfectly positioned in the middle of this path
Loch Linnhe is 9.3 miles long and just over a mile wide and is often regarded as one of the most scenic lochs on the west coast of Scotland.
The Loch has a special attraction to photographers due to its fantastic scenery and stunning sunsets and it is these sunsets that can so often be seen from the restaurant at The Airds, whilst enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner.
The whole area around the loch offers lots of exciting outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing, sailing and walking. Also available just a short walk from the hotel down to the pier in Port Appin, is a lovely 1-2 hour boat trip which takes in the main sites in the immediate area to the hotel together with a brief history of the area.
Loch Linnhe Wildlife
Wildlife in the Loch is in abundance with many seals taking advantage of its small islands and it is possible to take boat trips to see the seals, particular in the summer months.
Also popular are porpoises, Dolphins and many sea birds and Golden Eagles have also been sited int he area. A nice way to see the loch is to drive around and pull over at the many parking areas perhaps enjoying a picnic.
While in the Glencoe area there are plenty of activities to keep you busy – a short but very pleasant drive down the Oban road will take you to the little picturesque hamlet of Port Appin, which is bound by Loch Linnhe to the south and Loch Creran to the east.
It lies directly across the strip of water called the Lynn of Lorn to the northern tip of the Island of Lismore. You can get a passenger ferry (you can also take your bicycles across) from Port Appin to Lismore and this makes for a lovely day out- we can provide backpacks for you should you wish to take a packed lunch over with you, perhaps with a nice bottle of wine!
Port Appin boasts some wonderful views across Loch Linnhe which is a popular sailing area and yachts can moor near the pier should they need a break from the water. The back road behind The Airds offers a lovely scenic drive past interesting private houses and along the side of Loch Creran.
As you drive towards Port Appin you will immediately see Castle Stalker which was built in around 1320 by Duncan Stewart of Appin who was granted lands in the area by James IV for his support in destroying the power of the Lord of the Isles.
It was built to guard the Strath of Appin from invasion from the sea. The castle was taken by the Campbells before being recaptured by the Stewarts after a siege in 1685. It was then abandoned in the late 1700’s and roofless by 1830.
It was then restored in the 1960’s and on set days of the year it is possible to visit the castle.www.castlestalker.com. Also near the castle is a beautiful walk taking you over Jubilee Bridge, a rather unusual structure connecting Port Appin with Portnacroish and giving a wonderful view of the castle.
Another interesting walk is accessed just outside the entrance to Airds Hotel car park. This walk, known as Clach Thoul (Gallic for hole in the rock), takes you on a 35 minute stroll round a headland (with the hole) and offering lovely views across Airds Bay and down Loch Linnhe towards Oban. You can also detour to the top of the headland to see even better views.
Port Appin also has a number of lovely walks of varying degrees of difficulty and after one of these walks www.walkhighlands.co.uk why not reward yourself with lunch or afternoon tea at The Airds Hotel, a luxury country house hotel with stunning views across Loch Linnhe and the Morvern mountains.
Appin is probably most famous for the ‘Appin Murder’ and the subsequent miscarriage of justice in 1752. It was infamous even before the celebrated Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson turned it into his historical best-seller Kidnapped. A cairn marks the spot where the Appin murder took place – located in the Forestry Commission wood known as Leitit Mhor.
The ‘Appin Murder’ was the shooting in the back of government agent Colin Campbell of Glenure – the ‘Red Fox’ in Kidnapped. He was assassinated in a ruthless ambush by an unknown hand in the Wood of Lettermore near Ballachulish by the side of Loch Linnhe in Argyll.
The authorities suspected a local Jacobite of the murder and James Stewart was later tried by a jury of 12 Campbells and hung for the crime. He protested his innocence whilst the most likely real suspect, Allan Breck Stewart, fled to France.
Port Appin has a small craft shop, a small grocery and post office, together with the ferry to the Island of Lismore.
A week on the West Coast of Scotland
There is no doubt that Scotland is one of the most scenic countries in Europe but to be more precise it is really the western half that justifies that reputation. So if you have just a week to make the most of it where should you go?
Glasgow is a great place to start but for the purposes of this feature we will concentrate on the areas north of the central belt.
Loch Fyne is a beautiful sea loch and Inverary, its principal town and the original county town of Argyll, makes for a very interesting stop over with its beautiful Georgian architecture.
Visit Inverary Castle, ancestral home to the Duke of Argyll, as well as Inverary Gaol with its 19th century courthouse and living museum. For a good lunch stop try the original Loch Fyne Oyster Bar located 20 minutes east of Inverary – whilst their main emphasis is on fish and seafood they also provide some good meat options too.
An alternative great place to base yourself on the first night or two north from Glasgow is the island of Arran off the west coast. Arran is known as Scotland in miniature as it has both lowlands and highlands and has some beautiful little villages around its coast.
Brodick, the capital, has a very attractive and interesting castle well worth a visit, especially to see its beautiful gardens.
Heading further north the scenery just gets more attractive. The village of Plockton, situated just north of the Skye bridge but still on the mainland is well worth a visit.
The quaint harbour front has a good pub and hotel with views from their palm fringed gardens across the harbour where you might sight porpoises or otters. If you fancy treating yourself book a table at Kinloch Lodge on the southern shore of Skye for a fine dining meal to Michelin standards.
Carrying on north you may wish to divert across to Applecross on the west coast overlooking Raasay. Take the Pass of the Cattle for a truly memorable drive up and through the highest public road in the UK. Lunch at the famous Applecross Inn is well worth the detour.
Ullapool is worth a stop, perhaps taking in lunch at one of the many restaurants. But save dinner until you reach the Summer Isles or more particularly, Achiltibuie where a meal at the Summer Isles Hotel is a delight with views looking out across the isles themselves. Walking and cycling around here is a real joy as is the stunning beach on a warm day.
There is still more to see further north but we only have a week so I have had to prioritise. And of course, we haven’t touched the islands at all – that is at least another week if not two. I hope we have given you some good ideas for spending your hard earned weeks holiday in western Scotland.
Cycling in and around Port Appin
Port Appin offers a multitude of wonderful opportunities for road cycling and mountain biking in some of the most impressive scenery in the UK and indeed, Europe.
NCN Route 78 – Oban to Fort William
We are incredibly fortunate to have the National Cycle Network route 78, virtually on our doorstep and this runs from Oban to Ballachulish then Fort William.
Cycle from the hotel along the quiet road away from the village towards Appin then follow the cycle track over newly renovated Jubilee Bridge to join the main cycle route – turn right for the route to Loch Creran, turn left to head up the shore of Loch Linnhe.
Suggested Cycle Routes
From right outside the hotel there are several routes available. Why not take the small passenger ferry over to the island of Lismore. Lismore is 10 miles long with a single track road running down its centre with several roads and lanes branching off.
With a population of around 100 the only traffic you will come across is the odd farm vehicle. Meanwhile enjoy the stunning views around Loch Linnhe and take in one of three ruined castles as well as a lovely little church and the excellent heritage museum which has a café and terrace serving light lunches.
This part of Argyll has recently benefited from the creation of a superb dedicated cycle track most of which runs along the shoreline of Loch Linnhe. This particularly scenic section of Route 78 runs between Benderloch and Ballachulish covering some 20 miles with the hotel roughly at the mid point making it convenient to head in either direction.
The back roads around the hotel also offer very scenic rides and are almost traffic free whilst within a 10 minute drive there are several other off road routes taking you amongst beautiful scenery.
For those looking for a little more adrenalin there are some good mountain bike trails close by whilst the mountain biking world cup route is just a 50 minute drive away. Indeed the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series comes here on 4th and 5th June 2016.
GIN SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
Create your own small batch gin during your luxury stay at Airds. Gin has become one of the most popular drinks and with so many to choose from now it has become almost a hobby trying them out!
Our Gin School Experience is located a short drive away within a historic former byre of the distillery in Ballachulish. Equipped with traditional copper pot mini stills, here you can learn the art of distilling using your own mini still and develop your unique and personal recipe for an Uber small batch gin.
The Gin School experience is suitable to anyone interested in gin distilling, whether you are a connoisseur or just wish to know more or experience and learn something new! Available for individuals, couples or small groups of up to 8 people.
In the class you will learn about the key botanicals involved in gin making and you will create your own bespoke and unique gin using botanicals of your choice. The distiller will assist you in blending the various botanicals together to create a completely unique recipe, a full bottle of your own creation will then be yours to take home!