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Marmalade Hotel, Isle of Skye, Scotland
If you're wondering about the name, it is said the Honourable Iona Macdonald who owned the old house grew marmalade in the sheltered courtyard - a highly unlikely pursuit for the Highlands. Now the pretty Georgian house in the island's main town of Portree has a cool, contemporary interior (along with a cool contemporary extension) and a restaurant called Chargrill which does exactly what it says very well. If you're lucky and the sun shines you can't beat a drink on the garden terrace, but that astonishingly lovely view down the bay framing the Cuillin Mountains beyond is just as good from behind the rain-streaked windows of the restaurant and in many of the serene, smart bedrooms.
We enjoyed spotting dolphins and puffins on a boat trip from Portree harbour, well supplied with lunch and champagne.
Portree is known for its brightly-coloured buildings. Visit the Lump, a rocky outpost offering panoramic views, a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
By car: around 5 hours 15 minutes from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and 8 hours 30 minutes from Manchester. Free parking on-site.
By train: trains run from Glasgow to Mallaig for the ferry to Skye, and from Inverness to Kyle, where you can take a bus to the island. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Anyone who has an allergy to the Brigadoon school of decorating will love it here - this is a tartan-free zone. We loved the combination of relaxed informality and considered, comfort-led design.
Service & Facilities
The daily posting of sunrise and sunset times was much appreciated by photographers and fishermen.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The Premier Room at the top of the main house has an armchair in the dormer in which to read, dream and gaze at the prettily framed view. Every room has blackout curtains for those long summer nights when it never gets dark.
Standard, Superior, Premier, Family
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, Nespresso machine, iron and ironing board, TV, Bose sound system, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
There's an impressive list of local beers, three island whiskies and four local gins - Misty Isle pink martini, anyone? The luxurious indulgence of a whole monkfish tail grilled on the bone with fennel and cured lemon was memorable.
Chargrill Restaurant: steak and seafood restaurant, locally sourced produce. Open for breakfast and dinner to residents and non-residents.