Guest: Elisabeth Leslie, Perthshire
To you all at Eriska,
David and I returned home to Perthshire last night after a weekend I shall never forget, firstly because we were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary!
On Friday all I knew was that we were heading "west". David had planned it all. What a truly wonderful surprise and idyllic Hotel you have. The staff looked after us so well during our short stay, both in the hotel and at the swimming pool complex. The weather was so glorious and midge free it was hard to believe we were in Scotland. The hills we climbed led to spectacular views to parts of Scotland I had never seen before. The dining was fantastic, delicious food, beautifully presented and politely served. We both thank you for such amazing memories and how lucky we are to have been able to visit the stunning Isle of Eriska. We will be back!
Guest: “Pentonville” from Chester, United Kingdom
“We actually stayed at the Isla of Eriska over a year ago for just one night but wished we'd stayed longer and can't wait to return next year! The island itself is utterly beautiful and lovely to explore (our dog was in heaven!) with secluded windswept beaches, a rainbow of heather and wonderful wildlife all around. Our little cottage was so perfect that I'd like to move in permanently and the hot tub outside was perfect for warming up in after a bracing walk!
The restaurant was one of the best I've dined at with impeccable service and really good, tasty food, it's also really stylish with some fab pink lighting!!
My absolute favourite bit of the whole stay was the MASSIVE breakfast in the morning! It's just what you need to set you up for the day (especially since we overindulged slightly on the G&T's, wine, port and champagne the night before!) We would highly recommend this lovely hotel, especially for people wanting a luxury escape from the hectic realities of life! I must also mention the lovely welcome that our dog received in the form of a letter from the hotel's dogs and a couple of biscuit bones!!”
Guest: “ozzyScotland” from Scotland
“One of the genuine 5 star hotels in Scotland. From our initial welcome before we had even set foot in the hotel, to the goodbye from Beppo, the owner, Eriska never failed to justify its price tag.
The food, service and facilities are top notch, the staff knowledgeable and friendly. Early morning tea, morning coffee, afternoon tea, dinner are all inclusive. The three course plus cheeseboard dinner is amazing. The atmosphere was also superb as the hotel was full. This was during the week too! We will be back, soon.”
Guest: Mr Gillone
Following our visit last week we just want to thank everyone there for making our stay so relaxing, enjoyable and memorable. You have a beautiful facility there but the greatest assets are the people and you were all very welcoming and helpful. Many thanks.
Last Wednesday our walk took us along the west coast and between Lymphoy and Shell Point we were lucky enough to spot an otter breaking surface. We took cover and he came up on to a large rock to eat a wrasse. We watched for around 15 minutes before he swam to another rock, had a wash and brush up and then slipped back into the sea - a real highlight of our stay. We took a few photos which came out not too badly considering we were looking in to the light and hand held.
Guest: Mrs Johnstone, Lancashire
My husband and I have just arrived back home after spending a wonderful week long holiday at the Isle of Eriska Hotel near Oban. We managed to fit plenty of activities into our trip, however have realised there is still so much to see and do. Another trip back will have to happen in the future!
We arrived at Eriska early afternoon on a Sunday which gave us plenty of time to settle into our room, Glensanda, and explore the hotel’s facilities before dinner. Both my husband and I booked ourselves into the Island’s ESPA Spa for treatments the next morning.
Waking up to a wonderful view and tea delivered to our room, we then indulged in a full Scottish breakfast in the dining room before being pampered in the Spa and relaxing in the Steam room, Sauna and Jacuzzi.
Lunch was then served in the hotel’s Veranda restaurant, conveniently located in the same building as the Spa, before the remainder of the afternoon was spent exploring the nature trails around the island followed by afternoon tea and dinner back at the hotel that evening.
Although there were still areas of the island we had not yet explored, we wanted to see what else the local area had to offer and spent the morning at the Oban Sea Life Centre just a mile from the Isle of Eriska. In the afternoon we decided to head down to Tralee Bay and try our hand at Go Carting. After an eventful afternoon, dinner back at the hotel was a more calm affair and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the badgers who have become regulars at the hotel in the evening.
We had an early start on Wednesday to catch the Cal Mac ferry from Oban to Mull, all arranged by the hotel reception although they did mention that the weather was beyond their control!
We took the car over on the ferry with us to ensure we saw as much of the island as possible in a full day’s trip. We arrived at Craignure at 11 and headed west to the picturesque town of Tobermory – famous for its coloured shop fronts, home of Children program Balamory and fabled Gold Spanish Galleon in the bay- then after feeding the otter in the harbour we climbed west and stopped at The Carthouse Gallery at Calgary farmhouse provided a wonderful setting for a lunch break before continuing to explore the island. We completed the tour of the island with great views out to the south and the Treshnish Isles- the home of thousands of puffins and back to the ferry. But before boarding we detoured to Duart Castle the home of the MacLean’s before sailing back to Oban.
My husband is a keen fisherman and every holiday always guarantees a fishing trip of some sort. The staff at Eriska kindly pointed us in the direction of Inverawe Fisheries, only 15miles drive from Isle of Eriska, where we spent the morning before visiting the Cruachan Power Stationthat afternoon.
On returning to the hotel, having negotiated with the kitchen to cook our catch for breakfast the following morning, we decided to explore one of the more challenging nature trails before dining later that evening. Although not fully prepared for the mud- or nogo areas-, we were obviously not the first guests in this situation and the hotel was prepared with wellington boots for us! This time it was herons and seals to see but we also caught a glimpse of the elusive otters before returning for a cup of tea and game of croquet at the house.
On Friday we spent the day in Oban exploring and taking advantage of the many photos opportunities at McCaigs Tower and Pulpit Hill. All the walking soon took its toll, so after lunch we decided to pay the Oban Distillery a visit in the afternoon– a necessity on holiday in Scotland – before an early night back at the Hotel in preparation for our Hogwarts adventure the next day.
Prior to our holiday we booked ourselves aboard the Jacobite Train(otherwise known as the “Hogwarts Express”) from Fort William to Mallaig where we spent a couple of hours for lunch. We opted for the Isle of Eriska’s “picnic lunch” and found a nice spot in Mallaig before our return journey to Fort William.
Following our last dinner at the hotel we were lucky enough to see the badgers once again before we retired to our room prior to our homeward journey the following day.
Our final morning was spent admiring the island before we said good bye and headed back down South.
We spent a wonderful week at the isle of Eriska Hotel and hope to return in the near future to experience many of the sights and activities we have not managed to fit into our most recent trip, and of course, to see the badgers again!
Guest: “PoolLounger” from Bucks, UK
“This was my 3rd visit to this hotel, but my wife’s first and I was pleased that she liked it as much as I do. We stayed in Coll, which is a spacious room with an enormous bed, separate sitting area with sofa, armchair and a TV (not much used on our visit) and a large separate dressing room and bathroom. The views over the front lawn to the Morvern hills were spectacular. The room was nicely decorated in a style appropriate to the house, was very comfortable and you don’t really need to bring any reading material yourself, since the house is stuffed with books for guests to borrow - in the bar, on the landings, and in the bedrooms. You really do feel like a house-guest, rather than a customer in a hotel.
The food is exquisite - 4 courses including cheese - and although the menu is short, there is always one meat, one fish and one vegetarian option for each main course. The food is locally-sourced for the most part and is beautifully cooked and presented; it was a culinary adventure to work your way around the plate trying the different accompaniments to the central ingredient, each prepared with great skill and lightness of touch. I don’t think they could add too many more menu options without compromising on the freshness of the ingredients or throwing away vast quantities of food, which would be a shame.
I found the quantities of food served more than sufficient, and after an Eriska breakfast, a 2-hour walk round the island, a long swim in the pool, a sauna, a session in the steam room and a massage, I still didn’t feel remotely peckish until 5pm, when greed, rather than hunger, got the better of us and we succumbed to the offer of afternoon tea.
The Spa complex has been re-done in recent years and is impeccable, and the spa staff were very friendly and attentive.
The service is uniformally excellent - attentive but discreet and friendly - I note some reviewers have taken issue with the number of non-scottish staff but the luxury hotel business is a very international one and talented youngsters will always seek to travel to broaden their experience, a number of Eriska’s non-Scottish staff have been there for at least 4 years now (maybe longer - I first visited in 2006) and modern employment law makes it illegal to discriminate on grounds of nationality so, even if you did want to transform a lovely Scottish hotel into a Brigadoon Experience, I don’t think the law would allow you to do that. There are still plenty of Scottish staff there to give you the benefit of their local knowledge.
All in all, this is a lovely spot to spend some time relaxing, eating well, and curling up by the log fires with a good book. If you have the energy, the surrounding countryside is incredibly beautiful and well worth exploring.”