Scotland on Sunday Travel: The Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin, Argyll - With island views and seafood to savour, this Michelin-listed small hotel is one of Argyll’s most idyllic destinations

On the shores of Loch Linnhe, with views of Lismore, Shuna, Mull and the Morvern Peninsula, The Pierhouse Hotel at Port Appin has the kind of views we’ve been dreaming of in lockdown, writes Janet Christie.

Halfway between Oban and Fort William, locations don’t come much more idyllic than this. While you’re feasting your eyes on the vista, the Michelin starred/restaurant will treat your tastebuds, while rooms featuring calm neutrals and tactile textiles, with in room therapeutic, aromatherapy or sports massage treatments, and the Finnish sauna, will lull you into a state of bliss.

Originally the residence of the Pier Master in the 19th century, the hotel has been reconfigured and refurbished over the years to create an award-winning hospitality destination as part of The Wee Hotel Company owned by Scots born international hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray. Accolades include an AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence, a Visit Scotland four-star Restaurant with Rooms Gold Award, a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme and it is Visit Scotland Taste Our Best accredited.

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Covid precautions

Strict cleaning and hygiene protocols are in place that meet and exceed government guidelines. Rooms are deep cleaned with additional emphasis on high contact areas then sealed before guest arrival. Staff will wear PPE, face masks are used by guests when moving around public areas and the restaurant and hand sanitiser is available throughout. One-way travel to minimise contact is in place and meals can be taken in rooms if guests prefer.

See website for full protocols.

Coronavirus protocols can be downloaded here

Budget or boutique?

A Seafood Platter, one of the house specialities.

Visit Scotland awarded it a four-star Restaurant with Rooms Gold Award.

Room Service

The 12 rooms include Superior Sea View (with lounge area), Sea View and Cliff Facing, all with the option of extra child beds. Each has an ensuite bathroom, kingsize bed, Arran Aromatic toiletries, 43" flatscreen Smart TV (Freeview, catchup & streaming services eg BBC iPlayer, All4, ITV Hub, Netflix, Prime, YouTube), wifi, tea and coffee making facilities, sparkling and still water, shortbread and a hairdryer.

Wining and Dining

The Pierhouse at Port Appin is on the shores of Loch Linnhe, Argyll.

Now listed in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2021, at The Seafood Restaurant, Lismore Room and terrace tables you will find a new menu from head chef, Michael Leathley. Renowned for Scottish seafood, the menu includes fresh creel caught Loch Linnhe Langoustines and mussels harvested from Loch Linnhe and Loch Etive, as well as oysters from Loch Creran - The Michelin Guide suggests opting for a platter and trying them all. If seafood doesn’t float your boat, there is fresh local meat and wild game, such as Achnacreebeag steaks, burgers and lamb, as well as vegetarian and vegan dishes, including Buckwheat, Lentil & Barley Haggis Wellington and charred leek puree, followed by desserts including sea buckthorn sorbet and whisky apple and walnut tarte tatin.

Food is served in the Ferry Bar from 12.30pm-2.30pm and 6pm-9pm daily, hot drinks and home baking are served all day from 8am, alcoholic drinks from 11am-11pm while The Restaurant serves lunch 12.30pm-2.30pm and dinner 6pm-9pm daily.

Worth Getting Out of Bed For

Been missing a hug? Try trees, with woods and forest walks aplenty around Port Appin or get on your bike as The Pierhouse is surrounded by quiet single track roads. Try the loop around Loch Creran and the offroad cycling at Sutherland's Grove.

Log burners keep things cosy in The Pierhouse.

If it’s drama you crave, the 14th century Castle Stalker on island Eilean an Stalcaire at the mouth of Loch Laich has a stormy history, as well as a beautiful backdrop of the mountains of Morvern. Popping up in Monty Python's The Holy Grail, the castle has tours at selected times in summer.

If the lure of the islands is strong, take the ferry from the Hotel’s pier over to Lismore and explore its footpaths or if you’d rather stay put in The Pierhouse, sit on the terrace and watch the ferry ply back and forth across the loch, or curl up in the cosy lounge.

The Hotel is also blooming marvellous for garden fans with Druimneil House garden, Ardchattan Priory and Kinlochlaich Gardens all nearby.

Little Extras

Champagne on ice, Oban Chocolate Company chocolates and bouquets of seasonal flowers are available in rooms on arrival.

Guestbook Comments

The Pierhouse Hotel and Restaurant, Port Appin, Argyll was once the pier master's home.

Whether you arrive by land or sea you’re guaranteed tranquillity on tap in one of the country’s finest locations.

Prices start from £175 per couple, per night, on a bed and breakfast basis.

Address, The Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin, Argyll, PA38 4DE, (01631 730302, [email protected], www.pierhousehotel.co.uk) (www.theweehotelcompany.com)

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Lismore Burnt Cream, homemade shortbread and lemon balm, one of the desserts in the Pierhouse Hotel Restaurant, Port Appin.
Loch views from a bedroom.
A Cliff Facing room
The seafood served up at The Pierhouse couldn't be fresher than that caught off its own pier.
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