The best luxury Scottish island hotels and self-catering cottages, whether you're visiting Mull, Islay, Arran, Skye or Jura

Set sail from the mainland for one of these destinations
Isle of Eriska Hotel & SpaIsle of Eriska Hotel & Spa
Isle of Eriska Hotel & Spa

There’s nothing like an island holiday.

As soon as you’ve crossed the water, there’s a sense that THEY’LL never find you, not that you want the full Robinson Crusoe experience.

Our selection of Scottish hotels and retreats are all upmarket, and will make you the most comfortable castaway around.

The MachrieThe Machrie
The Machrie
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This is a dinky tidal island, just 5.25km2, in Loch Moidart. Richard Branson may have recently opened Virgin Hotels in Edinburgh and Glasgow, but his sister, Vanessa, owns a Moroccan luxury hotel, El Fenn, as well as this retreat. They’ll soon be introducing the Sail Loft property, with prices from £2200 for a week, including a RIB ride from the mainland. It will feature a mini-sauna, handmade Moroccan copper bath and views to the dramatic ruin, Castle Tioram. You can also stay at Eilean Shona House, sleeping 18, or one of ten other holiday cottages to suit two to eight guests, with prices starting from £1100 for the properties to suit couples. In the Twenties, JM Barrie rented this island as a holiday home, and its beaches, woods and hills inspired Neverland in his book, Peter Pan. You will be hooked.

Acharacle, Argyll (01967 431 249,


The Old Schoolhouse at Eilean Shona Pic:Alistair EdwardsThe Old Schoolhouse at Eilean Shona Pic:Alistair Edwards
The Old Schoolhouse at Eilean Shona Pic:Alistair Edwards

If you’re after an adventure, then visit this chic 47-bedroom hotel on the Hebridean island of Islay. They’ve launched a summer collaboration with the outdoorsy Cumbrian hotel, Another Place, The Lake. This package costs £742pp and will be available solely throughout the month of August, and consists of a three-night, four-day stay, which will be inclusive of two nights’ dinner in 18 Restaurant & Bar, three hour Fatbike hire for two, a sunset cocktail on the dune deck, airport or ferry transfers, a concierge service and additional island activities, such as golf on their own links, which was ranked 75th globally in Golf World’s Top 100, as well as use of the spa or tuk-tuk tours.

Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Argyll (01495 302 310,


Bag your own section of this 19th-century Scots Baronial building, also known as Castle Gorm. It offers apartments and self catering spaces, so you could stay in the West Wing of the castle, which has recently been reconfigured as a self-catering apartment for six, with rates from £500 per night. The castle owners used to live in these quarters, but they’ve taken over residence of the castle, while still offering guest accommodation on site. This also includes the new Shepherd’s Bothy, to suit a couple.

Interior of the Old Schoolhouse at Eilean Shona Pic: Alistair EdwardsInterior of the Old Schoolhouse at Eilean Shona Pic: Alistair Edwards
Interior of the Old Schoolhouse at Eilean Shona Pic: Alistair Edwards

Tobermory, Isle of Mull (01688 302321,


This 35-year-old four-star hotel, situated at Brodick on the Isle of Arran, is an obvious shoe-in for any kind of island round-up. That’s probably because it has so many extra attractions. Apart from the plush hotel rooms, suites and lodges, all decorated in a tastefully tartan-tastic style, and restaurants including eighteen69 and Brambles, there’s plenty to do as far as activities are concerned. This includes The Aspa, where you can have ESPA treatments, and a swimming pool, sauna and steam room. Through their Arran Adventure activity centre, you can also try segway, archery, or even have a shot on a tandem, which may or may not end in an argument about who was pedalling too fast. The hotel is near some of the island’s best foodie attractions too, like Mara and The French Fox.

Brodick, Arran (01770 302 234,

Duisdale House HotelDuisdale House Hotel
Duisdale House Hotel


As they’re extremely discreet, you may not have heard about this place, unless you’re a very wealthy golfer. In the “how to get here” section of the website, they suggest a helicopter, so you know this is properly luxurious. It’s got an 18 hole course, designed by Bob Harrison, with the first stretch along cliffs, then down to beach level. Accommodation on offer includes exclusive use of the restored Jura House, which sleeps 20 guests and was once the seat of the McDonalds and the Campbells, or in their hotel, The Quads, with 13 luxury bedrooms and prices starting from a wallet quivering £1540 per room per night. Golf hotels aren’t known for their beautiful decor, but this artwork-adorned place is out of the pages of a glossy lifestyle magazine.

Ardfin Estate, Isle of Jura (01496 820 248,


The last time we visited this five-star destination, on its own private island, we boggled over the magnificent cheese trolley. They offer two dining choices - the Main House Restaurant or more formal option, The Deck, where they now offer a new nine course tasting menu for £135pp. However, it’s not purely about stuffing your face, as there are lovely walks around the grounds, up to their cairn or down to the pier. There are also self-contained spa and cottage suites, outside the main house, and a spa with a swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym and treatments from Scottish seaweed brand Ishga, and ESPA.

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Bernderloch, near Oban, Argyll (01631 720 371,


Skye has no shortage of wonderful hotels. You’ve probably already stayed at The Three Chimneys, Kinloch Lodge, the new Bracken Hide and Edinbane Lodge, so check out this charming Victorian property, which is a sister to the other Sonas Collection destinations, Skeabost House Hotel and Toravaig House Hotel. It recently took on a new chef, Stephen Crichton, who has created a menu including scorched mackerel, celeriac remoulade, roast beetroot and candied lemon zest. They’ve also launched a new Master Suite as well as three Luxury Lodges to sleep two, and, despite all the velvety throws, their rooms are dog-friendly.

Aird of Sleat, Isle of Skye (01470 373 737,



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