When I hear about The Isle of Skye, my mind conjures up images of rugged landscapes, rough seas topped with blowing spray, pretty little villages and medieval castles. A mystical escape far, far away…
Beyond the mentions in the BBC shipping forecast, I didn’t know the first thing about the Hebrides archipelago and yet, this part of Scotland houses some of the most stunning beaches in the world. In fact, Berneray’s West Beach in the Outer Hebrides is such a spectacular sweep of white sand bordered by dunes, that it was used by Thai tourist authorities to promote holidays in one of their own marine National Parks!
My favourite hideaway in these incredible islands has to be the Isle of Skye, named ‘cloud island’ in Old Norse, this magical isle is the second-largest of Scotland’s islands but has to be one of the most beautiful. Its pretty indented coastline is filled with striking peninsulas, towering sea cliffs and inland you’ll discover mysterious moors, jagged mountain peaks, deep lochs and pretty little towns and harbours that have attracted tourists for centuries, and today it’s still Scotland’s biggest tourist destination after Edinburgh!
Yes, if you are looking for Instagramable beaches, spectacular mountains, cliffs that drop into the sea, waterfalls and rainbows, the heavenly Isle of Skye has it all. Visit in the summer and you might just be blessed with tropical temperatures too (it does happen… occasionally!).
Now, we are luxury travellers and the fear, when travelling to far-flung places to escape the rat-race, is that the accommodation might not match up. It’s a fine line balancing getting away from it all and going so far away that the facilities start running out.
Mint Croft Luxury Holiday Cottages on the Isle of Skye has tempted me to these distant Scottish Islands. It’s luxurious enough to attract Four Seasons regulars, Aman Junkies and anyone who loves luxury. Mint Croft has launched the Isle of Skye onto the luxury travellers radar.
Voted one of the Best Places to Stay 2019 by The Times and featured in Condé Nast Traveller’s Gold List 2019, the award winning Mint Croft Luxury Holiday Cottages comprises of two luxuriously rustic holiday cottages perched high above the sea. The properties also enjoy recommendations from The Telegraph and The New York Times, reflecting that owners Shaz and Ali Morton are truly getting it right.
These luxury retreats have been lovingly and stylishly restored and decorated, without losing any of their rural charm.
Situated in North West Skye, near Dunvegan and surrounded by breathtaking, panoramic sea views across to the Islands of Harris and Lewis beyond, these secluded hideaways are where nature meets luxury.
Hidden within restored Highland buildings are unexpectedly contemporary interiors that perfectly combine modern design with unique antiques and perfectly placed object d’art. Each house offers individual luxurious suites which give you total peace and privacy.
The Croft House is a traditional Hebridean croft house built in 1934 by local craftsman in village stone. The Croft House and herb garden have stunning panoramic sea views across Loch Snizort to the Ascribe Islands and the Trotternish Ridge.
A spacious, slate-floored kitchen and dining area feature a Devol hand-crafted Shaker kitchen. The welcoming stone-walled sitting room and library has a toasty wood-burning stove and solid oak floor boards. Upstairs, the bedroom has a vaulted ceiling with beams in local Douglas Fir and a super-king bed. Next to this is a Fired Earth designer bathroom with rain-head shower plus a large, separate dressing room with custom-made wardrobes and a huge mirror.
Your other option is a renovated Hebridean Blackhouse with a traditional turf roof. The stone walls are nearly one metre thick, making this a cosy and cocooning abode. Floor to ceiling windows frame stunning views over Loch Snizort to the islands of Harris and Lewis. The open plan living and dining area features a Devol hand-crafted kitchen.
For 2020 The Blackhouse will be sympathetically linked to the old Stonestore behind. The entrance hall leads to a Fired Earth designer bathroom with large bath and rain-head shower. The first floor reveals an elevated bedroom, with super-king bed and sitting room suite with endless views to the beach at Bein an Sguirr and sea cliffs beyond.
Whichever suite you choose you will enjoy a very comfortable super king size bed that you can get lost in; crisp Egyptian cotton sheets and down duvets; big fluffy towels and bathrobes; locally made organic toiletries; a Nespresso coffee machine; mini-fridge; flatscreen TV with DVD library; iPod dock and radio; a wide range of reading material about Skye as well as thoughtful little extras like binoculars, locally made walking sticks and maps.
Guests can whip up their own culinary creations in their very own Devol hand-crafted kitchen in either cottage, however, if you choose to eat out, Skye is a foodie heaven. Loch Bay Restaurant is a Michelin-Starred restaurant, five miles from Mint Croft in the old fishing village of Stein. Skye’s oldest inn, The Stein is next door and owned by TV chef-patron Paul Rankin. The world famous Three Chimneys is sixteen miles from Mint Croft, ‘local’ by Skye standards. Rising star Edinbane Lodge serves a tasting menu in the local village of Edinbane and a local taxi service is available.
Whilst visiting this beautiful part of the world there are plenty of activities to keep you busy including: bracing cliff-top and coastal walks, plenty of wildlife to spot, castles to discover as well as shops, museums, restaurants, live music, craft making and local events that take place throughout the year.
Once you have explored enough, return to your suite or wander down the path to the small pebbly beach to spot whales, dolphins and seals.
Whether you chose to visit the Isle of Skye for a truly idyllic couples escape, a foodie break, active outdoors adventure or all three, Mint Croft Luxury Holiday Cottages is most definitely the place from which to experience it all. You won’t be left disappointed.
Disclosure: Most reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.