Kinloch Lodge, the home of Lord and Lady MacDonald, is an elegant white stone building situated at the head of Loch Na Dal on the Sleat Peninsula, known as the Garden of Skye. Built originally in 1680 as a farmhouse Kinloch was developed during the 18th Century as a Shooting Lodge for the Macdonalds of Skye. Kinloch is situated only 20 minutes from Kyle of Lochalsh where the Skye Bridge connects the island to the mainland. Alternative ferry crossings will continue to operate at Glenelg/Kylerhea (summer only) and from Armadale to Mallaig.
Godfrey Macdonald of Macdonald, Lord Macdonald and High Chief of Clan Donald, with his wife Claire established Kinloch as a small country hotel in 1973 following the death of his father. The turbulent past of the Macdonalds has led to many changes in their fortunes but one of the most important historical connections with Kinloch was the decision by Sir Alexander Macdonald not to send an army to assist Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) at Culloden in 1746 - this decision, perhaps more than any other led to the defeat of the Highland Army and thereafter the gradual demise of the Highland Clan System.
Today Kinloch continues to be the home of Lord and Lady Macdonald and their four children, Alexandra, Isobel, Meriel, and Hugo. Over the last twenty years considerable changes have been made to the interior of the Lodge, ensuring that guests enjoy the commanding views either across the Loch to the dramatic mountains of Knoydart on the mainland, or west to Skye's famous jagged Cuillin Ridge. The garden slopes down to the sea, whilst to the north the ground rises steeply to 1200 feet.
The Lodge presents the appearance and retains very much the feelings of a comfortable family house. Lord and Lady Macdonald place particular emphasis on creating a relaxing and friendly atmosphere in their home. There is no actual bar, but drinks are served in either the Drawing Room or the Morning Room where there are fine and historically important articles of furniture and family paintings and portraits.
The Lodge has ten bedrooms with en-suite or attendant bathrooms. All have been decorated to the highest of standards but, at the same time, are little aking to hotel rooms, while providing all the things that matter.
Kinloch has evolved over twenty years into an unique example of the specialist hotels of yesteryear by basing its reputation on the ability that the Macdonalds have in providing what people actually seek in a hotel, rather than what is perceived by international hoteliers as being necessary. As a result, they have been awarded and recognised by every independent hotel guide in Europe, America and the UK, culminating in Kinloch being included in the World's Top 100 hotels in 1992.
In examining exactly what Kinloch visitors REALLY want from their vacation and holiday it is clear that the continuing privacy and seclusion of the hotel is paramount, as is the opportunity to enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of a wonderful island where the unique flora and fauna are fully protected (Kinloch is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest - SSSI) and the true reward from a slow hill walk is to espy a Golden Eagle, to catch a glimpse of an Otter and to thrill to the dive of a Gannet or the cry of a Curlew. These are the precepts by which Kinloch is developed.
The main town on Skye is Portree (32 miles) - Skye's airfield is at Broadford and although scheduled flights do not operate to Skye the airfield enjoys a tarmac runway of 800 metres and is well maintained. A charter Amphibious Seaplane flies frequently to Skye from Glasgow Airport and lands within yards of Kinloch.
Perhaps what has done most over the last two decades to enhance the international reputation of Kinloch is the food. Lady Macdonald has written more than ten cookery books and who is an award winning cookery writer (The Glenfiddich Award), assisted by her long standing team of assistants, produce the most innovative dishes. The emphasis is on the freshest of non-additive food from the garden, moors and waters of Skye. A small choice dinner is offered every evening and each dish is prepared with great feeling - everything is home-made, from the breakfast scones to the after dinner fudge. Breakfast are also justly famous. Lady Macdonald is a well known Columnist, Speaker and Demonstrator. Indeed she has been a significant influence on the style of many restaurants and hotels through Britain whilst her commitment to Kinloch remains paramount.
Kinloch Lodge, Sleat, Isle of Skye, IVH3 8QY
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