We had the most wonderful week staying at the Coillabus Lodge. Islay is a spectacular island - rugged and beautiful, sparsely populated with some of the friendliest people you could meet.
Hours of walks both from the lodge directly, and along the miles of unspoilt beaches around the island, punctuated by marvellous distillery visits, and returning to a beautiful cottage that became a dream home for a week.
The lodge is immaculately kitted out - from the sauna, to the very comfortable beds and luxury linen, and the very well equipped kitchen! Even the outdoor bath was well used.
A perfect and blissful week.
Now some 8-9 years since Hester Ross (who’s family have long owned this part of the Oa Peninsula on Islay) these lodges will not dissapoint anyone seeking comfort and luxury in a remote wilderness. Well equipped with sauna two large double bedrooms each with a well appointed bathroom nothing is left to chance.
Our two Terriers, Brandy an Irish and Meg an Airedale loved the location and the fact that the area around the Lodges is livestock fenced ensuring the many sheep, hares, rabbits and cattle are safe from worry from visiting dogs is a bonus.
Our 7 days devoid of other humans in an Island still extremely wary of “strangers” with the ongoing anxieties of the C19 pandemic all too soon passed. We explored Islay and Jura fully, covering almost 500 miles of driving whilst there and miles and miles of hillside and loch walks/hikes.Many places remain closed so we totally self catered.
A long planned for 50th birthday celebration and it was down to the wire whether the Scottish government would relax lockdown so we were both able to stay in self catering accommodation but also get the ferry. So we made it just days after and a big thank you to Hester for her patience and also Hazel for the virtual welcome. Absolutely 100% no problems. Kintyre Lodge catches the morning sun and everything is of exceptional quality , so much so it can be difficult to leave if there is Scottish liquid sunshine sweeping across the amazing views. Sauna and additional outside morning bath (star gazing) add to the luxury , as do the 3 golden eagles in the valley below. Great, wild location yet easily accessible (4x4 not needed). The Island was still slowly unlocking, so most of the distilleries were closed as were some of the pubs etc. But the best things in life are free, so the beaches and wildlife don’t recognise lockdown so it was truly a full holiday in superb accommodation. Do go and support the island, everyone was very, very welcoming.
Excellent accommodation. We stayed 5 nights in the West facing lodge and experienced wonderful sunsets over Glenastle Lochs and the Atlantic. Superb facilities, including a sauna, air source heat pump, and everything you could wish for. Ideally located, but then Islay is not a large island to travel. Highly recommended for anyone wishing to get away from it all.
Coillabus may take a while to get to, but the reward is big if you want to get away from it all without compromising on comfort: my wife, daughter (1) and I stayed for four nights and very much enjoyed the isolation, weather watching, comfortable beds, panaroma's (also from within the sauna) and area (which offers plenty hiking opportunities and other things to do, including the golden mile of peat starting at Laphroig). We also enjoyed the chilled meals from Taste of Bridgend, which are great value and an easy way to have a tasty dinner on your first night.
A stay in winter had its advantages, but we would also love to experience Coillabus another time in spring or summer, with the wind being less gusty (allowing us to use the stargazing tub) and Islay being switched on a bit more.