My husband & I have just enjoyed a week at Kilchoman House, as guests of our daughter & husband with their young-adult children - and what a treat it has been!
From the moment we saw the house and its wonderful position, nestled in a quiet little valley, surrounded by lush fields and a dramatic backdrop of rocky hills, we thought this would be a special place. The full glory was revealed when we stepped inside the house and took in the sheer quality of the décor and furnishings and the large, elegant rooms. The huge kitchen with its top-quality equipment, plus the large pantry and laundry area was marvellously practical for a relaxed family holiday. A beautiful, long refectory table and benches became the hub for us all, while the numerous other rooms, 2 TVs and Wifi meant people could take time out and do their own thing too. The bedrooms (two of them with recently installed en-suite shower [walk-in], basin and w.c.) are extremely comfortable with plenty of hanging and drawer space. A word of advice for those with older, stiffer bones: the two double four-poster beds are probably not for you as require certain degree of climbing… but the two twin rooms offer beds of perfect height for we oldies!
The friendly welcome and instinct for hospitality of our hosts was clear from the start but was never intrusive. The guests of the nearby Kilchoman cottages came down to the house to use a small laundry room by the garage but this didn't bother us as access for this was by a separate outside door and, anyway, we enjoyed the occasional chat with others who shared our delight in the situation and being on Islay.
Although we can't hold our hosts responsible for the weather (!), we were blessed with a pretty good week but, in those moments when it was a bit too windy or wet, the house offered us a comfortable haven. Mostly the days were lovely, if a little breezy at times; this meant that the easy distance to the beach, the quiet lanes and the surrounding countryside were happily explored by the walkers, runners and cyclists in the family... plenty of good spots to explore in the rolling terrain of this part of the island and one or two nice little surprises (stopped off at the Outback Art Gallery and its excellent café at Sanaigmore (and when it says 'outback', it means it! – but definitely worth the journey)). Of course the other place that must be mentioned is the Kilchoman Distillery, giftshop and cafe – apparently there is a shortcut path between the house and the distillery but we didn’t work it out; however, walking along the lane was pleasant and only took me half an hour at relaxed pace. Café food & drink there was excellent and everything was very well-organised (whisky not bad either!). It was easy to reach other parts of the island, so trips to other distilleries and Jura were undertaken and much-enjoyed.
My only reluctance in submitting this review is that I’ll be sharing the secret of this gem with too many others so may find it difficult to book our next visit! But it would be mean to keep it to ourselves, especially when Caroline and David deserve to be rewarded for creating such a haven of comfort and serenity… Thank you to them - and to our lovely family for inviting us to join them on this beautiful summer holiday.
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A fantastic old country house, sympathetically restored with modern facilities but stuffed full of old furniture and paintings. I was staying there for work but wish I could have stayed longer. Amazing location. Perfect for a family get away.
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