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Traveller rating
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All reviews ghillies bar open fire bar menu great chef soft furnishings other guests varied menu single track road comfortable rooms an overnight stay the main hotel fishing highlands lounge coast fires cyclists
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Reviewed 19 May 2021

Altnaharra is not somewhere you go by accident, or because you want the kind of hospitality experience you would get in a modern city centre hotel. It's extremely remote and the village has few permanent residents, the school having closed a few years ago. But as a base for walkers and fisherfolk (we were there to climb the two Munros), it has a special charm. It is 25 years since I stayed in this hotel and I realised that its lack of modernisation (for example, it lacks matching cosmetic sets - see other review) is one reason I like it.
Our bedrooms were warm and comfortable and my bathroom was clean and functional, with a good shower.
Two positive things stood out:
1) The evening meals were really excellent. We worked through most of the main courses over 3 nights and the lamb, beef and filleted haddock were all very good, with substantial portions and tasty vegetable accompaniments. The desserts were great too, though we usually just had a starter and main. I don't know (we didn't ask) if there were vegan / veggie options.
2) We got a great welcome from Anya who presented a rare combination of kindness, efficiency (re. billing) and humour (about the slightly strange nature of the place). She is overworked and the Covid crisis has not been kind to places like Altnaharra but she is doing her very best in difficult circumstances.
Picnic lunches were priced by item which suited us, letting us add a sandwich to the fruit and snacks which we had brought with us without building up spare bottles of mineral water etc. Thermoses of soup were available and would have been welcome in colder conditions.
In summary, Altnaharra is in a slightly precarious position, generally and especially now because of the pandemic. It lies off the beaten track (the North Coast 500) but is within range of excellent day trips to the Far North.
I am glad such places exist. The good food was a pleasant surprise. It deserves to survive.

Date of stay: May 2021
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Peter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2021

Excellent friendly service, with fantastic food both at dinner and breakfast. Room was comfortable and newly decorated. Owner looking forward to a better season ahead. Hotel perfect location for hill walking , cycling or fishing.

Date of stay: May 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Stuart G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2020

We spent two nights here in September. Our room (Hope) was big and comfortable and the communal areas of the hotel were also cosy, with lots of space to relax and have a drink, or just relax with a book. The food at the hotel was good with a good choice at breakfast and a decent dinner menu, and the staff were friendly and helpful and doing a good job in the current COVID environment. The hotel itself is in a peaceful, isolated spot, but well placed for the beautiful north-west coast. We would definitely recommend Altnaharra. For a room that was £199 a night, there were a couple of minor things: having a hairdryer in the room but the cord being too short for it to be used anywhere near a mirror, and there being window boxes full of dead flowers.

Date of stay: September 2020
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Sharon0667
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2020

We were aware this hotel was old but not prepared for the run down conditions. We chose our room before we arrived and were pleased with it When we first arrived. We wanted an open fire so chose the red room. But soon the negatives started to become obvious. The attached bathroom was absolutely freezing cold and had a small wall heater which didn’t make any difference. The bathroom was like a second hand shop with random bits of mismatched furniture dumped in it.
There were three very small plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. All were different and again mismatched, partly used and looked like they were taken from other hotels and bundled together. There was a hand held shower attached to the bath so it was a little awkward getting washed in the morning, especially as it was freezing cold too. The bathroom needs gutting and a makeover given to it.
The bedroom had a lovely big clean comfortable bed which we slept well in. Aspects of the bedroom definitely needed care and attention. The shutters only partly shut, the curtains were moth eaten and tired looking. The tv had no signal the entire time we were there and no access to Netflix and other channels that were part of the tv package.
We had dinner at Altnahara and had haddock and chips and chicken with cream cheese. The latter was tasteless and bland and I just couldn’t finish it. The fish and chips were child portion sized. There was a very limited menu choice and what they did serve was extremely overpriced. They definitely take advantage of the fact there isn’t anywhere else for you to go.
We had breakfast there too and the selection was poor. Tinned peaches in syrup were served as the fresh fruit breakfast accompaniment! The cooked breakfast was measly and overcooked. My single bacon slice was so over cooked that it shattered when I attempted to cut it!
The whole experience was very disappointing indeed. There was one member of staff who was lovely but run ragged trying to cover 5 jobs at once.
We were warned by other hoteliers in the area that this hotel just isn’t ready for modern travellers and they were right. We won’t be back and unfortunately we wouldn’t recommend this hotel.

Date of stay: October 2020
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank littles2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2020 via mobile

Lovely Anya gave us a lovely friendly welcome this year and super fast service at dinner. Very quickly attended to our request for an extra chair. Lovely comfortable room and really peaceful location. Lots of fishermen staying and loving too.
Dinner delicious and enjoyed the Cullen Skink soup and tasty haddock and chips. Breakfast also delicious. Would we return?
Absolutely

Date of stay: September 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank ajkedar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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