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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 24 May 2021

We were looking for a base for a 4 day break in Sutherland with our dog. A short email exchange with the owner to confirm that dogs were allowed (everywhere except the restaurant) and we booked.
The hotel appears to be in the middle of nowhere and not much to look at driving past but it's a real gem. Its south of Tongue so about 30 mins off the main NC500 route which is a good thing. Easy to get to and with good availability. The staff are wonderful - we were checked in by Anya, who was very efficient and helpful.

We dined in the Ghillies Bar where dogs are allowed and the menu was the same as the restaurant (it will change slightly later in the season). A very friendly bar frequented by one of the local Ghillies (Walter) who is a great font of local knowledge while Isla and Anya worked incredibly hard to keep the bar and the restaurant on track.

I don't know who the chef is but the menu offers a good selection of superbly prepared food. The scallops and seafood bisque was outstanding. Breakfast was hearty and set us up well for a day of exploring.

The hotel itself has an old world feel and charm with several open fires, plenty of chairs/armchairs and a few sitting areas. There's also no doubt of its heritage as a fishing/hunting lodge. Walter appeared to be much in demand as a fishing guide.

The room was very comfortable and well appointed. Its not the most modern hotel but we expected that and were actually delighted with what we got.

We used the hotel as a base for hillwalking (Ben Hope in the sunshine was a treat) and exploring the north coast. We always returned to the hotel looking forward to a comfortable, relaxing evening. The people make the difference and there's no doubt that Anya and Isla worked hard to make sure that everyone enjoyed their stay. Hopefully the hotel will have a great season as the world recovers.

We'll definitely be back - there's another Munro on the list!

Date of stay: May 2021
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank kevinc229
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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