My review is based on 5 stars for the location and 2 for the cottage.
Cabhalan Cottage is in a lovely location, which is why we chose it. It is remote and secluded with views to the sea loch at the front and pleasant walks at the back. We never saw another person while we were there (apart from road menders briefly!).
To complement this great location, the cottage itself needs refreshing.
The light in the second bedroom needs mending, the spotlight is broken and hanging down. One towel hook in a run of four in the bathroom is broken off.
There are several things which need replacing. Oven gloves were dirty with holes.The ironing board was rusty and dirty.Peat and coal containers in the sitting room need replacing with something more attractive to sit next to.. At present they are dirty home-made plastic containers. Not a good idea to leave an axe on the hearth. Lampshades are old and scruffy.
Most disappointing (and easy to fix) is that the whole place needs a good spring clean.
All the paintwork, light switches and horizontal surfaces had grubby marks or accumulated dust on them and need wiping down.
The spotlight in the kitchen, the phone and chairs were among other things that needed a thorough cleaning.
The level of cleanliness was not acceptable. It was like this when we arrived so the condition was not due to the vagaries of the climate, wind etc.
It is an old house we realise, but there is no reason why things on the inside can't be clean, tidy and fresh.
The oven, cooker and toilet were clean.
We enjoyed the peat fire and the location, but were disappointed with the cottage.
Given the distance from any shops, a welcome pack on arrival would be well received.
Harris was fabulous, and we hope to go again.
Cabhalan Cottage is perfect if you have the romantic notion to stay in a remote and secluded location. The winding east coast road southward from the Ferry Terminal affords some wonderful views westwards across the sea to the Isle of Skye. The access road leaving the east coast road is, however, badly maintained but driveable although really was not suitable for my small family car (Kia Rio). This road after some 500m takes you onto a track down to the house which is even less suitable for a laden car albeit it is only a short stretch .
The house itself is a mix of traditional stone-built blackhouse and some modern extensions.
The porch area is handy for getting out of those wet clothes after a Harris downpour!
The kitchen area is well equipped and spacious with all mod cons. Deep window recesses are pleasant areas to sit and just relax.
The bathroom has a shower (but no bath) which is fairly temperamental but adequate - being fed from a small on-demand boiler.
There are two sleeping areas. A room in a modern extension has two single adult size bunks. There is also a bed-settee in this room which when fully extended doesn’t leave much room to move. The room lacks storage space.
The other sleeping area is a recess double bed in the living room. This has ample storage space with a walk-in wardrobe to the side of it.
The nice peat fire makes the living room an enjoyable place to sit on a long cool summer evening.
By virtue of being built around an old blackhouse the building really needs to be aired and heated prior to guests arriving . The house felt cold and damp particularly in the extremities of the building away from the single ceiling heater in the kitchen area which was switched on upon arrival. The central heating on for a short time before arrival could have improved this. However, the central heating didn’t work but this was only discovered the following day. Furthermore, it didn’t work all week - albeit this was only communicated to owner upon his return on the Wednesday evening of our week’s stay.
There had been some confusion regarding how many guests would be staying and consequently only the double recess bed was made-up. The house can sleep four (although another website says six) so bedding provision should have been in place for the maximum possible. With insufficient bed-linen available some guests had to ‘make do’ until the following morning. Being unfitted it was evident that the duvets in the extension room were not in the best condition.
Looking back we had a great stay in Harris. Wonderful views, fantastic beaches, friendly people. However, in my opinion the standard of care and property is not appropriate for the fee charged.
On a general note. Many guests are probably unaware that there are no shops open on Sunday. So a word of advice - take at least some basic essentials e.g. milk, bread, coffee. There is a great wee cooperative store in Leverburgh.
Furthermore, having stayed in many other rental properties over the years I have friendly suggestion to owners ‘How about a small welcome pack of essentials?’
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|
|People with pets|