By Roz Skinner
What normally attracts you to a hotel? Vanessa McPhail, co-owner of Broadford's Hebridean Hotel, says that guests often come to her for quite an unusual reason – the view from their car park!
"Our car park is one of the few places in Broadford where you can park near the water," she explains. "We have even seen otters visit the car park!
“We also get beautiful sunsets that streak across the Cuillins and sometimes we see shooting stars or the Aurora Borealis. " Sea views are also available from part of the dining area and many of the rooms.
Vanessa, who has been holidaying on the island since she was five years old, took over the Hebridean Hotel in 2013. Along with her husband, Geoff, they run a cosy, family-orientated hotel.
With its nine rooms and large restaurant and bar area, the hotel is a favourite stop of locals and visitors alike - whether they are looking for a place to stay or simply want to enjoy a meal.
This year, the restaurant opening hours will be extended. Guests can visit and enjoy home cooking from 2pm until 9pm over the summer months.
Vanessa and Geoff place a heavy emphasis on homemade food, saying: "We offer good pub fare, making our own soups, burger, chilli, curries and pies.
“Geoff spends his summer hot and cold smoking salmon and cheese, which goes on to be served in our restaurant. In the winter, we offer traditional British deserts, like bread and butter pudding. In the summer, we serve homemade vanilla or caramel ice cream – with lots of toppings – or sorbets!"
The lounge bar is compact, yet stocks around 60 single malt whiskies and a variety of Scottish craft gins. "We have a steady trade and a great group of locals who come in," says Vanessa. "We also get a lot of guests who are very knowledgeable about whisky, so we make sure we have a good range of malts."
Even in winter, the hotel is a hub of activity, with a quiz night being held every second Friday. "We have a jolly night in the middle of winter," Vanessa says. "We feed the people who come and it's a fun night!"
The hotel sleeps up to 16 guests and can seat up to 50 in the dining area, but it retains an intimate feel. As well as stepping into a comfortable, cosy hotel, you are also walking into Geoff and Vanessa's home and are welcomed as one of the family.