Debra and Gordon jointly own Varis. In 2013, we decided to setup a holiday let and spent a happy week searching for suitable properties on or close to Skye. We chose the location as its an area we love : we are kayakers and the whole area is a worldwide mecca for this.
Varis was the first house we looked at and we were drawn back to the house, and particularly the 7m square sitting room and the view out to Kylerhea. We got the keys to Varis in February 2014 and spent the next few months arranging some necessary repairs and installing photovoltaic panels on the roof and an air source heat pump to provide heating and hot water. We collected together all the furniture and redecorated the place throughout ready to welcome our first guests in June 2014.
Our aim was to create a comfortable place to stay with touches of luxury. We’ve stayed in places without decent knives, a cafetiere, casseroles, etc or with only a very limited supply of dishwasher tablets or toilet rolls. We think you should be able to bring your clothes and food and drink and find everything else in the house ready for you. If you want to cook or bake, you should find what you need.
We aimed for and achieve VisitScotland’s 4 star quality, feeling it important that you get an objective measure of what to expect in terms of facilities and service. Our guests rate us as 5 star on TripAdvisor. We are members of the Association of Scottish Self Caterers and abide by their Code of Conduct (Word document). Their website, EmbraceScotland is our main advertising channel.
We will continue to listen to your feedback and improve the house. We replaced all the windows in 2016 and the next major project is to refurbish the shower room and refresh the bathroom.
Our lovely housekeeper, Elizabeth, has been with us since the start, with other members of her family roped in to help occasionally. Her husband, John, helps with minor repairs and we’ve found reliable plumbers and electricians locally. The garden is taken care of by Robin who might appear to mow lawns, etc occasionally.
We try to pay attention to the environment. All our electricity comes from Good Energy, one of the leading 100% renewable companies and our solar panels help generate some of the energy we need and export surpluses to the grid. We try to use eco friendly cleaning products and methods. We don’t use pesticides in the garden and rather have installed a bug hotel made from scraps left over from the house refurbishment. Our bird table is a popular feature with guests and attracts attention from wildlife beyond the birds.
You can always contact us and we usually check in with guests on the day of their arrival to make sure everything is in order.
Telephone: 07429 603268
Postal: Westmost Cottage, Balmedie House, Balmedie AB23 8XU