The Clans

The Coigach Peninsula is a part of Gaelic-speaking, Western Scotland that until recent times was comparatively inaccessible. It was inhabited mainly by Mackenzies, MacLeods and Campbells, who lived from crofting, (i.e. subsistence-farming and fishing) with anything from the outside world that was required being brought in by boat.

The Summer Isles

There’s lots of exciting activity on Tanera Mor (the largest of the Summer Isles) which has been sold to a successful businessman who is passionate about Tanera’s natural beauty, authenticity and history.

Work is now well underway to upgrade much of the islands infrastructure and renovate the properties. This is part of an ambitious and exciting project that is already bringing significant benefits to the local community. Everyone will be keenly watching progress over the coming years and a recent open day was enjoyed by more than 400 members of the local community!

The Hotel History

1860

The hotel was built as a fishing inn for the Cromarty Estates

1969

In 1969, The hotel was bought by Robert Irvine who expanded the accommodation and branched out into smoking his own fish; This was spun off as a separate business known as The Smokehouse.

Robert also built the Hydroponicum to grow vegetables, herbs and soft fruit using hydroponics – no soil, just water. This was a an ingenious solution to the challenge of supplying fresh produce in a remote part of the world.

1986

In 1986, The hotel was bought by Mark and Gerry Irvine. They greatly expanded the business, won multiple awards for the improved accommodation and service, and gained a Michelin Star for the restaurant food in 1998. This was retained for an amazing 13 years.

2008

From 2008 until 2017, the hotel was owned by Terry Mackay who “retired” from a successful career in IT to run The Summer Isles Hotel and two other quality Scottish hotels.

2017

In November 2017, Simon and Dido Cotton purchased the hotel. They live in Northamptonshire but have strong family ties to Achilitibuie and Polbain. As a young man, Dido’s Father built a cottage on the rocks overlooking the Summer Isles.

The whole family have been regular visitors ever since. For Simon, this is a significant and welcome career move from the banking world. He now has a “steep learning curve” and is very fortunate to have retained the services of Norbert and Enikő Szabó who are the husband and wife team that run the hotel with huge passion and pride.

Simon and Dido are committed to building a strong relationship between the Hotel and the whole community.