2021 09 28 16.27.01

 

 

The reconfigure dining room

I've been reopen for nearly two weeks and it feels like we are getting back to "normal". But normal does mean a few things have changed here at Off the Hill.

I've always had the large communal breakfast table where all my guests can sit together and chat about where they've been and the adventures that have planned for the coming day; I loved hearing 6 excited voices discussing the island and little treasures they’d found off the beaten track.

Now its a little different – I am only operating 2 rooms and the configuration in the dining room is “socially distanced” but still allowed my guests to chat and they can also sit outside and enjoy breakfast or they coffee, and chat too. A new kind of normal, and I hope,but just as welcoming.

 

Social media screen shots for our We are open advertising in April 2021

It’s been a long time coming but Off the Hill B&B will be open for the 2021 season from 1st May

We will only have 2 double ensuite rooms open this year, so there’ll be a maximum of 4 guests which will allow all to move around the house with ease and folks can social distance as required at breakfast too.

Our usual high level of hygiene will apply throughout, with additional regular cleaning in communal areas…door handles, hand rails and surfaces etc; hand sanitiser will be available too and we ask guests to wear face masks when they arrive and whilst moving around the house.

I know this is not quite normal…but to be frank I’m not sure how we define normal!

What will be normal will be Maisie’s enthusiastic welcome and our wish for you to enjoy your stay with us at Off the Hill B&B and your time on Skye.

To book please just click on the Book Now button on the home page, or if you’d like to chat and ask us about a possible stay, please call on 01471 833305.

The view from the breakfast room - the hill of Knoydart on the mainland

Our glass is half full here at Off the Hill B&B and there seems to be a very small light at the end of the tunnel.

We have had some stunning, but cold, weather over the last few weeks and now the Cuillins and the mountains on the mainland are snow-capped like a cake with its dusting of icing sugar. Maisie and I would have loved to have shared this with people but there will always be next winter - the seasons and mother nature are one constant we can rely on.

But things are looking promising, subject to the lifting of restrictions here in Scotland, we will be open again this summer and we have been buoyed by the flurry of bookings we have received in the last month for staycations at Off the Hill B&B from May through to late October in 2021.

Just like last year’s “short and socially distanced” season there are the same precautions in place to maintain our Good to Go credentials and show you we are COVID19 safe – I will don a facemask, and request you do the same for your arrival and whilst moving around the house, there is still a limit on guest numbers (only 2 per room, so a max of 4 all together) and separate tables at breakfast, along with limited room service & a few less amenities in the rooms – but otherwise the B&B is just as you would hope – friendly, cosy and a home-from-home for you trip to Skye.

So if you are thinking a staycation is your favoured option this year, think of holidaying on Skye and come share a piece of the good life at Off the Hill B&B

Stay safe

Elaine & Maisie xx

A wintery view - snow capped monroes in the distance

It’s been a torrid year; personally, professionally, physically and mentally. Like many, I'm just waiting it out, out of the way, trying to keep busy, avoiding over exposure to the (social) media and getting a bit of vitamin D, when the weather allows.

The B&B only opened for 3 months in 2020; one room/2 guests to keep folks (and me) safe and provide reassurance to all. I had hoped that the autumn and winter would see a small influx of people visiting out of season in place of missed adventures in the summer, but that was not be either. I am optimistic that I will have some sort of a season in 2021 – we can but hope the vaccine provides a little hope in beating this.

So this all means that right now I’m closed; but if you are a key worker and require a room, regulations currently allow me to provide accommodation – if this is the case please get in touch direct – again it will only be one room but I will do all I can to provide a welcoming and safe place to be whilst here on Skye.

In the meanwhile, I’ll continue getting out in the Sleat locale to capture the wild winter, crisp sunshine and the changing seasons.

Keep safe,

Elaine xx

 

So where do I start? Welcome to my new website for Off the Hill B&B, if lockdown has afforded me anything, it’s been time to catch up on long overdue admin, hence now I have a new site.

But this is also not quite how I expected my first blog post to go either.

Hopefully we B&B owners in Scotland will find out later this week if we can start making plans to reopen again and make the first tentative steps towards normality ...or should that be a "new normal". Turning things back on again is so much more of a task compared to just stopping everything 3 months ago.

I know some folks aren't even entertaining the idea of opening again this year or even, sadly for some, at all. I want, and need, to get up and running but will take my time and work out how this will work for all concerned.

So here's my thoughts (and not an exhaustive list) on how I can do this and reassure friends, neighbours and guests that it’s still a good idea to travel all the way to Skye for a holiday this year.

1) I normally have 3 double rooms, but for now will only have one couple staying at any one time - this may change depending on social distancing "rules".

2) Guests will use a separate entrance to myself, but I will be around to "greet" you, show you to your room and be around to help with requests.

3) Thorough cleaning, with an extra 24hrs between guest changeovers. Hand sanitiser everywhere..... well at the front door and in the dining room... I've just ordered some lovely products (sanitiser and handwash) from The Beauty Kitchen I can't wait for them to arrive.

4) I will probably have to limit some of items I put out as extras in the room and at breakfast, but if you need anything I can hopefully sort, on an ad-hoc basis.

5) I can provide packed lunches so you don't have to go to the supermarket if you don't want to.

6) With some prior arrangement I can provide evening meals... nothing fancy just nice healthy scrummy stuff ...there is a local pub but with social distancing they probably won't be able to manage the usual numbers they have in the summer. Guests can also get a takeaway or fish & chips, or food from the supermarket and have access to the dining room or if we are midge free, sit in the garden. Unfortunately, for hygiene reasons (and it’s not normal at a B&B) guests can't have access to the kitchen…sorry!

7) Contactless and/or remote payment on departure.

I hope to welcome guests from early August but this will all depend on the Scottish government lifting restrictions and it is very important to understand the nuances between the rules in Scotland vice the rest of the UK. And sorry, for now, I am not taking overseas guests.

I am looking forward, with some trepidation to welcoming guests back to Off the Hill B&B and the beautiful Isle of Skye.

Please keep following for more updates.