Welcome to the Argyll Hotel Blog, this will invite you into the world of running a small hotel in a remote and historic location. We hope to offer ideas of what you might experience if you stay with us on Iona and keep you up to date with what is happening in the garden, kitchen, front of house in our small owner run establishment.
The driving ethos behind our business is sustainability and reducing our impact on this beautiful island. Historic buildings were not built with heat efficiency in mind and I am in awe of how resilient folks were in times gone by. Modern tourists however have higher expectations of comfort and we have had to take a long term view of upgrading and improving the building.
This winter we are celebrating the replacement of the remainder of the single glazed windows in the guest and staff accomodation, which will not only reduce electricity use but will add to guest comfort. Part of our commitment to the Green Tourism Business UK of which we hold the gold award is to continually seek to reduce our energy, water use and create less waste. We will share more of our strategies with you as we go through the year.
2017 saw the insulation and replacement of the roof on the rear of the building This winter we have replaced the front roof of the 1870’s granite part of the hotel, recycling and sourcing original highland slate tiles. This takes the building into the 21st century, ready to repel the wet west highland weather and improve heat retention.
We have investigated installing a sustainable heating source for the building but with location and age of the building to consider, biomass and solar were not viable. The air-source units in the dining room and entrance hall have been a great success, keeping the building dry and therefore warmer particularly in the winter and in the early and late season. Iona has it’s own project to become energy independent and with have been working with The Iona Heat Network to be part of the village geothermal project. Funding is still being secured but all being well we may be installing a wet heating system in part of the hotel next winter. Good bye electric heaters!
Other upgrades and improvements have been a new garden shed to nurture the gardeners to produce even better fruit and veg than ever before. We have installed 2 new guest bathrooms and a staff bathroom, 5 more rooms have thermally lined new curtains and 3 room have lovely new beds.
The North Lounge has beautiful new hand made British furniture with Harris tweed. We hope you will enjoy it’s comfort as well as it’s good looks!