Unique guest facilities at the Skyewalker Hostel on the Isle of Skye.
Skyewalker Hostel is an award-winning, family-run hostel situated on the west coast of the Isle of Skye, near the Cuillin mountain range. Set in an idyllic, rural location, where the local beach has regular sightings of whales, dolphins and basking sharks as well as Skye’s famous eagles, the 40-bed hostel is a very popular venue, with guests visiting from all over the world.
The busy hostel previously owned a Solardome® 3 (5.56m), which survived the extreme Highland weather for over 20 years. However, in 2009, they replaced it with a new Solardome® Retreat (6m diameter). The glasshouse has become a valuable addition to their guest facilities and is used everyday, and often hosts Scottish folk music sessions.
Owner Brian Hill said: “What an improvement on the old dome which felt more like a ‘greenhouse’. This one – with its additional height and quality construction – makes it feel like a proper outdoor living room and is very, very usable.”
“The dome’s acoustics are also very unusual – it’s almost like being in St Paul’s Cathedral. You can whisper one side and hear it clearly the other and it provides a wonderful atmosphere for our live music sessions,” he added.
Although the hostel is well equipped with a self-catering kitchen, free WiFi connection, visitor’s lounge and a large garden area for recreation and barbecues, at peak times it can become a bit cramped. The new ‘chill out’ Solardome® glasshouse acts like an additional visitor’s lounge and creates a lovely space for guests to relax in and watch the beautiful Skye sunsets or avoid the changeable Scottish weather.
Brian said: “We couldn’t live without it…the additional living space it creates is perfect for use by our guests. They use it all the time whether as a relaxing and peaceful getaway, a place to eat outside and escape the summer midges or even as a wonderful space for Irish dancing, Scottish ceilidhs and parties that go on long into the wee small hours. Our visitor book is full of their comments about the ‘awesome’ dome.”
Brian’s only complaint about the Solardome® glasshouse is that it is so loved and used by his guests that he isn’t able to use it to create a tropical spa cover exclusively for his personal use!