Meet your host: Jane & Doug from Arrol House, Arileod, Isle of Coll
What inspired you to offer amazing accommodation?
We love to share beautiful experiences. We always have! Whether that's gathering friends to share a new restaurant we've found or sharing various holiday destinations we've fallen upon and loved. Why? Because it lights up people's faces and puts warmth in their heart. Sounds corny but it's true. There are enough crap experiences out there that leave the world cold, especially in hospitality. For us it's about sharing the love through sharing an experience!
What brought you to Arileod, Isle of Coll?
West Highland sailing week 18 years ago! Becalmed and bored Doug, sailed to the island with the crew on the recommendation of his father. He feels in love with the place and took me there the following summer. I feel in love with the island as soon as we landed. It felt bizarrely like home. It had a magic about it that I've not experienced anywhere else.
What interests you about the accommodation industry?
Doug and I have spent the last 20 years creating experiences through our creative agency within the hospitality industry. From the big global corporates to the smaller boutique hotels we've learnt what works and what doesn't. The good, the bad and the ugly. What interests us most is creating an experience in our island home that makes people fall in love and come back for me. Something a lot of people in hospitality don't fully grasp.
What is your favourite thing about your own property?
That's hard! Hmmmm, I think the feeling you get as you walk through the door. The hall, staircase and French doors leading to the glass, gable ended sitting that shows tremendous views of the island takes my breath away every time. I guess it's a rush of peace and freedom in one complete visual experience.
What is your favourite activity to do in Arileod, Isle of Coll?
If I said drinking Prosecco in the sitting room in the Autumn with the log burning stove on, would you judge me? And if you would, I'd say instead, walking the beaches in all weathers, watching the seals play and listening to the sea as it delivers more shells for collection.
What is your favourite local recommendation for guests coming to stay?
Easy! The Coll hotel. The food is magnificent, and they have just put on a large modern extension which takes it from being a little old fashioned to coastal boutique!
How long have you been offering accommodation?
Having stayed in self-catering on the island now for over 15 years, we bought Arrol House 2 years ago, and have offered it out to guests ever since.
A day in the life - What is a regular day like for you?
I am a personal coach, and Doug custom builds Land Rovers. We love creativity and relationships. It's at the heart of who we are and what we do. So, life is pretty full and colourful but hugely rewarding....most of the time!
What would you say are the top three winning aspects of Arrol House?
1. The space. It helps free your mind.
2. The 360 views of the island
3. The glass sitting room and the expansive views.
If I am allowed a fourth, the wild geese that wander in field. They are captivating!
If you could change one perception about Scotland what would it be?
Haggis is actually an animal.
Tell us two hidden talents / lesser known facts about yourself that not many folks might know!
I've sung in front of 10,000 people and appeared on the GOD Channel and Doug can't sing a note and doesn't know who God is!
If you were a product, what would you be and why?
We'd both be the porridge pot because we never stop creating.
If you had to choose one Scottish icon, which would it be and why?
Robert the Bruce. FREEDOM!
Book your next luxury holiday in Jane & Doug's cottage - Arrol House here.