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The Royal Hotel – History

The Royal Hotel Portree,  our history

The Royal Hotel  was initially built in the 1700’s and was one of the finest buildings on the Isle of Skye. It featured a balcony and was one of the largest hotels on the Island. Located in the Island’s capital of Portree,  the hotel saw regular trade from people from all over the UK wishing to visit the stunning Island of Skye. At the time access to the Island was by a small ferry which was often affected by the weather. In the early 1900s the hotel had established itself as one of the premier places to visit on the Isle of Skye.

One of the most famous stories relating to the hotel involved a certain Charles Edward Stuart or Bonnie Prince Charlie as he would later be known.

While on the run from the Government army he met Flora MacDonald who – despite her father commanding the government troops on Benbecula – agreed to help Charles escape to the Island of Skye disguised as her maid. It was on Skye that he and Flora had their final meeting in MacNab’s Inn in Portree (the Island’s capital) as they said farewell to one another for the last time.

The advent of the motor car made holidays to the Isle of Skye more convenient and the hotel saw a boom in trade towards the mid 1950s. The hotel in this time also had it’s own petrol pump outside the building.

The Royal Hotel  also suffered a fire in 1963 where almost half the hotel was lost. As a result a large part of the building had to be rebuilt and has gradually been added to as the years have gone on. The redesigned building now features a large dining area and contains 35 bedrooms with a bar and additional restaurant.

The hotel also hosts guests for the annual Isle of Skye gathering for the Skye Balls and has done so for several decades. The hotel also supports the Isle of Skye Highland Games which is hosted on the first weekend of August.

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