Debra and Gordon jointly own Varis. In 2013, we decided to setup a holiday let and spent a happy week searching for suitable properties on or close to Skye. We chose the location as its an area we love : we are kayakers and the whole area is a worldwide mecca for this.

Gordon and Debra

Varis was the first house we looked at and we were drawn back to the house, and particularly the 7m square sitting room and the view out to Kylerhea. We got the keys to Varis in February 2014 and spent the next few months arranging some necessary repairs and installing photovoltaic panels on the roof and an air source heat pump to provide heating and hot water. We collected together all the furniture and redecorated the place throughout ready to welcome our first guests in June 2014.

Our aim was to create a comfortable place to stay with touches of luxury. We’ve stayed in places without decent knives, a cafetiere, casseroles, etc or with only a very limited supply of dishwasher tablets or toilet rolls. We think you should be able to bring your clothes and food and drink and find everything else in the house ready for you. If you want to cook or bake, you should find what you need.

We aimed for and achieve VisitScotland’s 4 star quality, feeling it important that you get an objective measure of what to expect in terms of facilities and service. We get great reviews from our guests but continuously react to their suggestions and comments.

We are members of the Association of Scottish Self Caterers and abide by their Code of Conduct (Word document). Their website, EmbraceScotland is one of our main advertising channels

Embrace Scotland

We will continue to listen to your feedback and improve the house. We replaced all the windows in 2016 , we refloored the two sitting rooms over winter 2020/2021 and totally stripped out the shower rooms to refurbish it in March/April 2021. The bathroom followed in late 2021/early 2022 and now has a very large near level access shower with a choice of a waterfall head or a head on a riser rail. In 2023 we replaced the carpet in the hall with a hard floor and replaced the internal door,s, installing fire doors between hall and utility room, hall and main sitting room and between kitchen and utility room.

Our lovely housekeeper, Elizabeth, has been with us since the start, with other members of her family roped in to help occasionally. The garden is taken care of by Ellie and Robert who might appear to mow lawns, trim vegetation etc etc occasionally.

We try to pay attention to the environment. All our electricity comes from octopus who promise 100% renewables, Our solar panels help generate some of the energy we need and export surpluses to the grid. We try to use eco friendly cleaning products and methods. We don’t use pesticides in the garden and rather have installed a bug hotel made from scraps left over from the house refurbishment. Our bird table is a popular feature with guests and attracts attention from wildlife beyond the birds.

We installed an EV charger in late 2022 but will continue to encourage all guests to have car free or low car days as part of their stay.

You can always contact us and we usually check in with guests on the day of their arrival to make sure everything is in order.

Telephone: 07429 603268
Postal: Westmost Cottage, Balmedie House, Balmedie AB23 8XU