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It's very important to us that you enjoy your stay with us, so please read this before confirming your booking with us – we are asked lots of questions when we receive emails about facilities at Ben Tianavaig. These are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

If you prefer things done differently to how we are set up at Ben Tianavaig or we don’t offer the facilities you want, then please try or for other B&Bs and hotels in the area so that your visit to Skye will be memorable and enjoyable.

Is Ben Tianavaig a Bed & Breakfast (B&B) or a hotel?

Although websites like Trip Advisor will describe a B&B as a hotel, B&Bs in the UK are quite different to hotels. The main difference is that you are staying in our home and the experience is more informal and sociable than staying in a larger guesthouse or a hotel. Indeed, this is what attracts many people to come and stay in a B&B – you benefit from staying with local people in their home, they know the area and can help you make the most of your visit. Our home is not a modern, purpose-built B&B and so has quirks and idiosyncrasies that we think gives it character. We run our B&B, do most of the work ourselves and live in our house.

We provide some things that a hotel doesn’t - before you come and stay we offer information and help with activities and arrangements so you can make the most of your visit to our beautiful island e.g. booking restaurants and taxis/tours/boat trips. But larger guest-houses and hotels obviously provide things that we don’t - we don’t offer laundry facilities or room service, the lower prices charged by most B&Bs reflect the different facilities and services that they offer from hotels.

One major difference is that hotels offer much longer check-in periods than many B&Bs.
Our check-in is between 16.00 and 18.00 GMT (unless by prior arrangement) and we are unlikely to offer late check-in after 19.30 unless this has been arranged in advance because of travel by public transport, or in the case of a major travel emergency. We also sometimes have arrangements in the evenings which don’t make it possible for us to offer late check-in – e.g. we host a live radio show one night a week so are not available to welcome guests between 19.30 and 22.00 on Monday evenings.
Check-out is by 10.00 a.m. on the day of departure.
One more difference between ourselves and a hotel is that we don’t have a guest lounge.  Our bedrooms are all equipped with TV/DVD, chairs, tea and coffee making facilities. You're also welcome (when we’re around) to use the dining room – it’s nice to sit at the window table, have a glass of wine and enjoy the view. 

Have you private car parking at Ben Tianavaig?

We have private off-road parking opposite the house for up to 3 cars – we do need to help you park when you’re checking in to ensure your car is safely parked off the road and so we can park 3 cars in the parking area. 

Currently, we have 4 guest rooms so we’re sorry that we can't guarantee everyone a space if each room has a car. We operate the parking on a first-come, first served basis. However, there is on-street parking nearby in the evenings and a number of car parks a few minutes walk away. 

Parking is at your own risk and we can accept no liability for damage to cars using our parking.

I read on Trip Advisor that you ask guests to take off outdoor shoes in the house – is this right?

Yes, we ask you to remove your outdoor shoes when you come into the house. Please bear in mind, we have approximately 1000 guests staying with us each year – this means a lot of traffic in and out of the house every day and we want to keep our home as clean as possible for your comfort (as well as ours) so that's why we ask you to remove outdoor shoes when you come in. We have slippers that you can use for the duration of your stay. Many people bring their own slippers or have ‘indoor’ shoes. Lots of  B&Bs have the same policy about outdoor shoes. If you prefer to keep your outdoor shoes on when inside, staying at another B&B or hotel will ensure your visit is more comfortable - please don't book with us if this is something you would prefer not to do, we really do want you to enjoy your stay.

What are your dining arrangements?

Our B&B has up to 8 guests staying at any one time in the house. Our dining room has a large table for 6 people and a smaller table for 2 people. This means that you may have to share the large table with other guests. We introduce guests to one another and we do encourage people to talk to one another, indeed most guests value this as part of the experience of staying with us, friendships have been forged during breakfast that continue long after guests have gone home. If you prefer privacy and quiet time at breakfast then you'll want to stay somewhere that offers a wider range of dining facilities than we do.

Do you have a family room and how many people can it sleep?

We no longer have a family room. All rooms are doubles with king-size beds (UK size) for a maximum of 2 people - Staffin can also be set up as a twin room with a king-size bed and a comfortable double sofa bed, again for 2 people. The maximum capacity in the house is 8 people.

How often do you change linen & towels?

We don’t automatically change linen and towels on a 3-night stay - we will if this is something that is very important to you. Whilst this is a benefit to us in cutting down laundry, it is not the primary reason we ask you to re-use the same linen and towels. We are actually concerned about our environment and want to do our bit, and we’d appreciate your help in this. For longer stays over 3 nights we ask guests to let us know what their requirements around changing linen/towels are.

Do you have Wi-fi?

Yes, we have wi-fi and it’s free. However, it is not super fast high-speed broadband and comes from a central exchange so can be affected by usage across the area. Thus, it is slow and occasionally we have server problems and problems with the local telephone exchange that affects speed and availability. This is part of island life.

Do you have laundry facilities?

We don't offer laundry facilities at our B&B - there is a laundrette at the Portree Independent Hostel which is approximately 4 minutes walk from us.

Do you have any pets? Do you have dogs to stay?

We have a friendly cocker spaniel, Dolly, and she is kept in our living area in the house - this includes the dining room during the day. She is not allowed in the dining room at breakfast time as we are aware that sometimes our guests have allergies and that some guests don’t like dogs. If either of these is the case for you, let us know (we will check with you when you stay) and we will make sure she is kept out of the way during your stay. She has never been in a guest bedroom as she is not allowed on the main part of the house. However, if you have severe allergies to dogs then you will probably be better staying somewhere that is pet-free.
We don't have cats.
We're very sorry we no longer have dogs to stay in the B&B, we've found Dolly gets agitated when other dogs stay in the house and it doesn't make for a good experience for your stay with us.

Do you accept online bookings?

We don't offer online booking - we may be a bit old-fashioned in this respect but we actually like to have contact with our guests, it makes for a more personal experience.  

Do you accept credit/debit cards?

No, we don’t have credit/debit card facilities. We use Paypal to collect deposits from our overseas guests and we can also accept IBAN transfers (you do need to check with your bank as IBAN fees can be higher than using Paypal), Xoom or Transferwise for deposit (and balance)  payments from overseas guests – there are transaction fees attached to some of these forms of payment that are payable in addition to the deposit or balance.
We accept payment by cheque or online bank transfer from our UK guests.
Normally your remaining balance is paid by cash when you stay. We also accept Sterling Travellers Cheques. If you want to pre-pay your balance by one of the methods above, contact us prior to your visit.

What's your deposit policy?

A deposit of one night's tariff per room booked is required to confirm all bookings. Deposits are payable within 7 days of reserving a room - if a deposit is not received to confirm the booking, the room is made available again for other bookings. We're sorry we can't hold rooms open indefinitely.
See Deposits for further information.

What’s your cancellation policy?

Please inform us in writing as soon as you know you need to cancel your booking – this will give us time to try to re-sell the room(s). 
Deposits are non-refundable if we fail to re-sell the room – be assured we do everything we can to re-sell rooms and between mid-April to mid-October, we rarely have problems selling rooms. We recommend that you have travel insurance in the event of cancellation at short notice. Please note, if we are unable to re-sell rooms cancelled at short notice (14 days or less) we will charge for the cost of your stay.
If we resell the room, we will refund your deposit minus 10% (to cover administration costs) and any Paypal fees incurred.
Click here to read our full cancellation policy.

Need more information?

Do you still have questions that haven’t been answered? If you need further information to help you make your decision about whether to stay with us, please do get in touch