Gateway to much of the Hebrides, this lovely small town is nevertheless far more than just a place to pass through. With a wonderful sweeping bay, great seafood, and the imposing, colosseum-like structure of McCaig’s Tower looming over it, Oban a terribly inviting place in which to pace your journey to the Scottish islands.
As with most gateway towns, Oban can get busy, particularly in the summer months. Such popularity is something of a double edged claymore where finding accommodation is concerned: there may be big crowds, but there’s also a lot of competition to house them. So, whether you’re just using the town as a pit stop or looking to spend a little more time, we’ve sought out some of the best places for your stay.
From £79/ night
Comfortable and cosy, this centrally located guest house is a real treasure, with its individually styled rooms filled by works from local artists. It’s no more than five minutes’ walk from the town’s charming harbour, and fifteen from the imposing McCaig’s Tower, where views of Oban’s bay are stunning. WiFi is found throughout, continental breakfast is included in the price, and all rooms come with their own en suite.
From £114/ night
Of course, one of the main reasons to opt for a chain hotel is because they’re a known quantity, and this is absolutely true with this place – clean, comfortable, polite staff: all the things that you expect from a Best Western. But the Queens Hotel is also so much more than just that: it’s situated in a beautiful old Victorian building and boasts views of Oban’s bay as good as anywhere in town. Being a four star hotel, also, all the usual mod-cons come as standard.
From £100/ night
A truly idyllic highland experience, it’s no exaggeration to say that this bed and breakfast has it all. Surrounded by nature with beautiful views out to the sea, and the beach no more than a minute walk away, the rooms are comfortable and fully equipped with everything the discerning traveller might need, from WiFi to en suite baths, the owners are friendly and there’s even an onsite barbecue on which breakfast is prepared. The kind of place that once you’re checked into, you’ll never want to leave.
From £70/ night
A little out of town, here’s a great place if you want to escape from the crowds of Oban itself – which as the main gateway town to the Hebridies can get pretty busy in summer. It’s also a little less expensive than the other properties we’ve suggested but without any compromise in comfort or the beauty of its setting. On the shores of Loch Etive, there’s a fantastic local-produce restaurant onsite, a lovely warming fire for the winter and a terrace for summer eating.
From £93/ night
A venerable old building with almost impossibly cosy tartan lined rooms, the Royal Hotel offers a wonderfully traditional experience. It’s the kind of place that’s easy to imagine people have been coming to for a hundred years, breaking their journey toward the Hebrides in its welcoming interior – and that’s probably because they have! Naturally, the hotel’s amenities have been updated since it was built in 1895, with all rooms now fully plumbed in with en suites, and TVs as well. It’s a great transport hub, with the railway station and ferry terminals very close by.