Enjoy 5-star luxury in these Scottish seaside cottages


Our luxury self-catering Scottish seaside cottages have achieved the sought-after 5-star quality assurance rating from VisitScotland at our very first grading.

The two Scottish seaside cottages, built and run by Duncan each provide spacious, eco-friendly and high quality accommodation for up to four guests.

Duncan, who was born in Dornie, had a vision for developing a self-catering business on a small piece of rocky croft land beside the sea.  The houses, designed by Annie Kenyon Architects, reflect traditional West Highland style with red roofs, wooden porches and hand-crafted stonework.  Inside, Duncan has used recycled brick and oak to create distinctive and individual features which build the sense of place.

Opening in July 2022, Dornie Croft has already achieved Guest Favourite status from Airbnb, with every review being 5 star and Customers’ Choice Award 2024 from Cottages.com.  But most importantly, the feedback from the guests has been fantastic and previous visitors have already returned for another stay.

Chris Taylor, Destination Development Director at VisitScotland, said: “Duncan and Shona have worked hard to create a fantastic and accessible luxury visitor experience, helping make the Highlands a must-visit, must-return destination. 

“It is great to see them actively promoting the use of public transport to guests on their website, as well as highlighting the EV charging points available on the croft. They are a great example of a business who are helping making it easier for visitors to make sustainable choices while enjoying a stay in the Highlands.”

Duncan said: “I wanted to provide our guests with an authentic, high quality experience of the west coast of the Scottish Highlands and so it was important to me that what we do reflects our culture and heritage, both built and Gaelic.  It was challenging building two houses during Covid and then Brexit, but the end result is certainly been well worth the challenges. I’m delighted that VisitScotland judged that what we provide is of a 5-star standard.”

As well as the building style being based on the local area, Gaelic language and culture is central to the business’s philosophy.  Both cottages have Gaelic names and Dornie Croft social media accounts regularly feature Gaelic words and sayings.  Duncan and his partner Shona, who’s a Gaelic speaker, also provide information to visitors about the language and the ways that they can access Gaelic culture while they are in the area.

Adding to that authentic experience is the couple’s enthusiasm for linking with other local businesses, such the Dornie Hotel and Clachan Bar within walking distance, and Manuela’s Wee Bakery providing bread as part of guests’ welcome pack. Plus Loopy’s Fish Van calls at the cottages on its regular Tuesday round, giving guests the opportunity to buy from the amazing selection of seafood.

Situated on the edge of the sea, looking after the natural environment is equally important to Dornie Croft.  With air source heat pump system and EV chargers, the cottages are very environmentally-friendly.  That philosophy continues in the use of refillable containers for soap, shampoo and body wash from the Highland Soap Co and refillable washing up and laundry liquid from The Selkie Collective in Skye.  Looking ahead to their next development, Dornie Croft is currently being assessed for a Green Tourism award and investigating ways to become even more environmentally-friendly.