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“Ideal place to relax or explore”
other travellers have booked this property
Flying in? There's Ackergill Haven in the bay beyond Ackergill Tower
Bookings for this home are first-come, first served. Lock in your dates before they are gone
Flying in? There's Ackergill Haven in the bay beyond Ackergill Tower
Only two miles out of Wick and Tesco and it looks like we're driving straight into the sea.
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Very good
39 reviews
Flying in? There's Ackergill Haven in the bay beyond Ackergill Tower
Only two miles out of Wick and Tesco and it looks like we're driving straight into the sea.
Past the re-built Sea Shore Cottage to Sea Otter's Front Door
Go in and turn left for the small living room.
New stove but new mantle shelf unaffordable so far.
But then look out through those french doors - and catch your breath!
When the tide's in - Hope I don't feel too seasick,!
Such amazing sunsets over the castle next door. At high tide every ripple in pink.
But maybe the tide's out when you arrive
Tide out.Never mind - the tide clock will tell when you will next see the waves up close.
What a view from the kitchen window, with a millionaire's restored castle next door
Gather around the table for breakfast
Downstairs Bathroom. Big bath. High quality shower
Just inside the front door. Turn right instead of left and see the cosy downstairs double bedroom.
Stairs a bit steep - So steep they would never be allowed under new building regulations.
But worth the climb - Is that an Oyster Catcher? Where's that sea bird book?
Top of the stairs on the right. That double bed looks welcoming.
Top of the stairs turn left - for the room with two single beds and the same spectacular views
Beautiful, rugged shoreline with lots of rock pools for children
Fancy having virtually our own private beach. Want a free holiday in return for a painting job?
No time to watch TV - watching the waves is so much more relaxing
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Overview
Cottage -
3 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 6
Wick, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, Scotland

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 39 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
French first
German first
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Any
English first
Jill H
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Ideal place to relax or explore”
Reviewed 17 March 2014 for a stay in March 2014
3
people found this review helpful

The location of the cottage was amazing, waking up to sea views each morning pure bliss and so relaxing listening to the waves. The cottage was equipped with everything you could need, it needs a little work (the owner is upgrading whenever possible) but this is reflected in the rental price and in no way does it spoil your stay. Nice and local to a big supermarket for all of your grocery needs.
Ideal place to either relax or use as a base to travel, plenty of places to walk, but as with most areas of Scotland you need transport to get out and about. Loads of places within an hour or less to visit.
If you get lucky there is plenty of wildlife to watch, binoculars are also provided at the cottage, sadly they weren't playing whilst we were there. The cottage is also well equipped with games and books if you find yourself at a loose end or you get fed up of the view, we didn't touch them, It's a view you could never tire of!!!
Would definitely go again and recommend to friends and family, it was one of the most relaxing holidays I have had in a long time.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Views
Liked least: nothing
Travelling group: Extended Family
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SarahCB99
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A perfect base”
Reviewed 6 November 2013 for a stay in November 2013
1
person found this review helpful

I found the cottage quite by accident buried deep in Trip Advisors faults, but I am so glad I kept digging around or I would most definitely have missed out.
If you're the kind of person that likes silver service and 5 stars then this is definitely not the place for you (although the views would get a 10 star rating at the very least) but if you like somewhere you can kick off your shoes, settle back with a book, and just chill out after a great day exploring then this is the PERFECT property. In fact you don't even need to go exploring because the views from the cottage are stunning and change on a minute by minute basis.
While a clean property, it is is need of a bit of TLC but that just gives it that loved, warm and friendly feel (although the windows in the upstairs double bedroom has gaps so when the wind blew and the outside temperature hit 3'c it was mighty cold in there (the radiator tried hard but the draft was too much) so be prepared to pop on a jumper when you climb in to bed; and if you are a light sleeper take some ear plugs because the wind howls through the gaps. The beds however are exceptionally comfortable, and there is more than enough storage and hanger space for you to empty your cases.

The stairs in the property are very steep (almost vertical) so you would need to take care with small children and the elderly) but there is a bedroom downstairs so those that do struggle to get upstairs can just use the downstairs room; this makes it friendly to the not so able bodied person too.

Now although the gumph states that it sleeps 7 there were only 2 double beds and 2 single ones, and the lounge had only a swivel chair with a 2/3 seater sofa (there was a bean bag in the cupboard) but not really enough seating for 7; there were also only 6 dining chairs in the kitchen/diner (which is fully equipped with all the cutlery and utensils you will need; and more).

The property has a washing machine and tumble dryer - the addition of washing powder in the cupboard was a nice find. In fact there appears to be nothing the cottage doesn't have at hand; we joked about how we needed some WD 40 for our camera tripod and then found a can in the cupboard by the bathroom, so this place really is a home from home and has been well thought out.

There was even tea, coffee, sugar, salt, pepper, washing up liquid, toilet paper and all manner of other little bits and pieces in the cupboards so if you have forgotten to take your own you won't have to rush straight out to the shops to pick up the bits when you arrive. Whether these bits have been left behind by previous occupants (we left tea bags, shower gels, shampoos and nappy sacks behind in case the next people needed them) or whether they've been provided by the owner I don't know, but either way they were a welcome addition.

The outside decking area is a decent size with a sturdy iron table, but again outside there were only 2 chairs that could really do with replacing, so if there were more than 2 of you you'd have to drag through a kitchen chair if you wanted to sit out and watch the tide as it ebbs and flows - not a biggy for most but I know how some people expect to find everything and fore warned is always fore armed.

The folder under the coffee table filled with laminated guides to local attractions is a great idea and filled with all different kinds of things for people to see, do and visit.

For those of you that can't shut yourselves off from the real world there is a TV with freeview, and BT wifi in the property, but why anyone would want to trawl the net or watch TV when there is so much to be seen outside the windows is beyond me. There is also an abundance of books of all different genre's dotted around so if you finish your own, you are bound to find something of interest to read through.

The only other downside (apart from the windows) was the amount of thick grey dog hair that kept appearing in clumps all over the place. When we moved the sofa away from the wall we found a pile of it caught up, but a quick squiz round with the hoover sorted this issue, but if someone had been allergic it wouldn't have been that nice for them.

How easy was it to book the property? How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: The home from home feeling and the views
Liked least: The upstairs bedroom window has gaps so the room was constantly cold and felt damp
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Large groups
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
17 Nov 2013
Thank you greatly for providing so much feedback after just a short stay. Greatly appreciated.

A brief scenario:
“One early sunny morning in 2006 out walking before going in to work, I heard from the man cutting the lawn
“Sale fallen through. Reduced fixed price in two weeks”

Too fantastic a location to become a private home, I took a major risk;
Far greater than I realised since the seller in retrospect was not a builder but a builder’s labourer,
and the house survey had been incredibly superficial.
Bare wires in the bathroom floor, danger of door lintels collapsing, incredibly poor quality roofing etc., etc.

Seven years later, after 200 bookings, a third of whom have indicated their plans to return,
and after a complete ‘back to the foundations’ re-build
of what used to be a shabby annexe with minute windows and no proper sea views,
there is at last some light at the end of a long moneypit tunnel.
As finances slowly start to improve be assured
that fixing the badly installed upstairs windows
together with remaking a proper footpath down to the private beach are extremely high priorities.
Major rebuilding of the french doors has already allowed a dramatic reduction in the noise in the tiny sitting room
and we are sure the same quietness
will eventually stop it being necessary for some guests to move downstairs at 2 am because of the noise of the sea.

Other points.

TLC in progress as fast as possible, especially since our cleaner Leighanne
has moved back from Devon into her granny’s house close by in Tower Square.

Her granny Carol, our beloved local jewel, whom many of our guests will remember for her spotless cleaning,
having sadly and suddenly joined her invalid husband.
We greatly miss her and hope to join her family in funding a bench just outside the cottages
so that anyone can sit and enjoy the unbeatable view.
Although the vast majority of our guests are couples, before the spring weather allows
more seats on the decking area will be provided.
In these austerity days “bits left behind” are usually used
so no-one should feel that everything must be thrown away at the time of departure.

Sea Otter is a holiday home not a hotel!

Sorry about the lack of a VHS player,
we have one that we will bring up to Scotland as soon as possible
otherwise we’ll need to keep our eyes open in a local charity shop.

Sorry also about the dog hair, one of the problems of allowing guests with pets
but the location is so wonderful for dog walks that the risk seems worthwhile,
and a high proportion of our guests now have dogs.

In future Leighanne has assured me that she will be making quite sure that behind the sofa gets hoovered.

Thanks again for your comments.

Hope you will be back someday soon to enjoy the improvements.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pinklily2...
Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Fantastic home from home ~ highly recommend ~ we will return”
Reviewed 5 November 2013 for a stay in November 2013

''who goes to Scotland in Novemeber?'' my kept saying ~ME ~ fantastic location fantastic accomodation. OK there are a few ''wear and tare'' issues with the cottage ~ write them in the book provided I'm sure they will be seen to. If you want 5 star standards then NO don't book if you want 5 star relaxed atmosphere scenery facilites THEN YES ~ everything is provided easy to use cooker washer dryer TV WiFi. Plenty of space ~ cupboards full of games and wet weathe entertainment ~ maybe a slightly better selection of books would be nice and videos but no player to be found!! NOT that we had time to sit and watch ~ so much locally to be seen loads for FREE just a short drive away fabulous will be back hopefully next year with hubby and the dogs xx

Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
17 Nov 2013
Quite agree about “wear and tear” issues

See our comprehensive response to “A perfect base” feedback.

We will look out for an old VHS player (if there isn’t already one stored in the shed.)

Sorry about the personally biased selection of books.

Hopefully guests will pick up and leave behind alternatives from local charity shops.

Looking forward to your return sometime.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
koala16
Perth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Non-smokers beware”
Reviewed 28 September 2013 for a stay in September 2013

Wonderful location on coast. Cottage is well-equipped although insufficent seating in sitting room for more than 4; the condition of the cottage is in need of some further attention. I think it should be pointed out that the stairs are extremely steep. Sadly although stated to be a non-smoking establishment I found that it smelt of cigarette smoke - for me this spoilt the holiday.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Liked best: The views
Liked least: Smell of cigarettes
Travelling group: Solo Traveller
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
30 Sep 2013
Sadly these guests were preceded by the worst guest out of the 150 guests we have had over the past 7 years! Not only did he, despite all the notices, smoke heavily, but having claimed that he had two parrots which would be kept in cages, he allowed them mess all over the room and in his two days the coal bunker was mysteriously completely emptied. For many years we used to ask for a deposit which we returned but never had to keep itt and had finally decided that deposits were not worth the effort. We may now have think again. The final straw was a note from him to complain about the smell of smoke - which had in fact not been there when the house was cleaned before he arrived. Regarding the other comments these have not previously been a source of any complaints but we have now added a comment to the website concerning the steepness of the stairs and the relatively small size of the living room (not usually a problem in summer as most guests prefer to sit on the outside decking)
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ScottLond...
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Wonderful setting”
Reviewed 18 August 2013 for a stay in August 2013
3
people found this review helpful

Sea Otter cottage has a truly wonderful view over Sinclair Bay...the setting is perfect, being 5 yards from the seashore. The sunsets were lovely. It is well situated for trips to the Orkney Isles (40 mins to Scrabster) and John O'Groats (25 mins). There is a Tesco 5 mins away as is the airport.

The cottage does however need some work done on it and I suspect this is the owner's plan (incidentally the owner couldn't have been more helpful in arranging the rental; he was great) given the next door cottage is being renovated currently (also owned by the owner). There are two upstairs bedrooms (double and a twin) up a VERY steep staircase and one downstairs (double). We used the cottage as a base for our trips and spent some down time playing down on the beach.
Ackergill Tower is a few hundred yards away and worth a phone call to arrange a meal or afternoon tea. The cottage's kitchen is well equipped but was missing a few things (couldn't unearth the frying pan or a decent sharp knife) but small issues really.

Overall a very good cottage in terms of location and setting. Could be truly unbeatable with a little money spent on it.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The view
Liked least: Felt damp in certain rooms
Travelling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
20 Aug 2013
Heartily agree "that Sea Otter needs some work on it". If only the Sea Otter annexe had been properly renovated in the past. Three years ago it was starting to collapse completely into a potential ruin. Matters were so bad that it has taken 3 times as long and cost three times as planned to make it habitable. However once it had been gutted right down to bare thick stone walls it has proved possible to totally re-build and re-equip what used to be the pokey one bedroom annexe with tiny windows into a very high standard new holiday cottage at the same fantastic location (Totally new floors and roof, bigger windows everywhere, roof height raised, two bedrooms, new kitchen, new shower & toilet, superb insulation etc) Once the re-mortgage is through funds will at last start to become available to bring Sea Otter up to the high standard the location requires. Watch this space. I promise you it will indeed "be unbeatable" again in the near future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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