Torlinnhe Guest House is run by Andy & Sue Keen. We previously ran an IT company that specialised in front desk systems for hotels as well more general accounting software. In 2002 we decided to de-stress our lives and sold the company. Andy did consultancy work for a while and Sue went back to full time education to study tourism. Over the years we had spent many happy holidays in the west of Scotland and could think of no finer place to live and work. In 2008 we put our combined expertise into an exciting new project, to buy and run a bed and breakfast in Fort William on the beautiful West Coast.
Torlinnhe was built as a Guest House in the 1970s. With no ensuite facilities, full length mirrored wardrobes in every room and a notable collection of dolls in the massive lounge window it was “of its time”. It was a ‘bit of a project’ when we moved in and for the first three months was reminiscent of a building site. However, we welcomed our first guests in June 2008. We imagined our first guests arriving with ourselves as the very model of hospitable hosts. The reality was a little different. Our very first guests arrived one day early! We were still busy finishing the decorating in the lounge and the hallway looked like a war zone.
Since then we have welcomed many guests to our home in Fort William. Visitors come to the West Coast of Scotland from all over the world, from China, Australia, New Zealand, to Europe, USA, Brazil, the Caribbean and everyplace in between. It is always fascinating to chat to guests over a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits in the lounge, find out a little about them, to help with any plans they have or simply to advise on suitable local restaurants and facilities.
Over the years we have explored many areas of Scotland on our holidays and would be delighted to share our enthusiasm and knowledge with you. Our Things to Do page includes many of our favourite activities in the Fort William and Lochaber area.
Our environmental policy
We recognise that our business can have a direct or indirect effect on the local, regional and global environment. We are committed to working in a practical and sustainable way to reduce any harmful effects our operations may have. In this way we hope to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We try to do our bit without it affecting the experience that you have while staying with us.
Since purchasing Torlinnhe in February 2008 we have carried out a number of significant improvements to the building and its facilities to reduce pollution, emissions and waste. Behind the scenes we are continuously striving to reduce our use of energy, water and other resources. Many small things which we hope will have a major effect in the collective impact our very welcome visitors have environmentally, socially and economically.
These are some of the things we have done so far:
- We have significantly increased the insulation of the building underfloor, in the walls and in the roof.
- LED light bulbs and low energy fittings have been installed wherever possible.
- A wood pellet boiler has been fitted in the lounge and plumbed into the central heating system. We use this to reduce oil usage when it is cold outside.
- The heated towel warmer in your shower room is operated from the timer switch next to the shower room light switch. This means the towel rail cannot be left on needlessly or accidentally for long periods of time.
- The organic hand soap, body wash and shampoo we provide are from The Highland Soap Company based in Fort William. HSC have a shop with some lovely products in the High Street and another in Spean Bridge next to the Woollen Mill. Well worth a visit to buy gifts or to treat yourself!
- Our Oak bedroom furniture and dining chairs were all produced from sustainable forests.
- We use Ecover products for cleaning along with E-cloths to reduce our dependency on harmful chemicals.
- Paper, cardboard, glass, cans, juice cartons and where possible plastics are recycled. Please help us to recycle by separating your glass, paper, cardboard, cans and plastics from general rubbish.
- All our kitchen and laundry appliances are A rated or better for minimal energy consumption
- All our toilets are dual flush to save water.
- Our car is a hybrid electric/petrol Mitsubishi Outlander. It is particularly good for lots of short journeys. If you would like a lift into town for dinner (before 7.30pm) please just ask us.
There are simple ways you can help too:
- We give our guests the option to dry and re-use their towels. Doing so saves energy, water and washing detergent.
- We ask you, our guests, to help by turning off lights, the TV, DVD player, and any other electrical equipment you may bring with you when you leave your room and they are not being used.
- We also ask you to ensure you turn off the taps when not in use. Yes, we know we are in just about the wettest place in the UK but all our water is treated to ensure it is safe to drink straight from the tap in your room. If we all reduce the amount of water we use, we also reduce the amount of chemicals used to treat the water and to dispose of it.
Our accessibility policy
Unfortunately, Torlinnhe was built in the 1970s and our six bedrooms are all up one flight of stairs. There is no space to install a lift. The front door is also reached by three external steps from the car park. As a result of the unavoidable steps we are unable to accommodate guests who require wheel chairs or who cannot manage the stairs.
We are very happy to cater for special diets wherever possible provided we are given advance notice (by email or telephone before the day you are due to arrive). We are not always able to source appropriate ingredients within the local area but will try to get the most appropriate options available.
At Torlinnhe we will always do whatever we can to ensure our guests comfort and safety but as a small B&B, we are sorry we are unable to provide special facilities for those with significant disabilities.
We source locally
We always try to purchase locally if we can. Supporting local businesses helps our local economy and maintains our local communities.
We have been accredited with VisitScotland’s ‘Taste Our Best’ award. This means that wherever possible we source quality ingredients of Scottish provenance and we strive for sustainability, source food locally and we try to keep food miles to a minimum. If you want to know more about what you are eating, including any allergy information, please ask us.
- Pork Sausages – from John MacMillan, our local butcher in Fort William.
- Black Pudding – from Charles McLeod in Stornoway. Won the Great Taste Gold award in 2012
- Free Range Eggs
- Haggis – from Macsween of Edinburgh. Won the Great Taste Gold award in 2013
- Vegetarian Haggis – from Macsween of Edinburgh
- Potato Scones – Mortons, Glasgow
- Scott’s Porage Oats – Cupar in Fife
- Blossom Honey – J. E. Taylor, Inver near Dunkeld. Used in Breakfast Cranachan and homemade granola.
- Smoked Salmon & Oatcakes – always Scottish!
- Raspberries – from Tayside when available