House Rules

At Highlander House we embrace you, our guest, with open arms. We're keen to meet you, hope we'll become great friends and that you'll revisit time and time again.

Your safety, security and well-being are our overriding and paramount concerns. With this in mind we'd like to assure you of the two most important house rules we strictly enforce.

Zero-tolerance to Smoking and Vaping

No Vaping Sign Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

For our guests' safety and security, all guest rooms and common rooms are fitted with state of the art smoke detectors. Effective February 2021, every home in Scotland is, by law, required to have interlinked smoke alarms so that an incident in one room is alerted and screamed via the interlinked smoke detectors to occupants of all other rooms.

Our fire alarm system DOES distinguish between steam versus smoke, and WILL immediately identify to us which room has set off the alarm with smoke, so we can quickly gain entry and deal with any problem.

In addition:

For our guests' comfort and security all guest rooms are also fitted with sophisticated AIR QUALITY MONITORS reporting CO2 levels, humidity, temperature and air pollutants of the type emitted by cigarettes and vaping. The air quality in all guest rooms is continuously monitored via a central console with a history available.

Normal Guest Room Air Quality
Air Quality when picking up smoke/vaping particles. This was a simulated test outside. In a guest room CO2 and VOCs would also sky-rocket.

Sneaking a smoke/vape in the bathroom might not set the smoke detectors off but WILL rocket the air quality monitor readings.

Our guests are precious to us and no-one wants a room that has been smoked in. This means that a room is out of commission for weeks as we try eradicate the odour, and poisonous chemicals...which requires cleaning the curtains, mattresses....EVERYTHING! A huge upset for our next guests booking that room and a massive loss of revenue and expense for us.

As with unauthorised entry, accommodation will be withdrawn from anyone placing guests and our home at risk by not adhering to this rule and a £400 cleaning fee will be instantly levied.

No unauthorised entry

We (Gus and Sherry), your hosts at Highlander House adopt a zero-tolerance to anyone in our home who has not been registered as a guest on arrival. Any person in our home in disregard of this is viewed as a trespasser, with zero rights, and a total security risk. We don’t care whether it’s a new-found friend, close relative…or Prince of Wales!

Rest assured, for your security, CCTV recording will identify unauthorized entry all the way to a guest room. For your peace of mind and ours, we know you'll appreciate the strict application of this House Rule. Transgressors breaking this rule will be removed from our home with zero compensation.


Earliest check-in is 3pm and latest is 8pm. If these times don’t work for you, it is imperative you let us know in advance and we’ll try accommodating your request (ferry permitting). Should earlier arrival be more convenient for you, we’ll happily store your luggage once the booking formalities are dispensed with and you can while away some time in the prettiness that is Rothesay until 3pm.

Check-out: guests are requested to vacate their rooms by 11am on day of departure.

Island access/Ferry crossings Important:

Our 8pm latest check-in is specifically set with the Isle of Bute Calmac ferry crossings in mind. You very much need to factor in the island ferry crossings to take advantage of your booking. Attempting to make the ferry crossing at 9pm, for example, is not going to happen as you've missed the last ferry, and we'd rather you not forfeit a booking by being uninformed.

Please click on the Calmac Ferry Service links below for up-to-date sailings status

Wemyss Bay-Rothesay (if coming from Glasgow)

Colintraive-Rhubodach (if coming from north of the island)

...and be sure to scroll down on either page for the latest ferry sailings timetables

Bookings, payment and cancellations

Bookings: reserve your accommodation with card.

Full payment is due on check-in: cash or card is gratefully accepted.

Cancellations/refunds Policy: Please bear in mind that your booking secures your accommodation over some-one else who might equally desire a booking, whether it be for a wedding, an anniversary, or other special occasion.

  • If the booking is cancelled less than 7 days before arrival, a charge equal to the first nights of the stay will be made.
  • If the booking is cancelled less than 3 days before arrival, a charge equal to the full booking amount will be made.
  • In the event of a no show or booking reduction (after arrival date) the full cost of the booking is charged.

Should a compensating late booking take up your cancelation, your cancelled reservation will be fully refunded.


Bless them, we simply don’t have the facilities at Highlander House to adequately accommodate, cater for, and entertain our future rock stars, scientists and influencers. We have no family rooms. If the little precious ones have progressed beyond the years of crayon-scribbling on anything presenting an inviting surface, you need to be the judge as to whether your loved ones are old enough for you to book an additional adjacent room.


Our apologies, but we do not accommodate pets. We are passionate dog lovers, but simply do not have the facilities to accommodate our canine and feline soul-mates.

Not so much rules as requests:

TV sound: The TV in your room is an ultra-High Definition or 4K TV offering a cinematic experience. Please be considerate with the sound level. If you have blue-tooth earphones, we encourage you to use them and take advantage of your guest room TV's full immersive capabilities.

Eating in: Aside from Highlander House's sublime breakfasts, for your evening meals, we have characterful take-out establishments a short walk from Highlander House.

But we implore you. Please don't eat in bed. The Safari Room downstairs is at your disposal if dining in as a group, or, if dining in intimately, your room has a romantic seating area, provided specifically for you to enjoy our local take-outs and we humbly ask that you use these facilities. (Your bedding has been carefully chosen to offer you a sublime night's sleep and it is heart-breaking when it's ruined by food stains).


100% enjoy your visit. This is a gorgeous island. Scotland is a wonderful country. We hope that you'll be as enchanted with Highlander House and the Isle of Bute as the centuries of visitors before.