Oran na Mara Luxury Beach House Review

Paul Honeywell

Paul Honeywell

Published on 25 Mar 2024
Mangersta Sea Stacks, Isle of Lewis

From guest Caroline Whaley

​We arrived at Oran na Mara as the sun was setting and we both stood outside the house, somehow unable to move our limbs, just marvelling at the sheer beauty of the location and the view in front of us. The beach, the sea, the hills, all bathed in the softest of winter sun. Even our active spaniel seemed to savour the moment in an uncharacteristically calm moment.

Finally, opening the front door, we just knew that we had a very special week ahead of us. The house was so calm, so thoughtfully designed and seemed to absorb the beautiful sunset that permeated every space. We floated from room to room, exploring the house and falling in love with every view, the clever design of the house, the way each room was so carefully curated. Then, as the cook in our family, I heard my husband whoop from the kitchen as he delighted in ‘a rental property that’s finally designed for cooks!’ – a godsend given the days were short and many eateries understandably closed for December. Well that’s our excuse; I think we also just loved being in the house.

As expected, the weather turned wild over the next couple of days but we were drawn outdoors every day to walk and marvel at the scenery even when the wind howled and the rain lashed our faces. But what’s not to love when you can go home to a log burner, hot chocolate and the excellent Harris gin bought from the distillery in Tarbert? We ended up doing less than we planned because we just fell into an easy routine of daily long morning walks and easy afternoons reading and chatting.

The local community shop provided everything we needed including our entire Christmas shopping list ticked-off due to the excellent craft shop upstairs. We also loved buying bread and frangipani tarts from Croft 36 at nearby Northton. We filled our tummies and our hearts at Oran na Mara.

It was a truly special week and our Oran na Mara lives became small and simple in the most compelling way. We were sad to leave but know we will come back. And as we packed the car on our last evening, the sunset finally returned and we took another few moments just to marvel at what Paul and his family have created at Oran na Mara.