For many years, the hostel has been within the castle. Visitors staying in the castle have queued for the few bathrooms and showers, whether they stayed in the hostel rooms or the far more expensive Oak Rooms. Indeed, the hostel rooms were generally warmer than the Oak rooms which had no heating.
The new temporary hostel opened on the 8th June 2013 but has closed in June 2015, group accommodation now being provided in the bunkhouse run by the Rum Community. KCFA members were privileged to be the first to stay in the temporary hostel on the 7th June 2013. Staff had had only one week to move the furniture and equipment, put up furnishings and generally complete the new hostel ready for use. They had moved mountains to get the job completed. Few KCFA members were brave enough to test them, but those of us who did were very pleasantly surprised. The eight bedrooms each contain a bunk bed and two singles so hold up to four people each so a total if full of only 32. The rooms are pleasantly furnished and even have bins in each room and we are told more hooks are to be put up in due course. There are no fewer than seven showers now, four of them in good sized individual cubicles with plenty of space, bench in each and hooks for clothes etc. Plenty of toilet accommodation too.
There are two kitchen areas with excellent cooking facilities and each have their own dining area. Equipment from the old self catering kitchen and from the castle kitchen have been moved across including one large cooking range which is eminently suitable for groups to use. The sitting areas are furnished with the suites from the bar and from the reading room. Throughout the staff have put up pictures and added lights etc to make the place attractive and they are to be commended for their hard work.
As yet it is not known what will happen to the units. There may be uses for them within the community but moving them is problematic.