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 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 contained a bunk bed and two singles so held up to four people each so a total if full of only 32. The rooms were pleasantly furnished and even had bins in each room. There were no fewer than seven showers, 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 were two kitchen areas with excellent cooking facilities and each had their own dining area. Equipment from the old self catering kitchen and from the castle kitchen was moved across including one large cooking range which was eminently suitable for groups to use. The sitting areas were furnished with the suites from the bar and from the reading room. Throughout the staff put up pictures and added lights etc to make the place attractive and they were to be commended for their hard work.
But now, 2017, the units have all gone and the ground made good. It was as though they were never there! The contents have been moved back into the castle where they are piled up.
KCFA hopes to be able to reopen the hostel in due course, with the reopened bistro and bar, and ultimately to open some of the better quality rooms for guests too.