Cairnbaan Hotel

The Hotel is open for bookings

We are pleased to announce that the hotel is now open again.

Important information - Summary

With restrictions easing, we are moving back to our usual opening hours.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we have some new policies in place.
  • We have implimented additional disinfectant procedures, including the use of a fogging machine. This will help us ensure the premises are as protected and safe as possible. For more information on these procedures, please see the Sterimax website.
  • During the pandemic, guest rooms will not be serviced during your stay, however, should you need anything please ask any member of staff.
  • Inside the hotel the wearing of face coverings is mandatory so we ask that you wear one at all times unless/until you are seated at your table.
  • For the time being, we can only take bar/restaurant bookings for parties of 6 or less from a maximum of 2 households.
  • In the interest of full transparency, Cainbaan Hotel's Covid-19 Risk assessment can be found here.
We also request that guests please book direct with the hotel. This is to ensure we can provide the necessary safety precautions including thorough room deep-cleans between guests.

We have also taken the decision to block out up to 48 hours between guests when needed, to enable us to do this to our high standards.

Updates to the hotel

Already have a booking?

Online bookings already in place will be honoured but you may be allocated a different room due to cleaning schedules required by our risk assessment. Please contact us if you have any questions

Showing symptoms of Covid?

If you have symptoms, please follow NHS advice. Do not come to the hotel.

Card payments only

Please note we will not be accepting cash payments, contactless card payments as well as other contactless payment gateways such as Apple Pay, Android and Google pay is preferred.

All confirmations/invoices etc. will be issued electronically.

Safety of guests and staff

We are taking every measure we possibly can to ensure the safety of our guests and customers but also our staff. While we are doing all we can, we request that our guests and customers also play their part keeping us all safe by observing safe practices, such as washing hands and socially distancing, in-line with current government advice.

Menu offerings

Due to staff restrictions both in the kitchen and waiting staff, during this time, we are running on a slightly reduced menu, we appreciate your understanding.

Tea and coffee in the guestrooms

We are unable to offer tea and coffee making facilities due to government guidelines during this time. We appologise for any inconvenience caused.

* Please note, if you are a guest with the hotel, we offer tea and coffee from the bar.

It will be lovely to be able to welcome you back!

Booking with us

Cairnbaan Hotel is open for bookings.

We look forward to welcoming new and returning guests when we are able to do so, and want to assure you all of our commitment to the safety, health and well-being of all our customers and staff as and when this happens.

Having done a thorough risk assessment, we have put necessary protocols in place. Please play your part in keeping us all safe by observing safe practice.

The current situation once again, throws up new and daunting challenges for the hospitality industry so please bear with us while we find our feet in the new normal.

If you have any concerns or suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch – we all need to help each other through these trying times.

More information can be found at: Scottish Government's guidance for hospitality website.

Usual opening times

Food serving times


8am till 9.30am (non-residents please book)


12 noon till 2.30pm (booking advisable)


6pm till 9pm (booking advisable)

The bar

Current restrictions and bar closing times

Please note, there are still some restrictions in place including the requirement for the bar to close at 10.30 pm.

Staying with us

Rooms available are:
8 doubles, 3 twin and 1 single

We have 12 individually styled en-suite guest bedrooms.

Dogs are welcome but we ask they are not left alone in the rooms.


Our Free Wi-Fi is now available throughout the hotel.

Cairnbaan Hotel eating and drinking

Eating and drinking

Delicious food and a great list of drinks

We have a core menu of “favourites” but look out for the ever-changing specials board featuring seafood, vegetarian dishes, Sunday roasts and seasonal recipes as well as our delicious home-made puddings.

Special diets are catered for- vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy free etc.
However, if you have very specific requirements, we can offer a better choice if you are able to give us a little bit of notice.

All day snacks and drinks

We serve a full range of coffees, teas etc and mouth-watering home baking throughout the day. All are open to non-residents.

The bar

The bar is open to non-residents from 11am till 11pm daily except Sunday-Thursday in November, January and February when it will close at 10pm.

Beers and spirits

The bar stocks a good range of craft gins, malt whiskies and real ales as well as regular beverages.


Our wine list features an interesting selection of affordable wines by the bottle as well as 6 whites, 6 reds and 2 roses available by the glass.

Special promotions

Watch for our Pairings Promotions, where we showcase a particular wine, matching it with an exciting creation from Vikki’s kitchen.

Takeaway and Pizza Service

Enjoy fresh delicious food from our takeaway and pizza menus at Cairnbaan Hotel.

We are delighted to announce we are now offering pizza and other goodies to take away, including puddings and drinks.

Choose your pizza size, 9" or 12" and choose your toppings!

Keep up to date with all our delicious takeaway food, by joining our Facebook page

Download our Takeaway menu
Download our Pizza menu
Loch Fyne Ales website image link

Ales on tap

We're proud to have Loch Fyne Ales on tap, an outstanding local brewery a 30 minute drive from us.

To find out more about them, the fantastic ales they stock and where to find them, check out their website at the link below.

Find out more about Fyne Ales
Cairnbaan Hotel from the canal

About Us

Our historic bar and restaurant

Cairnbaan Hotel is situated halfway along the Crinan Canal- “the most beautiful shortcut in Scotland”.

It was built around 1815 as a coaching inn to serve canal users and continues to provide charming accommodation, refreshments and amazing food to travellers and locals alike.

The staff

The Cairnbaan “family” headed by Christine with chefs Vikki and Alan and their teams, take great pride in their work and look forward to welcoming you to the friendliest hotel around.


Children are welcome when accompanied by adults until 10pm.


Dogs are welcome both in the bar and the hotel itself (doggy treat jar on the bar and water bowls on request!).

* Please let us know if you are bringing your dog when you book a room.

Cairnbaan Hotel glasses of prosecco


Functions & events / Covid restrictions

To keep our guests and our staff safe, we are keeping within government guidelines by restricting the number of people for any events or functions we hold.

We can offer small gatherings (around 40 people), if you'd like to organise or book us as a venue, please contact us for more information.

Planning a wedding? 

We have successfully held many wedding receptions at our hotel. If you're planning on booking a wedding with us, please don't hesitate to contact us to see what we can do for you.

Food & drink

We do not offer a set choice of function menus, preferring to tailor your event to your specific requirements. Catering for your event can be as simple as soup and sandwiches or canapes and fizz, all the way through finger or fork buffets to full scale sit-down 4 course dinners.

Drinks packages are also available on request. We aim to provide you with exactly what you want!

Please contact us for more information.

Room hire

There is no charge for room hire when holding a function; costs are per head based on food/beverage service.

When holding a function, we can offer special room-only or B&B rates for guests who wish to stay over.

Live music

Please contact us if you wish to book a live band, or have music at your function.

Cairnbaan has regularly hosted live music nights pre-covid, for updates or the latest "what's on" - please see our Facebook page.

Cairnbaan hotel - Crinan Canal - looking west

A wealth of attractions in the local area

Cairnbaan Hotel is situated on the banks of Crinan Canal in the historic glen of Kilmichael.

Crinan Canal

The canal joins Crinan to Ardrishaig and is lovely at any time of year. You can walk or cycle along the entire length, all the while enjoying stunning views and passing boats and wildlife. Aside from the canal itself, there is a vast range of countryside to explore.

Crinan Canal

Local art

Argyll is home to many artists- probably due to the stunning scenery and the extraordinary quality of light.

Many of them participate in Art Map when studios are open to the public and artists are delighted to meet you and discuss their work.

Local artists - Art Map

Wild beavers & wildlife

Nature and wildlife enthusiasts will delight in the abundance of flora and fauna in the area.

Knapdale Forest is home to the Beaver Trials (nb, not like sheepdog trials!)- Norwegian beavers were introduced in 2009 and have settled well into the area. Go along to Loch Coille Bharr, especially at dawn or dusk, where you might be lucky enough to spot one.

Beaver trials
Moine Mhor - nature reserve

Horticulture & bird watching

For horticulturists there are two NTS gardens in the vicinity, Crarae Gardens between Lochgilphead and Inveraray and Arduaine Gardens near Kilmelford.

The wide variety of birdlife on the Add estuary and Moine Mhor National Nature Reserve will have twitchers reaching for binoculars and camera.

“The Moss” is also famed for rare mosses and dragonflies.

Crarae gardens
Arduaine gardens
Argyll bird club
Wildlife & birdwatching

History & archaeology

Just a short walk directly behind the hotel is the Cairnbaan rock art featuring the esoteric cup and ring carvings. There are also castles (Carnasserie, Skipness and Castle Sween) and ancient chapels (Keills, Kilmory) to explore as well as the hill-fort at Dunadd, seat of the kings of Dal Riada.

History and archaeology aficionados should head for Kilmartin Glen and Kilmartin Museum to find out about and visit the many pre-historic standing stones, cairns and rock-art.

Cup and ring marks
History of the surrounding area
Kilmartin Museum
Dunadd Fort

Activities & walks

The Surrounding of Cairnbaan and wider afield has a host of interesting walks and amazing views, just waiting to be explored!

The hotel has a small range of literature on the area available to guests, please ask!

Seafari and sea-based wildlife tours and trips to the famous Corryvreckan whirlpool can be arranged locally with Venture West.

Interesting local walks - maps
Venture West website
Argyll Adventures


While the nearest town of Lochgilphead is not a large metropolis, there are many interesting independent shops where you can often find that unusual gift or memento. The Archway Gallery exhibits work by local artists.

Mid-Argyll swimming pool is open all year round.

The Archway gallery
Mid Argyll swimming pool

Breweries & distilleries

Distillery tours are also available in Oban and Fyne Ales at Cairndow offer brewery tours as well as a taproom and shop.

Fyne Ales
Springbank distillery
Oban distillery


A trip to Campbeltown is recommended for golfers – there are three 18-hole courses, and another course on the way at Tarbert, there is also a course in Lochgilphead!

While non-golfers can take a distillery tour or visit the newly restored Art Deco cinema then drive out to the Mull of Kintyre, made famous, of course, by Paul McCartney.

Campbeltown folf course
Tarbert golf course
Lochgilphead golf course

Further afield

A little further away (27 miles), the Castle, home of the Duke of Argyll, and the Jail at Inveraray are both well worth a visit.

From Oban, under an hour away by car, known as the Gateway to the Isles, you can take a ferry to Mull then Iona, Colonsay, Tiree etc.

To the south, the Islay ferry departs from Kennacraig , the Arran ferry from Skipness, the Portavadie ferry from Tarbert and the Gigha ferry from Tayinloan.

Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Jail
Oban tourism website
Caledonian ferries