About SIH (Scottish Independent Hostels)

Scottish Independent Hostels (SIH) is a Membership Association of independently owned Hostels in Scotland, with over 100 Hostels located all over Scotland, from the Highlands and Islands to its vibrant cities. Each one of our Hostels is unique, providing hospitality from independent owners that is excellent value. The description “Hostel” includes Backpackers, Bunkhouse, Group Accommodation and Activity Accommodation and, yes, Hostels! Click here for jobs and volunteer opportunities in our member Hostels

What is an "Independent" Hostel?

An Independent Hostel is privately owned and run, with the owners providing local knowledge and often the kind of personal, individual hospitality for which Hostelling is renowned.  

The essence of Hostelling is to provide safe, clean, comfortable, friendly accommodation which has shared facilities so that it is affordable.  Guests can therefore cook their own meals and share the living spaces with other travellers and holiday makers.

Outdoor enthusiasts will choose Hostels which offer drying rooms and equipment storage - not to be found in other types of accommodation!

In the past few years Hostels have updated their rooms to reflect guest feedback.  The one area that guests are sometimes not keen to share is sleeping accommodation and many of our hostels now offer twin and/or family rooms, sometimes with ensuite as well as traditional dorms.

An Independent Hostel is differentiated from The Scottish Youth Hostel Association which is a Charity and which requires its guests to take out a membership.

A not-for-profit organisation working on behalf of Independent Hostel Owners

SIH is managed by a Board of Directors on behalf of the Association.  SIH is a not-for-profit Company to support Independent Hostel Members and to promote Independent Hostelling in Scotland. The Board of Directors represents the Hostels interests within Scotland and undertakes marketing initiatives.  

SIH Board of Directors

Our current volunteer Board of Directors were voted in at the SIH AGM on March 2019.  They are:

Laurie Skuodas, Strathspey Mountain Hostel (Chair)
Dominique Drewe-Martin, Ballater Hostel, Ballater (Vice Chair)
Pat Vallelay, Manager, Portree Independent Hostel, Isle of Skye
Richard Eccles, Owner, Abernethy Bunkhouse, Cairngorms National Park
Nikki Kipfmiller, Owner, Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge, Highlands
Jackie Gillies, Skye Cowshed
Iain Kaye, Forest Way Bunkhouse