Great Glen Hostel, Spean Bridge, Lochaber

SIH Board of Directors

Our current Board of Directors were voted in at the SIH AGM on March 14th 2016.  They are all volunteers and passionate about Hostelling:

Dot Mechan, Jessie Mac's, Dunkeld


Dot joined as SIH Director in 2013

Myself and my partner started up Jessie Mac’s in Birnam just over a year ago. I came into this having previously worked for over 20 years as a scientist in the NHS - not exactly a natural career progression!! We have converted a guesthouse (formerly a church manse) into a seven bedroom hostel while restoring the décor to make it more sympathetic to its Victorian origins. Although located in a small village we have lots of art, music and outdoor pursuits to suit all kinds of guests.

As a Director of SIH I hope to learn from other members of the Board and the membership and contribute where I can. With an excellent quality of Hostel membership I look forward to helping raise the profile of SIH and Hostelling in Scotland.

Dot Mechan, Jessie Mac's Hostel Dunkeld Scotland

Claire Christie, Manager, Morag's Lodge, Fort Augustus

Claire joined as SIH Director in 2015

I have managed Morag’s Lodge in Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, since 2011. During my time there we have won a host of awards from Hospitality Assured, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, and the national Thistle Awards. But by far the most important accolade is what our guests say about us, so we are most proud to have a “Staff” rating of 100% on Hostelworld! Morag’s Lodge ethos is to continually exceed expectations, listening to our guests, proving that exceptional customer service can be delivered at any budget and a solid understanding that if we create memorable experiences for people they will return. Prior to running the hostel I worked for Haggis Adventures, a backpacker tour operator, initially as a Driver-Guide, then moving on to be Groups Coordinator. I continue to work very closely with our sister companies as well as being an active member of Europe’s Famous Hostels. I am also currently a Director of the first ever Tourism Business Improvement District, Visit Inverness Loch Ness. When I am not working I can be found in the mountains or planning my next international adventure!

Christopher Davidson, Haggis Hostels, Edinburgh


Chris joined as SIH Director in 2015

We opened Haggis Hostels on the 19th August 2011.  With my past experience as a head Chef  I have adapted well to the Hostel life. I feel privileged to promote Scotland and hostelling in our fantastic city of Edinburgh and feel a sense of excitement when hearing traveller’s stories and also when suggesting places for guests to visit. We hope to expand our “brand” with another hostel soon. That said we look forward to becoming a part of many more people’s positive travelling experience with the service we provide and our chilled atmosphere.  

I am looking forward to my new role as a Director of SIH and supporting the Independent Hostelling sector in Scotland

Pat Vallelay, Manager, Portree Independent Hostel, Isle of Skye

Pat joined as SIH Director in 2015

Pat is a veteran of hostel management.  He was a manager of SYHA hostels for 22 years, then became a manager of an independent hostel, Portree Independent Hostel, 3 years ago.  Pat is a former trade unionist and President of Monkland's Ramblers, He is a passionate and prolific walker, especially hills and long distance footpaths. He is married with four sons.

Yann Syp, Murray Library Hostel, Anstruther

Yann joined as SIH Director in 2015

Yann first joined as Director as Manager of Willy Wallace Hostel in Stirling.  He has now taken the leap of running his own Hostel, having taken on the lease of the newly converted Murray Library Hostel in Anstruther. 

Peter Butterworth, Weem Inn, Aberfeldy

Peter joined as SIH Director in 2016

Peter is a cycling an outdoor enthusiast having established his Cycle Scotland in 1995, and previously managed a Hostel on the Isle of Mull. In 2013 he bought the historic Weem Inn and is developing it into a prime destination. 

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