I feel like the captain of a ship, gazing through the floor to ceiling windows down Loch Broom, the promise of the Outer Hebrides and the Summer Isles in the distance. I turn my head and take in the view of Ullapool through the panoramic near-360 degree windows and watch the Cal Mac ferry docking – the scene like something in a Katie Morag children’s book.

We are staying in one of two Stone Houses in Ullapool – circular, eco-friendly, turf-topped stone and glass houses that are unique. Now, one of the first things journalists are taught (apart from avoiding cliches like the plague) is never to use the word unique but in this case I’ll break that rule because there is nowhere else like this.

Designed by the owners, Gavin and Rachel Anderson, and Hebridean architect Stuart Bagshaw, the hillside houses marry the latest environmentally friendly techniques, such as using recycled car windscreens under the floor, with traditional building techniques and last-word-in-luxury interiors. There is a sauna, free-standing bath, drench-head showers and a wood burning stove. There’s even a waterfall in the garden. It’s the sort of place that you could easily imagine a film star staying in.

The Andersons were inspired by the luxury retreats they saw when living in east Africa and the Stone Houses have been a labour of love for them. Everything has been designed to make staying here special with upscale kitchen-wear and high-end furnishings, though there is no shortage of homely touches, such as a platter of Scottish salmon and local cheese on arrival.

Built into the side of Ullapool hill (a gate takes you straight onto the path) and with native wildflowers planted all around, attracting bees and butterflies, this must be one of the most relaxing places to stay in Scotland. There was even a fawn that took up residence, sunning itself in the garden. Magical.

We stayed in spring but I can only imagine how dramatic the views would be on a wild winter’s day, with the wood-burning stove and a glass of single malt to keep me warm. In fact, I’ve still got a bottle of water from the burn in the garden that I use to top up my favourite drams. One sip and I can see that amazing view in my mind’s eye.

By Garry Scott

The Stone Houses, Ullapool, cost from £1940 a week in high season (May to September, Christmas and New Year), £1800 in mid season (April and October) and £1280 in low season (November to March). Short stays from November to March, three-night minimum, are also available. Visit www.thestonehouses.co.uk

Where to eat: The Ceilidh Place, West Argyle Place. Bar, restaurant, hotel, bunkhouse, arts venue – it’s even got a book shop. The restaurant specialises in Scottish dishes. Also try the Seafood Shack for a takeway treat.

Where drink: The Arch Inn, West Shore Street. A lively bar, often with live music.

Where to walk: Ullapool has lots of walks, around the town and the shore. For the slightly more adventurous Ullapool hill (850 feet) has good views. It’s around 3 miles from the town and will take around two hours. There’s always spectacular Stac Pollaidh for more experienced walkers.

Where to visit: Achmelvich beach is 38 miles from Ullapool on the North Coast 500 route. It’ll take an hour to drive there but it will be worth it. The beach has unforgettable Caribbean-style white sands.

What to do: Relax, and then relax some more. My favourite things is watching the ferries come in and then watching the ferries leave again.