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“Totally wonderful time in a beautiful guest house.All the reviews say it all..hilary and alan.Mega hosts.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arkell House B&B

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Arkell House B&B
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1 Church Bay, Rathlin Island BT54 6SA, Northern Ireland   |  
Hotel amenities
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Totally wonderful time in a beautiful guest house.All the reviews say it all..hilary and alan.Mega hosts.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

We had an excellent time in this gorgeous guest house.Long may hilary and alan reign.Tasteful furnishings,spotless,great craic ,Best views you could wish for!!Really its all been said many times but after some of the places my husband and i have said this was a gem

Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2014

We - Sonia's striders - spent a lovely overnight at Arkell House. Usually this is a B and B but the owners let us have it for the night whilst they were away overnight so we had a lot of space! The whole place was beautifully furnished and spotlessly clean. The owners met us coming up the road and were so welcoming and helpful. We will definitely return and next time we will avail of the offer to make us dinner! We were disappointed with the catering facilities of the Island.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
berkshire
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

This review is unusual in that I had neither bed nor breakfast at Arkell House but yet had a great, if brief experience there.

Ten of us turned up on the doorstep one windy Sun morning in March '14 - 4 adults & 6 children.

We had decided to make the short crossing from Ballycastle as part of a shared family weekend.

The 10:30 a.m. sailing over had been a classic - the tiny 'roll-on/roll-off' ferry (2 cars!) had rocked and rolled with the heavy swell on the short crossing (45 mins). We had one mal-de-mer casualty and most of the children were pretty well soaked from standing on the weather side to watch the huge wave break over the side !

Knowing we didn't have long before our ride back home we headed down to the main island pub, only to find it "closed for the winter" ! Luckily for us the host of Arkell House, Hilary was nearby and invited us to come in; we were soon joined by husband Alan - who had been on the same crossing with us.

So our entire sojourn on Rathlin (~40 minutes !) was spent in their kitchen/diner. We had mugs of tea and biscuits, entertaining conversation with our hosts, a fine view of the harbour from the picture window and (and this is the bit that makes me wish there were extra stars to give out), Hilary unbidden took the hoodies/tops off the soaked youngsters and dried them in her tumble-dryer.

We left for the short walk back to the harbour warmed-up, refreshed and wishing we could have spent more time at Arkell House !

I honestly don't think I have encountered such a natural and warm welcome at any place I have ever stayed.

Notes to people intending to travel to Rathlin :

1) Go there if you can at all, I really wish I could have stayed a day or 2 not just 40 mins, since it looks amazing in terms of tranquility, isolation and natural features/ wildlife ( I think there are a lot of seals, pufffins etc).

2) There are 2 boats : the slow (45 mins, roll-on/roll-off mini-car-ferry) and the fast (30 mins - catamaran). On a windy day with heavy swell and big waves, surprisingly I found the fast boat the more comfortable.

3) Check carefully with the ferry company before you travel ! We did have some anxious moments when we arrived first when the guys from the slow boat said he thought the other (fast) boat might not come back at 12:00 - that would have meant missing flights out of Belfast later that day ! In fact there seemed little doubt that the boat would sail - but if the weather does turn very stormy then it is possible to spend longer on the island than you thought - not a bad thing of course (see 1 above).

4) At busy times, it is definitely worth booking in advance by calling the ferry company number - we found the lady at the office most kind and helpful ! It is possible to make a reservation without obligation in case your plans change.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

Just home and we are missing Rathlin already!!!

Initially we were only going to stay at Arkell house for one night. Within half an hour of experiencing this beautiful b&b and Hilary and Ålan's hospitality we had to extend our stay for another night.

We booked the suite as per others recommendations on here and we weren't let down. It's highly recommended. The room was superb and very comfy. It was nice to watch the coming and goings of church bay from our window.

Hilary was a fantastic host and we really were spoilt. She has a fantastic knowledge of the island with many fascinating stories and tales. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble for her.

Going out of season we were worried about the lack of facilities on the island. Hilary was able to make us our evening meals. For a very reasonable rate we were able to dine on a delicious three course meal.

Breakfast was another tasty delight with home baked soda and wheaten along with beautifully cooked sausages (definitely not boiled lol).

It's been a while since I last stayed in a b&b but compared to the likes of the Slieve Donard, Arkell house wins hands down.

Thank you so much Alan and Hilary for a wonderful stay on Rathlin. We will most definitely be back and look forward to trying your apple or elderflower champagne.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jordanstown, null, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

Beautiful accommodation in a stunning location with gorgeous food and first class hosts!! Only thing they cannot guarantee is the weather lol!! The hospitality is second to none! Wonderful relaxing weekend where Alan and Hilary treat you like long lost friends!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derry, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

We stayed for one night at Arkell B & B after reading the excellent reviews. We were not disappointed! Hilary and Alan were exceptional hosts. From the first telephone conversation with Hilary when making the booking, we were made to feel like welcome guests. Hilary met us from the ferry and invited us to relax outside and take in the views of the hub of the island. The B&B is next door to the pub and opposite where the ferry docks. It is also just beside the tearooms, shop and chip shop (none of which seemed to be open during our stay). Hilary returned with tea, fresh baked scone bread and homemade jam and she and Alan filled us in on the history of the island over a couple of pots of tea, introducing us to locals and guests who passed by.

We set of in the early afternoon to explore the island by bike. Rathlin is really accessible on foot or by bike and we rarely met anyone as we visited the three lighthouses at each corner of the island, some ruins, the bird sanctuary (unfortunately closed for the season), spotted some sunbathing seals, visited the two churches and enjoyed a picnic lunch.

We had preordered dinner at the B&B and enjoyed a three course homemade meal with wine at a very reasonable price before taking a walk along the shore and heading for a pint in the local bar which was reasonably busy but lacked both atmosphere and entertainment.

We stayed in the 'suite' on the top floor which we would highly recommend. It was really spacious and tastefully decorated with a really comfortable iron framed bad, sitting area with telescope to take in the fantastic views. It also boasted an ensuite antique bathroom suite with a separate shower room which had an impressively powerful shower.

It was lovely to wake up to beautiful views out of the many windows in our room the next morning and enjoy breakfast in the kitchen/dining room as Hilary chatted to us while preparing it.

The experience of staying at Arkell B&B is what a real B&B should be like - warm, friendly hosts who enhance you stay with their knowledge of the island, great food and a comfortable room with scenic views right on the doorstep of everything Rathlin has to offer. Although none of the local ammenities were open, as long as you are aware of this, we would recoommend Rathlin for a day trip off season and if you are lucky enough to stay over for a night or two, don't stay anywhere except Arkell B&B! We plan to go back in the new year and are also buying a voucher as a birthday gift for a friend.

Room Tip: book the suite for the lovely decor, beautiful views and your own antique en suite with power shower...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

My wife and I arrived on Rathlin with nowhere to stay... Hilary and Alan really did look after us. Although they were fully booked, they still went out of their way to get us somewhere to camp, provided a beautiful breakfast, borrow books and all sorts! My wife and I really enjoyed their hospitality and their wealth of knowledge of the island. We have returned many times and still receive a warm welcome.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arkell House B&B

Address: 1 Church Bay, Rathlin Island BT54 6SA, Northern Ireland
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Antrim > Rathlin Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Rathlin Island
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Arkell House B&B Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

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