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“Quiet and Tranquil Stay!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Old Excise House

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The Old Excise House
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Laphroaig PA42 7DS, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Laphroaig B&B and Inns
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Quiet and Tranquil Stay!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Had a wonderful stay at the Old Excise House. Ron and Emma were very helpful with finding places to eat and getting around the island. The location was great for the primary purpose of our trip to Islay, whiskey tasting and touring. We were able to walk to Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg (all within 45 minutes) so as to partake in as much whiskey as we wanted without need of a car! The room was spotless and nicely decorated and our view out to the sea was beautiful, on the one sunny afternoon we had it was quite breathtaking. Breakfast was hearty and well made. Had a great time, would definitely recommend this B&B, especially after dinning in some of the other hotels in the area, this is surely the nicer option!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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94 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 (18)
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

This was our first trip to Islay but will definitely not be our last. We were rather hoping the ferry would be cancelled on the way back so we could have an excuse to stay. Ron and Emma made us so welcome. The house is lovely, the bedrooms very comfortable and the food fantastic. The house is very close to Port Ellen and to Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg for the whisky enthusiasts. Bowmore is not too far and there is endless help from Ron and Emma on bus times, restaurant bookings, taxi bookings and lifts too and fro when required. We couldn't recommend a stay here, highly enough.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

This is our third trip to Ron and Emma's guest house. We love visiting Islay and we just wouldn't think of not staying in The Old Excise House. Without being intrusive, Emma and Ron are able to make you feel immediately at home with the warmth of their welcome. If needed, they are always on hand to offer any advice and information relating to the island and the travel services, being very knowledgeable about every aspect of island life. The breakfasts are top class and are sourced locally or regionally, and are supplemented by Emma's excellent home-made muesli, granola and baking, while the new coffee machine is a thoughtful addition. The views from the bedroom windows are spectacular and the house is ideally situated for visits to the Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg distilleries (a visit to the three on foot is ideal for walking off the effects of eating too much earlier). The house is spotless, the facilities are excellent, and if you want a visit to Islay (always enjoyable) to be made even better, this is the place to go!

  • Stayed August 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

We knew we were in good hands when, while on the flight into Islay, a B&B review board member (who happened to be sitting in front of us) asked us where we were staying. When we said the Old Excise House, her remarks were ‘Oh fantastic! You’re going to love it. It’s so spotless you could eat off the floor.’ And she was right. Aside from being spotless, Emma and Ron are such wonderful and thoughtful hosts – they really knock it out of the park. That same flight happened to be an hour and a half late in arriving, which gave us an arrival time of nearly 8:30PM. Emma and Ron kept track of our flight, and knowing that restaurants on Islay stop seating at around 9PM, they so thoughtfully took the liberty of making us a reservation at their favorite restaurant (the Islay Hotel, which was fantastic) so that we wouldn’t miss dinner. (on a side note, had we been too late even for that, I know they would have made us dinner… Emma and Ron aren’t the type of hosts to let a guest go hungry!). About the B&B: fantastic linen (and beds), outstanding bathrooms and toiletries, very comfortable overall layout. And breakfast was fantastic – so many options, and all wonderfully prepared. They source their ingredients locally when possible, and for other items (like blood pudding), they source from the very best available. House-made yoghurt, house-made granola, local organic eggs, local smoked salmon, blood pudding from the north of Scotland…the list goes on and on. You can really tell what pride they take in providing their extra little ‘secret’ finds for their guests, especially at mealtime. Such a pleasure staying here. Can’t wait to come back. On a side note, Ron is a renowned golf pro, so if you’re a golf enthusiast, that may be added incentive here. And for scotch enthusiasts, you’re within easy walking distance to Laphroaig and a slight longer walk (prob 15-20 min) to Lagavulin.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

It seems that there is no length to which Ron and Emma won't go to make your stay at their B&B (and Islay) to be the highlight of your vacation. Their food, service, and hospitality are absolutely first rate.

We arrived on the last ferry of the day at Port Ellen and that put us at their place just before 20:30 which as it turns out is when most restaurants stop serving on Islay. A quick call by our hosts to the Islay Hotel (fabulous food) in that port got us a table at the last minute and was just the first indication of how their extensive involvement in the local community goes towards making a great experience for their guests. As we found out later, Ron had helped the newly reopened Hotel with their wine list and had good knowledge of the local seafood (shellfish is local but if it swims it may be good but it's not from there).

After a wonderful sleep on a huge comfortable bed we were able to admire the view from our spacious room from which we could see all the way to the hills of Antrim 40 miles away in Ireland. Ron and Emma were up early preparing the breakfast table and baking. A note here that Emma's scones were fresh out of the oven and were some of the best we've ever had. Breakfast choices ranged from a full on Scottish breakfast to homemade granola and the freshest seasonal fruits. Their ingredients are locally sourced including some fabulous bacon and every type of egg imaginable. Above all, if it's available, try the cold-smoked salmon. Ron has a special connection for that and you will not find any finer on the face of this earth.

After breakfast we were off to the distilleries and this is a perfect place from which to launch that adventure. They are an easy 10-15 minute walk down the road to Laphroaig, another 20 to Lagavulin, and another 10-15 to Ardbeg. In the other direction it is only a mile into Port Ellen so dinner there is a nice walk.

Whenever we were coming or going from the B&B, Ron or Emma were always there to answer any questions, provide us a guide, suggest some places to go, or to make a call on our behalf to see if whatever we wanted to do was open or available. They made our short stay on Islay the highlight of our vacation and made us feel like truly welcome guests.

  • Stayed July 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, England
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

Spent two fabulous nights at this lovely guest house run by Emma and Ron. From the moment we entered the house we were made to feel at home. Our room was at the front of the house with the most fantastic views out of the front and corner window. The room was absolutely spotless and the decor modern with every convenience we needed. Home made biscuits on the welcome tray are to die for!! Fresh flowers in the room, beautiful linen and wonderful warm fluffy white towels in the great bathroom. Breakfast was superb, fresh fruit, home made muffins and the usual items but of course if you wanted anything from the cooked menu, this was freshly prepared to order. Emma and Ron are the perfect hosts full of local knowledge with nothing too much trouble for either of them and Emma's baking - irresistable. This guest house is most definitely worth a visit. Please book early then you won't be disappointed. If you're planning a visit to Islay and not sure where to stay Emma and Ron's place is the perfect choice.

Room Tip: Either room has perfect views
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shepton Mallet, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

The Old Excise House is well placed for visitng many of the islands distilleries. The view from the large bedoom over to the Oa and the islandof Texa was very special. The Texa Room is large, well furnished to a very high standard. As there are only two rooms breakfast is served upstairs with viiews over the sea and you can watch the ferry arrive into Port Ellen. This is handy for those needing to make a quick getaway.There is even a pair of binoculars for those interested in wildlife. Breakfasts are to a high standard witha wide selection - both healthy and less healthy! The owners Ron and Emma are very friendly and pleased to help with eating out, places to visit etc. You can even organise a game of golf with Ronnie as he is the islands professional. Emma takes a genuine interest in her guests and goes that extra mile. Well done - I'm sure we will return to Islay

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Old Excise House

Address: Laphroaig PA42 7DS, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Islay > Laphroaig
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Laphroaig
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury Bed and Breakfast accommodation in former Excise Officers house for Laphroaig distillery, on the beautiful Hebridean Isle of Islay. Warm welcome, quality en-suite accommodation with fantastic sea views and good local food. ... more   less 

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