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“Heaven is a little closer at the Foveran beside the water” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Foveran

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The Foveran
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Foveran | St.Ola, Kirkwall KW15 1SF, Scotland (Formerly Foveran Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Kirkwall
Isle of Skye, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Heaven is a little closer at the Foveran beside the water”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2010

Excellent place to celebrate an 80th Birthday.
Peaceful, quiet, restful and relaxing.
Smiling and very helpful staff.
Meals well presented, and a good choice of local produce.
Rooms spacious, clean, warm and cosy.
We will Haste Back
Moran Taing

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
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50 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    35
    11
    3
    1
    0
See reviews for
4
30
5
4
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Aviemore, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2010

We first visited the Foveran for an overnight stay in 2008 and when it came to think of somewhere special to visit whilst staying on Orkney in September this year, the Foveran was an obvious choice.

A great selection of local produce used in the menu and a spectacular location and a warm welcome and attentive service to go along with it. It feels like you are sat in their own living room whilst having drinks and perusing the menu, then through to the dining room which has views out accross the bay and a lovely atmosphere. Really nice and interesting menu, good portions and nice wine too.

All the staff are friendly and really helpful. The kitchen is just off the dining room which I always think is a good sign that there is nothing to hide.

On our first visit we stayed the night and the rooms are simple but clean and well maintained with comfy beds.

Well worth a visit.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2009

The Foveran is a great hotel and an enjoyable experience from the first second you enter the door. Staff are friendly and nothing seems too much trouble. Rooms are on the small side but clean and comfortable. The food is a treat and has improved since I last wrote a review. My only comment would be that it's too good and there's too much on the plate which means that you always overeat but that's no complaint! Stay here if you can, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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uk
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2009

A lovely friendly hotel. Food excellent rooms a bit small but warm and comfortable. The hotel won't win an architecture award but is an excellent base for an orkney holiday.

  • Liked — friendly staff and food
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
161 helpful votes 161 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2007

This is the fifth of six reviews covering our 2007 tour of Scotland.
Our tour takes us from our home in Hampshire up the West coast of Scotland and over to Orkney back over to Scotland and down the East coast to Aberdeen then home via York.

The Foveran …the fifth stop of our marathon tour of Scotland and should have been the highlight, so much to say about it but so much to consider before saying it.

I have read every review of this hotel and they are all pretty good.
But the fact is that I do not agree with a lot of it and I think I know why.

It is because The Foveran is very ‘nice’ and the staff very pleasant
- criticising it makes one feel a little ... well guilty....

First there is the magic of arriving at the ancient fishing village of Stromness in the Orkneys on the spangly new ferry service from Scrabster - passing the ‘Old Man of Hoy’. On arrival at lunch time we headed directly to Skara Brae & Skail House. What can anyone say but WOW!

An amazing place made even more amazing that you can get so close and see so much. A superbly managed and well presented visitor attraction. Hard to believe it is 1000 years older than the Great Pyramids..

We then head for what is reviewed as the best hotel on Orkney for a two night stay.

It is quite remote considering the close proximity to Kirkwall. We arrive at about 6:30 and we are met by the owner/manager a very pleasant welcome.

First impression is that it is small, very small. Not just the number of rooms …everything is small. The reception area is so small it is positively non existent.

We are shown to our room.. It is tiny… The cabins on the Hebridean Princess are bigger! We stayed at two hotels in Scotland where the bathrooms were bigger than these bedrooms. You can just about walk round the bed to get to the other side as long as you don’t have to pass anyone else. The bathroom…tiny very cramped nowhere to put anything. It all has an air and feel of being temporary a bit holiday chalet feeling. No way a top hotel. No way at all. The small table with the hospitality tray is .. well .. small.
This hotel is not at all what we expected.

So we unpack, wash & brush up and go along to the lounge to order dinner in the restaurant for that evening. The lounge is nice enough, again a small timber clad room with a few sofas & chairs - very cramped. The young lady serving us had no idea what a Martini was and thought that they did not sell it. As they have no bar I had to go into the reception area where the drinks are kept in a small alcove/cupboard to find a bottle.

The restaurant is quite nice; the menu had a choice of three starters
& three mains. Sufficient…just! The food was well served, well presented and quite pleasant. Certainly not top class but no complaints here. Everything is just a bit above average in the restaurant.

We retired to the lounge for coffee but it quickly gets overpowering and very full up with diners from the restaurant who we presume are mostly locals and not residents.

On the second day we decided to eat elsewhere in Kirkwall the main reason being that the menu was not changed and as it was so limited we wanted something different.

All in all this is a neat, tidy, clean wooden building far too small to be a major restaurant and 10 bedroom hotel. There seems to be no shortage of land on Orkney it is a mystery why it was not designed much bigger. That would have made the world of difference. We felt that we were living in a dolls house for two days.

If this really is the best that Orkney has to offer then perhaps we will give these fantastic Islands a miss in future. But I don’t want to do that so like others I will more likely just accept that limited
accommodation and limited standards go with the territory.

  • Liked — The Location
  • Disliked — The very small rooms
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2007

Don't be put of by knowing that this hotel has been 'modernised'. It has to be the best place to stay on the Orkneys, with spectacular views over Scapa Flow, and sorrounded by green pastures and vivid farmland. Paul and his team provide a really family style atmosphere, and superb cooking makes every meal a delightful experience. The rooms are fitted with everything needed, and it all works! Top marks!

Stayed June 2007
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Glasgow, Scotland
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2007

Returned to the Foveran after two years. If anything, it was even better than before. We had room 1 which has a bath and shower (some rooms have shower only) and a wonderful view over Scapa Flow. The breakfasts are huge and set you up for the day. Dinner is fantastic with lots of locals coming in to eat - a very good sign. Lovely to see the use of local produce, fish and cheeses. Delicious home baked breads. Locally produced whiskies available too. The Foveran's owners do their very best to fly the Orkney flag. Will return anytime.

  • Liked — Warm, inviting and homely
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2007
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Foveran

Address: Foveran | St.Ola, Kirkwall KW15 1SF, Scotland (Formerly Foveran Hotel)
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Orkney Islands > Mainland > Kirkwall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Kirkwall
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Foveran is a family run Restaurant With Rooms offering a warm Orcadian welcome and superb local produce, prepared & presented by owner/chef Paul Doull & team. Set in open countryside a few miles from Kirkwall, an ideal base for exploring the islands. Stunning views of historic Scapa Flow from our restaurant. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Foveran Hotel Kirkwall
The Foveran Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

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