We stayed at this hotel for three nights in March 2013. The hotel has been newly refurbished and all the decor and furnishings are brand new, meaning the place is spotlessly clean and very comfortable. The hotel is located pretty much in the centre of the island, just three miles from Bowmore, the main town. The owner, Lorna, extended a warm welcome and was only too happy to give us tips and advice to ensure we made the most of our stay.
The cooked breakfast every morning was great, but the mention of food brings me on to my only criticism of this hotel. As a vegetarian I found the menu really limiting. Lorna stressed that the chef would try to accommodate my wishes, and that I just had to say if there was anything I fancied eating, but really, that's difficult to do when eating out, and it also takes away a lot of the pleasure of trying out new dishes you might not have thought of making yourself. It's also not exactly ideal when the prices are as steep as they are here, with main courses starting around the £13 pound mark and £22 for a sirloin steak (though meat-loving husband said it was one of the best he'd ever eaten). I couldn't help feeling short changed in comparison, and I wasn't too impressed on the second night to be offered a blue cheese salad as my dinner main course (in Scotland? In March? After a day out on the windswept hills and beaches of Islay? I needed hot carbs; lots of them).
If you're happy to eat meat and fish, you'll love every minute of your stay at the Bridgend, though you will find the food pricey - it's comparable in cost to fairly top-end Edinburgh restaurants, but not quite up to the same standard, and with less polish in the service and execution. If, like me, you' re not, then it would probably be best to go self catering. That's what we'll do next time. But I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Islay for a short break. If it hadn't been for a chef who doesn't really seem to understand catering for vegetarians (and maybe he/she doesn't need to; maybe most visitors to Islay are meat eaters) then our stay would have been faultless.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bridgend Hotel is a traditional coaching inn situated at the heart of Islay. It is ideally situated for exploring the island and provides a welcoming and comfortable place to stay where the aim is to provide the best of Islay produce. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bridgend Hotel Islay