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“Best B&B ever!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aurora Bed and Breakfast

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Aurora Bed and Breakfast
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Torridon, Shieldaig IV54 8XN, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 Shieldaig B&B and Inns
Lichfield
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best B&B ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

We have just returned from a fantastic week at Aurora (my second stay by the way!!) and can highly recommend it without any reservation. Ann is a wonderful host and her home is superb, ecologically friendly and offering every comfort you can imagine.

It is a great base in which to explore the area and Ann has a book of local information and walks which you are able to use and she goes out of her way to ensure you have everything you need. The breakfasts are wholesome, tasty and set you up for the day and best of all are her delicious flapjacks! The rooms and beautifully decorated, clean and extremely comfortable.

The reviews here speak for themselves with the very odd exception... Holidaying_Gal, you have too much time on your hands! My advice is go and stay, you truly won't be disappointed!

  • 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
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67 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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English first
Cupar, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

This was all that a B&B should be....... and more. We were warmly welcomed, comfortably installed, royally fed, and felt truly at home. Anne has gone to considerable lengths to keep her house as ecologically friendly as possible, without it seeming an obsessive intrusion. On the one day where the weather was fairly awful, and we didn't go out much, we had a log fire lit for us and it was wonderfully cosy. The breakfasts were delicious, as healthy or as calorific as you might choose - fresh, local, and beautifully prepared.
We shall certainly go back.

Room Tip: I believe they are equally excellent
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia USA
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Wow. I just read (until I was exhausted) Holidaying_Gal's review of Aurora B&B in Shieldaig. Get a grip, woman. I'll agree with her implication that Ann is a bit up tight about cleanliness, etc., but is that so bad? I guess my advice to others is read ALL of the reviews. If one stands out (like Holidaying_Gal's) treat it as an outlier.

We could not have been more pleased with our three day stay at Aurora. The B&B was great and Schieldaig is a good, central location for exploring that neck of the woods.

We will not hesitate to recommend Aurora to others.

  • Stayed May 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

We arrived to this B+B and were welcomed at the door as we walked up by the owner. She asked how we were, and I replied to say really quite tired. We were then told to pop down our things (in the communal front vestibule) and leave them there as she was going to give us an about 10 min tour of the place. This was the first problem, I was too polite to say could you just show me our room, as it didn't really feel like there was any option in this 10 min tour, and yet I was really in need of going to our room and getting some rest.

We then were shown, in great demonstrated detail, how to lock the front door, as there had been a spate of burglaries in the area. The owner then left the door unlocked, onto the vestibule where I had dutifully left (as requested) my handbag and my partner had left his daypack! We took off our shoes, without being asked, having seen from previous reviews on tripadvisor that this was requested, and started the tour in our socks...... at no point did the owner offer us slippers, and it was only on coming back down to the vestibule later that we saw that there was actually a pile of slippers on a shelf in the corner, it would have been nice, given that we did as she wanted by taking off our shoes, that she could have shown us the slippers.

We were then shown various things, such as the drying room, which did seem a good facility, and were taken up to the lounge. It was beautiful, with amazing views and a great selection of books, and a massive wide screen television in the corner! This room seemed lovely and peaceful, and the wide screen telly (with satellite) seemed totally out of keeping, and certainly if anyone had come in to use it and we'd been in there (we were only staying one night, so did not use the lounge, but if we'd been there longer we would have), we'd have had to have left (and as there are no TV's in the rooms it is a distinct possibility). And given that the owner does not allow children under 12 to stay due to them "disturbing the peace" this seemed somewhat hypocritical.

We were shown to our room, which had velux windows and a small window underneath, so if we had wanted to take advantage of the amazing views we would have had to go into the lounge discussed above, which as I've stated may not have been the most peaceful atmosphere if someone wanted to watch for example the football. The room was very nicely decorated, but really quite small. And I would not say it was a double (which was what we had booked), as it was two single beds pushed together, with a double sheet over the top, the mattresses were not zipped together, which was not comfortable.

During the tour at no point were we told where the hall light switch was, which would have been helpful, given that we left our room at dusk, the hall light had been switched off and we had to negotiate the stairs in the gloaming in our socks! Though we were told things such as how to turn on and off the lights in our bathroom, and how to turn the widescreen telly off and how to use it (which if we'd been asked we would not have needed to be shown as we had no interest in using the telly) and shown how the bathroom taps were different from the communal taps, so highly detailed, but missing out on the one thing that actually mattered! The Tour was an unnecessary waste of our holiday time, especially when all we wanted to do was get to our room and relax.

Breakfast was homemade bread. It was unfortunately inedible (which I had suspected it might be when we arrived the night before, due to the fact that she'd just baked it, and there was a very strong smell of yeast, rather than fresh baked bread, which tends to mean a not great loaf - I was brought up on homemade bread). We thought that perhaps her homemade jams would cover the cardboardness of the bread, but unfortunately they were bland and tasteless, we've had better jams from the value section of national supermarkets. We both had the cooked breakfast, with venison sausage, and were looking forward to this, as we love venison, but it was what I can only describe as "homeopathic" venison, as in diluted to such an extent as to be basically non existent. Also at breakfast I'm not usually overly awake and tend to like to not have to concentrate too much, but on arriving to the room, we were given a very detailed and involved demonstration, on how to use the toaster, not a great way to have a relaxing wake up - and I think we were perfectly intelligent enough to work it out!

The owner makes much of her eco ethos and philosophy and gives the impression that she feels that she's really doing things the best way possible. She also makes it clear that she wants guests to become more green during their stay, and would like guests to go away taking ideas for being more green into their own lives. I think that this is a great idea, but unfortunately I actually was pushed away from being green by my stay. She made it very clear that the majority of the waste from the house, was from the guests; there is a list of things that guests should try to do to be more responsible, such as walking or taking one of the bikes on offer instead of using the car - and yet telling us to book at a restaurant a 10 minute car journey away, telling us to not leave the radiators on when the windows are open (and in fact declaring that we didn't really need to do more than have the velux windows open a crack - I like fresh air, and like to have the windows open it's not particularly relaxing to feel that you're going against a "rule" of the owner in order to have a stay that is personally comfortable!), that Visitscotland require her to not change the sheets etc any less than every 4 days, bad visitscotland, let her know if you want to have sheets changed less often etc (I can't remember the whole A4 side of these suggestions, and the many dribs and drabs interspersed into the Guests Handbook). And then not using fairtrade bleached cotton sheets, having washable napkins at breakfast, and having an almost obsessive level of cleanliness, etc.

There are so many contradictions by the owner, which really feel extremely hypocritical. The toilet was neither a reduced flush (and was a new enough toilet to have been able to be) nor did it have a brick in the cistern (the old fashioned way of reducing the flow). The towels had obviously been dried in a tumble dryer, not air dried (which we found at most other B+B's that were not screaming their "environmental" credits in our face), at a huge environmental cost. There were washable napkins at breakfast, paper are considerably more eco friendly. We were offered a "local" apple juice at breakfast, which was from the Black Isle, the Black Isle is not local to Sheldaig! There was organic (organic foods have a considerably higher environmental cost than non organic) Heinz ketchup at the breakfast table, I'd have expected local hand made condiments. We were told (as in when I phoned to book, the owner said to me "and I'll just tell you where it is you're to book for dinner" with no asking what our budget or tastes were), to book for dinner in a restaurant 10 mins drive away when we later found (after booking) that there were restaurants within walking distance. The microwave went off 3 times whilst we were waiting for breakfast, and the only things that could have been being heated were the beans, and the plates. It is not environmental to heat plates unless you're using wasted heat from the cooking. The sheets were blazing white bleached cotton and polycotton, I'd have expected fairtrade unbleached cotton, and there was a heated towel rail to dry the towels, rather than leaving them to air dry. These were the glaringly obvious environmental no no's. We were fairly certain that the wood burner in the lounge was not the most energy efficient, and she had put up decking that the guests could use, which removes green space and so is not environmental.

I think the "best" was when in the 33 page handbook (in which there are 2 and a half A4 sides dedicated to how to open the windows, with photographs, and an A4 side on (again with photographs) how to turn on and switch off the light above the mirror in the bathroom and other such delights, which we were also told in our 10 min tour - which had also included such gems as how to turn on and off the taps!) which was combined into plastic inserts for every page, which are not at all environmental, where we were told to make sure that we printed out anything we were wanting to on her printer to do so double sided........... the whole of the 33 page booklet, was single side printed. And yet at breakfast the morning forecast had actually been printed on the back of the previous days one, very very confused!

There were amazing complimentary flapjacks, amazing views from the living room, and the house was extremely pleasantly decorated.

But I just felt distinctly uncomfortable for my whole stay, feeling that I would be quizzed at any moment on what was in the 33 page guests handbook, or had I left window open and radiator on, had I left a speck of dirt somewhere.

I also felt distinctly uncomfortable with the glaring hypocrisies in this B+B between the obvious desire to cash in the more "luxury" element of B+B ownership, fluffy towels, bright white everywhere, napkins at meals, providing Heinz tomato ketchup, extreme and I would say unnecessary obsessive cleanliness (which is not environmental, even if "eco" products have been used) etc and the contradiction between that and the strong evangelical "thou shalt do more to be green" that was being pushed onto guests. Without that evangelicalism I'd have not had the slightest problem with any of the "luxury" things that she was doing!

We would definitely not come back, we have dropped stars due to: The single beds pushed together, the owner not considering how tired we were when telling us she was taking us on the 10 min tour, and not thinking to suggest that just one of us does The Tour. Being told where to book for dinner, without being asked what our budget or food choice would be. The poor quality of breakfast. The fact that the owner requested us to leave our stuff at the front door during the tour (which given I only had my handbag and my partner his small daypack was completely unneccessary) and then left the front door unlocked, after telling us to keep it locked due to a spate of burglaries, and how uncomfortable we felt during our stay and the hypocrisy of having a wide screen tv in the "quiet peaceful" lounge, but not allowing children under 12 to stay because they "disturb the peace".

If you're looking for somewhere that is absolutely spotless, and can cope with a 10 min Tour of how to turn on and off the taps/lights etc, and are not stressed by having a Guests Handbook that gives quite a number of "hidden" rules, then I'd recommend this place - though as I have said the breakfast was really not good. If however, you want a more relaxed attitude or a less hypocritical and evangelical eco ethos, to your stay I'd suggest you look elsewhere.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirriemuir, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

We have just spent the most wonderful 4 nights in a beautiful b and b in a little corner of heaven. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, August 12th 2013 - August 15th 2013, our every need was taken care of. From a large we'll appointed room with the biggest bed we have ever had the pleasure of sleeping in, to the most personal of touches from Ann, mine hostess, we would thoroughly recommend a stay here. The room itself and en suite was tastefully decorated and immaculately clean with personal touches of Ann's handmade soap in the bathroom and a plentiful supply of tea, coffee and fresh milk along with homemade flashbacks every day. The lounge was kitted out with binoculars and a telescope to watch for the sea eagles, and there is a great supply of books available from local history to novels to travellers guides, although we didn't need to look much up as Ann is a great source of information.Breakfast is plentiful, fresh and very tasty as once again the bread for toast is homemade as are all the jams and preservatives on offer. Nothing is too much trouble and all home comforts are taken care of in the most pleasant of manners.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Torridon room which was the largest of three
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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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Corby, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

My wife & I stayed late May 2013. I write this, as rarely do you find a B&B as good as this, run by someone who has provided a real home from home. In the lottery of selecting a nice "bed for the night" this was a delight.

  • Stayed May 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

Just spent three nights in this B and B and this was ,by far, the most comfortable we have ever stayed in whilst traveling about Scotland.The rooms are absolutely immaculate and cosy, the atmosphere is very relaxed and the site of the house looks over Shieldaig bay. Ann was away during our stay and we were looked after by Thomas who served a lovely full breakfast which was also delicious. His local knowledge is very valuable and he was able to recommend several nearby walks and places to visit. The B and B is clean, warm and very welcoming.Thomas is a warm host and does everything to make your stay memorable ,which ours was.If you want a wonderful base to explore this area stay here. Allan and Karen,Dundee.

  • Stayed October 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.
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Additional Information about Aurora Bed and Breakfast

Address: Torridon, Shieldaig IV54 8XN, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Ross and Cromarty > Shieldaig
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Shieldaig
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ann would like to welcome you to her relaxing Highland home. Set in the picturesque coastal village of Shieldaig, by Torridon. Pub in walking distance and Torridon Inn just up the road. Contemporary en-suite bedrooms have King & Super-King sized beds; top quality to create a good nights sleep. No foot-boards. Free WiFi throughout. Breakfast is cooked to order or pre-order using local produce: local butchers Venison Sausage & Haggis. As much organic or fairtrade produce used as possible. Eggs are organic & free range. Home-made jams, bread & yoghurt. The 1st floor guests living room has panoramic views, a wood burning stove, binoculars and a TV with DVD player. Some of the best sunset views in the village are from this room, with views out to Harris on clear days. It is possible to see otters & seals from here. Sea-Eagles nest on Shieldaig Island and this room overlooks the Island. A perfect base for exploring the remote Applecross peninsular, Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, Torridon, Eilean Donan Castle, Plockton, Inverewe Gardens, Glen Elg and Wester Ross. Lots of local knowledge and information, including daily weather forecasts. Tailored advice to meet your needs - great walks, activities and tours close by. 4 Star, 'Gold' Green Tourism award, a Sawday's "Special Place", Green Highlands & Islands award 2010, Cyclists Welcome, Walkers Welcome and 'Taste our Best' awards. Minimum stay 2 nights for advanced bookings. Children over 12 years old. Sorry no pets in the house. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Aurora Bed And Breakfast Shieldaig, Scotland

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