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“Islay's gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Harbour Inn

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The Harbour Inn
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4.0 of 5 Inn   |   The Square | Isle of Islay, Bowmore, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 13 Bowmore B&B and Inns
Linlithgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Islay's gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

This was a special birthday break - and our first visit to Islay. From the moment we arrived on the island after the short flighty from Glasgow we had a wonderful time. The friendliness of the islanders no matter where we visited was outstanding... and the same can be said of the Harbour Inn. This was a rare hotel experience - fully enjoying the amenities, a beautiful bedroom, the top notch food, and a staff that cared. It is often easy to find fault with hotels but, on this occasion, we have to say that the Harbour Inn is right up there with the very best. We enjoyed the stay on the island so much - the car hire service from Mr McKenzie of Islay car hire was first rate - that we are already looking at a return next year to explore this island - and make the short ferry trip to Jura as well.

  • Stayed November 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
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134 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    63
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
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English first
london
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

Our stay at the Harbour Inn was nothing but amazing! The food, the ambience, the fire place, just splendid! All members of staff were extremely nice, very friendly, and attentive and made our stay so much more pleasurable than I expected it to be. I even got a wee celebration for my b'day. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the island's whiskey. We can’t wait to come back! Rob and Mirka

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Columbia, South Carolina, United States
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

My wife and I recently spent a splendid week in Bowmore on Islay in the Harbour Inn. From our initial contact through our arrival and departure the staff was in every way friendly and helpful without being intrusive. We enjoyed a number of meals there from a full Scottish breakfast including haggis and black pudding (I always have one when I visit Scotland) to fresh fruit and yogurt in the morning to light meals in the bar and a first rate restaurant for dinner providing excellent seafood and lamb. This is one of those smaller Scottish hotels where it is easy to meet and converse with other residents in the conservatory, restaurant or bar. Our room was lovely, overlooking Loch Indall with the paps of Jura in the distance.We lived in Scotland for several years in the early 60s and have made several trips back, particularly to the west of Scotland. Our visit to Islay is among our best and for part of that we are indebted to the Harbour Inn.

  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James S, Owner at The Harbour Inn, responded to this review, October 5, 2012
It was a great pleasure meeting you both and we all very much enjoyed having you stay here at The Harbour Inn with us. And we recall what fun you had with Rachel and exploring the island! We look forward to welcoming you both back again sometime in the future when you are over this side of the pond!
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derbyshire
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

We had a one night stay here in August. Our room was on the top floor and really lovely. Comfortable, spacious and full of character. The food sadly, left a lot to be desired. The menu was quite limited, but sometimes this can be an indication that the chef prefers quality, over quantity, of choice. I ordered the lobster, to be told they didn't have any that evening. I heard several others order the lobster and witnessed their disappointment also. Being at the head of the menu and given the location of the Inn, surely this should always be available. My husband ordered the beef fillet, which was delicious. The haggis dumpling, however, which was an accompaniment, was inedible. It tasted of raw suet. I ordered the rabbit, which was over-cooked and some of it too tough to chew. I can't quite describe the small round part of my chocolate dessert, in fact I'm totally lost for words! It went back! We could only hope that the breakfast would redeem our faith in some of the recommendations we had read, but unfortunately my haddock with poached egg was both unattractive and badly cooked. The egg white was in strings all over the plate and the yolk was hard. It should never have been sent out. We were only here for one night, so let's hope that this isn't a true reflection of the standard of food in general, as the Inn is situated in an excellent location and our room was exceptional.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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James S, Manager at The Harbour Inn, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
We were surprised and concerned to read your comments regarding your dining experience at The Harbour, espcially as the menu that would have been offered to you had been very popular, shown by our guest comments and repeat diners. Unfortunately due to the vagaries of weather and being a busy, yet small restaurant, we do very occasionally run out of a fish item. It is not our policy to freeze any fish or meat, as that would subsequently detract from the quality of the product, we would prefer diners to choose from the other plentiful options. The lobster would have been delivered fresh the next day, weather permitting. Our rabbit starter was very popular; the loin is lightly cooked but of course by defintion the confit leg would have been long and slowly cooked and we are sorry that it was not to your liking. We would stress that we fully recognise the importance of a perfectly cooked breakfast; we use the highest quality of pale smoked haddock and local farm eggs, and can only apologise if these were not cooked to our usual high standard on this occasion. We would also like to stress that we always respond when complaints are made, either offering an alternative or preparing the dish again. It is very difficult for us to rectify a situation if we are not made aware of it at the time.
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Isle of Skye, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

Visited again this year for dinner and was once again 1st class. Food,service and ambience were superb. The staff always ensure your visit is perfect and we returned home with fond memories of Islay and the Harbour Inn. Keep up the good work. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

Just returned from a long weekend in Islay where we stayed at the Harbour Inn. We were located in the Rooms Overyby, which were first class and very spacious, looking straight across the loch. Great accomodation which would suit all types of traveller.

We ate in the main restaurant each night and the food was fantastic!!!!!!! Excellent breakfast aswell!!!

The service and customer care throughout our stay could not have been better!!!

If you are thinking of a trip over to Islay, you MUST stay here!!!

Thank you for a great stay. We will be back!!!!

  • Stayed July 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
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Calgary, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

A few short steps from the shores of Loch Indaal and down wind from the aromas of the historic Bowmore distillery lies the exceptional Harbour Inn. The rooms are well kept with some offering spectacular views of the Loch from oversized rooms. All situated along main street in historic Bowmore, Islay. A must stay for the intrepid whisky traveller, the food and malt whisky menu is not to be missed. There is also a very quaint pub with whisky barrel tables adjacent to the entrance. What more could one ask for! Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Ask for the oversized suites overlooking the Loch.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Harbour Inn

Address: The Square | Isle of Islay, Bowmore, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Islay > Bowmore
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Bowmore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Harbour Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the incomparable loveliness of the Inner Hebrides - visit ISLAY – a destination for all seasons. Let the loveliness of this beautiful island wash over you – and experience the special atmosphere that is part of Islay's heritage – “Islay and its goodbye to care“ Whatever the weather and whatever the time of year, there is always the added attraction to Islay that comes from visiting an island – the feeling that you are cut off from the rest of the world – yet , it's much closer than you can imagine.And here, at The Harbour Inn Hotel and Restaurant, we hope to be part of that overall experience – offering superb accommodation, high quality award winning food and excellent service. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Harbour Hotel Bowmore
The Harbour Inn Bowmore, Islay

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