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“A fine, friendly, and helpful hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Pierhouse Hotel

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The Pierhouse Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Port Appin PA38 4DE, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Port Appin
GreenLeadersSilver level
Kingwood
1 review
“A fine, friendly, and helpful hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

WE HAD car trouble and missed a ferry. I telephoned the Pierhouse to advise of our late arrival. Bianca said the small hotel has no night porter and would close at 11 p.m., but said she would alert Geoff, the bartender, to look for us. Later we missed that deadline too. Due to our remote location, all efforts to telephone the hotel failed. At 3 a.m. we finally arrived, fully expecting to sleep in the parking lot and hoping only to claim our room at daylight to shower. But there in the window of the hotel was Geoff's handwritten sign, directing us to our room. The key was in the door. We collapsed into bed, tired and grateful to a hotel that went out of its way to accommodate two weary travelers in distress. Port Appin is a beautiful, out-of-the way location, and the Pierhouse is a great place to experience fine scenery and the best of Scotland's food and hospitality. As a bonus, the bathroom and shower were the best we found on our two-week vacation. It's a wonderful small hotel, well worth a detour off the beaten path.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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365 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (106)
Date | Rating
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English first
Queensland
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

I was delighted to find that this small hotel that I found on the Internet, was exactly as I imagined It to be. Situated on a beautiful Loch and looking directly out to the Isle of Lismore, this little gem was a wonderful base for three nights. We had booked a downstairs water view room, and just loved the space and the ambience. The tiny bar was great fun, being visited by locals, guests and other tourists, and the food in the restaurant was wonderful. The langoustines were to die for, and the local oysters sublime. Staff were friendly and professional. Breakfast was great, with our only complaint being the lunch we had ordered to take with us on a trip to Staffa and the Treshnish Island. Sandwiches fillings were barely edible, and with no opportunity to purchase food on the very long boat trip, it made for a very hungry day.
This is great place to stay if you are looking for something a little unique .

Room Tip: Choose a sea view, and if possible a ground floor room.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ThePierhouseHotel, Owner at The Pierhouse Hotel, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
I am so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and that the ambience, food - especially our seafood lived up to expectations. I am however very sorry about the sandwich fillings in your packed lunch not being any good and which really surprises me as usually they are lovely. The point is noted and we will look very carefully at this. Thank you very much for your review and please come again! Kind regards Nick
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

You won't find the Pierhouse unless you know it's there and I recommend you hunt it down. It's well worth the detour off the A828.

The hotel is old and charming. This means creaky floor boards, low ceilings, thick stone walls and lots of atmosphere. The bar area is small and was heaving with tourists and locals enjoying a casual Friday night meal when we arrived. There is an outdoor terrace which we enjoyed with a drink, watching the local passenger / bike ferry ply between the mainland and Lismore Island.

When we originally booked our room we were emailed a tentative reservation for dinner. We hadn't considered where we would dine that night but knew that the hotel had an excellent reputation for seafood. So we accepted the hotel's reservation. If you don't dine in the hotel you'll be searching the small village for an alternative (another hotel perhaps?) or going hungry. It's not a large town.

Anyway we were not disappointed. The food was brilliant. Not cheap but it's very good quality (mostly) seafood, very well prepared. Breakfast the next day was equally spectacular with homemade haggis, black pudding, sausages and jam (just so you know, I'm itemising the homemade elements, not suggesting that I ate the haggis with jam; it didn't need jam).

A peaceful, out of the way, very scenic hideaway, we have recommended it to all friends as a romantic destination for a great weekend escape - or to add to your Scotland itinerary.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room #1, a 'rear view' room of the rock garden. Well, there isn't much of a...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThePierhouseHotel, Owner at The Pierhouse Hotel, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Thank you for your very nice review and I am delighted you enjoyed your stay and thought the food was brilliant! This is always very good to hear and keeps the chefs and everyone very happy! Please come again! Kind regards Nick
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Kent
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

The good things about The Pierhouse - Beautiful views, above average rooms. We were on a seafood odyssey of the West coast of Scotland and expected the Pierhouse to excel......sorry it didn't! The first evening we had the lobster thermidor....this is the first time I have physically remove the lobster from my mouth because it was so chewy. I don't know what the chef did with it but hafl of it was inedible.....overcooked, broiled in its own juices , it was the worst lobster I have ever had. The waitress was informed and I expected some sort of apology or cost reduction. The oysters were no better, full of splinters and shell. The oyster with the breadcrumb and cheese was practically inedible a gluey mess with again splinters. This is bit of a split charachter venue a Pub/Restaurant with rooms. A lot of the places were taken by people coming for a drink thus taking up tables for the residents outside. This is a good place spoilt by below standard expensive food. The owners only were seen and heard on our last day. The high pitched "Sybill" condescending voice from Fawty Towers echoed around the breakfast tables.....she didn't visit our table as we had commented on other items (cheap breakfast toast......at £160 a night....come on!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThePierhouseHotel, Owner at The Pierhouse Hotel, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
We always appreciate feed back whether good or bad although your personal remarks about my wife are both untrue and 'below the belt'. I am very sorry to hear you did not enjoy either your lobster or the oysters Kilpatrick although I understand you ate the contents of your plate apart from a few vegetables, hence the reason they were not taken off your bill. As the owner I am never far away and although you might not see me all the time it does not mean I am not there. My wife frequently works in the restaurant although we have full confidence in our very experienced team of staff who have been here for many years and do a fantastic job whether one of us is in the restaurant or not. To refer to my wife's voice as condescending is simply not true and I guarantee you that if she was aware you had had a problem with something she would have come and seen you straight away to discuss it. It is a shame you chose not to mention your issue with the bread to her and instead be rude about her on Tripadvisor. Yours sincerely Nicholas Horne
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Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Fabulous stay here for 4 nights, booked a room with water view and highly recommend that you do as its a beautiful location !! Staff very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Dined at the restaurant each night and the standard was fabulous - do your self a favour and have seafood platter !!

  • Stayed August 2013, 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.
ThePierhouseHotel, Owner at The Pierhouse Hotel, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Many thanks for the review and I am really pleased you enjoyed your time with us in Port Appin. Seafood is our speciality and The Pierhouse Platter is our signature dish with all the ingredients arriving on your plate straight out of the loch! I very much hope you will visit us again when you are next in the UK. Best wishes Nick
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Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

My husband and I loved our stay 'The Pierhouse Hotel.' We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and chose 'The Pierhouse' based on Tripadvisor reviews of its restaurant, accommodation, and location. We were not disappointed! We felt extremely welcomed from the moment we entered the cosy bar/reception area that overlooks the beautiful bay and jetty. Our upstairs sea-view room, (Room 8), was tastefully decorated, and had stunning views. The Queen-sized bed was incredibly soft and comfortable and made up with a fluffy duvet and pillows. The bath towels were high quality and huge. I appreciated the heated towel rail, blowdryer, and little writing desk/bench area with makeup mirror and stool.
My husband and I felt like royalty when we were seated for dinner. The owner/staff had thoughtfully written us a Happy Anniversary card, and strewn our table with glitter, stars, and love hearts! We were very touched by their kind gesture.
I am glad that we booked ahead, as there was not a spare table to be had, on the Thursday evening we dined.
Being Australians, (and spoilt with the local bounty of the best seafood in the world), we were sanguine about what 'The Pierhouse' restaurant might do, that we hadn't seen done before. We were wrong! My husband was in raptures about his pan-glazed scallops with beetroot and ginger puree. I had one and was in heaven! It was the most melt-in-your-mouth scallop I had ever tasted; with the unusual beetroot and ginger accompaniments complimenting the salty sweetness perfectly. My seafood platter main was splendid. I particularly enjoyed the mussels, scallops, and smoked and baked salmon. Langoustines must be an acquired taste; after the first one, I didn't think that peeling and accessing the flesh was worth the effort. The wine list was comprehensive and well priced for the quality on offer.
After dinner my husband and I strolled along the beautiful clear waters edge and the jetty, and reflected on how wonderful the meal was, and how 'special' we had been made to feel. Our heartfelt thanks to the wonderful team at 'The Pierhouse Hotel,' for making our anniversary so memorable.
Breakfast the next morning was generous and delicious.

Room Tip: Room 8 was very comfortable; tastefully decorated, with stunning views over the bay and jetty. The b...
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  • Stayed August 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThePierhouseHotel, Owner at The Pierhouse Hotel, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
We are delighted you enjoyed your stay at The Pierhouse and that we were able to help make your anniversary a special one. If we are made aware of a special occasion we will always try and add a little something extra! I do hope you and will come and see us again some time in the future and please feel free to send any Australian friends visiting the UK our direction! Best wishes Nick
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Sevenoaks
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

We have stayed at the Pierhouse almost yearly over the past fifteen years.

The food used to be fabulous. However, on our recent stay it appeared that the owners were no longer the hands on managers they once were and consequently the food (the main reason for going) has deteriorated dramatically.
The rooms are lovely, but frankly we are not planning to go back because the place has become far too expensive for what it now offers

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
ThePierhouseHotel, Owner at The Pierhouse Hotel, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
I note this is your first review which automatically always raises the question of authenticity due to the lack of identification. If this review is a cheap shot at us by some disgruntled person or competitor then this is particularly irritating.
However we are very disappointed to read this review and assuming it is genuine it is most saddening that you have chosen this medium of communication to criticise us in view of the number of years you say you have been coming here.
There are 2 main issues at stake here: the Food and us, the Owners. Firstly the Food. You only have to read the vast majority of other reviews on this page to see the very positive comments which are made about the Food at The Pierhouse. In your own words, The food used to be fabulous and actually still is. Secondly the Owners. My wife Nikki and I have been here now for over 7 years and we are still in many ways very much the same hands on managers now as we were then. However after 7 years I am very happy to tell you that we have a great team of staff here who are extremely trustworthy and do not need us breathing down their necks every minute to ensure they do a good job. Many of them have been here almost as long as us and several of them even longer than us. I will quite happily say that if we are not able to step back a bit after such a long time here then there is something wrong, so no I am not necessarily on duty every day of the week in the bar or Nikki in the restaurant, but we are frequently. We also have 3 children and try to spend as much time with them at home but since we live right alongside the hotel we are never far away and are often popping in and out.
I do hope you might change your minds about coming back at some stage in the future. Yours sincerely Nicholas Horne
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Additional Information about The Pierhouse Hotel

Address: Port Appin PA38 4DE, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Argyll and Bute > Port Appin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Port Appin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Pierhouse Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With breathtaking views to the islands of Lismore and Mull, our intimate twelve bedroom hotel, bar and renowned seafood restaurant has won a fast-growing reputation as one of Argyll's most idyllic and romantic destinations. We pride ourselves on the freshness & quality of our seafood and local meats, sourcing most of our food locally. We strive to offer our guests something different - a personal and relaxed family atmosphere, stunning location and deliciously fresh food. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Pierhouse Hotel Seafood
The Pierhouse Hotel Port Appin, Scotland

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