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“Unique” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Northbay House

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Northbay House
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Morghan | Isle of Barra, HS9 5UT, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 16 Isle of Barra B&B and Inns
Halwill, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Unique”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

As so many reviewers have said the warm welcome from Mary and Graham is one of the highlights of a stay at Northbay House. In fact I would go so far as to say it is unique. Yes it is one of the facets of a good B&B that you get a friendly welcome - well if you want the impersonal touch go to a chain hotel - but the relationship between guests and proprietors here is special and unique. Particularly enjoyable were the post-breakfast chats culminating on two occasions with a piano duet. As I said at the time it's a case of bed, breakfast and Brahms. As far as the practicalities are concerned most things work well and particularly notable is the ground floor bedroom which has a huge bathroom with walk-in shower and separate bath - very suitable for disabled guests I would think. There is no TV in the room but there is a very comfortable lounge area with TV up a short flight of stairs from the ground floor room. This is also used by the occupants of the first floor room. Northbay House is situated a few miles out of Castlebay in an attractive, quiet and sheltered location. This sometimes means that WiFi does not always work.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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72 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Preston
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

The profile generated by previous reviewers in many ways speaks for itself. As so many before us, we found Northbay House an ideal location and Mary and Graham most considerate hosts. We stayed in the self-catering apartment and the views from both the dining area and the upstairs lounge were lovely. There are pleasant areas to explore from the front door, good food at the Heathbank Hotel/pub about 10/15 minute walk away and once you've worked out the bus timetable (which can be a bit complex!) then it's very easy to get to other parts of the island if you've chosen not to bother with a car. Judging from previous reviews (and the delicious cake and scones Mary kindly provided) and I think our only mistake was in not trying to persuade Mary to let us join the B&B guests for breakfast!

  • Stayed September 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

We've stayed at the No 1 rated B&B in Britain, and Mary and Graham's lovely converted schoolhouse is certainly in the same league. From the friendly emails when we booked to the warm welcome when we arrived (help carrying bags and home baked fruit cake) we were looked after as if long-lost friends. Mary and Graham are passionate about their island and it shows in the genuine interest they take in what their guests are doing, and their helpful suggestions about where to go/what to see/where to eat. Mobile reception is very patchy so their willingness call at their own expense to book tables at must-book places like the Kisimul Cafe is a small but extremely valuable extra service.

We stayed in the double which is upstairs. There's a communal sitting/TV area outside to spread into (shared with the twin room below) so there's an apartment feel to the accommodation. Most importantly there's a large selection of local information and books on local history, although Mary and Graham seemed to know the answers to everything we were interested in and a whole lot more.

Breakfast was excellent, taken at Mary and Graham's dining table, and it was nice to share the table with the other couple staying rather than being sat at different tables and having to be sociable over a long distance. Once the main cooking was finished Mary and Graham would come in for a chat about the day's plans - it gives the feeling of dropping in for a few days on a continuous and very convivial house party.

I can't recommend Northbay House highly enough for a relaxing and enjoyable stay, and if we're ever fortunate enough to visit Barra again we'll certainly stay there.

  • 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
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Kingsbridge, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

A wonderful location with a view over the quiet sealoch from the sitting room upstairs above the old school room in this fantastic conversion. The welcome and the scones and jam when we arrived late in the evening made you feel at home at once. This was matched by the breakfast next morning around the dining room table, meeting the other guests and being looked after so well by Mary and Graham, a real house party. Mary and Graham are the perfect hosts and very willing to help make the stay better by advising where to go and what to see. Definitely a place to return to for a longer stay.

  • 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
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Bury St Edmunds, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

I could not rate this highly enough for the place, the choice of food and the quality of food and for the wealth of local knowledge provided by Mary and Graham. They bent over backwards to help in any way they could. The accommodation was spacious and very comfortable. We were in their self catering wing but also had breakfast - breakfast is not to be missed especially the smoked haddock and home made yoghurt. Their knowledge of the local area meant we found the best places and people for doing the kind of activities we wanted to do.

  • Stayed August 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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London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

We, the Kong-Affonso Piano Duo, have just returned from the most delightful stay at Northbay House, where our hosts Mary and Graham Bishop Hunt, went more than that extra mile to make our stay sheer bliss. The old school at Northbay has been tastefully renovated to provide first class accomodation for guests. No piece of detail has been missed, and you are in for a treat if you choose to stay there. Both Mary and Graham are passionate about Barra, and want you to leave with a totally positive, enriched experience. We felt truly like family, home from home, and no small query nor request was ever too much for them to respond to. The breakfasts in the morning were absolutely delicious, the full Scottish allowing you to easily skip lunch !! When we departed we had to pinch ourselves and say "was this really a B&B", because it was certainly the best one we have stayed in to date. If you are going to Barra, make sure you stay at Northbay House, and call me a liar if you dare !

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 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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saddleworth
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

When we first spoke with Mary about having B&B in their home, we immediately knew we were in for a treat, because of her warmth and we were NOT disappointed.
From the moment Mary and Graham welcomed us, we felt we were in the home of friends.
The conversion of what was a three teacher school to B&B accomodation, had been tastefully and thoughtfully carried out. Our upstairs bedroom and adjoining sitting area helped to make our stay so comfortable. We loved thoughtful touches such as fresh flowers in the rooms, generous hospitality trays and Mary's delicious home baking. In addition there was a good variety of books and booklets relevant to the area.
Breakfast was a daily delight with lots of choice and we enjoyed it as we looked out over the loch. We so appreciated the time Graham and Mary chatted with us as we tried to set the world to right! They also had a fund of information to pass on about "their" island.
Moving on from Northbay House was not easy and we'd certainly return for longer the next time.
Thank you most sincerely Mary and Graham.

  • Stayed June 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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Mary B, Owner at Northbay House, responded to this review, July 21, 2013
Thanks so much for your kind words - it was lovely to meet you both and we enjoyed your company immensely. Looking forward to seeing you again one day and carrying on where we left off!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Northbay House

Address: Morghan | Isle of Barra, HS9 5UT, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Outer Hebrides > Isle of Barra
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Isle of Barra
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Northbay House is a sympathetic conversion of the former Victorian school at Morgan. Situated at the head of Loch na h-Obbe, this is a quiet and sheltered location from which to explore the beautiful Island of Barra. Visitors are welcome to sit in the mature gardens, overlooking the loch or when the weather is wild, relax in the cosy lounge with a selection of books and magazines. The ground floor en-suite twin room is suitable for wheelchair users, with a large, wet-room style bathroom and level access to the breakfast room, but not the upstairs lounge. The first floor, en-suite double room retains the original window design, at floor level. All rooms have generous hospitality trays and there is a wide choice for breakfast. Home baking is offered either in the afternoon or at suppertime. Free WiFi is available 24 hours although the signal varies in bad weather! The local bus passes the end of the drive and we are within 10 minutes walk of the Heathbank Hotel which serves excellent meals. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Northbay House Isle Of Barra, Scotland

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