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“Wonderful place to stay”

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Manor House Rathlin Island
Reviewed November 20, 2013

There's a very long review a bit downwards on this page, about november 2012, written in oktober 2013. Most of it is correct, except for the staff and the bar/lounge. Alison and Terri are the new staff this year and their lease is (still) short, so their means are limited. Rooms could use a touch up (and longer beds btw) and some corners need a bit more cleaning, but still, this is one of the most poetic places we've stayed. No dirty sofa's. Limited comfortable sits however (perhaps the dirty sofa's were tossed out and not replaced yet?)
The Manor House is everything you would expect from the photo's, Terri and Allison are helpful with finding your way on the island. We walked south on their advice, and thought it was a great scenery. We might come back someday, as the birds already had left.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Paul_Marianne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 4, 2013 via mobile

Staff were wonderful - Could not do enough for me.
The Manor House is a National Trust property so everything very tasteful, high quality and in excellent state of repair. Bedroom was lovely with terrific view of bay.
No cooked breakfast but everything else you could think of. And as much as you like inc poached eggs! I had other meals too - All generous and very good.
I really liked the Island and Islanders, even though it was end of season and some things not open. The fast Ferry was great.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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3  Thank 4Jimmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I would just like to thank Theresa for making us very welcome at Manor House,although we knew in advance because of circumstances there would be limited catering available what was provided for us for a minimum cost was delightful.
Rooms where bright and comfortable with beautiful views over the harbour, Our host give us good advise on where to explore on a limited time schedule and it seemed our stay was over in no time at all, but I would like to visit again before the end of Autumn as this is a unique and magical place.
I hope when we go back nothing has changed and Theresa would be there to welcome us

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Laurence W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I stayed here last year right before it closed for the colder season, near the turn of the month I think. Not exactly sure when, as I'd love to travel this kind of time again, for these special colours on mainland Northern Ireland. (Though this might be later this year, after the warmer summer and very mild autumn so far.) I loved the train journey from Belfast to Portrush where the browns and reds mixed with the varied greens in the views of foliage were lovely, moving into mid Autumn.

RATHLIN ISLAND:

Rathlin is different! It is, there are people who make a fuss of loving it and returning there. It's a much more bare place than the mainland, this little rock in the sea. No browns, reds and greens here at Autumn, or much foliage any time. It's mostly a simple, typical farmed landscape. The main attraction for me, to be in the Irish Sea, for the experience. I enjoyed this. It was quite warm in mid Autumn last year, much warmer than Ballycastle which froze me.

As an island, it's not the most interesting by any means. Walks - if you take two, long afternoons, there are really two walks on the island, and then you've done it. There are no surprises, really in Rathlin walks, no really different points of scenic interest, but the view of the Glens with the sea in the foreground many like. There is much fuss made about wildlife on Rathlin, especially birds, but I think this is a good deal more fuss than substance. I was pleased to see three brief glimpses of some beautifully, rich coloured pheasants on the island, landed and flying, in about 6 hours or more of walking. I also saw a couple of seals on rocks yards from the beach, a few unidentified birds of prey in the distance, and lots of the Rathlin hare and another, more striking hare or rabbit. But I think that's all there is to see that's not usual in Northern Ireland or the most parts of the British Isles. It's strange - strange actually, I think: looking in the detail at all the fuss for bird life, I couldn't see written down anything out of the ordinary, and it didn't seem like much of a migratory centre beyond common species. Areas around Lough Neagh would be a good deal more interesting, I estimated.

Another thing is that there is quite a rare hare or rabbit found on Rathlin which is not or barely mentioned by guides or people, while they do mention a special "Irish" hare or rabbit (common on the island) which it is claimed isn't found elsewhere now. (Though I'm nearly sure I've seen it elswhere). It's just strange the other, more noteworthy animal - more striking - is rarely mentioned.

MANOR HOUSE INN:

For the good price, as advertised, in an ensuite room I was pleased. For such a location on the island, just off the ferry, amidst the tiny, tiny hamlet, nowadays it would be usual to assume the most has been made of this in terms of economic identity. I mean, a high price. That would be typical. It was not, it is good value, typical B&B prices, for somewhere that is not scenic. Great. The small single room was a reasonable size, likeable, acceptable for comfort, ensuite and fine for the price. The ensuite loo and shower room was pretty well kept clean and the room was a little musty, but Ok at the price. Having lived on a coast road at the sea with farmland all around, for a few years, I know it's really hard to stop things getting damp and mildewy or at least musty. The two windows over the tiny harbour and sea were great. If I didn't feel I needed to get out and walk and catch the air, or sleep when not doing that, the window nooks were the best I'd seen for some time to curl up on with a book and spend an afternoon reading, watching the view.

No real fault with the room, and good value. I'd give four stars at the price for that then, while a little more money and it ought to be updated. Good, but It's just that most other things went strange.

I found myself without any access to maps or inforrmation leaflets of information of Rathlin Island, or the Glens or anywhere. There was a large sitting room with sofas and more, but it was really, really filthy. The sofas, the carpet, and everything. I didn't really want to touch the library of books, but anyway there still wasn't anything to help me with Rathin info. I waited for a long time one day and called around to see if anyone was about to give me information before going walking, but I think they're only there for ferry arrival check-ins and other arranged times. I relaxed when I saw there was an Apple desktop computer with internet connection. However I tried for over half an hour to get information - the internet connection was so unbelievably slow, it was impossible. The computer itself was so slow also, I don't know why. Just to go into settings and see if there is some kind of faster network that was being missed (there wasn't) took over 10 minutes, pausing forever at each screen, it seemed. I gave up on that later.

The American hostess was at times strange. Other people remarked that the hosts seemed to find everything very difficult indeed and not only were seeming to want to be appreciated a lot more by the guests, but wanted to bring some kind of strange command identity. I agreed, I thought this was very archaic and rural, maybe typical of out the way places that you sense aren't so keen on outsiders, though these weren't locals. I don't know if these people are still managing for the National Trust this year.

Breakfast wasn't happening on the 2nd day of my 2 day stay. I was there about 10 minutes before the end time, but the whole dining room hadn't been cleared of all the dinner dishes and glasses from the night before. They were on the tables. I went into the sitting room, with a great smell, and found a member of staff who worked at the bar, I think, sleeping on one of the sofas in his clothes with his shoes off. The smell was remarkable. I tried to wait to see if he'd come around, but I couldn't stick the smell. I returned to the dining room and waited about 20 minutes. Nothing.

Another while and I woke the man sleeping in the sitting room. He said he didn't cook breakfast, but also said he could. He was quite nice and apologised, though it wasn't his fault. He said a number of times the cook should turn up soon. I think he tried a phone call. Another 15 or 20 minutes or so and he came in and started to prepare breakfast. That took another 25 minutes or more, though. I think I remember it took him 20 minutes or more just to offer me a small pot of coffee. That's a really, really long wait. Breakfast came, though, in the end, and I left the dining room around an hour and a half after the inn's published last time it serves breakfast.

I was leaving that day and had to wait for the ferry anyway. I wouldn't have minded so much, but in fact the room information made a quite striking point of saying that anyone who checked out late (I think check out time was 10.30) would be charged the full day rate, no exceptions. (They must have had people suprised in the mornings that check-out time is so early). I was in two separate minds, one kind of panicking, and the other not relating to that one because it was so surprised what was going on at breakfast. It didn't make sense for me to be panicking, but the way the room info was put was a bit severe and startling, and I was still so surprised that nothing was even cleared in the breakfast room and it then took so long, that the two elements were in their own worlds.

The food at breakfast was good, anyway, with nice, fresh produce, including fruit and fruit juice.

I was glad to checkout and leave. The hostess was nice at this time, indicating she would happily store my bags if I wanted to walk, and if I got the early or late ferry. However, it was all a bit strange. I think it must be hard work for these people. It's great to have good value prices, but it's hard not to conclude it was short staffed, even from attitude supposed alone.

Anyway, it's not really my kind of place. I don't think I'd return while I wish the place well. There are unacceptable elements though, such as what was a filthy sitting room. I mention this specifically, though, on seeing a response a member of inn staff made to a recent review. The inn staff member's response said that this may to be expected (or something like that, I couldn't work it out) from a place that has been open so long that is only a B&B and not a 'proper hotel', whatever difference that makes.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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7  Thank factual5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
almcf1, Manager at Manor House Rathlin Island, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2013

Thank you for contributing your review of your stay on the island and at Rathlin Manor House last year. We are sorry that you did not post this until now.
Since June this year the Manor House has been run as a different sort of establishment, providing bed and breakfast under new, temporary proprietors, Alison and Teresa. We are satisfied that our guests have generally felt well looked after and that we have provided comfortable accommodation and a courteous service within the limitations set in this historic home, much loved and well used over the years. Our season of tenure is shortly coming to an end, but we'd like to express our appreciation for the privilege of being entrusted with such a wonderful property in which to welcome visitors, new and old, keen to enjoy a stay on Rathlin Island. We hope our guests and all visitors to the island will find something especially nice to remember about thier visit .

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Reviewed October 15, 2013

My boyfriend took me to Rathlin and The Manor House as a surprise. We loved every second of it! Such a beautiful house in a fantastic spot with glorious views over the harbour. It truly was so romantic. Teresa, who is currently managing the house, was just fantastic! She was so attentive and ensured that we had a lovely stay. On the Saturday night, she even cooked us a lovely homemade dish. We loved the place and will definitely return. I wish that the next managers treat the place with love and care to allow us to return time and again.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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4  Thank luckyleila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

We recently booked a night at The Manor House through Theresa who was really helpful. As we didn't want to carry our case around Theresa suggested a safe place to store it which was very helpful . After a wonderful day on bikes exploring the island in the brilliant sunshine we met Theresa getting off the ferry with provisions. We shared tea with her in the lounge which was very gratefully received. Our room was delightful and the bath very welcoming. We stayed in room no 1 ( I think) . The breakfast in the morning was delicious - homemade porridge with local honey and poached eggs with wheaten toast. Considering the very limited cooking facilities Theresa produced top quality fayre! We loved talking to Theresa - she was very kind, made us feel very welcome and knew Rathlin and the locality. For something rather special and rather different , stay at The Manor House. We just hope it will remain open as a guest house because it's a wonderful experience . Let's just hope The National Trust decide to keep it open.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jackie s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Positives: great location, great views, sense of history, lovely building
Negatives: small bed, even smaller ensuite, dirty carpets and bathroom floor, no hairdrier, handtowels, tea & coffee or TV in the room (had to go downstairs for tea/coffee), everything a bit grubby and tired looking, breakfast poor.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank P1J2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
almcf1, Manager at Manor House Rathlin Island, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

We're so glad you enjoyed the most important aspects of your stay - the location, views, and history. That's what sets Rathlin apart. We're sorry that you found your personal space within the Manor House did not meet your expectations. The bed rooms are not large, but they all look out to sea. There are as many rooms as the ancient house allows and the ensuites are situated to take up the least space within them. The beds are standard doubles. Some of our rooms do not have ensuites, because they are too small for this. However, the views are great and our guests are mostly happy to relax in the spacious drawing room or get out about around the island. We are happy to provide tea and coffee trays to your rooms, extra towels, bed linen, pillows, blankets, hairdryers and supply anything else that may be lacking to any individual guest's requirements - within our means. We have notices and leaflets to this effect and also personally tell our guests this when showing you into your rooms. We would so have liked you to have expressed your disappointment while here, so that we may have been able to rectify what was lacking for you. The Manor House has been welcoming guests since 1998, when the facilities were first established. It has been well used and is certainly a little faded after fifteen years, in need of a gentle sprucing. This lends itself to the more relaxing feel of a place well loved and cherished, despite its faults and age. If our housekeeping was below par, in the state of your bedroom and shower room floors, then this is something we are grateful to you for pointing out and we will remedy from now on. We acknowledge your comment on your breakfast quality and are sorry it didn't meet your expectations.

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Additional Information about Manor House Rathlin Island

Address: Rathlin Island BT54 6RT, Northern Ireland
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Antrim > Rathlin Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Rathlin Island
Price Range: $41 - $95 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Please note that Manor House Rathlin has now re-opened under new Management, after a major refurbishment. The Manor House is a lovely, late Georgian property overlooking the harbour in Rathlin Island's Church Bay. It's the perfect place for those wishing to enjoy peace, tranquility and an island to explore. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Manor House Hotel Rathlin Island
Manor House Rathlin Island Northern Ireland

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