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“Absolutely fantastic”

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The Old Excise House
Ranked #1 of 1 Laphroaig B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Absolutely fantastic”
Reviewed August 24, 2012

We knew we were in good hands when, while on the flight into Islay, a B&B review board member (who happened to be sitting in front of us) asked us where we were staying. When we said the Old Excise House, her remarks were ‘Oh fantastic! You’re going to love it. It’s so spotless you could eat off the floor.’ And she was right. Aside from being spotless, Emma and Ron are such wonderful and thoughtful hosts – they really knock it out of the park. That same flight happened to be an hour and a half late in arriving, which gave us an arrival time of nearly 8:30PM. Emma and Ron kept track of our flight, and knowing that restaurants on Islay stop seating at around 9PM, they so thoughtfully took the liberty of making us a reservation at their favorite restaurant (the Islay Hotel, which was fantastic) so that we wouldn’t miss dinner. (on a side note, had we been too late even for that, I know they would have made us dinner… Emma and Ron aren’t the type of hosts to let a guest go hungry!). About the B&B: fantastic linen (and beds), outstanding bathrooms and toiletries, very comfortable overall layout. And breakfast was fantastic – so many options, and all wonderfully prepared. They source their ingredients locally when possible, and for other items (like blood pudding), they source from the very best available. House-made yoghurt, house-made granola, local organic eggs, local smoked salmon, blood pudding from the north of Scotland…the list goes on and on. You can really tell what pride they take in providing their extra little ‘secret’ finds for their guests, especially at mealtime. Such a pleasure staying here. Can’t wait to come back. On a side note, Ron is a renowned golf pro, so if you’re a golf enthusiast, that may be added incentive here. And for scotch enthusiasts, you’re within easy walking distance to Laphroaig and a slight longer walk (prob 15-20 min) to Lagavulin.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JonathanSummers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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127 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Reading, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

It seems that there is no length to which Ron and Emma won't go to make your stay at their B&B (and Islay) to be the highlight of your vacation. Their food, service, and hospitality are absolutely first rate.

We arrived on the last ferry of the day at Port Ellen and that put us at their place just before 20:30 which as it turns out is when most restaurants stop serving on Islay. A quick call by our hosts to the Islay Hotel (fabulous food) in that port got us a table at the last minute and was just the first indication of how their extensive involvement in the local community goes towards making a great experience for their guests. As we found out later, Ron had helped the newly reopened Hotel with their wine list and had good knowledge of the local seafood (shellfish is local but if it swims it may be good but it's not from there).

After a wonderful sleep on a huge comfortable bed we were able to admire the view from our spacious room from which we could see all the way to the hills of Antrim 40 miles away in Ireland. Ron and Emma were up early preparing the breakfast table and baking. A note here that Emma's scones were fresh out of the oven and were some of the best we've ever had. Breakfast choices ranged from a full on Scottish breakfast to homemade granola and the freshest seasonal fruits. Their ingredients are locally sourced including some fabulous bacon and every type of egg imaginable. Above all, if it's available, try the cold-smoked salmon. Ron has a special connection for that and you will not find any finer on the face of this earth.

After breakfast we were off to the distilleries and this is a perfect place from which to launch that adventure. They are an easy 10-15 minute walk down the road to Laphroaig, another 20 to Lagavulin, and another 10-15 to Ardbeg. In the other direction it is only a mile into Port Ellen so dinner there is a nice walk.

Whenever we were coming or going from the B&B, Ron or Emma were always there to answer any questions, provide us a guide, suggest some places to go, or to make a call on our behalf to see if whatever we wanted to do was open or available. They made our short stay on Islay the highlight of our vacation and made us feel like truly welcome guests.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank skreck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, England
Level Contributor
65 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2012

Spent two fabulous nights at this lovely guest house run by Emma and Ron. From the moment we entered the house we were made to feel at home. Our room was at the front of the house with the most fantastic views out of the front and corner window. The room was absolutely spotless and the decor modern with every convenience we needed. Home made biscuits on the welcome tray are to die for!! Fresh flowers in the room, beautiful linen and wonderful warm fluffy white towels in the great bathroom. Breakfast was superb, fresh fruit, home made muffins and the usual items but of course if you wanted anything from the cooked menu, this was freshly prepared to order. Emma and Ron are the perfect hosts full of local knowledge with nothing too much trouble for either of them and Emma's baking - irresistable. This guest house is most definitely worth a visit. Please book early then you won't be disappointed. If you're planning a visit to Islay and not sure where to stay Emma and Ron's place is the perfect choice.

Room Tip: Either room has perfect views
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jean C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shepton Mallet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2012

The Old Excise House is well placed for visitng many of the islands distilleries. The view from the large bedoom over to the Oa and the islandof Texa was very special. The Texa Room is large, well furnished to a very high standard. As there are only two rooms breakfast is served upstairs with viiews over the sea and you can watch the ferry arrive into Port Ellen. This is handy for those needing to make a quick getaway.There is even a pair of binoculars for those interested in wildlife. Breakfasts are to a high standard witha wide selection - both healthy and less healthy! The owners Ron and Emma are very friendly and pleased to help with eating out, places to visit etc. You can even organise a game of golf with Ronnie as he is the islands professional. Emma takes a genuine interest in her guests and goes that extra mile. Well done - I'm sure we will return to Islay

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank malcandliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2012

This is probably the best B&B I have stayed in, it is absolutely spot on. The room we stayed in was large and tastefully decorated, with a wonderful spacious bathroom with freestanding bath. The bed was very comfortable indeed.
Breakfast is amazing. The home made granola is fantastic, and you have a choice of very high quality smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or traditional Scottish breakfast, also of a very high standard. Some mornings kippers are available as well. Coffee comes in the form of a selection of Nespresso pods in 10 different flavours. There is always also a selection of some baked items like scones, home baked by Emma and always great. I don't usually eat biscuits, but I made an exception on this holiday!
Ron and Emma are exemplary hosts, nothing is too much trouble, and you are always greeted when you get back from whatever you have been up to that day. There were also some very nice extra's provided, I won't spoil them for other visitors by detailing these.
The B&B is well situated for this part of the island, with the Laphroig, Lagavullin and Ardbeg distilleries within walking distance as well as the small town of Port Ellen, where there are a number of restaurants and pubs. Of these I would recommend the Cyber Bistro, which serves very good traditional British food like pie and fish and chips.
I can't really recommend the Old Excise House enough, if I could I would have awarded a 6-star rating.

Room Tip: The choice really depends on whether you want a shower or a bath.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Daniel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Faultless, never been to a better B&B - it was like a 5 star hotel and better. Spotlessly clean, everything of the highest quality from the cotton of the sheets to the choice at breakfast. A stunning location, sea views and within walking distance to 3 of the best distilleries, although we rented a bike. Emma and Ron were the perfect hosts, welcoming and informative. You can borrow ordnance survey maps and get tips and help on how to make best use of your time. Nothing seems too much trouble for them. Breakfast was truely excellent - we had duck egg and salmon and even the orange juice was freshly squeezed. The room itself was light and with wonderful views - there is also a spacious lounge with books about ISLAY and the history of the distillaries, with a ground coffee machine in case you get thirsty. Excellent alround.

Room Tip: The texa room has two windows so a flood of light - it has a shower. The other room is also great...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 0000eric0000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wigan
1 review
Reviewed July 4, 2012

We had a truly delightful week on Islay, made all the more enjoyable staying with Ron and Emma. Emma came out to greet us on our arrival, which was a nice touch, even offering to take our luggage! Our room was fantastic, large and spacious, king size bed and even a free standing bath. The view was amazing from our window, it was a joy to open the curtains in a morning. Indeed the whole place was spotlessly clean. We found Ron to be very friendly and informative. Emma a great cook, always something different for afternoon tea, and both doing their utmost to make our stay on Islay enjoyable.Ron even managed to re-aquaint me with a £20 note I managed to dispose of, beat that!! Simply the best B&B we have ever stayed In...and we've stayed in a few!

Room Tip: Laphroaig was the room we stayed in, I think its the bigger of the 2 with a bath.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Old Excise House

Property: The Old Excise House
Address: Laphroaig PA42 7DS, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Islay > Laphroaig
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Laphroaig
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury Bed and Breakfast accommodation in former Excise Officers house for Laphroaig distillery, on the beautiful Hebridean Isle of Islay. Warm welcome, quality en-suite accommodation with fantastic sea views and good local food. ... more   less 

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