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“The Best Hotel on Orkney”
Review of West End Hotel

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West End Hotel
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in Kirkwall
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 19, 2011

The West End Hotel is a great place to stay in Kirkwall, I have travelled to Orkney many times on business and this is definitley the place to book if you are travelling there.
The rooms are great with everything you could need, the staff are friendly and you are well looked after, the food and the bar are excellent.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone heading to Orkney!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank KA5788
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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171 - 177 of 257 reviews

Reviewed October 4, 2011

What a wonderful place. That says it all. We stayed there during the Orkney portion of our distillery tour. There are 2 distilleries on Orkney, Highland Park, which is open and Scapa that is barred like a fortress. The staff did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable. The owners are on sight daily and work hard to make the hotel and assorted bar and dining room friendly. My only regret was that I did not stay longer.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Marc S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2011

This was my first visit to Orkney and so one was not quite sure what to expect; island hospitality and hotels can be somewhat different (for good or bad) to what one experiences during city breaks / visits to other parts of the UK and Europe.
The West End Hotel is all that is excellent about privately owned small hotels (10 rooms) in small towns. The owners (Robert and Giffie) really are super and were incredibly helpful as well as being charming and entertaining hosts (without being oppressive). There is no pretention / aspiration to be something that the hotel is not; but what it is is comfortable, clean and atmospheric with a great bar, good restaurant and nice patrons. The location is super, there is a car park behind the hotel which is very convenient and the rates provided excellent value for money. This hotel is to be recommended!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank FrequentTraveller365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2011

The Orkey Islands are beautiful, and, from our perspective, Kirkwall is by far the most attractive town on the island. The West End Hotel is a warm and welcoming place to stay.

First, a word on the building. This is an historic building originally built by a retired sea captain in the 1820s that later went on to become Orkney's first hospital. While it has certainly been updated since that time, it is a special kind of hotel. If you need large rooms, a big lobby, elevators, or hotel-chain uniformity, you probably won't find it on the Orkneys at all. If you want an historic building, with maze-like corridors, staircases, and all of the quirks you would expect of a building coming up on its third century, this is the place for you. The decorating is traditional, but not fancy - kind of the hotel equivalent of comfort food.

While the building is certainly unique, the stars of the show are really the hosts, Gifford Leslie and Robert Dawson. They are engaged, genuinely friendly, and charming and make sure that your stay is wonderful. We only had two days to spend in the Orkneys and they volunteered to draw us a map on how to see the best sights given our limited time.

Parking is easy. They have parking in the back and we also found parking in front of the hotel without difficulty.

There is wi-fi, but given the rambling building the coverage is uneven. We had no trouble getting a signal, but we were also invited to log in at the cosy pub (no drink order required) and did so (although we did buy some of the Orkney ales!).

We had dinner at the hotel one night. The food and service were excellent.

The hotel is at the edge of the main area of town. It was easy to get in and out, yet was a short walk to the center of town and attractions such as St. Magnus Cathedral, the Bishop's and Earl's Palace, the museum, and shopping.

If you want a little history and don't mind what comes along with it, this is the place to stay when visiting the Orkneys.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank ElaineAndGreg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2011

We spent a long weekend in Orkney as first time visitors, the West End Hotel is a superb base. Excellent location, excellent food, rooms spotless and full of character and the hotel itself has a great history. Giffie & Robert are exceptional hosts, they made us feel welcome & special! They are a credit to the hospitality industry.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank FMSAberdeen_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2011

We stayed at The West End Hotel for the Okrney Show . This was our first visit to Okrney and it was lovely ! The hotel owners Gifford and Robert were amazing hosts and made us feel very welcome and at home. The hotel was clean and well taken care of . The food was 5* quality . The steak just melted in your mouth and the presentation was perfect . The owners went out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as possible , they phoned us taxi's , gave us directions and tips etc.. They have a gorgeous garden which is a lovely sun trap where we sat with Gifford and Robert and had some home made millionare shortbread, tea and coffee. The Hotel is is a prime location within easy walk of the shops but is in a quiet street for a relaxing holiday . My family own a guest house in Nairn and would definatly recommend The West End Hotel to our guests if they were heading to orkney. Thank you so much for making our holiday so perfect . Ionagh Southwell ( Greenlawns Guest House Nairn )

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Ionagh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2011

Hotel publicity speaks of offering simple comforts, but owners Gifford Leslie and Robert Dawson run a hotel with great charm and their constant presence assures a high level of service well beyond simple comforts. The furnishings are Victorian and the hotel, converted from an old building, has corridors that run seemingly at random. This is not your standard hotel with similar rooms in straight lines. The attached photo shows a corner of one of the corridors and I think gives an idea of the hotel ambience. The staff keeps the West End Hotel scrupulously clean.

The breakfast that comes with the rooms and is served on the ground floor has help-yourself muesli, milk, youghurt, fruit, juices, and croissants. You can also order eggs, bacon, or a complete English breakfast with sausage, beans, and tomato. The only thing Gifford couldn't handle was an omlette.

The problems in the hotel mostly stem from being in an older building. There is no elevator, which means luggage has to be carried upstairs and most rooms are not wheelchair accessible. The walls are less than soundproof and the murmer of conversations and music in the bar is not obtrusive but can be heard in bedrooms. Still, this is a good hotel with comfort, charm, and service.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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5  Thank Upsilon6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about West End Hotel

Address: 14 Main Street, Kirkwall KW15 1BU, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Orkney Islands > Mainland > Kirkwall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Kirkwall
#4 Business Hotel in Kirkwall
#5 Family Hotel in Kirkwall
Price Range: $66 - $119 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — West End Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This hotel offers simple comforts but is still in the top two or three places to stay in Kirkwall. In 1824, it was built just outside Kirkwall by a retired sea captain, and became Orkney’s first hospital in 1845. The property has been refurbished in the past few years and it now fresh and inviting. Cost-conscious meals are served in a small restaurant and bar. Fully licensed to sell alcohol, the hotel attracts both locals and visitors. The West End Hotel, in many ways, is the ideal blend of old and new. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
West End Kirkwall
Hotel West End
West End Hotel Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

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