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“Very expensive and disappointing.”

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West Hall B&B and Cottage Self Catering
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Very expensive and disappointing.”
Reviewed July 13, 2011

Our stay at Westhall was to be, we thought, the highlight of our stay in the Shetlands, after all at £110 per night it must surely be something quite superb. On our arrival we were greeted by a glum faced young lady who showed us to our room, but with none of the welcoming charm that we received in the other B and B's we stayed in on the island. The building was lovely, and the rooms very tastefully decorated with lovely views. However the bathroom had 'issues' - the shower head had been dropped previously and water sprayed in every direction imaginable, the drain was very likely clogged up, as by the end of a shower we found ourselves standing in 2" of water. the soap/shampoo basket wobbled precariously on the wall, and was unsuitable for taking any weight of shower gel or shampoo. Breakfasts were reasonable though one day my husband had to return a somewhat uncooked sausage, and on our second morning the toast came balanced on the edge of our plates, so were we to butter our toast with butter and marmalade on the plates from which we had just eaten a cooked breakfast? These things did not totally spoil our stay, but at £110 a night, and particularly after spending another 7 nights at £70 and under, in other wonderful B and B's on the beautiful Shetlands, we felt that this was a hugely inflated price for accommodation and poor service at Westhall.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank angela175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
simpsonwesthall, Owner at West Hall B&B and Cottage Self Catering, responded to this review, August 13, 2011
Westhall B&B closed in August 2011. Thanks to all our loyal customers fro thier business in the past.

NOTE: "Westhall Cottage Self Catering" is an entirely seperate business, which is unaffeted by the closure of Westhall B&B.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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England
Level 6 Contributor
308 reviews
130 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2011

...I have never said this before and hope not to do again but this time it was deserved. Its certainly in a lovely location (though there are no directions and phoing hardly helps when there are answer machines or non locals to answer). Its also a lovely building, and smarlty decorated. And the live in housekeeper was charming despite her still learning English. But that's it. If I am paying hotel rates in a B and B I expect a very high standard. Decent coffee (and decaffinated) in the room, a sensible piece of soap, a welcome from someone who knows the area and who can advise me on where to go, no expectation to select my breakfast the night before and to pre arrange the time I would come down, a towel rail and heating in the evening etc etc. Get the message and dont bother unless you want to ay a lot for the location and nothing else.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank exbiztraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Level 6 Contributor
59 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2011

Difficult to locate on our arrival! It took 15 mins for the housekeeper to answer the door. Not a friendly welcome as the housekeeper is lithuanian and speaks very little English although she tried her best!
We had the house to ourselves on the first evening, unable to watch tv or attach to wifi as it needed a password, there was nobody about to ask to our surprise. We couldn't find anywhere to eat in the evening as their was no one to ask.
The bedroom & bathroom were fantastic with excellent views from both windows.
The next morning breakfast was very poor after having to tell them the day before which time we wanted from 7.30-9AM only by apointment. This is unfair when you are on vacation. The breakfast was limited with extremely small portions: 1, sausage, 2 tiny button mushrooms cut in half, 2 toast & a tablespoon of Baked beans.
The next morning we booked breakfast for 8am as instructed but we waited 45 minutes for it to arrive. when it did arrive it had a spoonful of beans & 2 baby mushrooms, the housekeeper had forgotten the rest ie: bacon, sausage & hash brown.
We had 6 people all seated around a large dining table and were each served individually. There was no jam or marmalade available. Everybody was dissatisfied with the wait as we all had places to get to.
The housekeeper had only been there for 3 weeks and said that she was not used to that kind of work, she even asked how to grill mushrooms!
We had towels on the end of our bed on the 2nd day only to find that they were damp and had obviously been taken out of the bathroom wet and then folded on to the bed, without knowing which towel belonged to which person! yuck!
On the guest list it was marked as 25th wedding anniversary, i cant see the point of this as it wasn't mentioned at all during our stay!
If the owners put some effort into welcoming and helping their guests rather than just taking the £110 per night it could be a fantastic goldmine!
We did contact the telephone number provided in the front hallway on the morning of our departure but first of all we had to leave a voicemail and then were cut off on our second call and he never returned our call.
I have now read on the website that it is closing in August, perhaps this is why they have no interest in their guests as the previous owners did.
Please dont be off by the Shetland Isles as it is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit.
Fortunately we were blessed with good weather, the wildlife is fantastic on shetland. The staff in the other hotels where we visited for coffee were all friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Keith999kent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2011

We had a large, very well appointed room with beautiful views looking over the water towards Lerwick. The standard of decoration, linen and furnishing was high (towels changed every day) and we were very comfortable. The bathroom was a little cramped but perfectly OK with an excellent shower. The location is very quiet, about half an hour's walk from the centre of Lerwick, so it is easier if you have a car.
The breakfasts were excellent. With only one person cooking, it can take a while to actually arrive so we left plenty of time for breakfast.
As other reviews have said, the owners do not live on site. Don't expect an effusive welcome and offers of lots of information to help you plan your holiday. Some printed leaflets etc are available but that's it. The staff do their best and will answer questions if they are around.
Overall a very nice B&B but expensive compared with other places, although generally Shetland accomodation is more expensive than elsewhere.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank athelstan051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Otley, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2011

After seeing previous reviews from last year, and the accommodation claiming 4 stars we found the quality in general to fall far below the level of service and hospitality that one would expect for the price being charged,

The rooms were kept clean and tidy by the housekeeper - not Sarah as mentioned in one of the reviews for this year - but a Lithuanian lady who had very little English, no local knowledge whatever, and who was unable to fulfill the role we expect of a B&B host.

The absence of the owners meant that problems could not be readily addressed - such as a lack heating on a cold wet evening -(the housekeeper was not in and guests had to find the main boiler controls ) - and a complete failure to arrange for room service when it was the housekeeper's day off. Phoning the owners, after one visit from the them in response to our concerns, was totally unproductive in that they failed to respond to calls.

Breakfasts were basic, and we had to explain to the housekeeper that we required side plates and additional cutlery as she apparently had no experience of this type of work and was content to put the whole breakfast - including toast - on one plate.
.
Overall, not a very good experience or recommendation for this establishment

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ianwatt01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, England
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2011

Having read the rave reviews of Westhall on Trip Advisor, at the end of October 2010, my wife and I immediately booked for 11th, 12th, and 13th. May 2011. When we arrived, the grass needed cutting (it was cut on the day before we left) and the windows needed cleaning. We were met by a young lady called Sarah. Our bedroom was large and airy. The bathroom was small but adequate. The breakfasts were good, but not exceptional.

However the house, whilst being clean and well presented, lacked any atmosphere with none of the personal touches expected from caring, resident owners. In fact, we never saw the much- praised Douglas and Kathleen nor Ekaterina, to whom I had spoken on the telephone and exchanged emails with when I booked our room. We only saw Sarah, who was willing but apparently inexperienced – known as the live in housekeeper - who cleaned the rooms, made the beds, cooked and served the breakfasts apparently all on her own.

Eventually we learned that Douglas and Katherine had sold Westhall, presumably in late 2010 and the new owners, for personal reasons, do not live in the house but elsewhere in Lerwick. There was a note in the entrance hall with a phone number for Catrina if there were any problems. It is all very well for one of the owners to respond to a previous poster by writing “…It's a pity you didn't say anything while staying with us.”, but in our case you weren’t there had we wished to do so.

The owners need to decide if they really want to run a bed and breakfast or not, because at present it doesn’t feel as if they do. It isn’t their fault that the previous owners received such enthusiastic recommendations but they are now misleading. They also need to take a look at their own website, which appears to be carried over from the previous owners. There are no ‘hosts’. Packet butter, packet sauces, pre-packed pancakes are McD…’s, not “the best B & B in Shetland.” The guest’s quotes are out-of-date, Westhall isn’t like this now. A pine wardrobe with a motley collection of plastic chain-store hangars and a stool with all four legs loose don’t justify use of the word ‘luxurious’. We didn’t report these things because it should be up to proud, loving owners to make their own inspections.

To be fair, all this doesn’t necessarily make this a bad bed & breakfast. Two businessmen staying at the same time said that they would return to Westhall in preference to a Lerwick Hotel, as it provided them with what they wanted – a comfortable bed, a quiet night’s sleep and a good breakfast. They weren’t interested in atmosphere and holiday advice etc. However, if the owners don’t deal with the misleading aspects of their publicity they are likely to attract more unfavourable postings from disappointed customers, and find that reputations are lost much more quickly than they are built up.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2011

Westhall is in a great location with good views of the bay and local walks yet on the edge of town. I was told the ownership has changed fairly recently. The owners no longer live in the property. Day to day cleaning and the breakfasts are done by a live-in housekeeper. The only contact with the owner is by a telephone number left to address any issues that may arise. The room was comfortable with a tiny shower room en-suite. The whole house needed some TLC, (such as cleaning the windows) but the house itself is quite attractive and the breakfast was okay. The location is the main attraction as it is private and quiet yet near the town. I believe it is overpriced as the standards fall short of a top quality B&B but the prices don't. However, good quality accommodation in Lerwick and the surrounding area appears to be in short supply so I would recommend it due to the lack of alternatives.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wicasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about West Hall B&B and Cottage Self Catering

Property: West Hall B&B and Cottage Self Catering
Address: Lower Sound, Lerwick ZE1 0RN, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Shetland Islands > Mainland > Lerwick
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Lerwick
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bed, breakfast and evening meals provided. Shetland hospitality at its best. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
West Hall B&B And Cottage Self Catering Lerwick, Shetland Islands

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