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“Great Place to Stay!”
Review of Smoo Cave Hotel

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Smoo Cave Hotel
Ranked #5 of 12 Durness B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Jacksonville, FL
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great Place to Stay!”
Reviewed September 6, 2012

We decided at the last minute to stop in Durness and I was able to find the Smoo Cave Hotel on my IPad. We didn't know anything about the hotel but we were so lucky to find it. The owner was so great and accommodating and we were so lucky to get in as other people were turned away. The room was clean and well equipped. We ate in the bar for dinner and the restaurant for breakfast and the food was good. All in all a good stay.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CeCeJacksonville_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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200 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2012

The hotel is good in terms of food and quality of cooking, staff are pleasant and helpful.
However the noise from the bar and foul mouthed locals was not acceptable when guests are there or when they are trying to sleep. Rooms are almost in bar or dining room !!! It was 12.30 before we could even consider sleeping . Also at the rear of hotel it looked like a dumping ground for old furniture . Would eat at hotel but not stay.

Room Tip: Eat there but don't stay
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ches65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2012

We had to eat here, as the only option available before 6pm in Durness.

The bar area isn't amazing friendly or encouraging for your to stay when you enter (pretty dingy), in fact we left when I saw it only to return when realising we had no other option.

What I hadn't realised however, and apparently you have to know to ask (since the staff don't feel the need to explain this) is that there's also a restaurant area you can eat in as well. The barman ignored us for a bit as we clearly stood waiting to get food. No signs to the restaurant when you enter the bar which might help as well.

No drinks menu when we were shown to the dining room just food. We quickly ordered a toastie for our 1 year old from the food menu. I ordered fish and partner the burger. The fish tasted like something from the supermarket freezer section and burger was OK but nothing special. All in all one of those sadly too-common British places serving cheap poor quality food at overinflated prices that you keep hoping have disappeared, but still seem to survive. No wonder our reputation for poor food continues... let's hope any tourists having the misfortune to stumble upon this place don't think it represents UK dining or service...

Avoid it at all possible.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NevsterEdin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
81 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2012

I have visited the Smoo Cave Hotel for a meal several times in the last two years and yet again I was not disappointed.
I cannot understand recent poor reviews because I have always been afforded excellent service and excellent food.
The staff in the bar were attentive but not overly so. The food arrived in a reasonable time, was hot and well presented, and was reasonably priced.
I will be back next month on my next trip north.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tom_Tank_Engine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2012 via mobile

I'd asked Scott if we needed to book a table for dinner in their restaurant.  I was told that they wouldn't be busy and there would be no problem. Scott seemed very helpful, I was optimistic. I later turned up at the bar to ask where the dining room was and was ignored by the bartender who continued to serve the guys who had just arrived.

Well.  Our visit to the restaurant was interesting.  When we arrived, we weren't asked if we'd like any drinks, just what we were ordering from the menu.  Bizarre!  We probably waited about 1 hour for each course - main and dessert.  I had drunk my wine by the time I got my main meal - bits of tendered chicken in a "Thai" gravy sauce, microwaved rice and nan bread slapped in my curry.  It was rubbish food.

The stay was pleasantly comfortable.  We experienced the same lack of good service at breakfast however.  Although they knew that we'd be having breakfast at 9:30, we must have waited a good 15 minutes before we were asked if we'd like any tea/coffee and a cooked breakfast.  

No apology for our wait, either from Scott or the waitresses.  I am greatly disappointed with this place.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Hannah Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2012

Drove up to the hotel after being at the caves, to be honest there isn’t much choice in Durness.
The place looked closed- went into the bar, we were the only people in. Initially ignored by bar staff however after about ten minutes our drinks order was taken, then the food. There were four adults and one child in our party.
The drinks, all soft, were warm and there was no ice available. The food took a while to arrive and the fish and chips that all the adults ordered had to be seen to be believed-the haddock was four inches long with some frozen chips and a little salad (£10.95). The child’s chicken burger on a dry roll looked inedible- a frozen burger thrown in the deep fat fryer.
The bar had no atmosphere, I felt sorry for the French family that arrived whilst we were there and hope they don’t think that this quality of establishment represents what’s available to tourists to Scotland.
The owners should be ashamed to serve up such poor food.
Top tip take a packed lunch.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank George N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
181 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2012

Stayed recently with biking friends. The Inn bedrooms were well equipped, very clean with extremely comfortable beds.
We had an evening meal and a hearty Scottish cooked breakfast and can I say that the food was very good indeed.
All of the staff were extremely friendly and accommodating.
It would have been nice if there had been entertainment; however we watched the tennis on the very large screen TV in the bar lounge.
I would stay there again and recommend it without hesitation.
If you walk to the back of the hotel you directly down to the Atlantic Ocean.
We were travelling from Inverness and visited John O'Groats en route and to say the journey was spectacular is an understatement.
Well done Smoo Cave Hotel and thank you for a very pleasant stay.

Room Tip: The ground floor front bedroom boasts a double and single bed and is very spacious and well presente...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ubl666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smoo Cave Hotel

Property: Smoo Cave Hotel
Address: Durness IV27 4QB, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Caithness and Sutherland > Durness
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Durness
Number of rooms: 2
Also Known As:
Smoo Cave Hotel Durness, Scotland

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