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“Islay's Best”
Review of The Harbour Inn

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The Harbour Inn
Ranked #6 of 13 Bowmore B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 17, 2013

We have now stayed here several times and it has always been a pleasure. Apart from the friendly staff and excellent restuarant, it is obvious that the owners regard this as a work in progress as we always notice small but significant improvements. We would recommend an executive room and ours was beautifully renovated with a wonderful view of the Paps of Jura (weather permitting).We would certainly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Breck_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 - 98 of 201 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2013

My partner and I had a lovely long weekend here Valentines weekend for his birthday, from the time I booked to the minute we left the staff couldn't have been more friendly or helpful. We had a room overlooking the Loch which was lovely, very warm and cosy with a great big bath, perfect after a day walking.
They arranged a birthday cake for my partner and also a picnic lunch for us so we could go out and explore the island. Our package included dinner every night which I was apprehensive about as we like to try different places but I'm so glad we ate there. The food was FANTASTIC! We've eaten in Michelin starred restaurants all over the world and the food here was better than some of those. The venison Wellington, Bouillabaisse, Beef steak, scotch egg and the breakfast deserve special mention although everything was wonderful. Thanks again Harbour Inn we're recommending you to everyone

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Hayley3575
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James S, Manager at The Harbour Inn, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2013

Thank you for your kind words, it was lovely to meet you both and we are so pleased to know that you had a lovely experience on Islay and at The Harbour Inn. We look forward to welcoming you both back in the future.

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Reviewed December 2, 2012

This was a special birthday break - and our first visit to Islay. From the moment we arrived on the island after the short flighty from Glasgow we had a wonderful time. The friendliness of the islanders no matter where we visited was outstanding... and the same can be said of the Harbour Inn. This was a rare hotel experience - fully enjoying the amenities, a beautiful bedroom, the top notch food, and a staff that cared. It is often easy to find fault with hotels but, on this occasion, we have to say that the Harbour Inn is right up there with the very best. We enjoyed the stay on the island so much - the car hire service from Mr McKenzie of Islay car hire was first rate - that we are already looking at a return next year to explore this island - and make the short ferry trip to Jura as well.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank mcleanj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Our stay at the Harbour Inn was nothing but amazing! The food, the ambience, the fire place, just splendid! All members of staff were extremely nice, very friendly, and attentive and made our stay so much more pleasurable than I expected it to be. I even got a wee celebration for my b'day. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the island's whiskey. We can’t wait to come back! Rob and Mirka

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank MHTyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

My wife and I recently spent a splendid week in Bowmore on Islay in the Harbour Inn. From our initial contact through our arrival and departure the staff was in every way friendly and helpful without being intrusive. We enjoyed a number of meals there from a full Scottish breakfast including haggis and black pudding (I always have one when I visit Scotland) to fresh fruit and yogurt in the morning to light meals in the bar and a first rate restaurant for dinner providing excellent seafood and lamb. This is one of those smaller Scottish hotels where it is easy to meet and converse with other residents in the conservatory, restaurant or bar. Our room was lovely, overlooking Loch Indall with the paps of Jura in the distance.We lived in Scotland for several years in the early 60s and have made several trips back, particularly to the west of Scotland. Our visit to Islay is among our best and for part of that we are indebted to the Harbour Inn.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank EugeneLong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James S, Owner at The Harbour Inn, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2012

It was a great pleasure meeting you both and we all very much enjoyed having you stay here at The Harbour Inn with us. And we recall what fun you had with Rachel and exploring the island! We look forward to welcoming you both back again sometime in the future when you are over this side of the pond!

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Reviewed September 17, 2012

We had a one night stay here in August. Our room was on the top floor and really lovely. Comfortable, spacious and full of character. The food sadly, left a lot to be desired. The menu was quite limited, but sometimes this can be an indication that the chef prefers quality, over quantity, of choice. I ordered the lobster, to be told they didn't have any that evening. I heard several others order the lobster and witnessed their disappointment also. Being at the head of the menu and given the location of the Inn, surely this should always be available. My husband ordered the beef fillet, which was delicious. The haggis dumpling, however, which was an accompaniment, was inedible. It tasted of raw suet. I ordered the rabbit, which was over-cooked and some of it too tough to chew. I can't quite describe the small round part of my chocolate dessert, in fact I'm totally lost for words! It went back! We could only hope that the breakfast would redeem our faith in some of the recommendations we had read, but unfortunately my haddock with poached egg was both unattractive and badly cooked. The egg white was in strings all over the plate and the yolk was hard. It should never have been sent out. We were only here for one night, so let's hope that this isn't a true reflection of the standard of food in general, as the Inn is situated in an excellent location and our room was exceptional.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank happycouple27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James S, Manager at The Harbour Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

We were surprised and concerned to read your comments regarding your dining experience at The Harbour, espcially as the menu that would have been offered to you had been very popular, shown by our guest comments and repeat diners. Unfortunately due to the vagaries of weather and being a busy, yet small restaurant, we do very occasionally run out of a fish item. It is not our policy to freeze any fish or meat, as that would subsequently detract from the quality of the product, we would prefer diners to choose from the other plentiful options. The lobster would have been delivered fresh the next day, weather permitting. Our rabbit starter was very popular; the loin is lightly cooked but of course by defintion the confit leg would have been long and slowly cooked and we are sorry that it was not to your liking. We would stress that we fully recognise the importance of a perfectly cooked breakfast; we use the highest quality of pale smoked haddock and local farm eggs, and can only apologise if these were not cooked to our usual high standard on this occasion. We would also like to stress that we always respond when complaints are made, either offering an alternative or preparing the dish again. It is very difficult for us to rectify a situation if we are not made aware of it at the time.

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Reviewed August 3, 2012

Visited again this year for dinner and was once again 1st class. Food,service and ambience were superb. The staff always ensure your visit is perfect and we returned home with fond memories of Islay and the Harbour Inn. Keep up the good work. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank david w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Harbour Inn

Address: The Square | Isle of Islay, Bowmore PA43 7JR, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Islay > Bowmore
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Bowmore
Price Range: $126 - $211 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the incomparable loveliness of the Inner Hebrides - visit ISLAY – a destination for all seasons. Let the loveliness of this beautiful island wash over you – and experience the special atmosphere that is part of Islay's heritage – “Islay and its goodbye to care“ Whatever the weather and whatever the time of year, there is always the added attraction to Islay that comes from visiting an island – the feeling that you are cut off from the rest of the world – yet , it's much closer than you can imagine.And here, at The Harbour Inn Hotel and Restaurant, we hope to be part of that overall experience – offering superb accommodation, high quality award winning food and excellent service. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Harbour Hotel Bowmore
The Harbour Inn Bowmore, Islay

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