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“Lovely hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of The Islay Hotel

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The Islay Hotel
Ranked #3 of 16 Port Ellen B&B and Inns
Berkshire
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2013

I've stayed several times at the Islay and always impressed by the friendliness of all the staff, nothing is too much trouble.

The food has improved a great deal just recently. I had a simple fish and chips which was excellent!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JohnBerkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IslayHotel, Manager at The Islay Hotel, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Many thanks for your kind review, we look forward to welcoming you back to the Islay Hotel on your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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360 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

We had a great stay in May. I booked it for my husband's 30th and we were welcomed with some sparkling wine in the room. The room was great, clean and modern.
When our taxi didn't arrive to take us to Lagavulin the manager drove us...such a nice thing to do. we were so grateful.
The only disappointing thing was dinner on the Sunday night. Fresh food but lacked imagination. plus the service was awful. 3 hours to have dinner. Shame as it made us go to Bowmore for dinner the second night.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hector2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IslayHotel, Manager at The Islay Hotel, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Hi there

Thank you for your review. We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay here along with the standard of accommodation. We have taken on board your comments regarding the food and service. We have recently recruited a new head chef who has redirected the menus and created a more relaxed style of food service. This in turn has allowed the restaurant staff to serve people more quickly and serve a greater volume of people without any delay in service which you may have experienced. We do hope that if you visit Islay again some you will come back and see the change.
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Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2013

The Islay Hotel is fresh and vibrant. Situated nearby the ferry terminal and also within a short distance from the Big Three Islay Malt Houses, the hotel is well placed for the Whisky lovers of which there are many enjoying the excellent food from the Hotel kitchen. The double room we are currently in is very generous, comfortable and worth the cost of comfort. The staff seem very conscious of making the stay enjoyable and go out of their way to ensure satisfaction. As a dog owner there was no problem at the Hotel and there are many walks from the Hotel door, the beach being less than a minutes walk. All in all it's 10 out of 10, well done to all involved.

Room Tip: All rooms seem spacious, rooms on ferry terminal have wonderful sea views without the ferry terminal...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SimonCroson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IslayHotel, Manager at The Islay Hotel, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Many thanks for your kind review. We are indeed a dog friendly hotel and the many walks on the Island provide the perfect space for dog walking. We are also pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back.
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Burnley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2013

Finding accommodation on the Isle of Islay for a weekend can sometimes be difficult, and finding rooms in a modern Hotel with underfloor heating can be almost impossible. However, the rebuilt Islay Hotel which opened 18 months ago fits this bill. We stayed for three nights, and having caught the final Calmac ferry of the day from Kennagraig, we arrived at the Hotel at 9pm to be welcomed by the proprietor. We were assured that Dinner would be available if required. The rooms were clean comfortable and warm. The breakfasts were ok and the Dinner menu on the first evening offered a selection of well presented and tasty dishes. However, the Sunday evening menu gave a choice of fixed price two or three course meals that were very average in choice and quality. I understood that a new Chef had arrived during the day so perhaps this is ‘works in progress’. Although all the staff was friendly and helpful, I felt that a modicum of training was required in the restaurant. Lack of cutlery and used plates cluttering the table could easily be avoided.
The bar was a friendly place to spend time and has a tremendous selection of whiskies. During Sunday afternoon local musicians played ‘folksy’ tunes and songs, and visitors from Scandinavia, Germany and the USA mingled with the locals.
Things to do: Walking on Jura, and a visit to a distillery is a must. We walked for 45 minutes to the Laphroaig distillery for an informative tour rounded of by generous product samples! The majority of visitors were from other countries, illustrating that the Island experience and products are a great tourist attraction.

Room Tip: All rooms are modern,comfortable and warm.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tonereviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IslayHotel, Manager at The Islay Hotel, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Hi there

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay here on Islay with us. We are pleased you enjoyed the standard of accommodation and enjoyed our selection of whiskies and local entertainment. With regards to food and restaurant service our new chef has now been with us for several weeks and great progress has been made with menu's and availability which we hope will lead to the level of consistency and service that we hope to achieve.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denbigh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2013

We have travelled to Islay on Holiday 11 times between 1999 -2013, getting off the Ferry for many years what greeted you was the derelict Islay Hotel.

We have watched as this hotel has been gradually knocked down and then fully rebuilt, the owner has struggled with the Planning Authorities but he/she has persevered. Now it looks great and the interior is fantastic. We visited twice during the week 21/4/2013 to 26/4/2013 only had coffee in the bar but the service was spot on. Reasonable prices for a quick snack.

What made my day is the fact that the very old picture of the Harbour in the days of the Puffer has been very carefully retained. These pictures are also in several other hotels, The Bowmore Hotel, the Ballygrant Inn and the Jura Hotel. All were painted by an Irishman who sailed across from Northen Ireland in a converted Aircraft Fuel tank which he had made into a boat. All his pictures include locals of the time and he also always included his Scotty Dog.

Great Selection of Malts and a very knowledgeable Bar Man.

Room Tip: We did not stay but looked at the rooms, absolutely fabulous.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PhilC338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IslayHotel, Manager at The Islay Hotel, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Many thanks for your kind review. We are delighted to read that as a regular traveler to Islay you have noted the progress of the hotel restoration project and have indeed taken the time to come and see the finished project. We look forward to welcoming you back again on your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
328 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

Hotel is located very close to main 3 distelleries. Very clean and comfortable. Staff is very friendly . The Bar at rhe hotel is the best in all island. The restaurant inside surves very tasty and fresh sea food . One of the best alternative by comfort , location and restaurant.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank TMERIC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IslayHotel, Manager at The Islay Hotel, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Hi there

Many thanks for your kind review regarding our hotel bar and food on offer. We look forward to welcoming you back to see us here at Port Ellen soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lochgilphead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2013

While visiting family on Islay, my brother suggested we try the Islay Hotel for lunch as he had heard it was very good. As we had been out for a spin and time was getting on I was'nt sure they would still be serving, but our luck was in. My brother is disabled and in a wheelchair and it can be awkward getting him in and out of places, but 10/10 to the Islay for their disabled access and wide doors. The place is beautifully decorated throughout, the dining room is fantastic, quirky with each antique table and chairs different to their neighbour, it really works well. Great to see some of the great Sean O'Leary's paintings rescued. The girls serving are an absolute joy, welcolming, friendly, efficient and nothing a bother, even moving us to a table that would accomodate the wheelchair comfortably. They are real ambassadors for Islay, well done girls.

The food was ambrosial. All locally sourced produce and of top class quality. My son went for the fish and chips and the portion that arrived would have kept a family of 4 fed for a week. Being a typical teen who inhales food at the best of times even this had him defeated and he could'nt finish it. I had a wee taste and it was fantastic. Lovely fresh fish and the batter was the crispiest I have ever tasted. My brother went for the skate wing with veg and mash and again, the portion was vast, but he thoroughly enjoyed it. I went for the starter portion of haggis neeps and tatties with a whisky sauce and it was just delicious. Everything was beautifully presented and very fresh. We then decided to have a pudding...oh my! Caramel pannacotta is the best thing ever. The whole bill inc drinks came to just under £50.00 and worth every penny.
Roland came over to say hello to my brother and ended up giving me a tour of the hotel, so many thanks for that, it is stunning. I remember this place as a wee girl, it was always busy but then closed down for many years and fell into disrepair so to see it restored and with such care and attention to detail into getting this lovely hotel up and running again is truly inspirational. Will definately be back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ileach43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IslayHotel, General Manager at The Islay Hotel, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind words, we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Islay Hotel

Property: The Islay Hotel
Address: 18 Charlotte Street, Port Ellen PA42 7DF, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Islay > Port Ellen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Port Ellen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Islay Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Recently rebuilt on the site of the old Islay Hotel, offering 13 excellent bedrooms. From standard rooms with walk-in showers to extra large rooms with Jacuzzi bath and separate shower we can accommodate all requirements. Fantastic restaurant with a great selection of Island landed seafood dishes along side our Game supplied by local estates and Argyll Beef and Lamb. Our bar has one of the best collections of Islay whisky on the Island. The hotel is open all year around and are ideally situated next to Port Ellen Harbour and Ferry terminal. We are the nearest hotel to Laphroig, Lagavulin and Argbeg distilleries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Islay Hotel Port Ellen

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