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“Excellent location, vastly over priced”

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Western Isles Hotel
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Tobermory
Reviewed June 10, 2012

The hotel is said to be undergoing refurbishment but we saw no evidence of this. There was no welcome at the hotel on arrival. We had 2 different rooms on the 2nd floor for our 2 night stay, both of which were dilapidated and in need of repair and redecoration. Every floorboard in the rooms creaked. The bed in the 1st room creaked and was so old you could feel the springs which lead to a poor night's sleep. Both rooms were not at all clean - unswept carpets, dusty, mould in the bathroom etc. There was carpet in the bathroom which is very unhygienic. This and other carpets were very old and threadbare in places. For the charge of £110 for the first night and £145 for the second for 2 people including breakfast, we would have expected a higher standard of room and considered this to be vastly overpriced and poor value for money. Our relaxing evening in the lounge was spoilt by a meeting of a group of bird watchers who took over the lounge area. The breakfast was average and served by non local staff who struggled to communicate.
On checking out, I noticed an amount for bar drinks which had actually already been paid for. I challenged this with the receptionist who said that it must be a mistake, took the charge off the bill but did not apologise. PLEASE BE AWARE there is at least one other review with a similar complaint. I also commented to the receptionist about the poor standard of rooms and the overpricing who said that my comments would be passed on.
Recommendations to the hotel owners - the 4 things that a guest needs from a hotel are
1) A welcoming and friendly atmosphere
2) A comfortable and clean room
3) Good food
4) Good value for money.
Unfortunately the hotel failed to deliver on all four points and I would not recommend this hotel and will never stay again.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Scotlandtraveller123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 12, 2012

Dear Scotlandtraveller123

I would like to take this opportunity to address the obvious disappointment you experienced during your stay. We do our very best to communicate in advance that we are aware of our shortcomings but we try to make up for it by offering friendly service, great food and stunning views. I am unsure what happened during your stay that meant we weren’t consistent, but we will do our best to improve in the future. In the meantime, please accept my apologies.

Taking some of your points specifically:

- We have spent tens upon tens of thousands of pounds improving the hotel over the past 3 years. Some of the investment isn’t obvious as its back of house (new fridges and laundry equipment; making the roof watertight etc) but some of it is very apparent: new Lloyd loom furniture in the conservatory and completely redecorating the lounge and dining room. This is recognised by VisitScotland awarding us 3 stars.

- You moved rooms as we were almost full on both nights and this was the only way we could accommodate your stay. When you checked out you did mention the price of the room but at no point did you mention the standard of housekeeping. Had you told us at the time we would have been able to rectify the problems immediately

- Given that our rooms were full and one of the parties staying was a convivial group of 16 ‘birders’ I am very surprised you felt there was no atmosphere at the hotel. Neither they nor our other guests were at all ‘wild’ but were chatty and sociable. The lounge where they flocked seats more than 40, and there is a small ante room as well as the larger conservatory which all offer alternative and comfortable areas to relax.

We recruit all our front of house staff on a number of criteria, one of which is friendliness and sociability. Another criteria is the standard of spoken English and our front of house overseas staff are either studying at a UK university or have lived here for several years. I can only take from this that it was a simple misunderstanding, irrelevant to the fact that English is their second language.

Regards
Richard Nealon

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508 - 514 of 724 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2012

Don't waste your money staying here. . There's much nicer places at a third of the price. We stayed a couple of nights in the Western Isles hotel, June 2012. Views are fabulous, but not worth the cost of staying. Food very average, small portions and overpriced. Rooms are dated, boring and basic. Bathroom terrible. Service poor. There is no atmosphere in the hotel. There is no 'traditional Scottish welcome' - apart from the views from some rooms, once you get past reception you could be anywhere in the UK. We tried to speak to lady on reception about some of the problems but she wasn't interested. Trust me, your money would be better spent elsewhere.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Scott B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 12, 2012

Dear Scott B
I am very sorry that you are so disappointed with your stay. One of the unique things about the hotel is our idyllic location. Only 9 of our bedrooms have an inland view, whereas nearly all the public rooms and the 17 remaining bedrooms (including yours) have stunning views. My recollection is that the weather was fabulous during your stay, so you would also have been able to relax on the terrace to make even more of it. I simply do not understand how you feel you could have been staying “anywhere in the UK”.

Our island location does mean that we incur significant extra costs than an equivalent hotel on the mainland, most of which we absorb. We do ask all our guests how they rate us for 'value for money' on our internal guest questionnaires. Since the 1st April we have received over 140 completed questionnaires and these guests have scored an average of 76 for value for money – where 100 is excellent; 75 is very good and 50 is good. I am sorry you do not feel able to agree.

Regards
Richard Nealon

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Reviewed June 10, 2012

This was my second visit to this wonderful hotel within 2 years. We stayed in the Glenlivet Room on the first floor, overlooking Tobermory Bay. As an added bonus, Mull was bathing in glorious sunshine with temperatures reaching 26 degrees C! [May 23rd to 26th]. We also stayed an additional night, simply because the ambience of this hotel is magnetic. I cannot state strongly enough how the staff and management are so charming and efficient. We have travelled extensively throughout Europe, but this hotel reaches expectations ahead of the rest.The room we had was spacious and gave an air of "gracious living", which indeed it was.The food was delicious and the waiting staff in the dining room were all "individuals"; so refreshing in a day and age of corporate bland service in so many hotels nowadays. Another delight about this hotel are details such as the information given on the back of the menus regarding what is going on around the Island for that particular week. The weather forecast [always an important topic!] is also displayed at the reception desk....wonderful! If anyone is looking for an hotel which embraces all human senses, then I would suggest they seek out, and enjoy this hotel, which really does make an example of how an individual hotel should be run. Well done to The Western Isles Hotel for giving yet, another memorable stay. P.S only one small glich....Next visit, need more chilled champagne please!! Hoorah!

Room Tip: The Glenlivet Room is magnificent with a huge ensuite bathroom.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank ARDFENAIG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 12, 2012

Dear Ardfenaig
Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to write another great review for us. In so many ways you hit on everything we do our best to achieve - individual service thats both professional and friendly, combined with great food and stunning views. It really is rewarding to know when we do hit the right mark.
Many apologies for the champagne glitch. Its all sorted and delicious chilled Pol Roger is now available. Perfect for a summers afternoon on our sunny terrace!
Hope to see you back with us soon
Very best wishes
Richard

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Reviewed June 9, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Western Isles hotel on Tueday night whilst having a lovely weeks holiday on the island, so much so we booked again for the Friday night. Everyone made us feel just as welcome and we had another super meal(the best on the island in absolutely wonderful surrounding) before enjoying coffee in the lounge. Thanks, see you again soon. snmbdxxx
PS I would love to have the venison bourguignon recipe - Any chance?

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank steffy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 12, 2012

Dear Steffy B
Thank you so much for your great review. It really is appreciated by all the staff. Of course we can give you the Venison Bourguignon recipe - just drop us an email to reception@westernisleshotel.co.uk and we'll send it over.
Thank you again, and we hope to see you back in Tobermory soon
Very best wishes
Richard

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Reviewed May 31, 2012

A Victorian hotel that is being restored to its historical splendour. Large bedroom with views over the bay. We could watch farriers, otters and sea birds from our room. The dining room was a large glass conservatory overlooking the bay. The food and service was excellent. We were on the third floor. No lift but good exercise.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Charlie-Fans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2012

Dear Charlie-Fans
Thank you for such a good review. It really does make a difference to all the staff to hear you've had such a good stay.
Very best wishes
Richard

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Reviewed May 29, 2012

Location, view, decor, clean, great service. Just absolutely wonderful. The dinner was surprisingly great. Service and the food were the best after a week of travel in Scotland. The view is speechless. Just sitting in the patio with a drink and watched the boats come and go was just therapeutic after a day of hiking and driving.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank boazleung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2012

Dear Boazleung
Thank you so much for your great review. Its very much appreciated.
Very best wishes
Richard

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Reviewed May 25, 2012

First visit to Mull - we spent 2 nights at the Western Isles. Enjoyed the stay. I especially loved the "Conservatory" - bar/restaurant area with huge windows overlooking the harbor - and the parlor. I felt like I'd see some fine Victorian folks at any minute. The food wasn't terrific (a little burned) but overall not bad and the setting made up for it, for me. It's a big undertaking to refurbish a place like this, but it's going to be so worth it! I'd like to go back in 5 years when they've had more time. The staff were very friendly, and gave us wonderful advice about what to see and do while we were on Mull. I recommend the hotel if you're swayed by historic charm, a fantastic setting, and friendly staff, as long as you're patient with a work in progress.

Room Tip: Get a harbor view!
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ACM4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2012

Dear ACM4
Thank you for your review. First apologies for the food not being up to scratch. We take all the feedback we get seriously and we'll be looking at how we can avoid being inconsistent.
Second, thank you for being so supportive of everyone's efforts to return the hotel to its former glory. It is a long haul but we've made great progress and having positive feedback really does make a difference.
Hope we see you before 5 years is out!
Very best wishes
Richard

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Additional Information about Western Isles Hotel

Address: Tobermory PA75 6PR, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Isle of Mull > Tobermory
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Tobermory
Price Range: $80 - $249 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Western Isles Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy stunning views over Tobermory Harbour or across the bay and out to the Sound of Mull. If excellent food, friendly service and a great atmosphere are what you're looking for, then the Western Isles is for you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Western Isles Hotel Tobermory, Scotland

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