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“Climbing towards 4 star”

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Western Isles Hotel
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Tobermory
Whitby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Climbing towards 4 star”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2013

The Western Isles Hotel occupies a superb position overlooking Tobermory's harbour. From information provided in the bedroom it is apparent that the owners, who have been in place for 5 years are on a programme of refurbishment. The public rooms downstairs are all lovely,comfy and welcoming.The staff are attentive and very helpful.We had dinner in the hotel on both nights of our stay. The food was really well cooked,and very tasty.
The only downside from our point of view was our bedroom. It would be fair to say it was a bit tired with quite cheap looking furniture.However it was very clean and warm. We only had an inland view but this was reflected in the price we paid.
I always bear in mind how much our stay has cost as to how I rate a property as everything except price is subjective.
We were on the winter offer which meant we paid 240.00 for 2 nights DBB ,with our ferry fare paid for by the hotel.
It is obvious from the owner and staff that they are really trying to bring their hotel up the ladder, and I am sure they are heading in the right direction and wish them well for the future.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank johnallananderson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this review, November 8, 2013
Dear Johnallenanderson

Thank you so much for your kind words and taking the trouble to leave a review. Re-building the hotel is a slow process but we're steadily getting there, and its great to know everyones efforts are appreciated.

We hope you get the opportunity to re-visit us soon to see progress!

Very best wishes
Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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673 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (235)
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2013

Over several years we have visited this hotel and enjoyed both dinners in the dining room and bar meals. The hotel has recently changed hands and this was our first visit under the new owners.

Having booked dinner, bed and breakfast, we expected to have dinner in the dining room - this was not so. This was not a special offer and we paid the full advertised price, expecting to eat in the dining room, where dinner had always been served in the past. Dinner was served in what was described as the conservatory - which was in fact the bar, complete with bar stools, a noisy till, a telephone which rang frequently and glass topped tables - no table linen. Strangely enough breakfast was served in the dining room with linen tablecloths, napkins etc.

The young staff were under a lot of pressure and clearly had received very little training although they were doing their best.

We stayed for 4 nights and there were few changes to the menu, as you might expect from a bar menu.

We spoke to the manager about our disappointment and the fact that he was advertising and taking money for dinner, bed and breakfast when in fact he was providing bed, breakfast and a bar meal. He did not think there was any problem. We will not be going back to the Western Isles Hotel despite its' beautiful location.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jack 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 review, October 30, 2013
Dear Jack B

Thank you for leaving a review, although I'm very disappointed that your comments didn't take into account our long conversation during your stay with us.

We took over the hotel more than 5 years ago, and if I recall correctly it's well over 10 years since you were last here, so its not unreasonable to expect there to be changes. In any case one of the things we've tried our hardest to retain is the wonderful atmosphere, and I think we've done this with some success.

We offer all our resident guests a questionnaire to comments on their stay and this summer we've had more than 610 completed. Whilst one or two guests have commented that they preferred the old dining room - now named the Cameron Room - the vast majority prefer the Conservatory Restaurant where we serve a high standard of food. This is borne out by an improvement in the scores for both décor and food quality vs last year. I'm sorry it wasn't to your taste and I agree wholeheartedly with the vast majority of our guests that I really don't believe there is a problem.

In addition one of the advantages of the Conservatory is that more than 10 tables can enjoy our fabulous view, compared with just 4 in the Cameron Room. So many guests have told us how much they enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, enjoying what must surely be one of the best views from any Restaurant in Scotland.

Regards
Richard
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Sheffield, UK
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2013

We stayed here one night whilst touring Mull.

Location - Could hardly be better. Set in a commanding position above Tobermory providing stunning views of the bay and straights beyond from the front of the hotel. A short 2 or 3 minute downhill walk (steep) deposits you on the main street of Tobermory.

Service - Reception was efficient and friendly. The staff are young and do their job but you couldn't say they go out of their way or are particularly friendly.

Facilities - No lift so be prepared to negotiate some quite steep stairs (and a lot of them if you are staying higher than the 1st floor), Evening meals are served in the conservatory overlooking the bay - dogs are allowed (as they are in the rooms). The bar is also in the conservatory. Breakfast is served in what was obviously once the main dining room which also offers spectacular views. There is a magnificently Victorian lounge (with smaller side room) both boasting open fires - a great place to relax after dinner with a glass of Tobermory single malt.

Food etc - No complaints at all, The menu is not enormous but what they do they do well and it's all served quickly and efficiently. Moderate wine list and an impressive array of malts.

Room - We stayed in the Ghllie, a double room on the second floor. Clean, comfortable, fairly large and adequately furnished and decorated - fine for the price. The bathroom was large and well equipped. Water was hot and there was plenty of it. No problems with noise from other rooms. All in all no complaints at all - and then there is the view from the room which would make up for most things.

Dog friendliness - exceptional throughout the hotel (apart from at breakfast).

Overall - the hotel is clearly long past it's Victorian prime - but the owners seem to be making a fist of keeping it updated where it matters and making sure that staying here is an enjoyable experience. In my opinion the slightly shabby edges and air of faded glory enhance the character and atmosphere of the place no end.

If you want to stay in Tobermory I doubt you could do better.

Room Tip: Rooms at the front enjoy stunning views
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Swoggler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Dear Swoggler

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. Its great that you've left such thorough comments to help future bookers. We hope to welcome you back soon

Very best wishes

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
128 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2013

We were very disappointed to find that this hotel had made a booking error and were unable to honour our booking.
The management went out of their way to try to put things right and we accepted their offer of a complementary dinner to compensate us and for them to arrange a room for us elsewhere.
The dinner was served in a very lovely dining room overlooking the lovely bay of Tobermory.
The food was excellent. The sad part was leaving to go to our much inferior accommodation in the hotel behind this one.
If ever I am lucky enough to return to Tobermory, The Western Isles Hotel would be my first choice.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank andreamay_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Dear andreamay_11

Once again I'd like to apologise for the mix-up on our part that meant we were unable to honour your booking. As we discussed, it is very very rare for us to do this and we were tremendously apologetic. I'm glad that your meal went some way to assuage your disappointment, and that you'll feel able to give us a second chance next year. If so, do call and speak to me directly to make sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed.

In any case, thank you for sharing such a kind review

Very best wishes
Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kendal, United Kingdom
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2013

It was some 20 years ago when we last visited the Western Isles Hotel, at Tobermory on the Island of Mull, and at that time it was clear that it was in need of repair, upgrading and refurbishment if it was to be maintained as Mull's most prestigious guest accommodation. Since then the Hotel has had a chequered career which we kept track of on Tripadvisor, was closed for a time and suffered from changes in ownership. We visited again between 21 and 23 October, and chose to stay in a superior room overlooking the harbour. The views were stunning and we
were pleased that the new owners have a vision and plans to restore the hotel to its former glory.
We don't envy them their task, it must be like painting the Forth Bridge, but at least they are well on the way to achieving their goals. Internally, there is evidence of upgrading, but externally the
gardens are overgrown and what used to be paths down to the harbour are overgrown and unusable. The meals were excellent, although the dinner menu never varied during our stay and whilst scallops were advertised they were never available when requested. Staff were charming, save for one exception with a dining room waitress over a contretemps about scallops who was frankly, rude. One of the proprietors was always in evidence and appeared to take a personal interest in guests' requirements and seemed to iron-out problems before they occurred. We would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to visit Mull and stay in what was once and will be again, the most prestigious accommodation on the island. The proprietors deserve recognition for their hard work to date and their vision for the future. They also have a great off-season deal, where the Hotel pays for your ferry fare from Oban as part of their offering. This was a great success with guests and contributed to almost full occupancy during what would normally be the end of season quiet period. A very imaginative incentive, well worth repeating.

Room Tip: The hotel is situated on a commanding site overlooking the harbour and we would recommend booking ro...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Dear Michael S

Thank you so much for leaving such a great review. You and your wife really appreciate what we're trying to do at the Western Isles. You're right that it is definitely a labour of love! Please accept my apologies for the apparent rudeness - I appreciate how the waitress may have come across, but there was absolutely not intent to offend on her part. We'll definitely take on board all your comments, so thank you for making such an effort to leave them

We hope to welcome you back soon

Very best wishes
Richard
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Glenrothes, Scotland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013

This is as good a base as any for a holiday on Mull, with stunning views over the Sound of Mull and within easy walking distance of the shops and restaurants of Tobermory's colourful main street. The furnishings and decor are dated but that adds to the charm and seems appropriate to the history of the hotel. In other respects, the hotel is hard to fault. All the staff were friendly and helpful, service in the bar and at meal times was good, as was the quality of the food at dinner and breakfast. Overall, good value and somewhere we'd recommend to others.

Room Tip: It is worth paying the small amount extra for the sea view rooms.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank alyth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Dear alyth

Its great to hear that you'd recommend us to other folk looking for a base on Mull. Thank you so much for leaving a great review

Hope to see you back soon
Very best wishes
Richard
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Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2013

Stayed at the Western Isles fab time great hotel, staff and food. Hotel is a little tired however did not spoil a great experience. It was my second stay there and since being taken over by Richard things are really improving. Will be really great when the showers are working properly. Bath was fine water hot..
Great experience.

Room Tip: No lift at the hotel so if you struggle with stairs try and stay on the lower floors.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank RichardCurtis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RichardNealon, Owner at Western Isles Hotel, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Dear RichardCurtis

We're so pleased you had such a great experience with us, and thank you for leaving a good review

Very best wishes

Richard
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 Western Isles Hotel

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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