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The Colonsay
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Reviews (190)
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All reviewsoysterslog firesingle roomstunning islandwelcoming hotellow tidefood is excellentlocal producedining roomlovely roomdouble aspectspacious bathrooman excellent hotelsmall hotelexploring the islandscottish islandpublic areas
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128 - 133 of 190 reviews
Reviewed August 2, 2012

A generation after family holidays in cottages on Colonsay we returned in June for a few days at the Hotel. Last remembered as very much for locals (the bar) and intrepid naturalists and artists (the rooms) it had recently been changed into a boutique hotel with a first class dining room. We had reserved the very comfortable and spacious corner room with a wonderful view across the fields to the little port of Scalasaid. Sadly after two nights we had to move to a very compact room with tiny showeroom, but one could at least see the sea over the roof of the dining room. Meals were delicious and we were always put at a great table in the window. Local scallops, oysters and vegetables were particularly good, but the honey icecream was truly to die for (the chef said the secret lay with the Colonsay bees.) The summer staff were a very efficient and pleasant mix of young foreign and island-born. The residents' lounge was beautifully furnished, and many of us enjoyed the garden sheltered garden in the sun. However the hotel comes life in the evenings when the bar fills up with local residents and people staying in the cottages. For lunch we prefered to go down to Scalasaig to visit the well stocked shop to pick up a picnic to enjoy as we explored Colonsay and Oransay (when the tide allowed). With its relatively mild climate, Colonsay is much favoured by birds, otters and seals, and a fascinating history of settlement by Celts, Vikings and religious orders. Scalasaig now has an art and craft gallery, bookshop (comprehensive local interest stock), and cafe (but with a Walls monstrosity of a flag) and brewery (good drop I am asured!) Now the ferry from Oban calls most days (and twice on a Wednesday in summer for day trippers), and there are flights from the airstrip (in the middle of the golf course) which connect with Glasgow. A very special island that deserves quiet suposrt.

Room Tip: Ask for a good sea view
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank gogarden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

We stayed at the Colonsay Hotel for one night. First impressions of this hotel are that it's quaint and olde worlde, but it soon becomes clear that it's actually tired and needs attention. The very pleasant lady who checked us in explained that the shower in our room was broken, and they were awaiting parts from the mainland (logistics here must be a nightmare), but we could use the shower in a nearby unoccupied room. I had a shower, and I had three options with the water - a scalding hot dribble, a lukewarm dribble, or a stone cold shower at normal pressure. I then nearly fell, as there was no slip mat.
Meals at Colonsay Hotel. Evening meal – we sat down at 7.30, but nobody took our order until 7.45. Although the food was very good, the service was abysmally slow. We eventually got dessert just after 9.30. By contrast, the service in the hotel’s bar was excellent. Breakfast the following morning – service was slightly better than last night, but the food quality was poor, and the waitress left a lot to be desired; this is pretty verbatim;
“Do you want a cooked breakfast?”
“Yes please, what’s available?”
“Oh, the usual stuff, egg, beans, sausage, tomato.”
“Okay, I’ll have that, then”.
What I actually got was fried egg, sausage, bacon, tomato, mushrooms (to which I’m allergic) and black pudding (which I loathe). The sausage and bacon were really cheap catering versions, and the whole thing was swimming in grease. Hard to believe this was from the same kitchen that had produced a high quality (albeit slow) meal the previous evening.
Altogether, the Colonsay Hotel was a bit of a disappointment.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Samthetax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JMH873, Owner at The Colonsay, responded to this reviewResponded April 23, 2013

I am so sorry you had a poor experience on Tuesday 2nd April. Unfortunately our chef had a serious accident and was not able to work that day/evening and our assistant chef had only just arrived to work in the hotel (as it was the start of the season) and it coincided with our first busy night! We would be delighted to give you a complimentary dinner when you are next on the island to show you that our chef can produce delicious food and that your experience was due to extraordinary circumstances.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

I really enjoyed staying at the Colonsay Hotel. It was a bit of an adventure for me, to come all this way just following a memory of an article read thirty years ago, but I had a great time.
My room was the smallest of the hotel (and my own bathroom was along the corridor and suffered some hiccups), but the hotel had everything I needed: nice communal rooms (with wifi), fireplaces, lovely atmosphere and very helpful staff.
The bar gets lively in the evening, but in the afternoon it was a quiet place to watch a bit of the Open (try the local beer !)
The restaurant had an excellent menu: I will have fond memories of the pan seared scallops, of the amazing honey ice cream and of the oysters (which I learned to savour with a drop of tabasco sauce from a fellow guest).
In general, the hotel is an ideal place to meet the most amazing people - at least this is what happened to me in my five day stay. I loved every minute of it - even when it rained.

Room Tip: Go for the double !
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Donatella C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

Absolutely fabby, booked late so our room was small but absolutely adequate, mattress tired and advised it be dumped but room spotless and linen luxurious . Quaint chique feel to the whole hotel, modern but with a lovely traditional feel. Staff wonderful, food to die for, coeliac diet understood exceptionally well,Food fantastic, fresh , well presented waiter superb. Bar a good mix of locals and visitors all getting on together. All guests relaxed and friendly, hotel had this ambience of allowing instant relaxation. Loved it so much I even felt myself wondering how I could earn a living on this wonderful island. Walked all weekend even although we took the car, beaches beautiful, felt as if we were on a desert island at times, shop keepers lovely, spotted a jumper which cost £700 -would love one, I could go on and on, Get on the ferry and go see for yourself ...oh and nearly forgot sheep everywhere and a little smelly when the sun shines because of this take boots, Saw a dragon fly approx 5 inches long!!!
.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank mrandmrs30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

We didn't stay in the hotel as a B&B price is half the cost of a room and breakfast. Not a full Scottish breakfast mind you!! When I emailed the hotel to find this out (it is not clear on the website) it is for a continental, but you can have eggs!! They have a captive market at the hotel as you come off the ferry and the hotel is a couple of hundred yards up the hill in front of the pier. However do a bit of research as the B&B owners usually pick you up from the ferry or airport.
We chose to eat here in the evening. Didn't have a starter but chose halibut with cheddar creamed leeks. I was a bit surprised to find that it only came with the sauce, at £19, so ordered "Colonsay salad leaves" at £2.50. This was an extremely small bowl of lettuce a couple of bits of cucumber and tomato. To be fair, the halibut was delicious however I would not have wanted to be a walker coming off the hills starving and paying all that money for small portions. IOt reall should have come with some form of side. In retrospect I should have gone for the burger which looked nice and came with chips at £13. Drinks were expensive, again a victim of the captive market. Staff were very friendly and efficient. Would I go back? Not sure, but alternative is only The Pantry, which could pull up it's socks and be a worthy opponent to the hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Ginger005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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