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Isle of Barra Beach Hotel
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Reviews (512)
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All reviewsstunning locationcinema roomdining roomnautical themewhite sandy beachtangasdale beachouter hebridesowners and staffa sea view roombeautiful islandscallopswhisky galorebreakfast and dinneramazing viewsmany thanksboth nightscooked breakfast
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309 - 314 of 512 reviews
Reviewed March 15, 2013

The setting is superb, and would be frighteningly majestic in a Westerly gale on a big spring tide.
The time to be here is in an Easterly (offshore) wind-as we were- which gives sheltered seas and great beaches to wander over. The sea is unnaturally warm at this latitude due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, so bathing is not too daunting in the right weather, even in May.
The fabric of the hotel is strong and somewhat utilitarian and thus reflects the demands of the challenging Hebridean weather. During our stay we were well fed and cared for to a level that is in keeping with the expectations of the sort of people that are prepared to holiday in the Outer Islands. This is not a place for travellers who like to 'ring down for room service'.

Inevitably, the staff make of break the experience. The owners (and staff) at the time of our visit (May 2012) were first rate, but I learned that the place was up for sale.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank dalforce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012 via mobile

We popped in for coffee as advertised as available outside the hotel only to be told we would have to wait as coffee / tea are not served all day. After waiting sometime we were served possibly the worst coffee ever tasted in a tacky cafe style room. The views and location are outstanding however the service and the hotel are far from it.

Stayed: September 2012
15  Thank Liz-Al01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oldgreymatter, Owner at Isle of Barra Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2012

Dear Liz-A101
Thank you for your review which we are naturally concerned about. We are both sorry and concerned that you had the worst coffee ever tasted as we pride ourselves on the renowned brand of quality fresh ground coffee that we offer. What is so surprising about your review, two months after your apparent visit, is that despite your most unsatisfactory experience, you did not raise anything with us at the time. Should you have done this, we may have been able to at least try to put things right for you and possibly have ensured that you had a happier visit.
As a quick last question, your description of a tacky cafe style room has rather thrown us, as the hotel does not have a cafe, tacky or otherwise and as such we wonder whether or not you have reviewed the right place?

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012

I stayed at the Isle of Barra Hotel as a Tour Manager for many years during which time it was in the possession of two enthusiastic families and, despite it's rather dated appearance and facilities was hard to fault for ambience and the quality of its food and service. Sadly the next owner was just an asset stripper and the hotel's reputation disappeared overnight.
Now again in family ownership the owners have worked hard to restore its reputation and although my report is based solely on calling in for a casual cup of coffee on a wet day the welcome I received augurs well for the full restoration to its former glory.

Room Tip: Rooms with sea view are mind-blowing
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank Frank2285
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

I stayed here in late august of this year as part of a Brightwaters tour. Our welcome was a bit dodgy - the hostess commented that we all looked glum - but we had been on a coach all day and two ferries!

However, the hotel is placed in the most fantastic situation - truly gorgeous. Our room was absolutely fine with a great view of the beach. Staff were helpful. I should just say that there are stairs and so forth. Not suitable for those who require wheelchair access.

Evening meals fine - and the glorious sun streaming in from the West. Breakfast? Well, poor. The sliced sausage - did it come out of a can? Improve the breakfast.

Otherwise, a hotel which is situated in the most amazing and enchanting area. A good hotel.

I would come here again and have recommended it to others.

Be sure to get a beach view, though!

Anne

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Anne56London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

We stayed for two nights and were made very welcome by the owners and staff.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the en-suite room was quite unusual - the walls are painted concrete blocks and have a motel feel, however it was clean and comfortable. We booked a non-sea view room to get the best of their September offers - it was good value for money for B&B - we didn't have an evening meal there.
Full marks to the management - we reported that the bed in our room was damaged and by the time we returned it had been replaced.

I understand that work is steadily being done to upgrade the hotel by the owners and that it has had a large part of the upgrade already. It was designed in the seventies to resemble an upturned ship, a quirky architect's idea that has sort of worked for this very distinctive hotel in a fantastic position by the beach.

The views of the sea and the beach from the dining room are fantastic.

Anyone with mobility problems might like to check with the hotel what is possible in terms of access to rooms. There is a ramp to the front door but once inside there are wide and well marked steps leading to the bedrooms and other amenity areas.

The breakfast could have been more imaginative with, for example some choices of fruit and choices of jams, maybe some oatcakes or wholemeal bread, but it seems that they are catering for large parties so maybe the logistics of serving large numbers quickly make this too difficult.
Our cooked breakfast was fine but I am sure I am not alone in preferring healthier options.


The Hotel has a wee shop which had a good supply of postcards etc. The island of Barra is not well served with shops so, if in doubt, buy from the Hotel.

I would stay again.

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