The Manor House is one of two B&B/ guest houses on Rathlin Island, there are also two hostels. The building is owned by National Trust and has been leased or somesuch to the present proprietors for 5 or so years.
It is very conveniently located beside the ferry and from the website has all the promise of being a treat. The rooms are basic but adequate, the menu and imaginative presentation of food lives up to their strapline "we catch it , we grow it, we serve it" and the staff are pleasant, motivated and courteous.
But the proprietors have a manner more akin to large hotels - aloof and impersonal, which left me with a less positive impression. Maybe they feel they have a captive market on this very small island, since the other B&Bs don't as yet have a Trip Advisor review?
In the guest folder they are keen to inform guests of the improvements they have made and how environmentally aware they are with solar panels for hot water, FairTrade goods and low impact cleaning materials etc. A whole page is devoted to the challenges they face living on an Island which is interesting, thought provoking and informative - for example their recycling arrangements, water supply and heating. OK so I'll not leave the heat on with the window open and I'll not clean my teeth with the tap running...... For me, it created an impression of what I could do to help them and significantly less about what they could do to help me (their paying guest).
In room 11, which is directly over the public bar, there is a continual noise from the heating system even when the room radiator is off. At half past midnight I decided that two hours of disturbance from a dog barking outside was unacceptable, dressed and went down to the bar. The proprietress told me they had just called last orders, the dog belongs to a customer in the bar but they would bring the dog into the bar. In the morning she simply said "good morning" without any mention of our conversation, apology or enquiry as to sleep. At my request, she agreed to give me an alternative room when she had "the time to identify which rooms were available" and as promised, a key was left for me at reception in the afternoon.
On checking out she blamed the computer for the miscalculation of my bill. I had paid in full for my B&B prior to arrival, so expected to pay for 5 food and drink extras. My bill had my B&B bill plus 7 food and drink items, a mistake she seemed to take in her stride and without apology.
Overall, Rathlin is a fantastic island, the RSPB seabird observatory is awe inspiring and Tom in the Boat House Visitor Centre definitely deserves a recomendation.
The Manor House is a guest house in a great location, offering superb food, good value accommodation and some really good ideas BUT let down by proprietors who seem to be tired of dealing with the general public (at the start of the season!)
- Also Known As:
- The Manor House Hotel
- The Manor House Hotel Rathlin Island
- The Manor House Rathlin Island, County Antrim
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Manor House is a lovely, late Georgian property overlooking the harbour in Rathlin Island's Church Bay. All our guest rooms are south facing, with sea views. We are pleased to provide modest accommodation and light meals for those wishing to enjoy peace, tranquility and an island to explore. ... more less