Just returned from ten days on Shetland, and spent two days on Fair Isle (not long enough) as part of the trip. Fair Isle itself is spectacular, and if you've ever thought of going I can't recommend it highly enough. But staying at the Bird Observatory *made* the trip to to Fair Isle - it's far more than just somewhere to stay.
The accommodation itself is clean and comfortable - all very new as the new building has not long been opened. Good size rooms which are ensuite shower room (great shower!). There are also bathrooms on each corridor for those who like a soak, which also contain hair driers. A comfortable bed, fluffy towels and extra soft fleecy blankets if you're feeling the Fair Isle chill. No TV in the room, but if you're on Fair Isle you'll have something better to do. Tea and coffee making facilities either downstairs in the lounge or at the end of the upstairs corridor rather than in room.
Downstairs if the (cash only) bar / lounge, the visitor centre, library and the dining room. These are open for everyone, and if you're not staying at the lodge you can book meals. The communal areas have fantastic large windows with wonderful views. For those staying, it's fully catered - with the option of lunch at the observatory or a packed lunch. Meals are set, with a vegetarian option. However dietary requests are catered for. I'm vegan and had great meals.
Other than the comfortable accommodation, great food, and fantastic hospitality, what makes this place *the* place to stay on Fair Isle is the Ranger Service, and the chance to get involved in activities. Again, these are open to everyone, but staying at the observatory makes it more convenient, and easier to keep in touch with what's happening (stuff is posted on a noticeboard in the lounge area) Whilst there, we went on a puffin walk, and observed storm petrels being ringed - and were allowed to release them, which was a fantastic experience.
We were planning a return trip before we were on the Good Shepherd heading back to mainland! As a previous reviewer said, FIBO isn't 5 star luxury accommodation. But I think it's possibly the best place I've ever stayed. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC