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Orsay House

8 Queen Street What3words ///cleansed.punks.seagulls, Portnahaven PA47 7SJ Scotland
COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect nightly room rates, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
Traveller (55)
Room & Suite (22)
Dining (11)
Payments made by partners impact the order of prices displayed. Room types may vary.
Travel safe during COVID-19
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What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitised in high-temperature wash
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Contactless check-in
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Updated 07/06/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Orsay House
Updated 07/06/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


Travellers' Choice
Nestled in the heart of the pretty Conservation Village of Portnahaven and only a few steps from the sea, Orsay House is ideal for leisurely weekend or mid week breaks, or spoil yourself and stay longer. A traditional and handsome house, reputed to have been previously owned by a sea captain, Orsay House retains many original features, whilst enjoying modern comforts. Islay is renowned for its friendliness and popular pastimes include whisky, wildlife and bird-watching, walking, fishing and golf. ​ Located on Queen Street, with a well-maintained garden stretching down to the rocks and sea, Orsay House Bed & Breakfast offers uninterrupted, spectacular Atlantic sea views from the decked area in front of the house. where guests can sit and watch the antics of the local seal population and some amazing sunsets. Come and visit us soon and experience Islay's magic for yourself.
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Full view
Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Free breakfast
Bicycle rental
Airport transportation
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor furniture
Car park
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Breakfast in the room
Complimentary instant cofffee
Complimentary tea
Special diet menus
Golf course
Bowling offsite
Canoeing offsite
Sun terrace
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Room features
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Bottled water
Clothes rack
Flatscreen TV
Bath / shower
Private bathrooms
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
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Room types
Ocean view
Landmark view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
Great View
Languages Spoken
67Reviews1Q+A11Room tips
Traveller rating
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Popular mentions
Sara M wrote a review 12 Jun
1 contribution1 helpful vote
We spent four nights in this little jewel of B&B between the end of May and beginning of June 2021. It was our first time in Islay, and when we arrived in Portnahaven we were welcomed in the garden, as the weather was glorious, from where the view over the bay and the lighthouse on the little island opposite the bay was simply jaw-dropping. There is a colony of seals that is stationed there and you can spot them swimming or basking in the sun at any time of the day. Amazing. The Orsay House is a delightful house, really well kept and clean. It is well appointed with an incredible taste and well thought out in every detail. In our beautiful and spacious bedroom with sea view we even found 2 binoculars for observing the seals, and we could borrow them in the following days for our day trips, so we could observe birds and nature. My son found on his bed a fluffy toy seal, which drove him crazy and he was always hugging it. Gary and Ali as hosts are simply cut out for this job. I can't believe that they have been doing it only for a few years, because they do it really well. They are fundamentally very nice people, attentive, giving us lots of tips of what to do, where to eat, what to see. Gary is capable of describing exactly what you see at what point of the different roads... I felt like I was at home. In particular the breakfast moments were very joyous and I always had a good laugh with them. They have a large, modern and inviting kitchen, where you sit while they prepare breakfast for you. Absolutely not to be missed is the "porridge Portnahaven"... I won't spoil what it is, but if you go to Islay for a good reason (or shall I say for at least nine of these reasons!) then you can guess it. The breakfasts were generous and superb. I came home one day asking them if they knew what kind of bird I had spotted, after I described it. Gary told me it was an oystercatcher and Ali showed it to me on a book about all European birds and then she even lent me that book, just to show how kind and thoughtful they are. Islay in itself is a delightful island, with plenty of reasons to go back, but this stay definitely made me want to go back to see Gary and Ali again and spend some time in this beautiful, relaxing and unspoilt spot of the world.
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Date of stay: June 2021
Room Tip: best sea view
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1 Helpful vote
Frances D wrote a review 6 Jun
1 contribution1 helpful vote
We are just home from an amazing four night stay at Orsay House. Gary and Ali are lovely hosts, friendly and welcoming, and looked after us so well. They gave us great tips on places to visit and Gary also organised E-bike hire for us for a day which was brilliant! Our room was large and spacious with everything we could have wanted and had stunning views out to the sea and lighthouse. We were even able to watch seals play in the water from our window! We also enjoyed relaxing watching the sunset sitting on the blue seats in front of the house - the location is idyllic and so peaceful. The breakfasts each morning were delicious and set us up for the day and we always enjoyed a chat before heading out to explore the island. We couldn't have asked for more - it was a perfect few days. Thank you Gary & Ali, we hope to be back!
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Date of stay: June 2021
1 Helpful vote
Response from Gary Kaye, Owner at Orsay House
Responded 1 week ago
Thank you so much for your lovely review Frances. We were really touched that you took the time to give us such wonderful feedback, our guests often tell us how helpful it is to read past guests comments before booking their own visit. We try to ensure that our guests have everything they need to really enjoy their (often too short) time on Islay, whether that be a delicious breakfast, tips and hints on where to go and what to see, or just providing the perfect place to relax. We want our guests to be already talking about their next visit before they leave! We would love to welcome you and William back to Orsay House for your return visit (there's plenty more to see), just book direct or ring us for the best prices.
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Ieuan wrote a review May 2021
9 contributions2 helpful votes
I’d been trying to get to Orsay House for more than 12 months due to lockdown, so it was with a huge degree of anticipation (and much relief) that I finally arrived. Portnahaven is a very peaceful and beautiful place, and Orsay House compliments that perfectly. Ali and Gary are hugely welcoming, sensitive and discrete hosts and show genuine enthusiasm and concern to ensure the stay is excellent. My room was spacious and very tastefully appointed, an elegant space where relaxing was entirely possible - looking out over the bay, hearing and seeing the seals, and the lighthouse coyly winking at night was almost a sensory overload! I slept soundly all week, and I think entirely aided by the surroundings, fresh air and many activities that Islay has to offer. The breakfast phenomenon has been well documented in the literature surrounding Orsay House, and has surely entered the canon of legend - I heartily add my own endorsement / citation to that (see Fig 1.0). I genuinely can’t think of anything to suggest an improvement. Both Ali and Gary are an almanac and encyclopaedia for Islay, and will really add value and content to your trip if you tap into it during the pleasant breakfast conversations. The House has such a quiet feel about it, and gives you the sense of peace many of us are looking for in our escapes - it will stay with me for some time and I hope to be back. It represents stunning value for money in and of itself, but so much more when you consider everything else that is thrown in. I would also recommend visiting Islay Celtic Crafts, it’s a scenic walk outside the village, with great views of the coast and is place for authentic artisan, traditional material and great conversation also. You can take home a tangible reminder of Islay. Thank you so much Ali and Gary.
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Date of stay: April 2021Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: Make the most of your time, but make time to relax and take it in.
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1 Helpful vote
Response from Gary Kaye, Owner at Orsay House
Responded 2 weeks ago
We were glad that you eventually made it to Islay after re-arranging your visit for a third time due to covid. Thank you for taking the time to write such a glowing review your stay with us and, as you have discovered, there is still plenty more to see on our beautiful island. We love your comment in our visitor book "The last homely house east of the sea", might just have to pinch that. When inspiration strikes and you get your Islay inspired poems down on paper we would love to see them. You would be a most welcome return visitor when you return. Stay safe
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oldmissionhall wrote a review May 2021
Great Dunmow, United Kingdom5 contributions1 helpful vote
Gary & Ali looked after my elderly Mother wonderfully during her 8 night stay at their beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean B&B right on the ocean front in arguably the prettiest village on Islay. Amazing attention to detail with thoughtful touches such as a fridge with fresh milk and treats on the landing for guest's use, home baking and my Mum was even treated to the first Strawberries from their garden! The views from the two front bedrooms are amazing and they even provided binoculars for close up encounters with the seals playing in the harbour below. The hosts are genuinely warm, kind and helpful people perfectly suited to giving Islay visitors a friendly welcome, great suggestions of places to visit and dedicated to ensuring their guests have a lovely time. Thanks Ali & Gary, all of your great reviews are very richly deserved and my Mum is very much looking forward to her next visit already!!!
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Date of stay: May 2021
1 Helpful vote
Response from Gary Kaye, Owner at Orsay House
Responded 4 weeks ago
Thank you for such an amazing review, after the enforced closure due to Covid, it is really re-assuring to us that we can still offer such a warm welcome and enjoyable stay to our guests. Your Mother was an absolute pleasure to host and we would welcome her back at any time. Once again thank you for taking the time to post this review.
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Site One wrote a review Mar 2021
Chinnor, United Kingdom1 contribution1 helpful vote
Friendly hosts superb accommodation and great food. Absolutely nothing to dislike. Rooms spacious, breakfast was fantastic. Hosts very helpful and even though there for work made our stay most pleasurable. The local wildlife was in abundance we saw; seals, lots of local birds including a couple of eagles. Just a great pity we were working. Highly recommended and if ever we're that way again will definitely be staying here.
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Date of stay: March 2021
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled on business
1 Helpful vote
Response from Gary Kaye, Owner at Orsay House
Responded 24 Mar 2021
Thank you for reviewing your stay with us at Orsay House and we're really glad you enjoyed your time with us. We know that Islay is an amazing place and we're keen for all our visitors, regardless of whether you're here for work or holiday, to take away some of the magic. If you ever up this way again it would be a pleasure to welcome you to Orsay House again.
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US$122 - US$168 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
United KingdomScotlandThe HebridesIslayPortnahaven
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Frequently Asked Questions about Orsay House
Which popular attractions are close to Orsay House?
Nearby attractions include Islay Celtic Craft Shop (0.1 miles), Rhinns of Islay Lighthouse (0.5 miles), and Lossit Bay (3.0 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Orsay House?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Orsay House?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, complimentary tea, and free instant coffee during their stay.
Is parking available at Orsay House?
Yes, free parking, a parking garage, and street parking are available to guests.
Does Orsay House have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Orsay House offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are there any historical sites close to Orsay House?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Kilchoman Church (7.5 miles).
Does Orsay House have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.