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The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast

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Traveller (70)
Room & Suite (13)
Dining (11)

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About

#3 of 6 B&Bs in Bowmore
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
The Island Bear bed and breakfast is an ideal place to stay on your visit to Islay. Centrally located on Shore Street in Bowmore it is easy to find and is perfectly positioned for all the necessary holiday conveniences. The Island Bear is open all year. The Island Bear is not big but we feel this enables us to give you more individual attention. We have 3 en-suite bedrooms - two doubles and one twin/double, and a large dining and lounge room which gives you plenty of room to enjoy your breakfast or relax in comfort after a busy day.
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Property amenities
Free public parking nearby
Free internet
Wifi
Free breakfast
Bicycle rental
Bowling offsite
Non-smoking hotel
Private check-in / check-out
Breakfast available
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Complimentary tea
Special diet menus
Fishing
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Room features
Air purifier
Private bathrooms
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Centrally Located
Charming
97Reviews1Q+A23Room tips

Reviews
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oldline wrote a review Sept 2023
4 contributions
i stayed for 3 nights as part of a whisky tour. Fiona and Duncan are fantastic hosts and very welcoming. The rooms were very comfortable and clean with a view out over the rooftops to the Loch. Breakfast was made to order and more was available if required. the Island Bear is in the middle of town and within a stones throw of the local bus services, shops, restaurants, the Bowmore distillery, and a very nice pub called the Lochside inn which as the name suggests is on the side of the loch.
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Date of stay: September 2023
Value
Location
Service
Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: The local restauants can be very busy so it's a good idea to bo before you arrive.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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trirun26 wrote a review Jul 2023
Wellington, Florida29 contributions11 helpful votes
We stayed at the Island Bear while doing a whisky tour in Islay. This bed and breakfast was beautiful, clean and located in a beautiful street in Islay. The owner couple were present every day and did everything they could to make your stay wonderful . The breakfast was freshly prepared every morning and it was delicious. The room was clean and comfortable. Just loved this place and hope to be back again!
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Date of stay: July 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Fiona MacIntyre, Owner at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Responded 18 Aug 2023
Thank you for taking the time to write a review, it is much appreciated. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your time in Islay, so much that you wish to return. We would be delighted to welcome you back anytime. Kind regards Fiona
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Waxmaniac wrote a review May 2023
1 contribution1 helpful vote
We were not able to travel for our initial booking due to the pandemic. We had paid 73 pounds deposit. Fiona sent us a mail asking whether she should send the money back or she could keep it for a future booking. Because we intended to travel as soon as it would be safe again and because it was a very challenging time for hotels we let her keep it. In July 2022 I contacted her again to arrange a booking for our May 2023 trip to Islay. Fiona responded stating that she will transfer our deposit to the new booking and offering 2 alternative rooms. I wrote back clearly stating which room we want to take. However, attached to her mail was a form that I did not fill out. In January 2023 she wrote a mail asking whether we still wanted to come to Islay because she had rented all rooms to a large group. I couldn´t believe that she gave the room to somebody else without getting in touch. When I found another B&B and asked her to send my deposit back she said that she would rather forward it to our new B&B because of high fees for the bank transfer. Even though this clearly was not my problem I agreed and send her the name of the new B&B. Afterwards, she just kept the money and when I reached out again in May 2023 she stated that she had just found my mail in the junk folder. Also, she wrote that she didn´t have any contact details and could not forward the money. I could pick it up at her B&B. When I responded that this wasn´t acceptable to me she wrote that she can send me the money but would deduct 10punds fee from her side. After many mails I received just 31.44 of the 73 pounds I had paid in my bank account. I sent Fiona a mail asking for the rest to which she responed that she deducted 10 pounds for her effort and that the rest was banking fees. OUTRAGEOUS!!! I am sure she wouldn´t accept any guest just paying half the prize and claiming the rest was taken by the bank. Don´t book at the Islay Bear! I sure won´t ever again!
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Date of stay: May 2023
Service
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Fiona MacIntyre, Owner at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Responded 11 Jun 2023
Thank you Beat for taking the time to write this review. We totally understand that you are not happy with the international and currency charges added by the banks, however, this is out with our control. We note your comments and believe that, unfortunately there has been a number of misunderstandings. Our Enquiry Document and Confirmation of Booking documents are used try and stop any misunderstandings occurring. Any feedback and/or improvements on the content of these documents would be very welcome. It is important to us that all our guests and visitors to Islay enjoy their time on the island and do our utmost to achieve this aim In 2021 you booked with us and paid a deposit, this booking was cancelled due to your travel difficulties, however, we were open for business on your chosen dates. Our Terms & Conditions are clearly written on our website. Refunds are subject to an admin fee and any bank charges that may occur. You were informed of this when the booking was cancelled (in 2021). At this point you were reluctant to accept the charges indicating that you were intending to come to Islay when the Covid 19 situation had resolved. A number of 2020 cancelled guests chose to rebook at a later date and left the deposit, this had worked well for all concerned, so we offered this option which was accepted. At any point, had you requested your deposit back, and on receipt of your full bank account details, on receipt of your full bank details,it would have been returned immediately. When you made an enquiry in 2022, we were aware of your deposit sitting in our accounts and was more than happy to accept this for 2023. However, this enquiry was not turned in to a confirmed booking as you failed to provide the information requested on our Enquiry document to confirm a booking, including the type of room you required At this point we could not allocate you a room and did not send you our Confirmation of Booking. It was still an enquiry. In January 2023, I was checking out all our enquiries outstanding and decided to email you to find out if you were still intending to visit Islay. Unfortunately, by this time some of the dates you chose were fully booked as we only have 3 rooms in total. Again we offered to return your deposit from your cancelled booking in 2021 but you were deemed the charges unacceptable. Due to our very central location on the A806, through Bowmore, (stones throw from Bowmore Distillery) you would most likely pass our door on various occasions. However, again this was unacceptable to you. The request we received to transfer your deposit to a third party did not include enough information, (no name or address), to make this possible. You then requested a refund to your Swiss Bank Account, again the information supplied was incomplete and eventually you provided the full details of your bank account. The amount of £63.88 (£73.88 less admin fee) was sent to your Swiss bank account. The amount received would have been due to the International Bank Fee, the exchange rate on the day and any charges your bank would have made. In conclusion, we do hope you this misunderstanding will not spoil your enjoyment of our beautiful island later this month.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Brianna B wrote a review May 2023
2 contributions1 helpful vote
We just finished up a three night stay as part of a whiskey tour (Scottish Routes) with our great hosts, Fiona and Duncan. I was a bit hesitant as it was our first BnB experience, but I was blown away with the hospitality and family feel of our accommodations. It was clear how much our hosts love the island and they provided us with so much knowledge about different families and the history of Islay. The breakfast was top notch and the room was very inviting. I could barely hear the other guests moving about, certainly much less than a standard hotel. I enjoyed opening the windows and listening to the small town and sea at night. The inn is also centrally located in the town so there was plenty to see and do in the town. Thank you again for having us!
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Date of stay: May 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Make dinner reservations in advance
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Fiona MacIntyre, Other at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Responded 18 May 2023
Thank you for taking the time to write a review, it is much appreciated. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your time on Islay It really makes our day. We enjoyed having you both and would be delighted to welcome you back anytime, should you decide to visit again. Kind regards Fiona
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Ian M wrote a review Oct 2022
2 contributions
my wife sue & I stayed here for 4 nights, could not have chosen better, wonderful hosts, choice of breakfast that set you up for the day of exploration (drove over 200 miles while on the island) of the scenery & investigation of where my ancestors once lived. Fiona was very helpful with my family tree research with help as to where we should visit to learn more, as well as sights to see and the wildlife to look out for; buzzards, red kites, deer & seals which we managed to see ourselves & more if you are lucky enough highly recommended AAA+++ rating. ian & sue
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Date of stay: September 2022
Cleanliness
Service
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: chose cabin 3, if you can, spacious, with lovely views
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Fiona Macintyre, Owner at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Responded 6 Nov 2022
Hi Ian and Sue. Thank you for the excellent review, it really is appreciated. We are delighted that you both enjoyed your time on Islay and were delighted to be able to assist you with your research. It makes our day when our guests enjoyed their time on our beautiful island. We would be delighted to welcome you both back anytime. Kind regards Fiona
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Mary L wrote a review Sept 2022
42 contributions13 helpful votes
Stayed here three nights with a friend while on a 4 night whiskey tour. Fiona was extremely responsive from the beginning, answering my questions. There are only 3 guest rooms, so it's quiet. We had a second floor, "Lagavulin" room, AKA room 1. Bathroom was very large including a tub. Room was big spacious enought too, recently updated. Breakfast was to order, and ample. Fiona and her husband were extremely welcoming and hard working. They even mailed my postcards for me, as the PO was closed and I was leaving the island. It's location is central, just a block from the most popular bars and restaurants in town. Two blocks from the Bowmore distillery,
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Date of stay: September 2022
Rooms
Location
Service
Room Tip: Might need earplugs for the little traffic, but loud traffic.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Fiona Macintyre, Owner at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Responded 23 Sept 2022
Thank you Mary for your kind words and for taking the time to write a review, it is much appreciated. Hope your postcards reached everyone. We are both delighted that you enjoyed your time on Islay and would be delighted to welcome you back anytime. Kind regards Duncan & Fiona
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Greg E wrote a review Sept 2022
4 contributions
My son and I stayed for 3 days in July 2022. What a perfect location right across the street from Bowmore distillery, a whisky bottle shop, and several restaurants in the center of the town of Bowmore. Also right next to the water. Fiona and Duncan were wonderful hosts. They put out a pad for us to write on to indicate what we wanted for breakfast the next day. We had a full scottish breakfast one day and a smaller breakfast the other days. All the food was wonderful. I especially enjoyed the bread they used for toast, and of course the irish butter. wonderful. Our room was clean and the bathroom looked brand new. Our hosts provided great travel suggestions on Islay and were very helpful with info on buses, travel times etc. We would definitely visit the Island Bear again on a repeat visit.
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Date of stay: July 2022
Rooms
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Fiona Macintyre, Owner at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Responded 23 Sept 2022
Thank you for your kind words, it is much appreciated. We are delighted that you both enjoyed your stay and your time on Islay. We would be delighted to welcome you both again should you wish to return to Islay. Kind regards Duncan & Fiona
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Grant H wrote a review Aug 2022
8 contributions
We had such an amazing stay in Islay at the Island Bear! The recently renovated rooms were spacious, well furnished, and gorgeous. Duncan and Fiona were gracious hosts, made an unbeatable Scottish Breakfast, and took great care of us. They were very knowledgable about the island and gave us some great suggestions. We are so grateful for our experience, and we would highly recommend anyone visiting Islay to stay here.
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Date of stay: July 2022
Value
Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Fiona Macintyre, Owner at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Responded 6 Sept 2022
We enjoyed meeting you both and so pleased to hear that you enjoyed our beautiful island so much that you intend to return. It really makes our day. Kind regards Fiona and Duncan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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ish1983 wrote a review May 2022
Southampton, United Kingdom37 contributions6 helpful votes
We had such a lovely stay with Fiona and Duncan. They were very hospitable and knowledgeable and were charming. The room was very clean, had great decor and was extremely comfortable. The super king size bed was amazing! The shower was great and lovely to have a bath. Breakfast was very yummy! Thank you for a wonderful stay 😊
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Fiona Macintyre, Owner at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Responded 6 Sept 2022
Thank you for taking the time to write a review, we really appreciate it. We are that you you both enjoyed your time on Islay. It really makes our day.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Jacqueline W wrote a review Sept 2021
5 contributions
our first visit to Islay and won't be our last, we (I) had wanted to visit for many years and the opportunity presented itself early June this year. Having no previous experience to go on, we vied for The island Bear, we were not disappointed, the hosts, Fiona and Duncan are such lovely and welcoming hosts, nothing is too much trouble for them. The property is well maintained, extremely comfortable and central in Bowmore which meant that travelling round the island was easy, everywhere we needed to travel to was no more than 45 minutes of our base, our board was b and b, and can honestly say, we had the pick of any breakfast we wanted during our 4 night stay, we don't usually do b & b but glad we did, as we got to meet a wonderful couple, and, unlike traditional b and b's, we didn't need to leave our room in the morning and return in the evening, everything was so very relaxed, we could come and go as we pleased, if visiting Islay, please do make a point of staying here
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Date of stay: June 2021
Value
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Response from Fiona Macintyre, Owner at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Responded 6 Oct 2021
Thank you for taking the time to write a review Jacqueline, it is much appreciated. We are so pleased you both enjoyed your first visit to Islay so much that you intend to return again. We would be delighted to welcome you back anytime. Kind regards Fiona
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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PRICE RANGE
£115 - £149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
United KingdomScotlandThe HebridesIslayBowmore
NUMBER OF ROOMS
3
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THE ISLAND BEAR BED AND BREAKFAST - Updated 2024 Prices (Islay)

Frequently Asked Questions about The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast
Which popular attractions are close to The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast?
Nearby attractions include Islay Outdoors (3.2 miles), Museum of Islay Life (3.7 miles), and RSPB Loch Gruinart Reserve (4.4 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, free internet access, and bicycle rental.
What food & drink options are available at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, complimentary tea, and free instant coffee during their stay.
Is parking available at The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast?
Yes, free public parking nearby is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast?
Conveniently located restaurants include Peatzeria, Port Charlotte Hotel Restaurant, and Bridgend Hotel Restaurant.
Are there any historical sites close to The Island Bear Bed and Breakfast?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Finlaggan (7.0 miles), Kilnave Cross (7.4 miles), and Kilchoman Church (6.2 miles).