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“Much better than average Highland pub food”
Review of Kinlochewe Hotel

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Kinlochewe Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kinlochewe
Ullapool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Much better than average Highland pub food”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

This is a review of the food only - we ate in the busy bar but didn't stay in the hotel. The menu is interesting, draws on local suppliers, who are named, and our choices were delicious,well cooked and nicely presented. It claims to be "Slow food" which means it is cooked to order and not pre-prepared and frozen. Although it was a busy bank holiday Sunday evening the kitchen coped well and the waiting staff were attentive. But they and we were frustrated by the fact that the bar became swamped trying to cope with competing demands - customers just in for drinks, drinks to the tables and even the totalling of the food bills and payment taking. It meant that for me the meal was less relaxed than it could have been.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Greylag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AJStaddon, Owner at Kinlochewe Hotel, responded to this review, 24 May 2014
We are delighted that you enjoyed your meal. We are very lucky having great local produce and artisan suppliers who keep us well stocked with great ingredients - our chefs really enjoy creating dishes that showcase the wonderful meats, fish, shellfish etc. that we source but keeping it simple so the great tastes are what shine through.
It certainly was a busy evening when you were here - and of course the bar is open to drinkers as well as diners. If you are in that situation again we are happy to seat you through in our breakfast room which is much quieter - but does not have the buzz of our busy bar. If you are looking for peace and quiet perhaps that is the answer for you. If you are here again during a busy time, please just ask and we will happily arrange for you to sit through there .
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242 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
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English first
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

We stayed here after a days walking in Torridon. Our room was spacious and warm with a huge comfy bed. Lovely bath and shower. Ate in the bar and both enjoyed the special of the day which was a delicious beef casserole. A good selection of real ales and whiskies finished the job off well. Breakfast was tasty and cheerfully served.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AJStaddon, Owner at Kinlochewe Hotel, responded to this review, 24 May 2014
We really appreciate you taking the time to post your lovely review. Thank you. We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay, the food, ale and whiskies. Hope to see you again soon!
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Derry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2014 via mobile

Stayed here in Feb 2014 with my wife and several climbing friends, 2 nights in the bunk room and 2 in the main hotel. By the end of the 2nd day we were already feeling like part of the furniture. The hotel owners were friendly hosts with a dry wit, very helpful and down to earth.

The bunk room was certainly fit for purpose and I'd recommend it to any outdoor group. We met some very nice people during our stay there with long chats over the cooking area. Hot showers when you needed them and plenty of storage space for your gear. When the bunk room was full though the drying room got a bit crowded.

When we moved into the hotel our comfort and fun kicked up several gears. It wasn't the Ritz but we had bathrobes, soaps and all the little touches. Our room had a shared bathroom with a massive bath (no shower) and tons of hot water, perfect for a luxurious relaxation after a day on the hill. Room for 2 with loads to spare!

The evening meals is what sets this hotel apart however. Melt in your mouth steaks, tender 5-spiced duck breast and desserts that are sumptuous enough that you feel guilty despite a 10 hour hill day.

Add to this the huge collection of fine Scotch whiskies, the lovely attentive bar staff and you'll leave feeling like you'd like to go back.

My wife wanted to adopt the young bar man and I'd have kidnapped their big brown dog with the soulful eyes if there'd been room in the camper van!

A cracking Scottish hotel.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank BrokenWing71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AJStaddon, Owner at Kinlochewe Hotel, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Thank you, thank you , thank you, for your delightful review and for taking the time to share your views with others.

We thoroughly enjoyed your visit - it is always fun to get good craic and there was certainly plenty of that with your group! Anglo/Scottish/Irish relations were pretty good that weekend.

As you say, the bunkhouse is a good, fun place for an economical yet friendly stay amongst like-minded folk. The weather wasn't great so the drying room was well used by bunkhouse and hotel guests alike - so pretty cramped. But usually it serves everyone well.

As for your stay in the hotel - well we are delighted you had a good time and enjoyed the food. But hey? what is all this about the bathtub being big enough for two - or more ????? mmm!

Scott is happy to be adopted but, as his employers we won't let him go without a fight. As for Beinn the dog ... you let those big brown eyes fool you, I think!

So glad you had a good time, we hope to see you all again soon - and Andrew will make sure there is oxygen on tap for when you get back from your run.
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Watford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

We visited the Hotel several times while on a walking holiday between Christmas and new year since it is an easy walk from the free campsite at Taagan. The bar is rather formal but the ale was extremely good and the staff friendly. They keep a printed copy of the mountain weather forecast on the bar and this was both thoughtful and useful. On our last night there we decided to have dinner, although we thought the prices for what was a bar meal rather high. I ordered the lamb chump which was excellent - gorgeous sweet lamb, not overcooked but pink and juicy served on a generous portion of well seasoned mash. The string beans and mange tout, looking fresh from the uplands of East Africa which accompanied it were a surprise - and jarred uncomfortably with the seasonal ingredients in the rest of the dish - cabbage, brussels sprouts or kale would have been much more appropriate and more tasty. My friend however fared less well; his steak was nothing short of disappointing. At £16.50 he expected a piece of meat fit for someone who had spent a wet day on the hills in December but alas it was not to be. Encouragingly he had been asked how he wanted the steak to be cooked and ordered medium rare, but the steak he was served was just too thin and mean to allow a calibration of cooking times. At about 1cm thick it was cooked in the only way a piece of meat this size can be cooked - grey all the way through. Partnered with a small portion of saute potatoes which had been under-boiled and then burnt when fried and a spoonful of rather boring mushrooms this dish was so distinctly underwhelming that I felt guilty about my lamb, especially since he was paying! Our verdict is that this Hotel is like the Parson's egg - good in parts, but could do better!

Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank simon t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AJStaddon, Owner at Kinlochewe Hotel, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
We are pleased to hear you enjoyed the ale, your "excellent" lamb chump and the friendly staff - although we would not agree that our bar is "formal" - wooden floors and a wood burning stove doesn't strike me as formal - but we obviously all think differently.

I would like to answer some of your less favourable comments if I may...

Firstly we do not serve traditional bar meals but cook everything fresh, we do not buy any
pre-prepared food in from food service companies, which is often how the more standard bar meals are cheaper. We use locally sourced, high quality, ingredients whenever possible and this does mean that prices are a little higher - but we try to give good value for money and most of our customers think our food is worth the money. Yes, we did serve some mange tout and green beans to add some crunch to the otherwise local, seasonal vegetables.

As for the steak - it just goes to show you cannot please all the people all the time as the reviewer above loved our "melt in the mouth" steaks, whereas your friend found it "disappointing". The local rib eye steaks come from our fantastic butcher - and by dint of the cow's anatomy, the depth is predetermined - they are all around 7oz which is a fairly standard serving size . Andrew usually tends to undercook the steaks so I am surprised that your friend's steak was "grey" all the way through. The" boring" mushrooms consist of at least six types of exotic mushrooms - and not a button mushroom amongst them! Not what I would call boring - but, as I said before - you cannot please all the people all the time.

The main issue I would like to raise is WHY did your friend not say anything at the time. Our staff always ask if customers are enjoying their meals and if everything is okay. This is done both during the meal and when the plates are picked up - as well as when you come to pay. So there were at least three opportunities for your friend to tell us that he was not happy - yet you (not he, I notice) wait several months before writing in to TripAdvisor when we are way past being able to rectify the problem. I am sure that any food establishment worth its salt would far prefer being able to sort any issues out there and then to make sure customers are happy - we certainly would.

I would urge anyone eating in any establishment to give the chef the courtesy of being able to put right anything you are not happy about with your meal. Most chefs I know take a huge pride in producing quality dishes and really want their customers to enjoy what they are paying for. surely it is far better to be able to put the problem right and enjoy your meal rather than being able to moan on TripAdvisor long after the event?
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2013

Stayed for two nights at the Kinlochewe Hotel in August, made very welcome by the staff and hosts, given a large pleasant room with a good bathroom (and wonderful soft towels!) and even provided with a heater since the weather was a little inclemental! Breakfasts were great and provided a good start to the day. We had dinner on both evenings and enjoyed very good meals including smoked salmon, scallops, sea bream, a wonderful beef, stout and mustard casserole, and chicken in a mushroom sauce with good wine and real ales. The hotel has a large residents lounge with a large array of books, providing a pleasant relaxing place for pre dinner drinks and after dinner coffee. The hotel provides a great base for visiting Loch Maree, Beinn Eighe, Torridon and Inverewe Gardens. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tunku41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AJStaddon, Owner at Kinlochewe Hotel, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
What a lovely review - many thanks for taking the time to tell everyone about your experiences when you stayed with us. We really do try to make the hotel a comfortable and welcoming place for our guests to come and stay. We are so privileged to be set amid such wonderful scenery - quite stunning, isn't it?

I must admit that I really like to have great big bathsheets to wrap myself in after a bath or shower - so that is why our guests have them too! We are delighted that you enjoyed the food and ambience too. Sorry that the weather wasn't great - but perhaps next time we can arrange something better for you? (If only we could!)
Hope to see you again soon.
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2013

En route to a wedding in Torridon, my wife and I broke our journey at the hotel. On ordering drinks I asked if it was OK to for us sit in the lounge. There were no other customers, either in the main bar or the lounge, but we were told that we couldn't sit in the lounge as it was for residents only - and also the local photographic society often used it for meetings(?). Whilst appreciating the lounge may be a 'residents' lounge, would it have mattered if we had used it? We were smartly dressed for the wedding and were not in walking gear and it certainly - for us - would have far more comfortable than sitting in the large main bar, particularly as we'd been 'on the road' for several hours.

Disappointing, as we and the others in our party would have called in after the wedding, but called elsewhere where we knew we would be made a little more welcome. We appreciate you have to have some in-house rules, but.......

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AJStaddon, Owner at Kinlochewe Hotel, responded to this review, 1 November 2013
We have tried to make our bar area a warm and welcoming area for customers to sit and generally have extremely favourable comments on how nice it is. We have even won an award for the "Pub of the Year" for the area. We are sorry if you did not find it suitable for your needs.

I really do not think it unreasonable for a hotel to keep an area exclusively for hotel residents. Our hotel guests are paying for the privilege of staying in a comfortable three star hotel and are surely entitled to have a comfortable and private area in which they can sit and relax away from the public areas. I am sure if you were resident here and wanted to have a quiet afternoon you would appreciate having a quiet, private and comfortable lounge in which to relax.

At the time you called in, the hotel was full with a RESIDENT photographic group who stayed with us for a week and who came and went at various times during the day. They used the Resident's Lounge regularly to sit together and discuss their plans, photographs, techniques etc. and they had displays of photographic images set up in the lounge, so it would have been absolutely inappropriate for members of the public to have access to this area -regardless of how smartly dressed they were!
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derby
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2013

Called in for a drink only but looked at menu and it looked fine,we were also allowed to take our dog into the bar and he was made most welcome.The bar area was decorated in a typical highland way and was very cosy.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cpmderby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AJStaddon, Owner at Kinlochewe Hotel, responded to this review, 1 November 2013
Thank you for your review.

We certainly welcome well behaved dogs in the bar (most dogs who come in are usually exhausted from walking the hills and happily lie down to wait for their owners to enjoy a refreshment or two!) We hope you will come in for a meal next time you are passing - or even come to stay in the hotel as we do have one room where we welcome dogs to stay with their owners.
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Additional Information about Kinlochewe Hotel

Property: Kinlochewe Hotel
Address: Garve | Wester Ross, Kinlochewe IV22 2PA, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Ross and Cromarty > Kinlochewe
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kinlochewe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Kinlochewe Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 16
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Also Known As:
Kinlochewe Hotel Torridon
Kinlochewe Hotel Scotland

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