Made a last minute decision to visit Rathlin Island on Wed 24th July based on the good weather forecast on Tue. My partner had a quick search for accommodation online and there was availability at Arkell B&Bso we booked it. I had no time to read any reviews about it but was glad just to have anywhere. First plus - Hilary rang to let us know there was a problem with one of the ferries and to plan with this in mind. We took pour bikes and got on the 8am ferry as the later ones were booked. We met her husband Alan on the ferry and Hilary came down to meet us all. Second plus - they offered us breakfast which was very welcome. We also got to leave our bags there and change into the cycling gear. I was really impressed by the house itself. The colour scheme, cleanliness and homeliness was so unexpected. As there were guests in the room - it was only 8.30am! - we didn't see the bedroom. As we were eating Hilary and Alan filled us in on life on the island because as I said earlier I hadn't time to prepare in advance. We headed off on the bikes and came back around 4pm. We took Hilary up on her offer to cook dinner for us as the alternative was limited. As we were hungry just then she gave us her homemade salmon pate and homemade bread to keep us going. Based on this we were glad we ordered the dinner and boy we were not disappointed. We had 3 courses including fresh mackerel and homemade panna cotta and a bottle of wine! It was absolutely delicious, of a standard found in the better class restaurants and she made it all so homely and effortlessly! Then up to the bedroom. Wow and wow again! Really well thought out and unusual décor - a mixture of functioning pieces of antique furniture and modern necessities, fantastic views as it was at the top of the house, there were toiletries in the bathroom which is useful to know when travelling light on the ferry, one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in. We had all the windows open as we were so lucky with the weather. As there is hardly any traffic on the island it is really quiet. We went to bed early after being up so early to get the ferry and cycling. I had the best nights sleep in years. It was a proper holiday experience - good exercise and rest, good food and hospitality. The bill was very reasonable for everything. Hilary and Alan work extremely hard to make their business work but it's their enthusiasm and ability to make everyone feel welcome and at home is the secret to their success. Since I got home I've read other peoples reviews and they are all true. Good luck to you both.
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- Also Known As:
- Arkell House B&B Rathlin Island, County Antrim