We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The magic of Iona curated for you”
Review of St. Columba Hotel

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Iona
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
St. Columba Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Iona
Reviewed 13 July 2014 via mobile

The four of us, including adult daughter in a wheelchair, were treated like royalty at the St Columba. It is not a fancy place in aspect: there's some wood paneling and a touch of funky. But meticulous where it counts: elegant simplicity in all amenities, and the care and attention in room prep and making things work was outstanding, comforting, heartfelt. And oh!! The breakfasts were lovely and dinner incredibly gourmet. Such a special time and place.

Stayed: July 2014
Thank Louise B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dot_Stewart, General Manager at St. Columba Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 19 July 2014

Many thanks for taking the time to post this review. We’re delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your stay!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (221)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

90 - 96 of 221 reviews

Reviewed 26 June 2014

The food was excellent as ever just like the views albeit we didn't have a room with a sea view, but the lounge and dining areas lend to a stunning vista of Mull. Just beware of the slippery Quiet Garden if you happen to walk in the rain.

I'd recommend a half day visit to Fingals Cave if you want to see puffins although it is pricey at £30 per person!

St Columba's Bay boasts the oldest rocks in the UK which is a 4mile hike round trip but certainly worth visiting for the local precious green stone and to marvel at the various coloured pebbles.

The Abbey has various services including an evening healing service and the Iona Community bookshop opposite is most definitely worth a revisit.

There's lots of other cafés on the island but I think the St Columba Hotel has by far the best fine dining with views to match.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a sea view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Yogi C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dot_Stewart, General Manager at St. Columba Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Many thanks for taking the time to post this review. We’re delighted to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Iona and your stay here at the St Columba, and we hope to welcome you back again on your next visit!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

We enjoyed our stay at St. Columba Hotel. The staff was very nice and I especially appreciated the prompt email responses to my questions prior to booking. There is no place I've ever been quite like Iona. The serenity and overall ambience is wonderful. We appreciated the close proximity to the abbey and were grateful to attend a worship service there. We were able to leave our luggage at the hotel on the day of our departure which allowed us more time to explore before catching the ferry in the early afternoon.

We had dinner and breakfast at the hotel and both were very good. The views from the room, dining area and garden were beautiful.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Leah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dot_Stewart, General Manager at St. Columba Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2014

Many thanks for taking the time to post this review. We're delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your visit to Iona and your stay in the hotel, and we hope to welcome you back again in the future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

We were prepared to love this place based on what we'd heard from friends. The staff were friendly and welcoming. It's very close to the Abbey, so if you are interested in participating in worship/conversations there, it's very convenient. But we quickly discovered that St. Columba is mostly catering to study/spirituality groups so individual guests are sort of tucked in around the edges. (Unless they come on an annual basis, in which case they appear to be treated quite well.) "Public" spaces may be reserved for meetings and not available when they might be most welcomed (i.e., don't count on having that evening Scotch while sitting by the fire...). Service is uneven - sometimes great, sometimes not. We requested (according to Inn policy) a boxed lunch one day asking for ONE lunch that we would share. We received one lunch but were charged for two and what we received did not include any beverage although that's supposedly part of the package - highly recommend buying your hiking lunch at Spar for much lower price and good quality. It is the hotel policy to to seat you far from the windows in the restaurant until you have been there long enough to be "moved up." By the time we were "promoted" we had already tried the items on the menu that were interesting to us and were eating at the Argyll Hotel. We generally waited 20 to 25 minutes before any beverage or food order was taken, and our table was always missing something (butter or salt or cups/saucers - as when our tea was served one morning and the server scampered off immediately without realizing we could not drink it because we had no cups!). Our very clean room was also VERY small with a room door and closet doors that dragged across the carpet. But it had a beautiful view and, once our overhead neighbor went to bed, was very quiet and peaceful. It's okay - and, again, filled with friendly and helpful, if sometimes clueless, staff. But we will try a B&B or the Argyll next time.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the water.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank screenname101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dot_Stewart, General Manager at St. Columba Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2014

I am very sorry to read that you were disappointed in your stay with us, and especially that you felt that either a group booking or returning guests were given preferential treatment. We do try hard to balance the needs of all our guests, but admit sometimes this can be tricky and I’m sorry that we didn’t get it right on this occasion.

I am also sorry, and I admit somewhat surprised, to read your comments about the packed lunch and service in our restaurant. Your experience was certainly not indicative of the high level of service we aim for. Window tables in our restaurant are in high demand and we try to manage this as fairly as possible by moving guests to a window table as soon as one becomes available. I’m sorry we weren’t able to do this quickly enough for you this time.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

Iona has to be savored slowly, sipped like a fine scotch. Day trippers will never experience the mystery and magic of this "thin place." It does come at a premium, however. All the food is either organically grown locally, or shipped in from Mull. It's a challenge to get there from anywhere. So, yes, it is pricey. However, to sit and look over the Sound of Iona at sunset, to climb to the top of Dun I, to walk the white sands of Monks' Beach, to pilgrimage to the Bay of Columba, and to start and finish the day in the services at the Abbey are worth the investment. Spend a week and live the rhythm of the isle.
And if you are going to do it, do it boldly. Call ahead (a year) and book room 5 at the Columba, the corner room with two bay windows with a wide screen view of the island, the Sound, the village of Fionnphort, and Mull.
The menu at the restaurant is very good, and there are changing daily specials. The wine list is OK.
The staff are amazingly helpful.

Room Tip: Room 5, or at least a view of the Sound.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank John N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dot_Stewart, General Manager at St. Columba Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2014

Thank you very much for taking the time to post this review. We are delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your stay at the hotel and you time on the island, and we hope to be able to welcome you back again in the future

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

We came for lunch here and had a lovely meal - sandwiches and chips for us and sausages and mash for our son. We sat outside and the friendly staff delivered good portions of tasty food promptly in the garden which has a beautiful view. It was so good we returned a couple of days later. Unfortunately this time things were not the same. We decided to have what we hoped would be a more substantial meal and ordered the Fish of the day. This consisted of about 3 small mouthfuls of haddock tail. They forgot my son's food and only brought it out after 3 reminders. To be fair we were not charged for the child's meal due to this delay but actually left feeling more cheated by the price of the fish. Our advice - go for the sandwiches!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
2  Thank ProutR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dot_Stewart, General Manager at St. Columba Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post this review. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed your first lunch with us, but very sorry that your second visit was disappointing. We hope that you will return to the St Columba Hotel again, and that the experience will better match your first visit and our aim of providing friendly, efficient service and superb food.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Stayed two nights.

The good: next door to the Abbey. The porridge is tasty. The staff are pleasant and helpful, and are the best thing going for the hotel. They will pick-up/drop-off your luggage at the ferry dock, if arranged in advance.

The bad: extremely overpriced for the accommodation. A two-star hotel at a 4.5 star price.

Small room in bad need of refurbishment, bed not comfortable. Restaurant good, but not great. There was a multi-day private party with different food and their food did look fantastic though.

Instructions for towel replacement say to put them in the tub if you want them refreshed. We did, but instead the housekeeper placed the wet towels on the heated towel rack (which had our clean laundry on it drying, and in so doing got our laundry wet again). When we asked the front desk for new towels they said we could just put them in the tub for replacements (they were suitable apologetic when we said that is what we had done...). They gave us fresh towels and all was well (even offered to dry our laundry in their machine). (Thank you)

The passenger ferry costs 5 pounds. Wish we had stayed on Mull and taken the ferry over for day trips as we felt the accommodation on Iona was drastically overpriced. Food extremely overpriced on the island as well.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Kacenka_007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dot_Stewart, General Manager at St. Columba Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 5 June 2014

I am so sorry to hear that you were disappointed in your stay with us and felt that the accommodation and food on the island was overpriced. We are certainly aware of the advantages of our location, but it does also bring additional costs and challenges, and as a seasonal business we have to maximise our trade during the summer months to support the business through the winter. However, of course our aim is for all our guests to have a positive experience of the hotel and the island and I’m very sorry that on this occasion we fell short of your expectations.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Iona
23.7 mi away
Western Isles Hotel
Western Isles Hotel
#3 of 3 in Tobermory
721 reviews
20.6 mi away
Tiree Lodge Hotel
Tiree Lodge Hotel
#1 of 2 in Isle of Tiree
128 reviews
23.5 mi away
The Tobermory Hotel
The Tobermory Hotel
#1 of 3 in Tobermory
427 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
19.8 mi away
The Colonsay
The Colonsay
#1 of 1 in Isle of Colonsay
186 reviews
0.5 mi away
Ardoran House
Ardoran House
#1 of 12 in Iona
139 reviews
0.9 mi away
Iona Hostel
Iona Hostel
#1 of 2 in Iona
96 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to St. Columba Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about St. Columba Hotel

Address: Isle of Iona, PA76 6SL, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Iona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Iona
Price Range: £72 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated next to Iona Abbey with stunning panoramic views across the Sound of Iona to the mountains of Mull. All food prepared from scratch in our own kitchens making use of fresh garden produce from our own gardens. Free broadband wireless internet. A warm welcome and friendly service. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
St. Columba Hotel Iona, Scotland
Hotel St Columba

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing