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“Lovely rooms, poor breakfast and cold rooms in February!”
Review of The Ayre Hotel

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The Ayre Hotel
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Kirkwall
Certificate of Excellence
Thurso, Scotland
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Lovely rooms, poor breakfast and cold rooms in February!”
Reviewed 19 February 2012

We have just returned from a 2 night stay in this lovely hotel. We paid more for a superior room and were delighted as the room was spacious, newly decorated and had a large en-suite shower room. The room was cold but soon warmed up when we turned on the radiator. Breakfast was very disappointing - dried out, looked and tasted like supermarket produce. To save energy we hung up our towels after our morning shower, when we returned in the evening both the radiator and the towel rail had been turned off, damp towels are not pleasant. We could have requested clean towels but this would contradict the hotel's environmental policy as stated in the rooms. Overall we were more than happy with the room but very let down with the breakfast and heating. Surely after all the refurbishments it is unwise to cut costs on the little things that could have made our stay perfect.

Room Tip: Ask staff to leave on the heating when they clean the room.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MurrayHouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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357 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
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English first
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

I visited Orkney on a business trip in the beginning of the year and I was booked into the Ayre for a whole week.

The place was ok, the staff was nice, helpful and smiley. The room was also ok, a bit small but ok otherwise. The bathroom was disappointing, old fittings, quite small and the shower was a bit of a hit. It could well do with a refurbishment.

Breakfast was between ok and poor. Cheap juice, awful coffee and scrambled eggs that were clearly from a carton rather than fresh). The salmon however was very nice.

Again, nothing terribly bad about this place but nothing terrible good. Ah, and it's not cheap either, at £75 the night I can't believe how others have left 5 star reviews. I am afraid that I have stayed in B&B for a lot less money and far better standard than this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank SantiLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inverness, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
130 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2012

Stayed through work, have stayed before in the existing hotel, which I thought st the time was quite tired, I do believe it us being done up now. This time I stayed in the New block, it is stunningly decorated, to a very high standard, the room was spotless and the shower was fantastic! the staff were very helpful and the food to a good standard, nothing too over the top, just plain honest food

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SheltieShetland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2011

The Ayre Hotel has a great location on the sea front in Kirkwall, a short walk from the centre of town where there are several nice shops and St Magnus Cathedral. Our room was smallish, but very clean and tidy with a nice ensuite shower etc. Our room was over the car park and there was a bit of noise late in the evenings. We ate in the lounge/restaurant. The menu was great and the standard of food excellent. Breakfasts were also served here and they were extremely good. The Ayre Hotel also has a public bar where we met with a few locals who were happy to talk to us and make us feel welcome. I would stay at the Ayre Hotel again, but I would try to get a room with a sea view so its not going to be affected by noise from the car park.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
12 Thank Susan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Stunning Highlands
Level 6 Contributor
300 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,267 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2011

Well we are just back from another great stay at The Ayre Hotel. the hotel is in a great location right on the waterfront in Kirkwall with ample parking, although the town centre, Cathedral etc. are well within walking distance. Once again we were greeted with a big friendly smile and check in was as efficient as ever. We normally stay in the new wing which overlooks the harbour. The room (55 I think it was)) was spotless, spacious, nicely furnished and everything we look for in a comfortable room, with free wi-fi a bonus. The bathroom likewise was spotless, with good quality Scottish complimentary's and a fabulous power shower. I read in an earlier review that someone thought the rooms facing the harbour might be noisy at night (they hadn't stayed in one) but I would like to add that we have stayed in the new wing 6 or 7 times and there has never been any noise at all. The new wing also has a disabled room as well as a lift.
The food is excellent with a huge range of choice, from pub favourites such as Steak and Ale Pie and Chicken and Mushroom Pie (the fillings for both are absolutely fabulous and 100% homemade) as well Fajita's, sweet and sour, curries etc. There is also an emphasis on local food with a great selection of local seafood featuring on the menu including scallops, crab, monkfish, Westray Parton toes, Orkney smoked salmon, haddock etc. The steaks also deserve a special menu, the beef is local and cooked to perfection in fact although I didn't try it I am sure I could have cut the steak with a butter knife it was so tender. The Orkney Real Ale aslo goes down a treat.
Breakfast offers a good selection including scrambled egg (which I like to crumble Grimbister cheese over to make it just perfect) and Orkney smoked salmon to set you up for the day.
So thanks again to Lyall, Wendy and the team for another great stay.....we will definitely be back.
P.S. Whilst exploring Orkney as well as the more well known sights be sure to check out Yesnaby, Marwick Head, Mull Head in Deerness and the Brochs of Birsay and Gurness.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
19 Thank goanjock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, Scotland
Level 6 Contributor
236 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 307 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2011

We stayed one night on Orkney and chose the Ayre Hotel based on it's central location and the reviews on here. We were travelling round the North and only contacted the hotel the day before to enquire about availability. We got a very prompt reply by email and an offer of a reduced rate so we booked.
We had a standard double which was well-presented and perfect for one night. We enjoyed a good breakfast and reception staff were friendly and helpful. The hotel had free wi-fi which was useful. The location was good for exploring Kirkwall and there was free parking.
Only slight niggle was we could hear guests in an adjacent room who had a very early checkout but overall a good experience and we would be happy to stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank serviceace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2011

I had a lovely experience of the Orkneys being based in this hotel. My room was large and comfortable, the food was good (although heavy, but I think that's the local style)--and the restaurant and bar had the feeling of a friendly local neighborhood place--and the staff couldn't have been more helpful and friendly. Well-situated, right on the harbor. Would stay there again.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Elizabeth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Ayre Hotel

Property: The Ayre Hotel
Address: Ayre Road, Kirkwall KW15 1QX, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Orkney Islands > Mainland > Kirkwall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Kirkwall
#5 Romantic Hotel in Kirkwall
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — The Ayre Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 51
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ayre Hotel Kirkwall
The Ayre Hotel Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

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