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“Friendly and wet” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Foveran

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The Foveran
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Kirkwall
Certificate of Excellence
uk
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Friendly and wet”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2009

A lovely friendly hotel. Food excellent rooms a bit small but warm and comfortable. The hotel won't win an architecture award but is an excellent base for an orkney holiday.

  • Liked — friendly staff and food
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2008
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank lmwUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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110 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    86
    17
    6
    1
    0
See reviews for
14
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2007

This is the fifth of six reviews covering our 2007 tour of Scotland.
Our tour takes us from our home in Hampshire up the West coast of Scotland and over to Orkney back over to Scotland and down the East coast to Aberdeen then home via York.

The Foveran …the fifth stop of our marathon tour of Scotland and should have been the highlight, so much to say about it but so much to consider before saying it.

I have read every review of this hotel and they are all pretty good.
But the fact is that I do not agree with a lot of it and I think I know why.

It is because The Foveran is very ‘nice’ and the staff very pleasant
- criticising it makes one feel a little ... well guilty....

First there is the magic of arriving at the ancient fishing village of Stromness in the Orkneys on the spangly new ferry service from Scrabster - passing the ‘Old Man of Hoy’. On arrival at lunch time we headed directly to Skara Brae & Skail House. What can anyone say but WOW!

An amazing place made even more amazing that you can get so close and see so much. A superbly managed and well presented visitor attraction. Hard to believe it is 1000 years older than the Great Pyramids..

We then head for what is reviewed as the best hotel on Orkney for a two night stay.

It is quite remote considering the close proximity to Kirkwall. We arrive at about 6:30 and we are met by the owner/manager a very pleasant welcome.

First impression is that it is small, very small. Not just the number of rooms …everything is small. The reception area is so small it is positively non existent.

We are shown to our room.. It is tiny… The cabins on the Hebridean Princess are bigger! We stayed at two hotels in Scotland where the bathrooms were bigger than these bedrooms. You can just about walk round the bed to get to the other side as long as you don’t have to pass anyone else. The bathroom…tiny very cramped nowhere to put anything. It all has an air and feel of being temporary a bit holiday chalet feeling. No way a top hotel. No way at all. The small table with the hospitality tray is .. well .. small.
This hotel is not at all what we expected.

So we unpack, wash & brush up and go along to the lounge to order dinner in the restaurant for that evening. The lounge is nice enough, again a small timber clad room with a few sofas & chairs - very cramped. The young lady serving us had no idea what a Martini was and thought that they did not sell it. As they have no bar I had to go into the reception area where the drinks are kept in a small alcove/cupboard to find a bottle.

The restaurant is quite nice; the menu had a choice of three starters
& three mains. Sufficient…just! The food was well served, well presented and quite pleasant. Certainly not top class but no complaints here. Everything is just a bit above average in the restaurant.

We retired to the lounge for coffee but it quickly gets overpowering and very full up with diners from the restaurant who we presume are mostly locals and not residents.

On the second day we decided to eat elsewhere in Kirkwall the main reason being that the menu was not changed and as it was so limited we wanted something different.

All in all this is a neat, tidy, clean wooden building far too small to be a major restaurant and 10 bedroom hotel. There seems to be no shortage of land on Orkney it is a mystery why it was not designed much bigger. That would have made the world of difference. We felt that we were living in a dolls house for two days.

If this really is the best that Orkney has to offer then perhaps we will give these fantastic Islands a miss in future. But I don’t want to do that so like others I will more likely just accept that limited
accommodation and limited standards go with the territory.

  • Liked — The Location
  • Disliked — The very small rooms
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Vintagemalt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2007

Don't be put of by knowing that this hotel has been 'modernised'. It has to be the best place to stay on the Orkneys, with spectacular views over Scapa Flow, and sorrounded by green pastures and vivid farmland. Paul and his team provide a really family style atmosphere, and superb cooking makes every meal a delightful experience. The rooms are fitted with everything needed, and it all works! Top marks!

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
Thank Prof03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, Scotland
Level Contributor
54 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2007

Returned to the Foveran after two years. If anything, it was even better than before. We had room 1 which has a bath and shower (some rooms have shower only) and a wonderful view over Scapa Flow. The breakfasts are huge and set you up for the day. Dinner is fantastic with lots of locals coming in to eat - a very good sign. Lovely to see the use of local produce, fish and cheeses. Delicious home baked breads. Locally produced whiskies available too. The Foveran's owners do their very best to fly the Orkney flag. Will return anytime.

  • Liked — Warm, inviting and homely
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2007
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank patnlcc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2006

My wife and I spent two nights at this hotel. I've always favoured the smaller hotels and this one did not disappoint. The hotel is in a very quiet, countryside location, yet is only 5 minutes or so from the centre of Kirkwall. We found all the staff very friendly and helpful and our room was clean, spacious and comfortable. We booked our stay on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis and were very glad we did. The dinners were outstanding - obviously the locals know this as the restaurant was fully booked both nights (a Monday and Tuesday). The breakfasts were on par with the dinners and were all freshly cooked.

Nothing else to say really! This is a fantastic, well-run hotel and I thoroughly recommend staying here.

  • Liked — The staff and the food
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Tips/Secrets — Try to stay for dinner as well
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank NDAB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Athens, Georgia
Level Contributor
99 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2006

We stayed at the Foveran for four nights in late July. Given the good reports, maybe it was not surprising that we could not get a double room and had to settle for a twin. The room was spotlesssly clean, but rather small. The bathroom was nice and a decent size. The restaurant was good, service was excellent, but we got the impression that they were having a little trouble living up to their recent reputation. Having said that, on one evening we got our ferry times wrong and were late - they were very understanding and made sure we got our dinner! This is a small hotel, a little way out of town (own transport essential), that makes a very good base for all the amazing sites on mainland Orkney and Hoy. It is not a five star hotel, and maybe a little expensive, but we enjoyed our stay.

Helpful?
5 Thank holtspa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2006

Spot on. Fresh cooked kippers for breakfast, looking out at the gales and rain lashing the windows. Then the next day watching the calm and sunshine and the beautiful light that you get up there in winter.

We told our friend in Orkney where we were going to stay and she said "oooh you're staying at the Foveran" like we were going somewhere really posh. It's not really posh, but that's good. Comfortable warm place, recently refurbished, nice decor, fantastic food, like a four star hotel in a cottage but without the impersonal feel of a four star hotel. Really small (about 10 rooms?) and friendly. We were the last people staying there before New Year, and the only ones in the hotel on the last morning. But still the chef was up cooking our kippers and really cheerful about it. Recommended.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank amstelodami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Foveran

Property: The Foveran
Address: Foveran Foveran Foveran | St.Ola, Kirkwall KW15 1SF, Scotland (Formerly Foveran Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Orkney Islands > Mainland > Kirkwall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kirkwall
#1 Family Hotel in Kirkwall
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — The Foveran 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Foveran is a family run Restaurant With Rooms offering a warm Orcadian welcome and superb local produce, prepared & presented by owner/chef Paul Doull & team. Set in open countryside a few miles from Kirkwall, an ideal base for exploring the islands. Stunning views of historic Scapa Flow from our restaurant. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Foveran Hotel Kirkwall
The Foveran Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

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