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West End Hotel
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Reviews (269)
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All reviewsteddy bearhistoric buildingopen firedining roomexcellent hostsquiet spotfriendly atmospherethe main shopping streetsingle roomwarm welcomehome madeboth nightscomfortable staynight stayarrived latevisiting kirkwalltown centre
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Reviewed 27 October 2013

We recently had the opportunity to spend an extended time in Kirkwall. On the advice of several friends we chose the West End Hotel to be our central point while in Kirkwall for three weeks. Giffy Lewis and Robert Dawson were excellent hosts and the staff was friendly and helpful - they even did our laundry and gave us special considerations at meal time. The hotel is located in a quiet area but close to the main part of town. It is quaint with lots of history attached and Giffy is more than willing to share the stories. We had the attic loft - my husband called it the Hobbit Room - although the ceilings were not high it was more than adequate for our needs. There was no shower in the ensuite but the bathtub was long and deep with plenty of hot water - it became very addictive! A heated towel rack was a nice touch for the big fluffy towels that were changed each day. Breakfast was always fresh - the berries were particularly fantastic and the cooked breakfast was hot and delicious. The lunch and dinner menus were varied, tasty and plentiful portions. The reception area was in the process of being revamped and further plans to redo the bedrooms is in the works during the quieter winter season. We would definitely stay there again - it became our home away from home - very comfortable, cosy and friendly!

Room Tip: The attic loft is 43 steps up from the main floor (no elevator) and does have low ceilings, but has a larger area in order to spread out over a long stay. It has the advantage of being quiet and away from the other guests. WiFi reception was always good.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CelticMiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2013

I chose the West End for a 3-day trip to Kirkwall after reviewing hotel websites and emailing for prices. Now home, I am glad I chose it. In a quiet but central location, it's an historic building with atmosphers and character that has been converted and furnished with taste and respect for its past. Further improvements to the reception area were just being completed when I was there. Facilities are what the modern traveller expects - it had everything I needed, including free wifi. My bed was very comfortable. Good modern powershower in the en-suite. Nice fresh towels. Breakfast choice was great - an unexpected treat was the fresh fruit mix of blueberries, raspberries and brambles. The local bacon had excellent flavour. In the evenings after a day out in autumnal weather the bar, with its coal and and log fire, was especially cosy for drinks before eating in the adjacent restaurant. The dinner menu was varied, but not so long that there would be 'industrial' dishes. There were also three 'specials' to choose from. Helpings were big. The local lamb hotpot had a very well spiced and herbed sauce. The Orkney fillet steak managed fine wthout embellishment. A short but good wine list - I had a tasty Malbec for £15 which I made last my three nights. The bar and dining room staff were all exceptionally cheerful and helpful. The owners regularly checked that I was content. I thought value for money was very good. All in all, an excellent base for my visit - I would happily go back again.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank B2500ZMJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013

I stayed here for one night recently. My room was on the top floor and small for a double. Its a nice looking hotel from the outside and location is good for walking into the centre of Kirkwall. The hotel is pretty dated though and feels more like a guest house with old carpets and dated bathroom. Slightly surprised to see its listed 2 for Kirkwall, but the service was good and breakfast was nice.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Jare_40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2013

We stayed one night after arriving late on the ferry from Aberdeen. We had a very nice room - a suite, with a living room, nicely displayed antiques, a large comfortable bedroom. The couple we traveled with had a third floor (attic) room in which they could only stand up in the middle. We were happy. They, understandably, were not. (The rooms were the same price) The hosts were certainly pleasant, and the breakfast, while not outstanding, was quite good.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank rickey60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2013

While the West End is a hotel, it really has the feel of a Bed and Breakfast. Giffie and Robert are very welcoming and generous hosts - Giffie stayed up quite late for our arrival from the ferry on the first night. Our room was cozy and the tea and shortbread biscuits that were left for us were a lovely treat to come back to in the evenings. Breakfast was excellent - especially having it in the dining room with a mix of popular showtunes playing in the background. We would recommend dining in at the West End as well, as the food is quite delicious. One of the desserts we had - a slice of cheesecake made with Orkney fudge, was the perfect end to the meal. The hotel is in a good location within Kirkwall, a short walk from St. Magnus' Cathedral. Overall, we had a great stay and would recommend!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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