Although we initially wanted a hotel by the harbour, we were glad we changed our minds. The West End is a superbly-run small hotel in a very quiet spot and with excellent food and service. We stayed in Captain Richan's suite initially (on the ground floor with separate twin bedroom and sitting room plus ensuite shower room) then in the ensuite four-poster room 2 on the first floor just a short stagger from the bar. Both rooms were charmingly furnished, with antique furniture and more knick-knacks than the Antiques Roadshow. Most importantly, they were both very quiet. Breakfasts in the dining room, which is filled with blue Wedgewood collected by Giffie the manager's grandmother, are an experience, warmed in winter by an open fire and overseen by the large teddy bear seated at the grand piano (another heirloom). The small bar - again, heated by an open fireplace in winter - has the plush and relaxing atmosphere of a gentleman's club. The menu in the adjoining restaurant, while somewhat limited, concentrates on doing a few things well (the Orkney fudge cheesecake is well worth leaving space for). Best of all, nothing seems too much trouble for Giffie in reception, Robert and Kirsten in the bar/restaurant and the rest of the staff. I would say the hotel certainly merits its current number one spot in Kirkwall on Trip Advisor.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This hotel offers simple comforts but is still in the top two or three places to stay in Kirkwall. In 1824, it was built just outside Kirkwall by a retired sea captain, and became Orkney’s first hospital in 1845. Today, owners Gifford Leslie and Robert Dawson provide a warm welcome and comfortable guest rooms. Each with a shower-only bathroom. The property has been refurbished in the past few years and it now fresh and inviting. Cost-conscious meals are served in a small restaurant and bar. Fully licensed to sell alcohol, the hotel attracts both locals and visitors. The West End Hotel, in many ways, is the ideal blend of old and new. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- West End Kirkwall
- Hotel West End
- West End Hotel Kirkwall, Orkney Islands