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“A model small hotel that sets a benchmark”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of West End Hotel

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West End Hotel
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Kirkwall
Certificate of Excellence
New Forest
Level Contributor
41 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A model small hotel that sets a benchmark”
Reviewed 12 April 2010

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.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Peragrantes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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239 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    148
    58
    20
    8
    5
See reviews for
32
97
24
41
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Scotland
Level Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2010

We spent 3 nights at the West End Hotel and would recommend the hotel to anyone wishing a pleasant restful weekend. The owners are friendly and helpful - its not often you get a hand with your cases these days at hotels! Rooms are compact but have all you need and are spotlessly clean. Lovely bar and restaurant. We ate there on our first night and found the food excellent. We ate at other places the other 2 nights so as to get a flavour of Kirkwall !

Breakfasts are excellent - the owner will cook breakfast fresh to order. The owner gave us a map and recommended places to visit in our short time on the island.

Orkney is well worth a visit but take warm clothes if going in March !

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank AandMO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
2 reviews
Reviewed 24 March 2010

The hotel is comfortable, clean and good value for money. The owners and staff were friendly and helpful. The bar is very comfortable with a very cosy coal fire, especially welcome on cold windy Orkney nights. The home-cooked food was tasty and well priced...and hot....The breakfast was tasty with a choice of traditonal Scottish or cold fruits and juices, yoghurt and cereals A good value hotel, which I would use again and recommend to family, friends and colleagues.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Joseph048
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset, England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2010

We chose the West End Hotel on the basis of Tripadvisor recommendations and were not disappointed during our 3 night stay. Coal fires in the public rooms and a heater in the bedroom kept things cosy, despite sub zero temperatures outside. Welcome and friendliness of all staff ( and locals) was just as described previously. Breakfast was cooked to order and as huge as you wanted it to be. We only eat in on one night as we were meeting relatives on the other two, the meal was sufficient for hungry travellers, but not special and slightly overpriced I think ( a minor niggle). The only other fault I can think of was the lack of pressure in the shower. Apart from this , everything was great, and we would definitely return.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Sedgemoor54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia, USA
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2009

My husband and I stayed at the West End Hotel this summer while visiting Orkney. This is a charming property with parking around the back, a first-rate restaurant, and friendly, knowledgeable staff. We called ahead to let them know our car ferry from down south was arriving late on our first night. Not only was "Giffy", one of the owners, waiting up for us, but he also wisely advised us which destinations to attend when. This was priceless advice which helped us avoid a day at the Ring of Brodgar when it was overrun with cruise ship crowds. The bathrooms, rooms, bedsheets were all very high quality/new. Wonderful restaurant! We dined there twice out of a 3-night stay, and in our opinion the food was better than at the esteemed Kirkwall Hotel. Also an adjacent pub/bar for lounging before/after dinner, as well as full breakfast included. Giffy is a marvelous host and Orkney native. Hotel is on the outskirts of Kirkwall, a charming town with shopping, lovely church, and various places to eat, though we returned often to West End. We would stay again if given the opportunity to return to Orkney.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank irenepug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
127 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2009

We stayed for three nights at the beginning of October and it lived up to all the recent reviews. Food at breakfast was excellent as was the service. Giffie sorted us out a map so that we got to see the best of the island in the two full days we had - nothing was too much trouble for them and we would certainly recommend staying there. The rooms, as was the rest of the hotel, lovely and clean. Well done Giffie and Robert.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KayandJay_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2009

Loved it!
We were on our honeymoon, and Giffie and Robert were amazing hosts. Charming, fun Inn and very well appointed rooms with lots of attention to detail. We were also pleased with the meals. We were surprised with flowers, sweets and bubbly in our room and Giffie also helped us celebrate a birthday with cake & candles. And as a special bonus, Giffie helped arrange to get a wedding ring back that we'd left at a previous hotel.
Thank you.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank treeko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about West End Hotel

Property: West End Hotel
Address: 14 Main Street, Kirkwall KW15 1BU, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Orkney Islands > Mainland > Kirkwall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Kirkwall
#4 Romantic Hotel in Kirkwall
#5 Family Hotel in Kirkwall
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — West End Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 10
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 
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Also Known As:
West End Kirkwall
Hotel West End
West End Hotel Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

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