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“Perfectly satisfactory accommodation but nothing to rave about”
Review of West End Hotel

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West End Hotel
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Kirkwall
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Perfectly satisfactory accommodation but nothing to rave about”
Reviewed 25 April 2007

I stayed at the West End for the first night of a short visit to Orkney in October 2006. Like an earlier reviewer, I had to carry my own bag up the fairly steep stairs to the first floor. Although it was only about 7pm when I arrived from Kirkwall Airport (I took Logan Air from Inverness and the taxi to the hotel was reasonably priced), the reception was unmanned. I had to go to the bar on the first floor above the street to check in with the girls who were working in the bar. With hindsight, I would ask the taxi to drop me in the parking space that is at the back of the hotel and on the same level as the bar, dining room and the room I was given, so I would not have to carry the bag upstairs and then go downstairs to reception if it was open.

My single room was small and very basic but clean and comfortable. There was a single bed, a bench with tea making things, a single bed and small table & chair and a small wardrobe. The bathroom was tiny, just enough room for WC and shower with the washbasin in the bedroom but was adequate. I would have found it a depressing room if I had to spend much time in it but it was fine just for sleeping.

I had dinner in the dining room which is open to locals and it was a roast dinner that was typical pub food. The staff were friendly, although busy with serving and minding the bar. The nice part was that the style of the place led to people in the dining room chatting to each other. I had a very pleasant evening talking to a couple from Aberdeen who were staying at another hotel but eating dinner at the West End that night. If you were there in warmer months, the little garden outside the bar and dining room at the back of the hotel would be a very pleasant place for an evening drink.

Breakfast the next morning was downstairs in the breakfast room and was a typical full English breakfast that I thought was good value for the money. From the people I saw at breakfast the hotel seems to be popular with employers from other parts of Scotland whose employees are in Orkney for work for a few days.

  • Liked — Well priced and central and clean
  • Disliked — A bit noisy before the bar closed as my room was close to it
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank Faux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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242 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 (28)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
129 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2006

In Kirkwall, we stayed at the West End Hotel at the far end of the main street. It is a taxi ride from the pier as is every other hotel, but is a short stroll to the bus station, as we were catching the bus connection to Stromness for the Scrabster Ferry.
We were in the annex, which is the building next door and though old, had been newly refurbished. In traditional Kirkwall style, the front door is in the side alley. We were on the ground floor so is suitable or the mobility impaired. One reason for staying there was its inclusion in the Good Beer Guide, sadly, the real ale hadn’t settled so I had to settle for the Orkney brew in bottle. (I also visited the Bothy Bar at Albert Hotel, the other GBG entry to find it had just burned down). Food was good in the bar. We left before the breakfast, but were given a tray light breakfast. Décor in the bar is somewhat medical as a result of its former role as a hospital. Don't let the bedpans put you off your tea; they have all been washed!

  • Liked — Interesting history
  • Disliked — No major issues
  • Tips/Secrets — If you are mobility impaired, let them know.
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Chase_Mollys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2006

We were one couple (in 60's) and an 84 year old woman. We had to climb up two flights of very steep stairs to our room; no one helped us with luggage, etc. The rooms were small, drab and definitely needed to be upgraded. We complained about a light bulb in the bathroom being out on our first day there, but it was not replaced during our stay (5 nights). Skimpy towels provided, and certainly not sufficient for two people, and horrible paper bathmat on top of old wooden sort of mat, outside the shower, which disintegrated as soon as one person stood on it!
Breakfast and dinners (only one dinner there) were disappointing and lacked variety, however, service was good and the waitresses were very friendly.
We never did find out who the "host" was and there was no welcome, compared with other hotels and B & B's we visited while in Scotland.
We would not return to this hotel, nor would we recommend it.
Orkney was fabulous! and we would return there again!

  • Liked — There was not much to like.
  • Disliked — Outdated, difficult to access rooms, shabby
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank McAllister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2006

Room extremely small, decor well outdated throughout building, bar area very basic, not great selection for breakfast, £70 per night - VERY over priced for facilities, would class this as B&B certainly not a hotel. Would certainly not be able to recommend this hotel to anyone. Considering I stayed at hotel previous night in Dornoch for only £12 dearer was like comparing Ritz to a caravan!!!!

  • Liked — Checking Out
  • Disliked — The Standard
  • Tips/Secrets — The Kirkwall Hotel and the Orkney Hotel looked better from the outside, cannot comment on them though
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tourist500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2006

My son and I spent 3 nights in the West End Hotel. A very pleasant experience. The room was small, but clean and well appointed. Meals were very good, but service was a bit slow, which is ok since we're on holiday! Location is fine and parking is adequate. We thought it was a fine small hotel!

  • Liked — The quaintness
  • Disliked — room size
  • Tips/Secrets — a good value
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank dper2son
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FINDOCHTY
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2006

Visited this hotel for a meal while on holiday in Kirkwall found service poor and dining room very drab.Roast beef dinner very bland with not much taste.Cheesecake very nice but had to wait 20mins for it, finally came minus ice cream which we requested to be told we would have to order it again which we passed on as didn't want to wait another 20mins.Waitress quite offhand and uninterested.Will definitely not be going back.

  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed July 2006, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SANSMIC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth Scotland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2005

Myself and my wife have just returned from a 4 night stay at the West End Hotel in Kirwall, Orkney. We stayed from Thursday 22nd to Monday 26th October 2005. We stayed in room nunber 9 which is located in the main building on the top floor. The rooms are fairly average and a bit dated but are spotlessly clean and comfartable. We were in Orkney for a friends wedding so we never ate in the hotel so cannot comment on the meals, however the breakfasts were superb and it was worth the effort to drag yourselves out of bed for the full Orkney breakfast complete with haggis. We paid £59 for the room per night which i thought was a little over priced considering the facilities. The hotel is fairly central and is only a few minutes walk to the centre of town. Overall a good small hotel and would reccomend a stay at the West End Hotel.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank tartanjock
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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