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.
- 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