I booked the Orca for a diving trip to Scapa Flow and after some good reviews I was a bit worried by some of the negative ones I saw leading up to my visit in September.
The Orca's not a hotel, it's a B&B or Guesthouse in a tiny Orkney town. If people stay in Stromness and expect modern hotels with Ikea furniture, I'm not sure where they are going, because from what I saw the Orca is a comfortable, clean and friendly place to stay, if not as grand as, say, the Stromness Hotel (which is much dearer).
I found Doris very friendly during my stay. I didn't ask for much, but whenever I did ask for something, like an early breakfast or somewhere to leave my damp drysuit, she was amenable and helpful (as was Malin who helped out at breakfast).
Breakfast was exceptionally good every day (great if you're diving or walking!), a couple of days this and a snack lunch was all I needed to eat! When I had to leave before breakfast on my last day, Doris knocked off a fiver for the breakfast I missed.
I had room 1, a twin, to myself. The room was a decent size for two people, with cupboard and drawer space enough, so plenty for 1 person. The furniture was a little old and the bathroom, not the latest in fittings, but it was comfortable and clean and there was always hot water in the shower.
One small complaint was that the wall between room 1 and 2 is just a stud partition and I could, sometimes, hear snoring from the other room (apologies if you stayed in room 2 and suffered from the man in room 1 snoring!), but aside from soundproofing the wall, there's not much you could do about that. It never bothered me for long, but it might if you're a very light sleeper.
I must admit, I don't recognise the place I stayed at or the hostess from some of the negative reviews here.
I was made welcome, was comfortable and enjoyed staying at the Orca.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Orca Hotel is a family-run guest house in the heart of Stromness. Located right on the harbor just a few minutes walk from the ferry terminal it is ideally situated to explore Orkney Mainland and the Island of Hoy. Comfortable en-suite rooms, generous home-cooked breakfasts and free use of laundry facilities. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Orca Hotel Stromness, Orkney Islands