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“Nice hotel but food expensive”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of The Harbour Inn

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The Harbour Inn
Ranked #6 of 13 Bowmore B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but food expensive”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2013

We stayed 3 nights in June. Overall it was a nice hotel with friendly staff. We stayed in a superior room which was actually in a separate building across the road - "The Inns over by". it was a pretty large room with nice views out to see. The one aspect of the hotel we thought disappointing was the food, particularly in view of the cost. The main restaurant has a "fine dining" standard menu with main courses in the £20 range with nothing much more reasonably priced. We ate in the restaurant on the first night and the bill ran to about £90 for the 2 of us for 3 courses and wine. The food was not actually that good and the quality and standard of cooking mediocre for this price.

We didn't want this sort of meal every night and actually went to another hotel - the Bridgend Hotel, for the other 2 nights, which had a more reasonably priced bistro menu which was better value.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ross K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James S, Manager at The Harbour Inn, responded to this review, 26 June 2013
We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and appreciated our beautiful location and dedicated staff. We work closely with Bridgend whose menu and style is quite different to ours; on the whole more traditional than the dining experience that we offer which is contemporary and complex, using the highest quality of ingredients which is reflected in our costs. We are sorry that what we offer did not suit your preferences or tastes in the same way that it has pleased and delighted more than the majority of our diners and guests.
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187 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Inverness, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
288 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2013

Glorious setting and lovely view from both Sitting room and Restaurant. A most comfortable and classy set up. Food was really wonderful and the chefs excelled themselves at every meal. The wine list was comprehensive and varied.

The seafood was truly wonderful and the cooked oysters with fennel made my husband particularly happy. Breakfasts were outstanding both in terms of variety and quality - the chef did a wonderful rhubarb compote.

In the afternoon with a pot of tea we got a very moist whisky fruitcake - I must say, I would have loved the recipe.

You could not be disappointed with a stay here.

Room Tip: We had a room in the main building but they also offer Rooms Over By across the road. Residents hav...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank steveandgerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2013

My wife and I spent eight day here in May 2013 .the rooms are a very good standard and vary in Quality depending on the tariffs . Are choice was half board
The breakfast gave plenty of choice and the service was excellent .We had a wide choice on the menu .the sea food is very good .but the local steaks were exceptional
The staff were very helpfully nothing too much trouble for them. The offer a list of walks and attraction in the area
Would we go again? Yes
David & Judy

Room Tip: Pay for the best room for at least one night
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Daveocall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gosol, Spain
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2013

Two nights at the Harbour Inn demonstrated some of the hits and misses that previous reviewers have highlighted. At 160 pounds sterling per night, one would imagine the misses would have been eradicated. A sleepless night in Room 6 proved this not to be the case. Apart from the dank smell, low ceiling, and slightly claustrophic atmosphere, noisy flushing sounds and banging doors, we could here everything that went on in the room above. Creaking floorboards, conversation that could be followed, and then snoring that kept us awake until breakfast after we had been woken up around 2am. Thank goodness we were offered Room 5 for the second night - such a nice member of staff, thankyou for arranging it. We would have checked out otherwise.
The food was equally uneven. Bar food the first night was excellent - tasty and creamy mussel soup, for example. We booked for dinner on that basis but... hoping for an Islay beer before dinner, the bar had run out of the two Islay beers we had enjoyed the previous evening...then there was a problem with the pump..then before any drink could be served we were told the food was ready. We hastily chose a wine. The soup chosen was nothing like the previous night. Indeed I barely remember what it was - maybe kohlrabi but it could have been anything with neither taste not texture. The halibut (I suppose farmed if it was from Gigha) was, however, excellent. We did not wait for dessert - or rather, we did wait rather a long time but the staff seemed a bit busy. Overall? I doubt if I would ever stay here again, and I would advise anyone who asked that they should think very carefully before spending so much on what is basically B&B. and avoid Room 6 at all costs. Staying somewhere else and having a meal in the bar - if the beer is on - would be a much safer bet. Ps. thanks again to that very kind member of staff who changed our room.

Room Tip: Go for the top of the house, even if it means a haul upstairs
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CalEsteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James S, Manager at The Harbour Inn, responded to this review, 1 June 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post a review regarding your recent stay with us but we were of course concerned and somewhat puzzled to read your negative comments. We undertook a complete upgrade of each of our guest rooms and bathrooms last year and would stress that we have received no previous complaints about the premier room you booked; room 6 benefits from an attractive patio with outstanding views over the loch and the room is very elegantly and comfortably furnished and featured photographically on our website. We would point out that we have yet again met the very challenging criteria of VisitScotland and achieved our Gold Star award for accommodation for the fourth consecutive year. We would also point out that coincidentally, the television presenter, Lorraine Kelly, recently stayed in that very room and had nothing but good and complimentary things to say about it. We would certainly be confident in recommending guests to stay in this delightful room.

It would appear, however, that the gentleman in the room above you was an unusually loud snorer which caused you disturbance, and for this of course we do apologise; we did all we could to move you to a room away from this and had understood you to be very happy with your second room. We certainly understand that a disturbed night’s sleep would have a very negative effect of your stay; we would have welcomed a chance to discuss this with you on check-out as it is of paramount importance to us for all guests to leave having had a firstclass stay with us.

Yes, we did experience problems with our beers on the evening you took dinner with us, which we did wholeheartedly apologise to you about and offer alternatives, but the problem stemmed from usually high demand on one particular ale together with a problem with the gases and took a little time to rectify, and sadly this fault happened just as you were wishing to order. We are pleased to say that disruption to our service of our very popular local Islay ales is a very rare occurrence.

We were sorry to hear that the soup you had on your second evening in the restaurant was not to your liking. Again, we would stress, that this was probably a personal thing as we have had many compliments about that particular soup and had received specific requests for it. Our restaurant is very busy at the present time and we would reassure all prospective guests that the quality of our food and the compliments from diners has been exceptional, our new menus meeting with great approval..
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bilthoven, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2013 via mobile

2 evenings dinner, First day in the restaurant second in the Schooner bartaff very friendly. Food very good. Oysters were perfect as well as the cheese/whisky experience. Visit the distillery and take your dinner here. The perfect combination.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank MarcusVD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2013

We have now stayed here several times and it has always been a pleasure. Apart from the friendly staff and excellent restuarant, it is obvious that the owners regard this as a work in progress as we always notice small but significant improvements. We would recommend an executive room and ours was beautifully renovated with a wonderful view of the Paps of Jura (weather permitting).We would certainly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Breck_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2013 via mobile

My partner and I had a lovely long weekend here Valentines weekend for his birthday, from the time I booked to the minute we left the staff couldn't have been more friendly or helpful. We had a room overlooking the Loch which was lovely, very warm and cosy with a great big bath, perfect after a day walking.
They arranged a birthday cake for my partner and also a picnic lunch for us so we could go out and explore the island. Our package included dinner every night which I was apprehensive about as we like to try different places but I'm so glad we ate there. The food was FANTASTIC! We've eaten in Michelin starred restaurants all over the world and the food here was better than some of those. The venison Wellington, Bouillabaisse, Beef steak, scotch egg and the breakfast deserve special mention although everything was wonderful. Thanks again Harbour Inn we're recommending you to everyone

Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Hayley3575
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James S, Manager at The Harbour Inn, responded to this review, 10 March 2013
Thank you for your kind words, it was lovely to meet you both and we are so pleased to know that you had a lovely experience on Islay and at The Harbour Inn. We look forward to welcoming you both back in the future.
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Additional Information about The Harbour Inn

Property: The Harbour Inn
Address: The Square | Isle of Islay, Bowmore PA43 7JR, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Islay > Bowmore
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Bowmore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the incomparable loveliness of the Inner Hebrides - visit ISLAY – a destination for all seasons. Let the loveliness of this beautiful island wash over you – and experience the special atmosphere that is part of Islay's heritage – “Islay and its goodbye to care“ Whatever the weather and whatever the time of year, there is always the added attraction to Islay that comes from visiting an island – the feeling that you are cut off from the rest of the world – yet , it's much closer than you can imagine.And here, at The Harbour Inn Hotel and Restaurant, we hope to be part of that overall experience – offering superb accommodation, high quality award winning food and excellent service. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Harbour Hotel Bowmore
The Harbour Inn Bowmore, Islay

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