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“A room with a view” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dunard Hostel

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Dunard Hostel
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A room with a view”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2013

Although Dunard Hostel is on the basic side (compared with the other hostels I stayed in on this trip to western Scotland), it's comfortable and has a great location. It's just a few minutes' walk from the ferry (turn left as you disembark) and overlooks the harbour of Castlebay.

The dorms aren't crowded, and I was lucky enough to have a whole 4-bed dorm to myself for a couple of days. Also, as it was at the front of the building, there was a wonderful view of the harbour and Kisimul Castle. The common room is large and has plenty of local information.

It's worth noting that Chris, the owner, isn't around much of the time, so make the most of the opportunity to sort anything out whenever you see him!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HibernophileBT33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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94 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    8
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2013

The hostel is in a great location with only a short walk to the ferry terminal and shops. I also found it to be fantastic value for money, especially for the peak summer season when I visited Barra. The staff are very friendly and the rooms and communal areas were very clean and tidy. It was the first time I've shared a bunk room with complete strangers before, but I really enjoyed the experience and would do it again. I especially liked the social atmosphere of the place and meeting other visitors to the Hebrides and hearing their stories. Clearwater Paddling - sea kayaking tours, also based at the hostel, was really good fun and a fantastic way to take in the island's beautiful scenery and wildlife. I would definitely recommend a stay here!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Adam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2013

We were a a family of 3, - 2 adults and our 16 year old son and had a weeks trip kayaking with the excellent family run company Clearwater Paddling. We had 3 nights accommmodation in the Lodge which is attached to the Hostel (which also looked very good - had a lovely cosy lounge) and 3 nights wild camping. The scenerey was breathtaking, weather pretty good for most of the time, midges on just one evening, camping was wonderful in locations with fantastic views on lovely soft grass. We really felt we'd escaped everything and had a total detox for mind and body. We were joined on our trip by 5 others in the group - a young couple, a Swedish Mum and teenage son and a gentleman travelling alone who was soon made very welcome by everyone. We had two guides allocated to our group - Ben, very experienced and efficient. He had a lovely way about him and paced the trip just right - we were a mixture of complete beginners and some more experienced kayakers. A young man called Fyn also worked as a guide - he was on a break from university studies and also worked very hard to ensure our trip ran very smoothly. I must admit that when we booked this trip we felt rather apprehensive as none of us had ever kayaked before and on top of that our teenage son expressed complete horror at the thought of wild camping, no X Box and possibly no wi fi..... However, the whole experience was a great success. The key to it working was the fact that we were in a group and were led by two such fabulous guides. Had we attempted this on our own with our reluctant son I really don't think it would have worked. The highlight to the trip was kayaking with Basking Sharks, Seals following our kayaks and wonderful tasty meals cooked for us every evening plus having Fyn help out with packing our tent away or towing one of us in the kayak whenever we got too tired! The 3 nights accommodation in the Lodge were very comfortable, good beds, hot showers, plenty to eat. Beautiful views from the comfortable lounge area. (Small thing i'd like to have had would have been a couple of towel rails above the bedroom heater to dry towels out although there was a very good drying room along the corridor). I'd really recommend this if you're after a family adventure holiday with a difference that will leave you wanting to come back and explore more the delights of the Hebrides.....

Room Tip: Request the rooms in the Lodge with a sea view of the harbour if they're available.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mil2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paisley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2013

Dunard Hostel is a short distance from the ferry and offers lovely views to the bay. Room was fine and kitchen was adequately stocked. Nice common room area to share experiences with fellow travellers.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 710Turbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2013

Positive things first: it's a basic hostel, with a cozy living room and decent rooms. The beds aren't the cleanest possible (I found someone's hair etc.). It's definitely not the cleanest hostel I've visited, definitely not the cheapest, but ok. The best thing is the kitchen, which is very well equipped for a hostel. Again, not super clean but you can find pretty much everything you need to cook.

Then the negative:
They can't handle money!! I booked the hostel well in advance, paid the deposit, sent a confirmation email. I didn't get any confirmation that my booking was ok, so I tried to contact them. It turned out to be impossible. They don't answer to emails or to the phone.

When I arrived they said that I have not booked a room. Luckily I had my paypal receipt to show and I got the room. When I left, I paid the total amount in cash, but didn't get a receipt. After a few days I got an email from the hostel owner claiming that I haven't paid my stay and was requested to pay immediately. After several emails of accusation from their side and in the end after detailed description of the situation when I paid, the conversations, the money handling, everything, from my side, they remembered that I paid. UNACCEPTABLE! As a note I must say that I never saw the owners, the place is held by a couple living in a trailer behind the hostel. The owners just demanded money and accused that I hadn't paid. None of them is capable of running a hostel though. Always ask for a receipt!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank kivalaatikko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
outblueyonder, Owner at Dunard Hostel, responded to this review, 1 September 2013
As the owners we can only apologies for when mistakes are made. In this case a different person made the booking from the person meeting guests and collecting money. Normally we send out receipts for all online payments and we are almost always on top of who and who has not paid. However despite trying our best we do make some mistakes along the way. So a very BIG SORRY from all the Dunard Hostel team for the mixed up service on this occasion.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2013

Stayed for just one night, but was lovely, the room was small but that was due to five of us in a double bunk with mattress on the floor. The staff are very helpful and fun, great common area, and good kitchen with facilities. Showers were good and the location is great for getting off late ferrys, traveling to shops and views are great of the bay and castle!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Elainewallace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2013

Stayed five nights here and it was a great place ...incredible views, central for the pub and shop, very clean and welcoming. First time hostelling solo and the small bunk bed rooms made the stay very comfortable - only four beds max per room. Excellent and friendly place to meet people from all walks of life and a very relaxed attitude from the owners. The half day sea kayak trip, run from the hostel, was a superb way of seeing the island too. Highly recommend!!

Room Tip: The twin room overlooking bay has a superb view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dunard Hostel

Property: Dunard Hostel
Address: Castlebay, HS9 5XD, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Outer Hebrides > Isle of Barra
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Isle of Barra
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Dunard Hostel Isle Of Barra, Scotland

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