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“A Week-end of Pure Pampering”

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Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Benderloch
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
112 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“A Week-end of Pure Pampering”
Reviewed 17 March 2014

My husband and I have just had a fabulous relaxing week-end again at this hotel. Food is of the highest standards as is the chef. Fine dining at its best. Hotel is olde world but very comfortable and tastefully decorated to suit. Hotel is a beautiful house situated on its own private island in a very picturesque part of Scotland. We stayed here 3 years ago and standards are still as high. Staff very friendly and nothing seems to be a bother to them.
What a bonus to see the badger at front of the conservatory enjoying his supper on Saturday night.
We also had a spa treatment on Saturday afternoon which was wonderful - well done girls We needed that!!
Will certainly return and would have no hesitation in recommending to others. Until our next visit - thank you all at Eriska Hotel for a very relaxing week-end.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Barbara R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bepp, Owner at Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island, responded to this review, 20 March 2014
Thank you for taking the time to pass on your experiences to the Trip Advisor Audience. We were thrilled that you made the decision to return to Eriska and delighted that you enjoyed your stay once again. This year Eriska enters its 40th year as a hotel and when we opened in 1974 we set ourselves the task of selling the peace and quiet and the hospitality- (mainly because we had no marketing money or knowledge!) and today they remain key to our offering and each day we simply strive to deliver with a great team and wonderful produce.
It is especially welcoming that Ross- our head chef and his team and Fiona our Spa Manager and her team were able to make you especially comfortable and we all look forward to welcoming you back in the future when we hope Bertie the badger might bring more friends for dinner!
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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2014

We stayed three nights at Isle of Eriska as part of a Hogmanay (Scottish for New Year’s) all inclusive package (full board). The hotel is situated on a privately owned island about two miles off the main A road just North of Oban. The remoteness of the property is naturally part of the charm and such a location appeals to those who seek to escape for a period of relaxation in beautiful West Scotland. This is an expensively priced venue and hence expectations were set high. The points we awarded the hotel reflect our overall satisfaction with our experience and we would recommend a stay at Eriska wholeheartedly. The issues we pick up on below would only serve to have made a memorable stay become an outstanding one. Isle of Eriska is a family owned/managed hotel and from our observation Beppo runs the property in a slick understated manner and was visible and approachable throughout.

On arrival we were greeted and showed around the common areas of the hotel before being led to the room by which time all our bags had been delivered. We were on the top floor (room name Coll) in a generously sized and well-appointed room with far reaching views over the garden, sea and mountains beyond. The room also benefitted from a sizeable dressing/luggage room which enabled the bedroom to remain clutter free for the duration of our stay. The bathroom is a good size with separate shower (excellent pressure) and bath, although we felt was in some need of decorative refreshment (everything was spotless and in working order but was rather 80s in design). Our only complaint in the room was the temperature – just a couple of degrees warmer would have been more comfortable and the central heating was on full (outside temperature was around +5c at the time). The floor below and the lounge/bar/restaurant is very cosy but there was a significant temperature gradient when ascending the last flight of stairs to the top floor. The turn down service includes his and hers (blue and red) hot water bottles which is a nice touch but the room itself remained somewhat chilly.

The restaurant is beautifully appointed and service was faultless. Of the ten or so restaurant staff we encountered not a single one was Scottish (not a problem at all although there was a small corresponding loss of authenticity to the place). The waiting staff consistently all provided the precise amount of attention – not overbearing and yet always swift to refresh courses, water and wine. Not at one point during one meal were we ever short of service. Francisco the sommelier was particularly charming and keen to share his thoughts on wine selection. But we would mention many more names had we managed to learn them all and it feels like a disservice not to credit more of the staff by name. Set menus for gala dinners on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were excellent (and the bar was set very high for us as we’d just arrived from the Michelin one star rated Kinloch Lodge on Skye the night before). Quality of food and presentation were worthy of particular recognition. The final (Thursday) night was a little peculiar in comparison – we felt as if it had been the chef’s night off given the performance on the previous evenings. A slightly bizarre main course offering of variations on a theme of a ploughman’s lunch - either meat, fish or vegetarian based - with ice cream for dessert. Perhaps the idea was simplicity after a succession of more elaborate dinners on previous nights. My fiancée opted for the fish variant and the fishcake was 95% potato/5% salmon flakes. Still, the extensive cheese trolley rescued the meal. But really, this is attempting to find fault. Overall our experience of the quality and variety of the food, service and atmosphere over the time of our stay was excellent. Breakfasts are a la carte with a generous selection of hot and cold options.

The hotel also benefits from a spa in a separate building about 100 metres away from the main building. This houses a gym, swimming pool and spa treatment rooms. The pool was generously sized and well heated but we felt the changing rooms were in need of a slight facelift. The hotel also benefits from a private nine-hole golf course although we didn’t play on this occasion.

Finally, if you’ve never been less than two feet from a badger before, then Eriska offers you that chance. A tempting badger offering of food and milk is left just outside the bar glass conservatory windows each evening and on our last night we were lucky enough to observe a couple of visiting diners.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Alexander R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bepp, Owner at Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island, responded to this review, 18 January 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your stay at Eriska over Hogmanay. Over New Year and Christmas we run a very different kind of package with a fixed length of stay. The house and island lends itself to a full house party but we try to blend this for those who wish to participate with the normal hotel operation and hopefully that allowed you and your wife the ability to join in or continue your own thing.

For that reason we vary the menus and style throughout the week with some fixed gala dinners and some more traditional meals. On one day- the Thursday- that you mentioned we offered a full menu at lunch time and then a lighter buffet style dinner- the "ploughmans" plates you mentioned. This was as you surmised to allow a simpler fare before guests departed to head home the following day and was really following requests and suggestions from guests the previous year.

During the festive period many guests do not venture out far and therefore we burned three large log fires all day in the public areas hence the temperature differential you noted. We are aware of this and whilst the bedrooms were all over 20C the fact that the public rooms raged at substantially high temperatures- except the diningoom which is air conditioned- caused some misconceptions which we will address for the future.

I was delighted to hear that despite the later night entertainment and even the fireworks display on New Years Eve the badgers were stirred form their hibernation and came to join in the celebrations- clearly they did not wish to be upstaged..
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York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2013

1. The hotel is absolutely beautiful and the suite was well appointed.
2. The staff were very attentive and the food was superb.
3. The hotel is quite far off the beaten track but there lies much of its appeal.
4. Unfortunately, the badgers did not appear for their milk but hopefully, next time we visit, they will make an appearance.
5. A true highlight was walking round the island on the Sunday morning and seeing so much wildlife.
6. The hotel is expensive but it has a considerable number of staff and the customer care is very apparent.

Room Tip: Rooms in the original building are nicer.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AnEastCoastTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bepp, Owner at Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island, responded to this review, 1 December 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a reveiw about your recent stay. I was delighted to hear how much you enjoyed Eriska and left more relaxed. I will have a word with the badgers about turning up on time but as they bare truly "wild" animals we have little control over them especially at this time of year as they do tend to sleep for some time and miss visits to Eriska although i am sure the bread and milk we leave them is a temptation.
We have now completed our most recent round of refurbishment on all the upper floors of the main house and have tried to create a balance between tradition and comfort and modern and practical. We have re-used some antique furniture, softened the colours and used more plain fabrics.
Outside the house the Spa Suites are in their own buildings and can offer increased privacy, space and seclusion and with the hot tubs make ideal escapes as they too have 24 hour room service and are therefore not too far form the main house. We do however understand that not everybody is happy with a 50m walk to the house or spa and therefore continue to offer options within the main house.
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Level Contributor
53 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2013

Isle of Eriska is what you hope all Scottish Country House Hotels will be like. The room was comfortable, the lounges all had big open fires that you could curl up next to with a book, the food was wonderful and the service was attentive, but not overbearing - just right. We even saw some badgers.

I stayed in a superior room on the first floor which was very comfortable. I really enjoyed the food with venison one night and sirloin steak the next and the cheese board is possibly the best cheese board I have ever had. Anyone who ever orders cheese for dessert will appreciate the disappointment when a prepared plate with the clingfilm cover freshly removed arrives at the table, but this was something else with something like 30 different cheeses on offer. Breakfast was also smashing. I had a lovely back massage and the spa facilities were great.

It was expensive, but we really got what we paid for.

Room Tip: All of the rooms we saw were lovely. If you can I would go for a superior room for the extra space...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Learmonthwanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bepp, Owner at Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island, responded to this review, 10 November 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to write your comments for Trip Advisor. Eriska is approaching its 40th birthday and throughout this time Hospitality and Service has been at our heart and I hope will continue so to do. Ross and his kitchen team strive to offer the best fresh local produce and it has been a pleasure to expand our cheese offering over the years and now we work with several local suppliers to help showcase their produce to its best.
This wee k we are working on new accompaniments to help the cheese offering even further.
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Greater London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2013

My partner booked up Eriska for my birthday to ensure I had a special time. It was a wonderful surprise. The island contains a variety of wildlife and microclimates, from a shell beach to woodland to marshland and a golf course.

The hotel is warm and welcoming with a touch of grandeur blended with comfort. The accomodation is decadent; a warm and cosy room with great attention to detail. We stayed in a luxury room on the first floor. There is a 'turn down' service while you have dinner.

A cream tea is served at 4pm and at that time you can pre order your evening meal choice and wine.

The bar was a cosy place to have your pre dinner drink. The dinner was beautifully presented and very tasty sourced from local produce. The staff were very knowledgeable about each dish.

I had a treatment booked in the Stables spa which was very enjoyable. There is a swiming pool which when I was there was quiet and restful.

I would love to stay here again. It would be an ideal honeymoon location.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Lumpyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2013

On the occasion of my husbands birthday and on the recommendation of Sean from Ardtorna we visited for a celebration dinner and we were not disappointed. The hotel is decidedly olde world very peaceful and tastefully decorated. The food is tremendous the amuse bouche fantastic my hake starter so tasty and the rump of lamb had to be tasted to be believed finally the cheese trolly an absolute joy.It is not cheap but well worth the money. The wine list is extensive and something there for everyone. This is a restaurant that I will return to as often as I can.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Agnestaitbarrhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2013 via mobile

Had a meal for our anniversary one night on the recommendation of the owners of Ardtorna. It was dark when we arrived so couldn't appreciate the scenery however we did enjoy the long, spooky drive up to the hotel. The meal was £50 for 5 courses & for a special occasion that seemed acceptable. The quality of the food was excellent although, as mentioned previously, the choice was very limited. The service was very welcoming & friendly overall, but I have to mention the waiter who came over with the cheese trolley & provided us with a detailed description of approx 20 varieties of cheese. Overall we had a nice meal & enjoyed our night. It did however lack any sort of atmosphere, I would definitely recommend some low level music as the lack of atmosphere did feel slightly awkward at times. We won't necessarily be rushing back but assuming you aren't put off by the price it was a nice evening & a good meal.

Stayed October 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank weeCALIgreenBum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bepp, Owner at Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island, responded to this review, 10 November 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent meal at Eriska. Ross joined us in the summer and has throughout his time pushed his team to deliver the best local produce in a way which allows the produce to exhibit real taste and flavour whether this be by simply serving dishes or elaborately preparing recipes. Eriska is nearly 40 years old and throughout this time we have changed and evolved having taken comments and feedback form guests whop choose to stay with us and eat with us and therefore will note your comments about the music although it would be remiss of me to mention that it is a quite a hot topic with polarized views on both sides- We mere strive to offer customers what they wish!
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Additional Information about Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island

Property: Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island
Address: Isle of Eriska | Isle of Eriska, Benderloch PA37 1SD, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Argyll and Bute > Benderloch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Benderloch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island 5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Golf is situated on its own island on the west coast of Scotland connected to the mainland by a small, vehicle bridge. Only 2 hours drive from Glasgow and 10 minutes from Oban, it offers the perfect location to relax and unwind. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isle Of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Golf Hotel Benderloch
Isle Of Eriska Hotel, Spa And Golf
Isle Of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island Benderloch, Scotland

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