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“our 4th stay”

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Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Benderloch
Certificate of Excellence
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Truro
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“our 4th stay”
Reviewed 29 March 2014

The fact that we've made 4 trips from Cornwall to Eriska speaks for itself. It is our favourite hotel in the UK (& we've stayed at some very nice hotels in the last few years). This time I thought it was possibly even better than usual for two reasons. The staff, many of whom come from various parts of Europe, seemed to strike just the right balance this time of the usual really top notch service plus a friendly & informal personal touch when it's needed. The new chef is outstanding: the food, always good before, is now very close to Michelin star quality.
What else makes it special?
The setting: it is a truly beautiful & tranquil little island to wander around admiring the scenery & listening to the birds, more often than not without seeing a soul.
The rooms: we've now stayed in standard, superior and spa suite rooms and they're all very good indeed. Public rooms are very nice too.
The facilities: a very decent 17m pool (if only it opened a bit earlier than 8.30!), a 9 hole golf course often with no-one on it (admittedly too soggy to use this time), a small gym & a variety of other sports & outdoor activities.
The service: excellent, and we love the fact that afternoon tea & cakes and morning coffee are all part of the deal and beautifully done.
The food: see above. The wine list is good & there are some decent house wines not overpriced compared with some other hotels we've been to.
It isn't cheap but I have always felt that it offers good value for its price. There are no hidden extra costs & never any sense of an attempt to extract more from you once you're there, in the way that some other places do. The emphasis is on looking after guests extremely well & being made to feel very comfortable indeed.
Are there any downsides?
A personal view is that the pool should open at least half an hour, even an hour, earlier than it does.
Walking round the island is wonderful but if you want to do a longer more serious walk you really have to get in the car and drive because the walking over the bridge from Eriska gets a bit repetitive if you're here for a few days but there is some good walking within a fairly short drive.

Room Tip: They are all very good. The superior rooms do offer a bit more space & sofa etc but the standard...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank diggertruro
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, 30 March 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review. As you know Eriska celebrates 40 years as a hotel this summer and whilst the world has changed a great deal over the last 4 decades we have tried to remain true to our roots focusses on looking after our guests rather than charging them for extras. When my parents set up Eriska they wanted it to be like staying in a country house hence the afternoon tea, morning coffee, early morning tea and newspapers all included in the room price.
I take on board your comments about opening the pol earlier in fact we change with the clocks and open at 8 when the clocks change----today-- . In short most guests do not emerge until later and therefore it had historically left our pool team twiddling their thumbs for the first hour of work so we elected to open slightly later. We do try to be as accommodating as possible so when you next return please ask and we will endeavour to let you swim early!!
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houston
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2014

Spent two nights at the hotel over a weekend. It is pretty easy to find and it is located on a small island across a small bridge. The hotel was originally a home and in 1970's to the 80's was converted to the hotel it is today. The price per night was high so i wasn't sure what to expect but the service and the food and location were outstanding. They greet you at the door whisk away your luggage and park your car while they give you a tour of the house. There is a wonderful bar area, glass covered sitting area, fireplaces galore. Tea with scones are served at 4 pm included in your stay, dinner is upscale and again service impecable. Coffee or tea is sent up in the morning before breakfast - then breakfast. The island is a great place to wonder the area and the owner provided side trips to take. There is a spa and indoor pool but we were there to hike but the area looked nice. Thanks to the 6'6" Irish wine and beverage manager for making our trip special and cudos to the other men and women working there. And last but not least the chef is Very Good. Rooms vary in the hotel so ask questions to the manager before booking.

Room Tip: email hotel and ask specific questions to what you want -
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank NYcowgirl
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 write about your recent visit to Eriska. We were delighted that you enjoyed your stay and have passed your comments to Glen in particular with regards his wine choices and Ross in the kitchen. Ross joined us last year and is striving to build a team who make the best use of the freshest local produce trying to bring the flavour and taste to the plate and it sounds like he achieved this for you and this encouragement will help spur him on.
Eriska is a wonderful old house and therefore as such every room is different both in terms of layout and size and shape and indeed each has its own benefits whether it be the views from Glensanda on the third floor, the space and fireplace of Skye on the ground floor or the sunken bath in Shuna so it is always best to highlight any special requests and we will always endeavor to help make your stay at Eriska special.

,
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
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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London, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 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 3 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 5 Contributor
70 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 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
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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 5 Contributor
60 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 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
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Helpful?
Thank Lumpyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 And Golf
Isle Of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Golf Hotel Benderloch
Isle Of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island Benderloch, Scotland

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