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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I have always wanted to visit the Isle of Barra, and finally got to do so this year. Only took me until 53 years old!!
We decided to stay here as the location was perfect due to us travelling through Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries, you can see the hotel from the pier it’s so close. Not to mention the view from the hotel, hard to believe we were still in Scotland, it was just absolutely stunning.
Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about staying here due to reading previous comments on this site, they didn’t fill me with confidence. However, I was drawn to the hotel and it just felt right and convenient for me to stay here.
Soon I realised it was a lovely experience and it was better than just “convenient”.
I am so sorry but I am terrible at remembering names, but I was greeted by a lovely team member (Ann?) as I was checking in. She asked me how our travel was and then was very excited to hear that it was our first time in Barra. She was so helpful and gave me tips and also told me if there was anything I wanted to know about the island, she would be more than happy to tell me the best places to go. Going over and above guest expectations!
I then went to my bedroom, travelling is exhausting and I just wanted to have a lie down. The room was very charming indeed, yes you can tell it’s not a modernised hotel but that doesn’t mean it’s dirty. I think people can be too harsh and are too used to staying in Hotel chains. The room was spacious, not to mention the view.... I decided to go investigating and honestly couldn’t find any faults in the room. Lovely, clean and tidy. Then I spotted tea and coffee facilities, just what I needed after my long day travelling!
We had breakfast the following morning before we set out to explore, the atmosphere at breakfast was amazing. There was a calmness in the room that made me feel so relaxed, the waiters were lovely and went out their way for me when I wanted more coffee and milk. We both had a hot full breakfast and it just felt so homely and satisfying. 10/10.
After a long day visiting Barra, we came back in the evening roughly around 7pm, absolutely starving and in need of a glass of wine!
The restaurant was busier than what it was during breakfast time, but the waiters working were absolutely lovely, despite how clearly busy they were. They took their time to talk to us about the menu and asked how our day had been.
It’s a frustrating and challenging time to be working in hospitality, but the waiters were constantly cleaning, sanitising, wearing their masks and still managing to be cheerful and charming. I understand everyone in hospitality’s patience is being tested right now due to the high demand and stress, but they managed to make me feel at ease the whole time.
The dinner was truly amazing, again it felt so homely and comforting. I ate every single bit!!! The chefs in this hotel are excellent, I would come back here just for the food!

I loved my stay at the Castlebay Hotel, I would absolutely come back here again. Between the room, the view, the staff/locals and the amazing food....10/10!!!

Date of stay: July 2021
Trip type: Traveled with friends
Thank Prwni3
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Just stayed at the Castlebay Hotel on our recent trip to the Hebridies. What a wonderful stay.
Staff were very friendly and accommodating…booking us taxis to the airport, advising on bus timetables and also pointing us in the right direction for lunch (both the Hebridean Toffee and the Vatersay community hall cafe, great stop off points to refuel) .

We ate here on both nights of our stay. Evening meals were very substantial, home cooked and tasty…….as was our breakfast on both mornings.

Our room (room 11) was next to the public bar, which we were worried about the noise, but can honestly say that we had no interruptions at all. We had a great nights sleep. The room itself is a little tired but overall the cleanliness cannot be faulted.

Having seen about the lack of tea facilities in the room (previous reviews).. I can say that we definitely had these in the room.

I can definitely recommend Castlebay Hotel for your trip to Barra….you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Q8577SHalexanderg
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were meant to stay two nights in the Castlebay Hotel's MacNeil room, presented on the website and over the phone as the smartest room in the smartest hotel on Barra. This was meant to be a treat as the highlight of our honeymoon. Unfortunately it was extremely disappointing. The hotel is nice enough and in a great location. The room was shabby, the bed was not made properly and the bedclothes and frame were stained and with un-ironed sheets etc. The furniture was tired and damaged. The bathroom was small, dingy and the bath very scratched, even though the "jacuzzi bath" was one of the listed selling points. The staff did eventually come and fix the bathroom fan, which would not turn off, but it took several attempts. The staff were generally friendly and helpful but a little bit disengaged. Overall it was disappointing - it could be a really special hotel, but needs to have money spent on the rooms and more ownership taken by the staff over the guests' stay.

Date of stay: August 2021
2  Thank ThomasW65
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I agree with other recent reviewers here. It is dirty, staff seems uninterested, it is hugely overpriced. They used the fact that there are few places available on Barra but please find somewhere else if you can. We paid £140 per night and £50 would be too much a room like this. Lots of spiders, butterflies in the room. Dated and dirty looking bathroom. Linen and walls with dirty spots. See the photos. Not recommended.

Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Traveled with friends
2  Thank kanstantsind2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 6 August 2021

​We stayed at ​the CastleBay Hotel​ for 2 nights at a rate of £​140​ per night.

We didn't have high expectations for the hotel but the hotel really was below what we believe is an acceptable standard. The rooms were more like a hostel than a hotel. The rooms were very basic and didn't look like it had been maintained or decorated since the 1980s.

The room and bathroom were not clean. It was very dusty and the sheets did not smell fresh. The fixtures and fittings were very clinical and tired​ and the carpet had not been hoovered. ​There were no complimentary tea and coffee facilities and the bathroom toilet did not flush properly. The water pressure in the taps and shower was also poor. The hotel rooms are also not cleaned everyday and we were not offered fresh towels.

The ​customer service was not friendly. ​There was no front of house presence and there was no friendly welcome. The restaurant and bar staff were glum and not very obliging.​ ​We asked for some coffee cups as we purchased our own tea and coffee from the local Coop. The staff asked us to 'come back later as they were a bit busy'. We pressed this issue and the staff reluctantly provided us with some coffee cups. We also requested a jug of tap water. The staff suggested that we use the water from the toilet tap in our room! The hotel bar is dingy and the atmosphere is not relaxed. There are many inconsistencies with their Covid-19 policies. We noticed that the bar staff ask some people to wear masks (despite not wearing a mask themselves) but turn a blind eye to others​. It is also clear that they follow certain 'rules' to tick a box as the hotel is filthy.​

It's a shame for tourists as they aren't getting a true representation of Scottish quality in a beautiful part of the world.​ ​I believe the hotel owners have become lazy and feel they don't need to improve their hotel as there is limited competition.

I'd recommend finding a B&B nearby as at least you will get what you pay for.

Room tip: This hotel is not accessible to people with disabilities.
Date of stay: August 2021
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank fionnadhB
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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