-> 2007 -> The Port Charlotte Hotel, Islay


The Port Charlotte Hotel, Islay

Picture of a hotel (Port Charlotte Hotel on Islay) overlooking a beach

Was it luck? Was it destiny? Or just chance? Whatever it was, when I first visited Islay in 1998 I stayed at the Port Charlotte Hotel. The warm welcome and excellent stay I had at it heavily contributed to me returning to Islay the following year and then every year since. I firmly believe it is the best hotel on Islay, so it's good to read that the Daily Telegraph's Ultra Travel seems to agree with me:

They list the Port Charlotte Hotel in their overnight section as the best N.B. New Boutique - Port Charlotte Hotel, Islay, Scotland. While I'm not sure why they use a picture of Claggain Bay (which is almost exactly on the other end of Islay) as an illustration, the rest of the description I think hits it quite well.

Carl and Jan Reavie rebuilt the hotel over 10 years ago and ran it for eight years, then selling it on to Graham and Isobel Allison who now run it in the same spirit. While the rooms might seem small to some I think they are just fine and more importantly they are individual. They have nice old furniture and fantastic views over Loch Indaal. Much better than any chain hotel where everything is the same whereever you are.

The food is certainly among the best on the island, a lot of people I know say its the best on Islay. Not cheap, but worth it. If you're eating in the restaurant and manage to get a table on the sea side you also get a beautiful view with your meal, probably one of the best on Islay.

After all the praise, any complaints or problems? Well, if you don't book well in advance it can be very difficult or even impossible to get a room. Similar for a table (either in the restaurant or the bar), most days you need to book quite early. I guess that's the price for the success.

Oh, and the Telegraph seems to have a fairly wide definition of ‘walking distance’: Bruichladdich Distillery is approx 2 miles away, while it can be considered walking distance a 4 mile round trip most people wouldn't consider as short stroll.



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