-> 2011 -> The Islay Hotel restaurant and bar are open for business!

Dimàirt, 01/Nov/2011

The Islay Hotel restaurant and bar are open for business!

Islay News in stencil

When I reported back from my latest Islay visit I promised I would tell you more about my visits to The Islay Hotel. Well, considering that the official opening was exactly a month ago I decided today would be a good day for it. Let's start with a view of the hotel last Friday:

Picture of the front of The Islay Hotel in Port Ellen

Unfortunately the weather wasn't very cooperative so while I've got pictures for another Islay Hotel Port Ellen Panorama the final one will still have to wait. It will also have to wait for another reason: There will be a sign on the outside of the hotel, making it clearer that it is a hotel. Just the name in the door might not be enough.

Picture of the entrance of The Islay Hotel at night

Now let's move into the bar, where probably most people will start the visit. The wide angle lens I used exaggerates it a bit, but I like the wide open space:

Picture of the bar of The Islay Hotel seen from the entrance to the bar

Most people go to a bar to enjoy a drink, here's an impression of some of the whiskies (of course mainly Islay single malts) on offer. I didn't ask if they also serve it (it was brought by a German visitor), but there's also a German whisky (finch - Schwäbischer Highland Whisky, the smaller square bottle in the middle shelf towards the right):

Picture of the shelves behind a bar with lots of whisky bottles

From the bar let's move over to the restaurant, which same as the bar was just starting to fill up when I took the pictures early in the evening:

Picture of the front part of the restaurant of The Islay Hotel

I had lunch at the table on the right on Saturday. A very nice Venison Burger with home made chips. I like good burgers and this one was excellent. On the other side the section with the Sean O'Leary murals:

Picture of the back part of the restaurant of The Islay Hotel

Speaking of the Sean O'Leary paintings, work on restoring the third one is still under way. This is the Highland Wedding, unfortunately it is incomplete as the main part with the bride and groom is missing. Roland is still looking for a photo of the original, unfortunately so far without luck. Once restored the still existing bit will go on a wall in the bar.

It was great seeing the building full of life and activity, also meeting Roland again very happy that they are now in business. Of course there is still a lot of work to do, but I think there's a very good team all around the hotel. A lot of local people, meaning a lot of familiar faces. Many thanks at this point to Roland, Emma, Ian, Neil, Nigel and everyone else I spoke with for taking their time to show me around and chatting with me.

As I said there's still a lot of work to do, the next stage will be the first hotel rooms to be ready. This is expected around the end of November into the start of December. The last picture is a view into one of them, the carpet is scheduled to be put in this week (or may be has been already as I write this):

Picture of a view into a hotel bedroom being fitted out

If you visit Port Ellen over the next few weeks or months (and then of course years) I recommend to take a look at the hotel and if possible enjoy a drink and meal. I think you'll enjoy it, pretty much everyone I spoke with was impressed by it.

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