Recommends St. Ola Hotel

By Ronald Reed
This item appears on page 38 of the September 2019 issue.

In the article “Spectacular Scotland (June ’19, pg. 6), the author referred to the St. Ola Hotel in Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland, and wrote, “I would not recommend this hotel,” but I would have to strongly disagree. I would recommend this hotel, which was in a great location and had a great staff.

My wife and I stayed in the St. Ola Hotel for three nights (Sunday-Tuesday), Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2018. Our room — on the second floor, toward the front of the building — was more than adequate, and we heard no noisy music, something the author mentioned hearing from her room on a Saturday night. Noisy music could be heard in some of the hallways, but that was it.

There was a very active bar on the first floor where music was loud, but we heard nothing of it in our room.

I don’t remember the rate we paid.*

There was a coffee shop nearby that offered a great, inexpensive breakfast. My favorite was the sausage-and-egg breakfast sandwich. A man ran the front of the shop and his wife ran the kitchen. We were the only tourists there; the rest of the diners were locals.

(To get to the coffee shop, exit the hotel and turn right, then right again at the corner. Follow the road around a short distance, sort of behind the hotel. The shop is on the right.)

Orkney was part of a 6-week driving trip of Ireland, Scotland, England and Iceland that I planned and booked.

Melbourne, FL

*In mid-July 2019, the St. Ola Hotel’s website ( showed room rates ranging from £45-£65 (near $56-$80), standard single, to £60-£100, superior double.