Looking to travel to Shetland?
Want to know about Shetland Hotels?
Here is my guide to 6 hotels that I have stayed in when visiting Shetland.
What is the Best Hotel in Shetland?
Busta House Hotel is the best hotel in terms of service, food, setting and room quality. It is very popular with 9 individually named and differently styled rooms. It is located just outside Brae on the Western side of the mainland.
The Lerwick Hotel, Lerwick
Set just on the edge of Lerwick the Lerwick Hotel is set on a hill on the coast looking across to Bressay.
The hotel looks a bit like a motel from the outside and the approach is from the town centre and Gordon Bain Hospital.
On entering through the double doors you will find reception on your right-hand side. Straight ahead if the bar and restaurant and to the left is a small bar area which is generally quite quiet.
All the hotel rooms are either up half a flight of stairs or down half a flight of stairs. Some rooms look over the car park and some look over the sea.
The rooms are fairly basic. There are electric wall heaters in the room, televisions and tea and coffee facilities. WIFI is free throughout the hotel.
The beds are OK with some of the flattest pillows I’ve ever come across in a hotel!
Sea-facing rooms are nice but if you are sitting down you can’t see out of the window anyway. The curtains are quite thin so I would highly recommend a sleep mask if you are staying when the evenings and nights will be lighter.
The food at the Lerwick Hotel is good. Breakfast is a cold buffet with a hot menu that you order, along with tea or coffee and toast.
Evening meals have generous portions and include local specialities. The bar offers a good selection of drinks including Shetland beer and gin.
The hotel is in a good location for walking around the headland which is called The Knab. It is around a 15-20 minute walk back into the centre of Lerwick, and you can also walk around the coast to reach the town centre.
If you do walk to the Knab you can see the remains of an old torpedo firing point.
The Lerwick Hotel is within easy reach of the town’s Tesco store which has clothing and an ATM amongst other things.
See more photos, information and read the reviews of The Lerwick Hotel on Tripadvisor
The Shetland Hotel, Lerwick
Located at the Northern end of Lerwick opposite the main ferry terminal, the Shetland Hotel is a large 5 storied hotel. The hotel is set into the side of a hill. There is a small road that runs behind the hotel and will take you to the 4th floor where you will find reception.
There is parking available but limited spaces right beside reception.
There is a lift but this only goes to floors with an even number. For odd-numbered floors, you will have to take a flight of stairs to reach your room.
Rooms either look out over the houses at the back of the hotel, into the bank behind the hotel, or over the ferry terminal and road.
Rooms are quite large with a table and chairs, wardrobe, desk and either twin or a double bed. There are four poster beds and a couple of suites in the hotel as well.
There are electric wall heaters and most bathrooms have a shower over the bath.
The restaurant and bar are on the 2nd floor. The restaurant looks over the ferry terminal.
Breakfast is a cold buffet with hot items ordered from the menu, along with toast and tea or coffee.
Evening meals have generous portions and there are changing daily specials that feature local produce too. There is also a good selection of wines along with local beer and gin.
It is around a 20-25 minute walk from the hotel back into Lerwick town centre.
There is an exit onto the street beside the ferry terminal from the hotel.
The nearest shop is a Co-operative store that is located around 300 yards away.
Glen Orchy Hotel
This is really a bed and breakfast rather than a hotel. There is no lift and rooms are spread across the ground, first and second floor. The rooms vary in size, furnishings and layouts.
Rooms at the back look over the car park and rooms at the front look over residential houses.
Breakfast is really great with plentiful portions of hot food items. There is a cold buffet selection as well.
Evening meals have huge portions too (meals are generally for group bookings as the hotel doesn’t have its own restaurant). The Glen Orchy doesn’t have a licence so you cannot buy any drinks if you are having a group meal there.
The Glen Orchy is just over a 5 minute walk into Lerwick town centre.
St Magnus Bay Hotel, Hillswick
Set out on the West Coast the St Magnus Bay Hotel is a very historic building. It is in fact a listed building and dates back to around 1901.
There is a parking area at the front of the hotel. Once inside there is a small reception desk. Also on the ground floor are the bar and the restaurant which is also where breakfast is served.
Group meals need to be pre-ordered on arrival. There is no lift in the hotel and rooms also vary in size and outlook. Some rooms look over the bay and some look over a car parking area (ones at the rear of the hotel).
Breakfasts are a cold buffet with hot items cooked to order. Evening meals are generous but the restaurant can be a little busy which can make service a little slower.
The bar sometimes has musicians playing which can make for a pleasant evening.
Hillswick is a tiny village on the West Coast. It is handy if you are visiting the cliffs at Eshaness and the Drongs.
The Brae Hotel is set right beside the main road in the village of Brae. There are steps up to the main entrance and once inside there is a seating area and a reception desk. On the ground floor are a few bedrooms, along with a small library, a restaurant and a bar.
Most of the rooms are on the first floor. There is no lift.
Rooms are motel-style and are comfortable but fairly basic. Bedrooms have twin or double beds and the bathrooms generally have showers over the bath. There are tea and coffee-making facilities in the rooms. WIFI is free but it can get a bit patchy in the rooms furthest away from the reception area.
Breakfast is a cold buffet with hot items cooked to order. Evening meals are very nice with some interesting twists on traditional dishes. The mint aero cheesecake is lovely!
Frankies Fish and Chip restaurant is within easy walking distance of the hotel. It’s a popular spot with locals and visitors being the most Northerly fish and chip restaurant in the UK.
There is also a Co-operative shop nearby too. Brae is a good spot to be if you want to explore the Western and North Western areas of Shetland.
Busta House Hotel
In my view, Busta House Hotel is the best accommodation in Shetland. It consistently has great reviews and is very popular with visitors and locals alike.
Parts of the hotel date back to the 1500s and the building has a very interesting history. Over the years the building has been extended which means there are little corridors and corners in the hotel.
The hotel is owned by two locals and they employ a great local team. The service at the hotel is, in my experience after a number of stays, great.
The ground floor is where the restaurant is. This has a great choice with lots of local produce. The portions are very generous and there are choices of sides for each dish as well. The wine selection is great too.
Breakfast has hot items to order with a small cold buffet.
Also on the ground floor is the long room which has a fireplace and one of the largest whisky collections I have ever seen.
Rooms vary in size and shape but all have been refurbished since the new owners took over. Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. There are a variety of bedroom styles including a four-poster bedroom.
The hotel is surrounded by some amazing trees, surely the oldest in Shetland. This gives it a very different feel to other places in Shetland and locals come to enjoy the trees too. To the front of the hotel is a pretty harbour where there are great views across the sea.
Busta House is a great choice for any sort of stay. It is ideal for a romantic stay too – what’s more romantic than sitting beside a fire with something nice to drink and then retiring to a lovely four-poster bedded room?
(Check out my 10 Reasons to Stay at Busta House Hotel post)
Shetland Hotels Conclusion
- The best hotel in Shetland, in my view and experience, is the Busta House Hotel
- In Lerwick, the Lerwick Hotel has a good location with motel-type rooms.
- The Shetland Hotel has better rooms and is directly opposite the Aberdeen ferry terminal.
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