The Hostelz.com Review - Genuine, independent review you can trust.
Although Iona Hostel is a bit of a walk from the ferry, the walk is definitely worth it! The whole hostel is very clean and you have to take your shoes off at the door (since you just walked through a field to get to the hostel), so there is very little dirt and mud tracked in. When we were there, there were people of all ages staying in the dorm, so the place has a great mixture of people.
It's just over a mile from the ferry to the hostel, so be prepared to walk. It's along a paved road that's mostly flat, so don't worry about any major hills. Once you get to the end of the road, there are signs directing you through the field to the hostel itself.
The hostel is just a few minutes' walk to the coast where there's a sandy beach; the water was cold and rough when we were there, but people did say they swim there in the summer. This location is perfect, you can see the ocean from the hostel and even several of the dorms. They also have several black sheep grazing on the property, which is always fun to see.
Once you drop your bags off or check in, you can explore the property, the beach, or walk back into "town" and check out the abbey and shops.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The dorm rooms are nice, bright, and simple. There is a shelf next to each bed that is large enough on which to put your luggage, so it isn't in the way or on the floor. The beds are pre-made and comfortable, and the wooden frames are sturdy. There are several bathrooms, some of which have a shower as well. These are all individual rooms, so you have a lot of privacy. If you didn't bring a towel, the hostel does rent them.
The kitchen is great! There is plenty of space and all the pots and pans that you could need. There are two sinks and two stoves, so there's enough room for multiple people cooking at once. The refrigerator is clean and organized, with room labels for you to put on your food. There is a free/communal food shelf, which has lots of spices and food others have left behind (probably because they didn't want to carry it back to the ferry!).
There's a few couches for reading, lounging, and chatting, with a big window that looks out to the field with the ocean in the distance and west, for a sunset view.
As long as you're prepared for a somewhat remote stay on Iona (there's only a few restaurants in town and a small grocery store), this is an ideal place to spend your time! The hostel is quiet and clean, with a great view and short walk to the water. We definitely recommend it!
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.