Holidaymakers book French hotel for visit to Scottish island of Jura

Jura Hotel The Isle of Jura Hotel was fully booked when the French holidaymakers arrived

Four French travellers narrowly avoided a holiday disaster after they wrongly booked a hotel in their own country for a visit to the Scottish island of Jura.

The men believed they had booked the Isle of Jura Hotel but had actually reserved rooms in the Hotel Le Jura.

They had not realised the mistake, even though the booking confirmation was in French and the payment was in Euros.

The hotel, which is the only one on the island, was fully booked - but managed to find space for the travellers.

The Scottish hotel is owned by Andy and Cath McCallum.

'Bit of panic'

Mr McCallum said: "They had flown to Glasgow from France and caught the ferry over to Islay and then got another ferry to Jura.

"They came in and handed over their booking slip, but it was in French and I don't speak one word of French - and the charge was in Euros."

Start Quote

All they had done, from their perspective, was book the wrong hotel...while from our perspective, they had booked the wrong country”

End Quote Cath McCallum Isle of Jura Hotel

They worked out that the group had actually booked a French hotel in Dijon, near the Jura mountains.

Mr McCallum said there was "a bit of a panic" as his hotel, the only one on the island, was fully booked because there was a storytelling festival on Jura.

He said: "They asked if they could sleep in a tent, but we were renovating the hotel at the time and we managed to put them up in two rooms that were being painted. The next night we moved them to proper rooms."

The main attraction for the French group was the Corryvreckan whirlpool - the third largest in the world - which occurs in a narrow strait between Jura and Scarba in Argyll and Bute.

Mr McCallum said: "The group leader had planned the trip meticulously because he knew it was supposed to be a good time to see the Corryvreckan whirlpool. That is why they came here, but they just booked the wrong hotel.

"Unfortunately when they looked out at the whirlpool from the land it was flat calm."

Mrs McCallum added: "It is every hotelier's nightmare, you have got a full hotel, and somebody turns up with a booking slip.

"They were very relaxed about it, they were very calm and they had a good sense of humour.

"All they had done, from their perspective, was book the wrong hotel, they were so cool about it - while from our perspective, they had booked the wrong country.

"I like to think that we treat our customers well, with the personal touch, but it doesn't go as far as to reply to them in French."

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