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“Relaxing stay at a lovely hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Balbirnie House

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Balbirnie House
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Balbirnie Park, Markinch, Glenrothes KY7 6NE, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Markinch
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Relaxing stay at a lovely hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

We stayed one night which was bought as a Groupon deal - £109 for dinner, bed and breakfast, with prosecco and truffles in room on arrival. The receptionist was very friendly on arrival and we were given room 314 for our stay. The room was spacious and nicely furnished - bathroom was also good size. However the room definitely needs to be redecorated (it appears that there was at some time water damage and the wall paper is peeling and stained in some parts of the room). I think the hotel should really repair the decor before putting guests in that particular room but it did not spoil our stay in any way. We had a lovely meal in the Orangery restaurant and the service was excellent with very friendly and attentive waiting staff. The food was really excellent. Breakfast was bit more hit and miss. Was buffet style and the bacon and blackpudding etc needed to be crisper instead of steaming away and soggy in the metal urns/trays. We really enjoyed our stay and loved the hotel, even if it is looking a bit tired in some areas. The service throughout the hotel was excellent and we're definitely looking forward to our next stay although we'll request a different room next time for sure.

Room Tip: Avoid room 314 as it needs repair to the decor. We had a good look at room 304 as housekeeping had...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this review, May 19, 2012
Hello Randolph,and delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House. I will be sure to pass your comments on to the team.

It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.

(We did have a very minor minor ingress from external storm damage, and we have noted your comments.)

To read a further selection of our monthly guestbook comments and reviews, from guests known to have stayed in our hotel, or who have visited as a guest, please do take just a few moments to visit our web site.
From the many lovely emails, cards and letters which we receive, and in tandem with our guestbook records, every month we take a selection of those additional comments and place them on our latest news sections. As always, our thanks to Sarah Rees from our reception team, who takes the time every month to collate all of those very lovely comments and reviews. These can of course be fully trusted, and accepted as reality.

If there is ever any element of guest dissatisfaction whatsoever, then I would always ask please that any guest with any complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss.

Best wishes, Nicholas Russell/ Hotel Manager/ Balbirnie House/ 1992 - Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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451 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Galashiels, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

came for a family lunch today and was excellent, good service from the young staff and food to die for. did find the bistro very warm to sit in for any length of time. we found every one very welcoming especially coming in the front door, they put out the red carpet, ( there was a wedding on) on well one can dream. overall a lovely plce to dine. ps pity about the sleeping policemen.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this review, May 19, 2012
Dear Vivien, many thanks for your kind comments, and delighted to hear that you considered that the food in The Balbirnie Bistro was 'to die for'. We are overjoyed to hear those comments.

Delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House. I will be sure to pass your comments on to the team.

It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.

To read a further selection of our monthly guestbook comments and reviews, from guests known to have stayed in our hotel, or who have visited as a guest, please do take just a few moments to visit our web site.
From the many lovely emails, cards and letters which we receive, and in tandem with our guestbook records, every month we take a selection of those additional comments and place them on our latest news sections. As always, our thanks to Donna Reid from our reception team, who takes the time every month to collate all of those very lovely comments and reviews. These can of course be fully trusted, and accepted as reality.

If there is ever any element of guest dissatisfaction whatsoever, then I would always ask please that any guest with any complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss.

Best wishes, Nicholas Russell/ Hotel Manager/ Balbirnie House/ 1992 - Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leslie, null, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2012

Attended a Christmas Party night last year & decided to stay over too, which if you do so, you get a specially priced deal. Was well worth it, the party night was as usual great fun, fab food & dancing all night!! The accommodation was a suite, which was sheer luxury & huge. Breakfast in the morning was tasty, plenty of choice & just what was needed after the night before!! Staff are friendly, efficient & accommodating, will be back!!! ;-)

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this review, May 19, 2012
Hello Michelle, how lovely to have such wonderful comments from a Senior Reviewer! That is great that you enjoyed your stay- it is such a special time of year to visit, and our Christmas parties are certainly renowned, staying over taken in conjunction at those events with phenomenal value offered for accommodation and breakfast.

We had a tremendous amount of wonderful feedback for Christmas parties last year- a good job as we have certainly had plenty of practice!

In passing, the DJ - Kyle Steele Music Services, is now also on our wedding supplier list. Great sound system, lights, set list and patter- as you will have seen - just what we need for 200 festive revellers doing the Conga together in Balbirnie's Millennium Ballroom! Party Central!

Delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House. I will be sure to pass your comments on to the team.

It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated. Please email me direct regarding this year's stay so that I can organise a Champagne Upgrade.

To read a further selection of our monthly guestbook comments and reviews, from guests known to have stayed in our hotel, or who have visited as a guest, please do take just a few moments to visit our web site.
From the many lovely emails, cards and letters which we receive, and in tandem with our guestbook records, every month we take a selection of those additional comments and place them on our latest news sections. As always, our thanks to Sarah Rees from our reception team, who takes the time every month to collate all of those very lovely comments and reviews. These can of course be fully trusted, and accepted as reality.

If there is ever any element of guest dissatisfaction whatsoever, then I would always ask please that any guest with any complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss.

Best wishes, Nicholas Russell/ Hotel Manager/ Balbirnie House/ 1992 - Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2012

Well if first impressions count then this has the wow factor, however it was disappointing when i got past the front door - the front desk staff were not very customer focused and was distracted several times by other members of staff. Once i got to the room on first glance again it was a good first impression - however once id spent a few minutes in the room i noticed that yes it was large and spacious but it was also starting to look tired and in need of a redecorate - the plaster on the ceiling was cracked and the wallpaper in some of the corners was bubbled from the ingress of damp. The food in the restaurant (found in the cellar!) was good but nothing to write home about. Once i tried to go to sleep there was an extraction unit of some description outside my window and it was on all night so the room was actually very nosy. I stayed 2 nights on business and would stay again but only if several other hotels in the area were already full.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this review, May 19, 2012
Hello Beki, I will be sure to pass your comments on to the team. Sorry to hear that you were not met in a manner commensurate with your expectations. (What can happen sometimes is that our reception switchboard becomes regularly jammed with incoming enquiries, which taken in conjunction with arriving guests, can on occasion mean a small delay- which is what you seem to have experienced.)

It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.

Now then - 'restaurant in the cellar'??? I take it your are referring to The Balbirnie Bistro, which is on the lower ground floor??? If you wish to dine in the Cellar, then that is a different matter, and is indeed in - 'the cellar'!!!

Sorry to hear that there was an apparent ingress water issue, in our Grade A Listed building we have a team permanently working on maintenance, but of course that does not excuse any such crossover with a guest stay. Alas I cannot reverse the hands of time, what I can do however is offer you a next stay on a Complimentary basis, please email me direct if that would be amenable. It would be very nice to have the opportunity to redeem your perspective.

To read a further selection of our monthly guestbook comments and reviews, from guests known to have stayed in our hotel, or who have visited as a guest, please do take just a few moments to visit our web site.
From the many lovely emails, cards and letters which we receive, and in tandem with our guestbook records, every month we take a selection of those additional comments and place them on our latest news sections. As always, our thanks to Sarah Rees from our reception team, who takes the time every month to collate all of those very lovely comments and reviews. These can of course be fully trusted, and accepted as reality.

If there is ever any element of guest dissatisfaction whatsoever, then I would always ask please that any guest with any complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss.

Best wishes, Nicholas Russell/ Hotel Manager/ Balbirnie House/ 1992 - Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

My wife and I stayed here for two nights and I have never stayed in an hotel like it. From the minute we arrived, via the ferocious sleeping policemen and the varied potholes on the drive, to the second we left, the staff were unbelievably helpful and nice. We were upgraded to a suite which was magic and the whole ambience was just excellent. We ate each night at the hotel, first in the Bistro which was very pleasant and the second night in the Orangery which was equally nice. Service was prompt and very courteous, the food was excellent and, I thought, good value as well. Breakfast, I'm afraid, is the usual buffet affair although nothing wrong with its quality. However, on the last day, I had to ask twice if they would be bringing out more fried eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding.......(you get the idea) as the hot trays were empty. Just a wee bit annoying and we mentioned this on leaving. Like a previous review, I too found a litter of cars round the main entrance and some of them belonged to the staff!!!! Yes, the cold water could be a bit warm but running the tap sorted that however the hot water was not as hot as it might have been, warm but not hot. (Yes, we mentioned that as well.) Internet access in the room is very expensive so we made use of the free WiFi in the public areas.
Would we go again? Without doubt as it was worth it for a special treat and even if it was just a "normal" room!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this review, May 19, 2012
Dear Toots, I thank you Sir for your lovely review, nice to have constructive feedback from a Senior Tripadvisor Contributor.

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House. I will be sure to pass your comments on to the team.

It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.

I note your comments about returning. Please email me direct and I will arrange a Champagne upgrade for you and your wife.

To read a further selection of our monthly guestbook comments and reviews, from guests known to have stayed in our hotel, or who have visited as a guest, please do take just a few moments to visit our web site.
From the many lovely emails, cards and letters which we receive, and in tandem with our guestbook records, every month we take a selection of those additional comments and place them on our latest news sections. As always, our thanks to Sarah Rees from our reception team, who takes the time every month to collate all of those very lovely comments and reviews. These can of course be fully trusted, and accepted as reality.

If there is ever any element of guest dissatisfaction whatsoever, then I would always ask please that any guest with any complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss.

Best wishes, Nicholas Russell/ Hotel Manager/ Balbirnie House/ 1992 - Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

I visited Balbirnie last weekend with my GF, who booked and paid for our stay.

Plus....great looking building, the most friendly and helpful hotel staff I have ever encountered, lovely groungs (golf course) to wander around, a bedroom approx. 7m square.

Minus....the front of the hotel needs pot holes filling and the banning of the cars littering the area. Some of the stately home type furniture is looking tired and well passed its best. The food in the Orangery was tasty, but 2 out of the 4 courses were served luke warm at best.

I dont know how much my GF paid, but she thought it was well worth what she paid and really enjoyed the stay.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this review, May 19, 2012
Delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House. I will be sure to pass your comments on to the team.

It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.

Please note my comments below re sofas, and for the previous reviewer, sorry- I have just noted that I did not answer your comment about cold water being hot. When Balbirnie was re-plumbed in entirety, the system was made so efficient in providing hot water, that sometimes if taps have not run for a while, the cold water can become warm, as the cold pipes lie adjacent to the hot pipes. All you have to do is let the cold water run for a few seconds, and voila!

With regard to pot holes, there are a few on the lower driveway, which is normally maintained and repaired by Fife Council, beyond the boundary of our ownership.

To read a further selection of our monthly guestbook comments and reviews, from guests known to have stayed in our hotel, or who have visited as a guest, please do take just a few moments to visit our web site.
From the many lovely emails, cards and letters which we receive, and in tandem with our guestbook records, every month we take a selection of those additional comments and place them on our latest news sections. As always, our thanks to Sarah Rees from our reception team, who takes the time every month to collate all of those very lovely comments and reviews. These can of course be fully trusted, and accepted as reality.

If there is ever any element of guest dissatisfaction whatsoever, then I would always ask please that any guest with any complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss.

Best wishes, Nicholas Russell/ Hotel Manager/ Balbirnie House/
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland, UK.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012 via mobile

We are very familiar with Balbirnie with us being locals. It once was'the' hotel but am sorry to say it has lost it's top spot in our opinions. Our stay last night was disappointing due to poor service and little extras which used to be normal are now no more. The food in the orangery was plentiful, but although we enjoyed it, felt it was more for an acquired taste and instead of coffee and tea being ready for us in the lounge, we eventually gave up waiting. In fairness, eventually, we were offered to have it sent to our room. Another complaint was that the taps in the wash hand basin in our room were both producing warm water which was not pleasant when cleaning our teeth. The settees all over the hotel did not look
comfortable due to them all sagging and they looked very tired.
Overall, a great shame that to us it was noticeable all the cutbacks and we are sad that we have to give this poor review for what was once a luxurious hotel.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this review, May 16, 2012
Dear RKPT, sorry obviously to hear that you did not enjoy your visit to Balbirnie House as much as you have done on previous occasions. I will be sure to pass your comments on to the team.

I am certainly most confused with regard to the food in our Orangery being 'an acquired taste'. How strange, that is certainly a one-off comment. Whilst our endeavour is of course to please everyone all of the time, on this occasion it has not been possible.

With regard to your comment re sofas- my apologies, we have a few of those away getting re-refurbished and re-covered, and we have others which have been provided to us 'on loan' for a few days, so I trust that clarifies that?!

It would certainly seem that we failed to deliver our usual service in terms of the provision of coffee after your meal. My sincere apologies for that.

It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.

To read a further selection of our monthly guestbook comments and reviews, from guests known to have stayed in our hotel, or who have visited as a guest, please do take just a few moments to visit our web site.
From the many lovely emails, cards and letters which we receive, and in tandem with our guestbook records, every month we take a selection of those additional comments and place them on our latest news sections. As always, our thanks to Sarah Rees from our reception team, who takes the time every month to collate all of those very lovely comments and reviews. These can of course be fully trusted, and accepted as reality.

If there is ever any element of guest dissatisfaction whatsoever, then I would always ask please that any guest with any complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss. My email- nicholas@balbirnie.co.uk Should you wish to personally discuss- My personal mobile 07768 958041

Best wishes, Nicholas Russell/ Hotel Manager/ Balbirnie House/ 1992 - Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Balbirnie House

Address: Balbirnie Park, Markinch, Glenrothes KY7 6NE, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Fife > Glenrothes > Markinch
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Markinch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Balbirnie House 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Balbirnie House is a quite unique multi-award winning country house hotel which combines understated luxury with superb service and outstanding value. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest of the privately owned small luxury hotels in Scotland, Balbirnie offers a wonderful experience, whatever the occasion of your visit. Fine food, lovely surroundings and above all a real sense of friendly Scottish hospitality combine to create quite a unique setting for today’s house guests to enjoy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balbirnie House Hotel Markinch
Balbirnie House Markinch, Scotland

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