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“Best miss the weekend to visit ” 3 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
Fife Scotland
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Best miss the weekend to visit ”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

I have been visiting the Balbirnie House Hotel many times for lunch at the Bistro , which is very nice . Generally through the week. We had decided to stay over while planned to eat at the Orangery . I will write a review separately as it was excellent .
However , we arrived at 3ish , right in the middle of a wedding . We had to walk through the guests having pictures taken at the steps and also the guests around the reception .
We checked in the rooms and then went down to have a drink in the lounge , only to be told that there was no lounge available as the wedding was in one area and the other two were booked for private parties . After asking to see the manager , we were advised the drawing room had been made available as the party that had it reserved had finished . We were then walked through the wedding venue to get to the drawing room . Our young teenage kids refused to walk through the wedding party and went back to their room .
The waitress 's brought our drinks through the wedding party area , leaving door open to the band and wedding area . In all a bit embarrassing . Wedding guests definitely looked at us , as we were causal dressed . I did find a back route to the drawing room and kids joined to have late lunch , why did we not get taken there to start with ?
Both rooms we had were nice , but there is a really bad damp smell , in the corridors . Because of the hotel focus on the wedding it really felt we were in the way . The music to late on at night , and guests going to the room , make this hotel a place to miss at the weekend , if there is a wedding on . To note breakfast in bed , was first class , and service overall was very attentive .

Stayed October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, October 7, 2013
Hello Gmoncur,
Many thanks for taking the time to post a review.

I must say - I am confused as to your comments re public areas, as we are accustomed to setting a drawing room aside for the use of any guests who are not attending, in this circumstance - a wedding. If we have failed to convey upon arrival, our apologies.

A smell of damp in a corridor? In 21 years of running Balbirnie, that is certainly a first. That must have been the faint scent of fresh fallen Autumnal rain wafting through a window, either that or the work of one of the in-house ghosts. No doubt in a 35,000 sq ft Grade A Listed 1777 Georgian mansion we have sprung a few rooftop leaks over the years, but we do not suffer from dampness. We have never had any issue ever with internal dampness in a corridor.

Music from wedding? Our Millennium Ballroom is designed in such a way, that there is not ever really any issue with transportation of noise levels. I can only presume that external door may have been left open when it should not have been, and if that was the case I offer our apologies.

Wedding guests making noise en route to bedrooms? I am just wondering if you stayed at Balbirnie on the night a few weeks back when we had a wedding party carry the celebrations on through till breakfast, taking up the majority of the third floor? That is totally rare, most Aftershow parties take place in main public areas with late bar concluding 2am. And we only have late night DJ (Midnight start) if we have one client taking all bedrooms and accommodation for 70 guests.

Very glad to see that you enjoyed your breakfast, and that the team were attentive.

In any event, many thanks for your feedback. It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.
For all daily updates and photographs, please do head on over and join our Facebook page. (Also now on Twitter personally, talking daily about what goes into our operations, just click Follow.)

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 main 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 Guest Comment 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/ General 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
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Germany
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

On a golfing trip we stayed here for 2 nights. We were given a reduced rate as we were a group of 11 - on top of which room upgrades as the hotel was not full - very generous. The hotel is a beautiful old building with renovation works being undertaken. Lovely setting and very peaceful. The highlight of our stay was the dinner in the orangerie - quite the best fine dining I have enjoyed this year. Very helpful and attentive staff in the dining room and at reception made for a most pleasurable stay.
I´m sure after all the refurbishments have been completed this hotel will be worth a 5 star rating from me.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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, October 7, 2013
Hello ScotGreek,
Many thanks for your kind comments, and delighted to see 'best dinner this year'. Noted also the comments regarding refurbishments, always a part of Balbirnie. We are currently re-carpeting every single bedroom, and one at a time - re-wallpapering about half of our bedrooms. Additionally, restoring the Grade A Listed East Room ceiling, a task of considerable proportion.
A continual investment back into the fabric of the assets. And onwards we go.

We are absolutely delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House so much. It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.
For all daily updates and photographs, please do head on over and join our Facebook page. (Also now on Twitter personally, talking daily about what goes into our operations, just click Follow.)

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 main 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 Guest Comment 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/ General Manager/ Balbirnie House - 1992 – Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

We have been here 2 days and what an amazing hotel.the welcome we received was warm and honest.we were made to feel at home straight away.The food is first class.Fine dining at an amazing price.the library bar is great with two big open fires .It is cosy and the prices are very good for a hotel.we were upgraded to a suite at no extra cost.if you are planning a trip to this area this is the place to be.Many thanks to the amazing staff .mr Hankins

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, October 7, 2013
Hello Mr Hankins,
Many thanks for your kind comments denoting a 5 Star review, much appreciated.

We are absolutely delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House so much. It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.
For all daily updates and photographs, please do head on over and join our Facebook page. (Also now on Twitter personally, talking daily about what goes into our operations, just click Follow.)

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 main 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 Guest Comment 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/ General Manager/ Balbirnie House - 1992 – Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tayport, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

We arrived early on a Friday afternoon when it was apparent Wedding preparations were in full swing and staff were very busy. Despite this we were promptly attended to at Reception and were delighted that our room was ready ahead of the normal check in.

Room

Lovely big double deluxe room which oozed character and had views of the garden. Tea/coffee facilities but no mini-bar which was a surprise but not a problem. Nice big bathroom with a deep bath but no shower which was unusual but again not a problem. Shampoo/shower gel supplied was of a good quality. The TV offers movies/music etc at an additional price (unlimited music/movies) of £11 for unlimited use which was excellent value if like us you just wished to relax in the room.

Dinner

We opted to eat in the basement Bistro which had a nice atmosphere about it. It was very busy and again the service was excellent. The menu was extensive and the food was delicious so we would definitely recommend.

Breakfast

Served between 7-10.....in the Orangery Dining Room. Service was good again and quality of food was good. My wife follows a wheat/gluten free and as such suitable toast was provided when we asked. My only point would be.....more variety/choice of fresh fruit/individual yogurt pots.

In summary - lovely location, elegant Country Hotel, good service, stately rooms and good food. Would we return.....absolutely!

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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, October 7, 2013
Hello OneManJazzBand,
Many thanks for your kind comments, delighted to see that you consider the premises as 'elegant' - that is always lovely to hear.

We are absolutely delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House so much. It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.
For all daily updates and photographs, please do head on over and join our Facebook page. (Also now on Twitter personally, talking daily about what goes into our operations, just click Follow.)

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 main 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 Guest Comment 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/ General Manager/ Balbirnie House - 1992 – Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roydon, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

On previous occasions I have posted on Trip Advisor with entirely positive compliments after very enjoyable stays.
Although this is a beautiful hotel with lovely rooms we had an unpleasant experience on the last morning which was made worse by the unsympathetic response of a staff member. In fact picking up on earlier complaint, some of the staff don’t seem to care about the welfare of their hotel guests. Although the staff member had tried unsuccessfully to push down the mechanism on the cafetiere she still gave it to us at breakfast. Unfortunately my husband was showered in hot coffee and grains. There was no apology, just an order that my husband return to the room so that the shirt could be washed. Our breakfast experience was spoiled. Of course we were pleased that the stains were removed on his shirt and my cardigan. We accept that accidents do happen. It was the callous way we were treated that was so upsetting. What made this even more galling was that the owner accused my husband of misrepresenting the truth.
We made no complaints about the disturbances on the first night as a noisy wedding party returned to their rooms. Clearly this is a hotel which focuses on its weddings for revenue. Other guests are an inconvenience or perhaps one member of staff has no more energy left for them!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, September 14, 2013
Oh Dear, very sorry to hear your further comments. As you and I are however both aware, your husband's endeavour was to seek a retrospective refund following the event, based upon what categorically appears to be a strange circumstance.

If we ever get it wrong at Balbirnie, - and sometimes we can see a human error in the context of simply being as busy as we are, then hands up and we will automatically either refund or repeat, from experience I can usually count that on an annual basis on the fingers of one hand. What we won't do however, is refund or repeat if we have done nothing wrong. My written response below:

Hello Stephen,
Many thanks for taking the time to write, and very sorry indeed to hear the overview of your comments.

Angela Ferguson - Balbirnie's Manager in charge of Guest Services, has a differing perspective on a few points, especially in detailing that an apology was categorically (and repeatedly) made, and as a gesture of goodwill we offered to fully discount breakfast from your bill - which you refused.
Additionally, there is no recollection whatsoever with regard to what you have said that Angela said re 'coffee in eye'.

We also noted that you refused to discuss further with Angela on the day.

We retain accident records, which show that your wife informed that you pushed the coffee plunger 'with brute force', you were asked to keep hand under cold running water for 10 mins but only did so for 5, and subsequently however we have photographic records which show no physical harm whatsoever.

I thank you for bringing the matter to my attention, but I am fully satisfied that in context and proportion we have done everything relevant and appropriate and fully befitting the nature of what happened.

More bluntly put, I honestly feel that you are using a minor incident which was of your own causing, to seek a refund - frankly that is simply not fair.

As a final point I mention - We have been using cafetieres at Balbirnie for more than 2 decades, without incident.

Should you have the opportunity to re-visit Balbirnie House, then please do not hesitate to contact me personally. We would be delighted to arrange room upgrade and a bottle of champagne as a further measure of goodwill.

Kind regards,

Nicholas

MD / Balbirnie House
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stevenage, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

Stayed at the Balbirnie in September for 1 night and my 3rd stay here. As usual a good stay for a good price and great evening meal and breakfast. Check in was quick and tHe same when checking out. Looking forward to my next stay!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, September 14, 2013
Hello Paul,
We are absolutely delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House so much. It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.
For all daily updates and photographs, please do head on over and join our Facebook page. (Also now on Twitter personally, talking daily about what goes into our operations, just click Follow.)

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 main 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 Guest Comment 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/ General Manager/ Balbirnie House - 1992 – Present
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013 via mobile

My husband and myself attended my cousins wedding on 6th September 13' and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay! The rooms were clean and very comfortable with that cosy, homely feeling! The staff were very helpful and polite! We ate out of the bistro and the food was fabulous! Breakfast was always freshly prepared and all you can eat! There was choices of cereals and fruits along with items for a fry! If you are looking to book a wedding here all u can say was you won't be let down! It's perfect for that fairy tale wedding and the selection of meals were fantastic! We had potatoe and leek soup followed by supreme of chicken which was cooked to perfection! Followed by a delightful dessert! The only bit of advice I would give would be to hire a car so you can get out and about to see what beautifull sights Edinburgh and fife have to offer! We will definitely be back!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, September 14, 2013
Hello Claire,
We are absolutely delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Balbirnie House so much. It was very kind of you to take the time to write, much appreciated.

It has certainly been a wonderful summer wedding season, and our busiest on record. And writing this morning, having taken 10 wedding bookings in the last 11 days, it would seem that we shall be continuing along this theme. Value for money always paramount, the recession may be over, but we will certainly be continuing to offer the phenomenal value packages which we have specialised with over the last couple of years especially, all info is over on our main web site.

For all daily updates and photographs, please do head on over and join our Facebook page. (Also now on Twitter personally, talking daily about what goes into our operations, just click Follow.)

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 main 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 Guest Comment 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/ General 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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