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“Not bad - but.........”
Review of Balmacara Hotel

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Balmacara Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Balmacara
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Most of what I would say is covered in other reviews, our room was large and clean but the furniture was awful. Double room but 1 rather uncomfortable armchair and a backless seat for the dressing table. Bathroom clean as were towels, but very much a make do and mend look about it. No hot water initially but did eventually get a dribble of warm water after tap had been running for ages. Getting a shower was quite unpleasant as the water pressure so poor, it was a case of warm, icy, scalding etc etc, kept having to move about according to the temperature. No wifi or phone signal - felt very let down by tiny portable TV which still shows in adverts for hotel as Satellite TV in all rooms - pure misrepresentation - if it had said Bakelite TV in all rooms it may have been closer to accurate. Only 4 channels and 1 of them BBC Wales? Hotel closed between hours of 11am - 3pm - so no heating or hot water as far as we were aware. If you go out and think you will be back before 3pm ask for key to get back in. We did get a key to get back in as this was planned as a resting day on our trip, so we knew we would not be out all day. Did worry us though when we got back as I am sure we were breaking some safety rules by being in the Hotel without anyone knowing we were there.Breakfast was average and after looking at dinner menu we went into Kyle to eat, better choices there. I know this hotel relies on coach parties which is easy for them as they are in - fed, bed, fed and then on their way whilst the casual tourist needs more attention, but I think unless they up their game somewhat and give what they advertise, the casual tourist will be staying away. Incidentally whilst at reception I saw the "rack prices" for rooms and breakfast - very expensive springs to mind. Definitely not an unpleasant experience, as I say not bad, but would not go back.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank silverjubilee25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 - 108 of 237 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2013

As a group from all over the UK we have two weeknds a year hillwalking in the highlands. We've stayed at many hotels and inns and so far as I can recall this is the first time that there was a unanimous view that it was excellent. The hotel had a real can do approach. The rooms are spacious, recently renovated and fantastic views at the front. Breakfast at 8 am and dinner at 8 pm we had time for good days in the hills. And what a range of options within 1/2 hour drive of the hotel. The big hills in Glen Shiel (the 5 Sisters, the 3 brothers and the South Glenshiel Ridge) to a 4 mile stroll to the Falls of Glomach (some reckon to be the best in the UK). Skye is only a few miles away. And actually if you are visiting Skye you may do better staying here than on Skye. The hotel staff were very helpful with local knowledge. The hotel closes for the winter at the end of October so you may find that the phone is not answered. I did my booking for our group last winter and gettng no answer I did wonder if the hotel was still functioning - perhaps they had not switched on their answering machine. Photo taken from front of hotel in May - still looks the same.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Plenderleith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2013

We had originally booked into another hotel but the proprietor had to cancel our booking. They recommended the Balmacara. We had a room with a French window opening onto a terrace with views across the loch to the Isle of Skye. It was particularly beautiful on a clear September day. The dinner and breakfast was good and there was a comfortable lounge and bar area to relax in.

The best part was the receptionist who seemed to be running the place single handed but couldn't do enough to sort out a couple of small problems we had and to deal with all our questions

The bedroom was spacious and with the extra room of the terrace, it was one of those hotels you could have been quite comfortable spending several days there.

Room Tip: Try to get one of the rooms facing the loch. They're in the annex to the right of the main buil...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Zed1944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Having read the reviews I was pleasantly surprised with this pace. Our room was lovely and at the side of the hotel had a fabulous view. Manager seemed to do everything running here and there. Nice little bar and the food was good homemade fare. Very useful Spa shop next door.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Laura C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2013

The Blamacara was the 4th stop on our honeymoon around Scotland and we booked for 2 nights to give us time to explore the area and spend some time on the beautiful Isle of Skye. It proved to be a perfect base for us. The hotel itself is in a great position on the edge of a loch with stunning views. We had a really nice spacious room on the first floor and it was very clean and tidy. There was a bar in the lobby area and there was also a pub attached to the building but with separate access. The breakfast was lovely the first morning but to so on the second morning, everything was undercooked and the bacon looked like it hadn't even seen a grill or frying pan!. We ate in Plockton at the Plockton Inn on the first evening and that was fantastic.. the food was beautiful and plenty of it.. the atmosphere in the pub was also great and there was live music the evening we were there. Hello to a couple of nice Belgian blokes we got chatting to if you guys read this. The second evening we ate at the hotel and although the meal was reasonable, it wasn't quite what we were expecting.. i ordered a leg of lamb and if what i got was a leg of lamb then the lamb must have been named Oscar Pistorius. That said, the service was good and the lady that worked in the restaurant was lovely. The manager himself was very helpful and gave us some excellent advice on what to see and where to go.. we took his advice upon leaving and drove over the highest road in Britain to Applecross... Phew..good drive but quite hard going in places. I have to agree with another reviewer and say that the manager did appear to be trying to do everything.. he worked reception, the bar, the restaurant and he did seem to be stretching himself. Overall though, no complaints and the general service and feel of the place was good. A great base to explore the Isle of Skye and we would stay there again if we were in the area.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Woody1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

Lovely location,with ample parking.Room was on the small side but very clean and tidy. TV reception/coverage very limited with no BBC 1. Poor water pressure from the shower. With the age of the property, there were creaky floor boards and doors but added to the quirky character of the hotel. On arrival. advised that they were a little short staff so bearing this in mind, the staff worked hard to provide a decent level of service. Dinner in the restaurant was OK. Very good breakfast. Would happily stay again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

At first everything seemed to be fantastically ...... nice atmosphere, beautiful views, weather Scottish sun once again rain. Large room cozy and clean!
Unfortunately, the evening dinner was a failure! Not by a chef but by waiter or manager Andrew..... looked stressed, anxious and slightly inserted ..... He forgot about our table and we had to wait a long time until we can handle, and the restaurant was empty ...?? So where was he? His English was unintelligible mumbling something ..... maybe to much of ....... Fortunately, the breakfast was excellent with plenty of choice, cheese, salami, fresh bread. Morning shift waitresses was a lot better! I recommend the hotel and breakfast but the restaurant is out! I wish you good luck!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Johan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotskiers, Manager at Balmacara Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

We operate three different areas of eating. If there is a large tour group we do not take bookings for the restaurant at this time. Clients are offered the option of dining before or after the group or alternatively in the Public Bar where they do not require a reservation. The manager is responsible for the overall operation of the hotel and occaisionally may be other places but will delegate someone to attend the restaurant. Perhaps the client could tell us on which date he stayed.

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Additional Information about Balmacara Hotel

Address: Balmacara Hotel | Balmacara, Balmacara IV40 8DH, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Lochalsh > Balmacara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Balmacara
Price Range: $131 - $217 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Balmacara Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Balmacara Hotel is situated on the shores of Lochalsh, with constantly changing views over the sea to Skye. Perfectly situated to explore this breathtakingly beautiful part of Scotland, the hotel is approx. 3 miles from Kyle of Lochalsh, the Skye Bridge, and Eilean Donan Castle. The Hotel enjoys an outstanding location for touring and provides an ideal leisure break destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balmacara Hotel Lochalsh

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