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Balbirnie House
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Reviews (928)
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632 - 637 of 929 reviews
Reviewed April 9, 2014

My Fiance and I stayed at Balbirnie House last weekend. It was a beautiful hotel, with absolutely stunning grounds. Our room was lovely, roomy and bright from the lovely sunshine. The food in the restaurant was delicious!

The disappointing factor was the service we received (or lack of). My Fiance woke up in the middle of the night very thirsty; we realised there was no bottled water in the room, so we phoned reception (the tap water wasn’t running clear, and was luke warm so we weren’t risking drinking that). It was very concerning that no-one picked up the phone at reception, despite the fact the hotel brochure stated that there would be someone at reception throughout the night. We tried ringing a few times, before giving up!

At breakfast (again the food was lovely!), we were shown to our table and offered tea/coffee, but were not told how the breakfast service worked – buffet or table service. It wasn’t that difficult to figure out, but this kind of thing is quite a basic part of the service, in any hotel.

When we checked out, at no point were we asked how our stay was/how we enjoyed ourselves. Just here is the bill, thanks.

Would we stay again? For the hotel grounds, décor and food yes. The service would have to have definitely improved though.

I must also point out that I was a little hesitant to put a review on here, because any reviewer who has stated the niggles they found at the hotel (based on their experience there) and knocked the star rating down to 3 or even 4 in some instances, has been slated in quite a rude manner by the owner; as opposed to taking on their feedback in a constructive manner.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank NMcD2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2014

Hello NMAug2014, and I see this is your very first TripAdvisor review - welcome!
I firstly convey my congratulations to your good self and your fiancé. May I enquire as to a decision having been made with regard to choice of venue? We have some 170 large weddings taking place at Balbirnie this year, and it is so incredibly wonderful as hoteliers, to see such an accumulating history of Memories being Made of This. Please do head on over to our main web site to see what we can do for weddings. And on Facebook, my goodness - our daily album updates are all there to see. Additionally please do head on over to YouTube and type in 'BALBIRNIE HOUSE - BEHIND THE LENS' - almost 10 minutes of montage of some of our favourite ever wedding snaps. If you would care to visit for a site inspection, please let us know.

In reply to your comments, and I am sorry if you feel my previous replies have not been to your satisfaction, I would firstly say that if we ever get something wrong, then I am the first to acknowledge. Furthermore however, if somebody has stated something which is factually incorrect about our facilities, services or brigade, then I have no hesitation in correcting. That is after all my prerogative to do so. TripAdvisor by it's very nature can attract the occasional polar opposite, such is life.... I note as well, all my previous replies have asked anyone with any 'issue' to contact me direct. I haven't heard from you in any context ...

In reply to your comments - we do have an overnight paging system, but on the night in question our night porter was dealing with an entirely unexpected circumstance with other guests, which can happen sometimes. I apologise for the failure to answer your call during the night.

Breakfast - it is patently obvious - unless visually impaired - that we were providing a buffet, as it is set out on display 4 feet to the left of where you enter The Orangery. The buffet itself is yards long ...

We are disheartened to hear that you did not feel that we extended a correct warmth of welcome of Scottish Hospitality upon your departure. Our House Standard is certainly to bid all guests a pleasant onwards journey.

We're very happy to hear that you thought that the house is beautiful and the grounds stunning, and that your meal was delicious. We also note your comment about returning, please do dm myself when and if relevant, and I will be delighted to arrange an Upgrade to one of our deluxe rooms, as a small measure of recompense for our failure to pick up the phone during the night.

For all daily updates and photographs, competitions and offers, please do head on over and join The Balbirnie House Hotel Facebook page, we have more than 5,500 individuals who now receive Balbirnie’s Daily Updates, and exciting chat! This is now an accumulating historical archive of information, a celebration of life in and around Balbirnie. Our gratitude as always.

Twitter is now also very much an integral part of what we do, albeit somewhat more briefly stated than my TripAdvisor responses! I am myself on @BalbirnieHouse, our MC’s and Duty Managers are @DM_BALBIRNIE - All talking daily about what goes into our complex operations, as well as the generalities of how wonderful it is to work within the hotel sector. Out front and also from behind the scenes…

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. (We also list these on a monthly basis on Facebook.)

From the many lovely emails, presents, 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 legitimate complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss. (If we have ever made an error, and it can sometimes happen, then we would always appreciate an opportunity to redeem your perspective. Mistakes are however quite rare, as any reader can see from the overview of our reviews!)

Best wishes from all at Balbirnie, 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.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

Spent 2 nights - in early spring - staff extremely helpful and attentive - kitchen took great pains to cater for a dairy / gluten free diet to the extent of producing a separate special menu - that there was a choice was such a great experience.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 1953Nicholas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2014

Hello 1953 Nicholas, from 1967 Nicholas!

Sir, thank you for your kindness, and we are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay. Thank you for denoting 5 Stars all round, it is lovely to hear when we have delivered upon expectation.

For all daily updates and photographs, competitions and offers, please do head on over and join The Balbirnie House Hotel Facebook page, we have more than 5,500 individuals who now receive Balbirnie’s Daily Updates, and exciting chat! This is now an accumulating historical archive of information, a celebration of life in and around Balbirnie. Our gratitude as always.

Twitter is now also very much an integral part of what we do, albeit somewhat more briefly stated than my TripAdvisor responses! I am myself on @BalbirnieHouse, our MC’s and Duty Managers are @DM_BALBIRNIE - All talking daily about what goes into our complex operations, as well as the generalities of how wonderful it is to work within the hotel sector. Out front and also from behind the scenes…

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. (We also list these on a monthly basis on Facebook.)

From the many lovely emails, presents, 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 legitimate complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss. (If we have ever made an error, and it can sometimes happen, then we would always appreciate an opportunity to redeem your perspective. Mistakes are however quite rare, as any reader can see from the overview of our reviews!)

Best wishes from all at Balbirnie, 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.
Reviewed April 5, 2014 via mobile

Love this hotel/house - it is a very picturesque and interior is like a proper old country house - open fire etc

Food was great down in the bistro and bar is well stocked with a range of nice whiskeys.

The rooms are nice, quality mattresses, would benefit from some modernisation in the near future.

Overall very nice indeed.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled on business
Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2014

Hello David G, and many thanks for your kind comments.

Modernisation? Over the last 15 years we have re-invested £5M+ into the fabric of the assets. We've never closed for refurbishment, as we maintain a rolling program. Last year we refurb'd 40 areas, this year we've already completed 7... wear and tear is however another matter, with up to 1,500 guests partying hard over a usual weekend - maintaining as mint is always the endeavour...

For all daily updates and photographs, competitions and offers, please do head on over and join The Balbirnie House Hotel Facebook page, we have more than 5,500 individuals who now receive Balbirnie’s Daily Updates, and exciting chat! This is now an accumulating historical archive of information, a celebration of life in and around Balbirnie. Our gratitude as always.

Twitter is now also very much an integral part of what we do, albeit somewhat more briefly stated than my TripAdvisor responses! I am myself on @BalbirnieHouse, our MC’s and Duty Managers are @DM_BALBIRNIE - All talking daily about what goes into our complex operations, as well as the generalities of how wonderful it is to work within the hotel sector. Out front and also from behind the scenes…

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. (We also list these on a monthly basis on Facebook.)

From the many lovely emails, presents, 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 legitimate complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss. (If we have ever made an error, and it can sometimes happen, then we would always appreciate an opportunity to redeem your perspective. Mistakes are however quite rare, as any reader can see from the overview of our reviews!)

Best wishes from all at Balbirnie, 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.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Stayed two nights for a business function. My room was especially large facing up the entry drive overlooking the golf course. Quite nice, a bit tired, but that doesn't bother me. Colleagues had a wide variety of rooms (all much smaller than mine). WiFi in the guest rooms simply didn't work. The house and public rooms were comfortable, large expanses of space to spread out and find a bit of privacy. Meals in the Orangery were good quality, service a bit uneven for our large group of 10.

Didn't get a chance to use the golf course which surrounds the hotel, but did get a couple of long walks on through the grounds. Beautiful.

Overall a 3.5 experience.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jondf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2014

Hello JondF, we are delighted to hear that you consider Balbirnie to be a lovely house on beautiful grounds. Very encouraged by that.

With regards to WiFi - we recently invested some £15,000.00 installing and enabling FREE WiFif across the entire premises. Having read your comment, I have personally walked the entire premises, and right enough, we have a couple of areas where the signal strength has been lost. We therefore have engineers on the way, our apologies and we thank you for bringing this to our attention. Additionally, we have amended our in-house (in bedroom) literature, so as to convey to all guests that is there is ever a loss of WiFi signal, just to immediately let us know. Underlined, WiFi at Balbirnie is supplied free of charge.

For all daily updates and photographs, competitions and offers, please do head on over and join The Balbirnie House Hotel Facebook page, we have more than 5,500 individuals who now receive Balbirnie’s Daily Updates, and exciting chat! This is now an accumulating historical archive of information, a celebration of life in and around Balbirnie. Our gratitude as always.

Twitter is now also very much an integral part of what we do, albeit somewhat more briefly stated than my TripAdvisor responses! I am myself on @BalbirnieHouse, our MC’s and Duty Managers are @DM_BALBIRNIE - All talking daily about what goes into our complex operations, as well as the generalities of how wonderful it is to work within the hotel sector. Out front and also from behind the scenes…

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. (We also list these on a monthly basis on Facebook.)

From the many lovely emails, presents, 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 legitimate complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss. (If we have ever made an error, and it can sometimes happen, then we would always appreciate an opportunity to redeem your perspective. Mistakes are however quite rare, as any reader can see from the overview of our reviews!)

Best wishes from all at Balbirnie, 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.
Reviewed March 30, 2014 via mobile

Attended a family wedding and managed to pick up a (very) last minute room.

The wedding, organisation and food were all second to none, absolutely perfect in fact!

Our room however was extremely disappointing in comparison. When I asked my husband if we had a nice view of the grounds I thought he was joking when he said the 'room' had.... NO WINDOWS!!! The only natural light was provided through two skylights. I think this should be mentioned when booking (We would have taken it anyway but with our expectations managed!) , to be honest I think this 'room' should be classed in the circumstances as a 5 star cupboard, with a room rate to reflect that. Never have I stayed in a hotel where I could not look out a window! The bathroom was also of poor standard... Functional, but in no was becoming of such a lovely hotel.

In summary fantastic wedding but would have been devastated if I had intended on spending any time in my luxury cupboard and as a result would be unlikely to stay over again.

Stayed: March 2014
Thank Specialkeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicholas R, Owner at Balbirnie House, responded to this reviewResponded March 31, 2014

Hello SpecialKeh,
Delighted to hear that the wedding was Outstanding, that is just great to hear. This is something which we intend doing our very best to continue.

With regard to your room, (and I obviously know which room you refer to) this is usually used in conjunction with adjacent Classic double, to form a 2 bedroomed apartment. The room is the last room to go in the house, and fully acknowledged that it is set into the eaves of the original Grade A Listed 1777 building. We do sometimes use for wedding guests, on the basis that it is subject to reduced rate, and most likely to be used as a 3am- 9am Party Central sleepover. Allocated on that basis ...

Would I be happy to stay overnight in this bedroom myself on this basis. Yes indeed I would ... With a couple of fold-up beds for my children too? Yes indeed. I do however fully acknowledge that the room is removed in context, from the scale and presence of many others within the building.

For all daily updates and photographs, competitions and offers, please do head on over and join The Balbirnie House Hotel Facebook page, we have more than 5,000 individuals who now receive Balbirnie’s Daily Updates, and exciting chat! This is now an accumulating historical archive of information, a celebration of life in and around Balbirnie. Our gratitude as always.

Twitter is now also very much an integral part of what we do, albeit somewhat more briefly stated than my TripAdvisor responses! I am myself on @BalbirnieHouse, our MC’s and Duty Managers are @DM_BALBIRNIE - All talking daily about what goes into our complex operations, as well as the generalities of how wonderful it is to work within the hotel sector. Out front and also from behind the scenes…

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. (We also list these on a monthly basis on Facebook.)

From the many lovely emails, presents, 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 legitimate complaint, no matter how small, contacts me personally to discuss. (If we have ever made an error, and it can sometimes happen, then we would always appreciate an opportunity to redeem your perspective. Mistakes are however quite rare, as any reader can see from the overview of our reviews!)

Best wishes from all at Balbirnie, 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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