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“Fantastic Stay”
Review of Balmaha Bunkhouse

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Balmaha Bunkhouse
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
“Fantastic Stay”
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Cycled to the bunkhouse from Glasgow to meet a group of friends and felt very comfortable and welcomed there. We had a great weekend, there was a very relaxed atmosphere and lovely owners. It was close enough to the pub and the loch to make the most of all the facilities in Balmaha!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lorna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balmahahouse, Manager at Balmaha Bunkhouse, responded to this review, February 23, 2014
Lorna:
Gwen and I are great full for your very positive and encouraging revue. Thank you.
Home coming Scotland 2014 Balmaha Bunkhouse & Canoe Hire welcomes you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Haywards Heath, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Two things to know in advance about the West Highland Way if you are a single walker - firstly, there is a distinct lack of single rooms along the whole path and in some places you might find yourself having to pay a significant single occupancy premium; secondly, the limited accommodation options along the whole east side of Loch Lomond after Drymen make the Balmaha and Inversnaid bunkhouses ideal calling points for anybody along this section before the path and accommodation options open up again at Ardlui and Inverarnan at the end of the Loch.

Even better, Jock and Gwen have an en suite single room with shower in the main house if you prefer a little more comfort and privacy, and which provides great value for money with a good breakfast included in the very reasonable price and after which you can step outside straight back onto the path.

Alongside the Oak Tree Inn, another good reason for staying at Balmaha rather than walking through to Rowardennan, and if you arrive early, Jock has kayaks for hire for time on the Loch in the afternoon.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank merrellj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balmahahouse, Manager at Balmaha Bunkhouse, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
Sir:
Thank you for your positive and informative review. I trust the remainder of your trip went according to plan and you had a great time.
"Haste Ye Back".

yours aye
Jock C
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London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

On our trip through Scotland we expected to stay at the Bunkhouse for one night. However, when we arrived there Jock, the manager of the premises, told me that I hadn't confirmed our booking. Since I really wasn't sure if I had done so when I booked it a few months previously, I trusted Jock at the moment, who helped us find another place for the night (we stayed at the Passfoot B&B, a lovely place which was totally worth the extra money we had to spend for the night). Even though being very helpful, Jock's manner was already quite boastful, telling us (more than once) how he uses to handle things with confirmations etc. literally saying that if we could prove that we had confirmed our booking, it would be his fault and he would have to take responsibility for that.

After we had finally checked in at our new accomodation, I became doubtful about Jock's claim that I hadn't have confirmed his offer and when I checked my emails it turned out that I DID ACTUALLY CONFIRM the booking and that I even got an ELECTRONIC RECEIPT from his website.

When I went back to Balmaha Bunkhouse to show Jock the electronic receipt, I didn't want anything but him being genuinely sorry for what happened and an evidence of good will. Simply what you would expect from a hotel manager who obviously made a mistake. Anyhow, Jock was less than willing to take responsibility for the error that occurred. Instead of checking his inbox again, he remained on the standpoint that he didn't receive anything and that it must have been a technical error for which he would not be to blame in any way. When I did not want to let him away so easily and insisted on him taking responsibility for the human or technical error that occurred (I really do not care where the error was exactly, since it was clearly on his behalf), he told me to "speak to him like a man" and "tell him what I want from him like a man" - never been treated like that by ANY HOTEL STAFF before. The discussion ended with him saying that he would refer the problem to his "technicians" and get back to me if they found where the "technical problem" occurred. He never did... even after an email I sent a week after this incident I did not get any further message from Jock.
In sum, the Bunkhouse might be a nice accommodation (I can't say anything about that), but hope that you do not have any troubles with Jock.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ChrisN194
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balmahahouse, Manager at Balmaha Bunkhouse, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
Sir:
Thank you for taking the time to share your self induced frustration, through what looks like your lack of planning with us. The fact that you did not receive Confirmation of your booking request from me was down to the fact that you did not respond to my email asking you if you would like me to Confirm your booking request. I did my best and successfully found you and your partner alternative very nice accommodation at very short notice right in the middle of a very busy time of the year. I was extremely fair in all our conversation and even walked you round to Passfoot cottage to show you how to get there. If I was proven to be wrong after checking I informed you that I would happily compensate you. (I was not wrong.) and told you this face to face like a man. You were most upset by this and probably a bit embarrassed in front of your partner. You made the mistake and I compensate your mistake by finding you and your partner a very nice place to stay for the night, Please be more diligent in the future or call in advance to make sure your accommodation is all confirmed before setting off. I am very pleased we were able to help but saddened that your main effort was to try to gain financial compensation for your mistake. My wife Gwen and I wish you well for the future. It would be nice to welcome you back to Balmaha Bunkhouse on a Confirmed Booking sometime in the Future.
yours aye
Jock C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2013

My girlfriend and I hiked from Milngavie to Balmaha the first day. Packs were too heavy. We were really happy that Balmaha Bunkhouse was basically right beside the trail exit. Jock (?) is the owner/manager and he signed us in and showed us around. He is ex-military and it shows as the bunkhouse is well organized. I wouldn't leave a mess if I were you. The kitchen is very user friendly, enough fridge space for dinner/breakfast. Clean, comfortable. Everything you would want if you are hiking the WHW.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank michaelj1988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balmahahouse, Manager at Balmaha Bunkhouse, responded to this review, February 23, 2014
Thank you very much for your kind remarks.
Please visit us again.
Haste Ye Back.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2013

We stayed for 1 night at the bunkhouse recently. We booked kayaks for the Saturday afternoon. The bunkhouse is well situated right next to Loch Lomond. There was a very detailed induction from Jock prior to our trip. The kayaking was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon and an excellent way to view Loch Lomond and the islands. Good value for money.

The bunkhouse was relatively comfortable for 1 night. However, we found Jock's manner to be abrupt at best and rude at worst. We did not receive a warm welcome to the lodgings. Furthermore, We were not encouraged to use the communal living area and made to feel awkward and uncomfortable which as paying guests I found unacceptable.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Julie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balmahahouse, Manager at Balmaha Bunkhouse, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank you for your Comments: In response The Bunkhouse and facilities are for the exclusive use of paying guest's, and not your friends who came over late from another establishment after drinking.
I am more than happy for guests to invite people into the Bunkhouse within reason and provided they do not cause a nuisance or disturb those guests who have paid to stay.
(It would have been polite if you had asked if you can bring friends into the Bunkhouse Communal area not just sneaking them in after dark). Our Policy is quite Clear Unobtrusive and transparent, Respectfully asking guest to keep the noise down after 2200hrs as other guests may have had a hard day's activities and need the rest, they should not be unduly disturbed by other guest and most definitely not by guest friends coming and going at all hours.
I am very happy you had a great day out on the Loch. Haste Ye Back.
Jock
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Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2013 via mobile

I have just completed a 500 mile walk across Britain. I started with the West Highland Way (coming from Fort William), and by Balmaha my little toes were in tatters. This bunkhouse was an absolute godsend for me. It was great value, and I have to say that the owner, Jock, has a heart of gold. I will always be indebted to him for his encouraging words when I needed them most and for doing everything in his power to get me back on track! Don't miss this place.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JacksonWalks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balmahahouse, Manager at Balmaha Bunkhouse, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank you for your kind words, It was our honour and pleasure to have such determined and focused young people stay at our wee place.
yours aye
Jock & Gwen
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Just completed the West Highland Way and the Balmaha Gusethouse was stop number 1 on our 5-day trip.

Overall it was great value for money.

We required to use the bunkhouse option (£20 B&B) due to late booking and shared a room with 2 other guests (2 x bunkbeds). The room was quite small for 4 grown men and mattresses had seen better days IMO. However, this was more than offset with the kitchen/dining area which was most hospitable with Jock & Gwen ensuring that the fridge had milk, orange juice and loaf available for the morning. Cereal/porridge was also available.

We were travelling light and required a bath towel (extra £2 each) and packed lunch for the following day (£4.50 each). Again, both excellent value.

As another reviewer has commented, we reckoned that Jock has had some visitors disappear without paying and witnessed a bizarre exchange with Jock and a female German guest where he demanded money. Jock also had a go at myself earlier in the day when I requested bath towels from Gwen and was invited into the house to uplift...with Jock chasing me and telling me in no uncertain terms to get out. It was only a simple misunderstanding & would have liked to have seen a softer, more accommodating side to Jock.... as this really is an excellent place.

Gwen prepared a packed lunch and dropped it off at 7:30 the following morning. It was excellent and great for the 20+ mile walk to Inverarnan (thanks Gwen).

So, thanks for an enjoyable and entertaining stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank glasshalfull1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balmahahouse, Manager at Balmaha Bunkhouse, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank you very much
Hope to see you back here again.
yours aye
Jock & Gwen.
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Additional Information about Balmaha Bunkhouse

Property: Balmaha Bunkhouse
Address: Balmaha House | G63 Ojq, Balmaha, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park G63 0JQ, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park > Balmaha
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Balmaha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the picturesque shores of Loch Lomond and some 5 minutes paddling to the first of many islands, you can explore castles,ancient graveyards(including the burial place of Rob Roys' cousin), local wildlife including deer,capercaillies and even wallabies,altogether making some of the most beautiful landscape in the world. Balmaha House Bunkhouse & Canoe Hire is ideal for Family get together s, Stag, Hen nights Business away days and Corporate team building events a great place to base yourself and your group in order to explore the wider area or for training events. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Balmaha Bunkhouse Hotel Balmaha
Balmaha Bunkhouse Scotland

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