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“All I can say is "WOW"”
Review of Balbirnie House

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Balbirnie House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Markinch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 May 2014

A 7 by 9 metre room with high ceiling, a huge bed, a separate sitting area and a lovely view over the gardens. What more could you ask for? Well a perfectly prepared 4 course meal topped it of along with a great breakfast. The service is great and the way the orders are taken for meals makes one feel special in this grand place. We only booked a standard room, yet were upgraded to the four poster room, I can only say thanks to the hotel staff for a perfect experience and we only wished we could have stayed longer. Maybe next-time for a golfing holiday.

Room Tip: Choose the four poster bedroom
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Stewart B
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 31 May 2014

Hello Stewart, and many thanks for your kindness, and the denoting of a 5 Star review. I will be sure to pass your comments on throughout the brigade. We will look forward to welcoming you back, and in terms of a prospective golf trip, where better in the world to go? As well as the many incredible course throughout the local area, just 30 mins drive takes us to the world's golfing mecca of St. Andrews.

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 5,750 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!)

Most helpfully intended- we point out to all readers of TripAdvisor ‘reviews’, that these ‘reviews’ are never ever checked for factual accuracy. Furthermore, reviews are expressed subjectively and very much as personal opinions. We have had numerous comments over the course of time which are misleading and factually incorrect, and from correspondence with TripAdvisor, most unfortunately nothing can be done whatsoever to correct them. Additionally, as hoteliers we sometimes never know who the reviewer actually is, as ‘reviews’ are incognito.

We’re accustomed these days for accepting TripAdvisor for what it is, and we hope that our comments and replies bring some joy somewhere.

Dear Readers, anyone new to TripAdvisor, and thinking of 'reviewing' any premises- please do ensure that you are factually correct in all you say, because if you aren't, then you are exposed to potential legal action, in the form of libel for written defamation. My comment is most helpfully intended. This also works both ways, as responses must equate too!

There is a most helpful article about TripAdvisor in The Telegraph newspaper, please google it under the search term 'TripAdvisor is Democracy for the Stupid'. That search term singles out a small element of reviewers, and is obviously irrelevant in the context of the great proportion of those common sense reviewers who post the great proportion of well-intended and factual guest reviews.

Here's an excerpt from The Telegraph: 'For very small establishments, such as out of the way country pubs, the effects can be devastating financially and incredibly upsetting, personally. The review sites say they have procedures for dealing with malicious reviews. But honestly, having tried these several times myself, they basically say, “Not my problem, guv” and then invite you to sue them if you want to take matters further. Answerability, it seems, is great for restaurants but not for TripAdvisor. Of course, I know that it cuts both ways. As has been widely reported, these sites are often abused by PRs and other shills for restaurants and hotels who flood them with fake positive reviews. Perhaps then, the best we can hope for is a kind of equilibrium where the idiots and trolls are balanced out by the charlatans and bribed endorsers. I suppose it’s human nature, but it’s not a very good way to find a restaurant'.

My own tuppence? Well, when I look at any venue's TripAdvisor page and reviews, I tend to ignore the top 10% and the bottom 10% - 'get the truth and go'???, well that is perhaps somewhere in the middle of what remains!!!

I also mention that TripAdvisor has not remunerated me for these thoughts!!!

With my kindest regards from all at Balbirnie House.

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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558 - 564 of 865 reviews

Reviewed 8 May 2014

For my 21st birthday I was given a night away to Balbirnie House which included the 4 course meal and Scottish breakfast and it was an absolutely fantastic night away!

I arrived with my boyfriend in the afternoon after getting the train from Dundee where we are students. I had previously emailed Balbirnie about a local taxi firm and they gave me the number for their recommended taxi service. Once off the train, I phoned the number and the taxi picked us up within five minutes. The driver was lovely and the firm was Al's taxis, which I would also recommend if any visitors need a taxi. However Markinch station is surprisingly close to Balbirnie House and we would've walked if the weather was a bit nicer!

Once at reception we were immediately greeted by friendly staff and there was another friendly woman speaking to the reception staff. I was told this was Lorna the massage therapist who would be doing the treatments we had pre-booked in advance. Just in this short meeting she was so lovely and friendly, and put me at ease right away for our massage session later. The staff at reception told us we had been given the honeymoon suite for the night- I couldn't believe it! I was expecting a great birthday night away but this was such a great bonus. I can't thank Balbirnie enough for this lucky surprise as it really made my birthday even more special. We headed to our room and it was absolutely stunning. There was a fantastic four poster bed, comfortable couch/armchairs and a gorgeous bathroom with jacuzzi bath. All the furniture and smaller touches throughout the suite were wonderful. We opened the bubbly that was in our room on arrival (which was included in the deal bought for my birthday) and looked out at the stunning views outside. We originally planned to go for a walk around the grounds, but after we were given such a great room we were so thankful it was raining so we didn't have to feel guilty about not leaving!

Lorna arrived at 5pm to do our massage treatments. Again, she was friendly as soon as she came in and made us feel at ease. We had consultations and she was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, especially when it came to how to deal with my neck/back pain- she was more helpful than my physio! Her treatments were fantastic and so relaxing and she also told us about the history of the hotel and recommendations about what else to do in the area. I would highly recommend any future guest to book in with her during their stay.

We then went for dinner at 8pm which was absolutely fantastic. We were taken to the Library bar where we had cocktails and drinks with little nibbles on the tables. The Library Bar looks fantastic, it was great to start our evening in here. We were then given the menus, chose our first three courses, then were brought canapés. These were a great start to a great meal. Although I don't like fish and my boyfriend doesn't like black pudding, which the two canapés contained, we were converted instantly as they were so tasty! We were then left for a little while and taken to our table in The Orangery. If I had a slight critique it would be that the time in the Library bar was bordering on slightly too long, however I really am nitpicking here as I was in no rush. I think I was just a bit too excited to start the menu!

We arrived in The Orangery where it was fairly quiet as we had a late time slot for dinner. The atmosphere was relaxing and calm, though the staff were very professional. We had ordered bubbly for the table which was brought to us quickly and our starters were brought to us soon after. In fact all the meals were brought out at a perfect pace and there was certainly no delay in-between courses like other reviews have mentioned. I had the beetroot mousse while my boyfriend had the terrine, both of which were fantastic. We both has the lemon sorbet which was really refreshing and full of flavour. I was pleasantly surprised by the large portion for just an intermediate course- though I managed to finish it! We had the lamb which my boyfriend says was possibly the best meal he'd ever tasted and said the same for the raspberry nougat semi-freddo dessert! They really were fantastic dishes. During the meal I had a headache and noticed in a trip to the toilet they sold Nurofen in a machine. I went back to the table to get change but when I got back to the toilet I noticed the machine wouldn't take any money. I tried a while later but no luck again so went to reception and they investigated the problem. I waited at the toilets as a member of staff got someone else to help and was then given paracetemol from an office by what I'm sure was a manager, though didn't catch her name. Thanks to your staff for the help in sorting out my headache, though I still feel bad for leaving my boyfriend at the table for so long- I guess I'll just have to come back for another meal! We then were taken back to the lounge for our hot drinks and tablet which were just as delicious as the meal. We took a look around and particularly loved the piano with the photo frames- what a great idea!

We then went back up to our room and I decided to try the jacuzzi tub bath out, however I couldn't get the jets to work! I felt terrible bothering the staff again but I phoned to reception and someone came right up to help us and didn't make us feel like idiots when we realised there was a switch on the wall! The bath was excellent, the only critique I would have is that the bath is a traditional style and you have to hold the shower in hand to control it, which might bother some people. However this did not bother me as the bath looked great and a modern shower fixed to the wall just wouldn't fit in with the decor. We both had a brilliant night's sleep on such a luxurious and comfortable bed.

In the morning we headed down to breakfast and the food was of a high standard, with all items being quickly replaced once finished. There was a great choice of both continental and traditional breakfast foods. We then said goodbye to our wonderful suite and checked out. We paid our extra charges (our inroom massages) and got a taxi back to the train station.

It was not until we were on the train that I realised we had not been charged for the wine at the meal AND that I'd left my jacket in the wardrobe of the room (I was just having no luck on this trip!). I thought I would wait until I was back home to phone reception but received a call from them just as I got in. They reminded me of the extra costs we hadn't paid (including the bar drinks I'd forgotten about) and if they could be charged to the card I'd paid with earlier. This was not a problem, though the member of staff did not seem pleased- I don't know if this was with me or the member of staff that had let us leave without paying the full amount! I felt guilty as I hope they didn't think we did it on purpose! I then told them I'd realised I'd left my jacket in the wardrobe and they said they'd send it down to me and quickly got off the phone. It was a bit of a shame after having such wonderful service to have felt like I was cut off quickly. I would have preferred to have given them my term-time address rather than my home address (that I assume my dad used when he booked the deal) if this was possible. I am not sure if my jacket has been sent, it might have arrived at my parents' house and they forgot to mention it to me so I will need to double check with them.

Despite this, I would still highly recommend Balbirnie House to everyone! Although we were much younger than other guests we were made to feel welcome from the moment we walked in which I really appreciated. The service of all the staff made it such a great experience as well as the wonderful surroundings and surprise upgrade! Just from our brief stay I can see why it has won so many wedding hotel awards and I know where I'll be heading if I ever plan on getting married :) Until then I would love to make another visit to Balbirnie House- thank you to everyone for such a great birthday treat!

P.S.- Sorry for my really long review! I just got a bit carried away..

Room Tip: 204 was our beautiful honeymoon suite :)
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Claw93
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 15 May 2014

Hello Claw93, and many thanks for your comments, I very much enjoyed reading your review.

On behalf of all at Balbirnie, we extend our congratulations, Happy 21st Birthday x

In terms of knowing where you will be going when you get married, please book early to avoid disappointment!

Here's a wee story, I am accustomed to the most pleasurable part of my working week always being 10am, 11am and Noon at weekends, where I have the opportunity to meet with prospective new clients, and to show Balbirnie, as always also talking about our magnificent Kingdom of Fife at the same time. Anyways, a few weeks ago we had a bride looking for a date, and I noted that the paperwork was missing the groom's name. I queried, and the reply was this 'I wish to book a future date first, and then I will go and find a Groom' ... !!!

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 5,750 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!)

Most helpfully intended- we point out to all readers of TripAdvisor ‘reviews’, that these ‘reviews’ are never ever checked for factual accuracy. Furthermore, reviews are expressed subjectively and very much as personal opinions. We have had numerous comments over the course of time which are misleading and factually incorrect, and from correspondence with TripAdvisor, most unfortunately nothing can be done whatsoever to correct them. Additionally, as hoteliers we sometimes never know who the reviewer actually is, as ‘reviews’ are incognito.

We’re accustomed these days for accepting TripAdvisor for what it is, and we hope that our comments and replies bring some joy somewhere.

Dear Readers, anyone new to TripAdvisor, and thinking of 'reviewing' any premises- please do ensure that you are factually correct in all you say, because if you aren't, then you are exposed to potential legal action, in the form of libel for written defamation. My comment is most helpfully intended. This also works both ways, as responses must equate too!

There is a most helpful article about TripAdvisor in The Telegraph newspaper, please google it under the search term 'TripAdvisor is Democracy for the Stupid'. That search term singles out a small element of reviewers, and is obviously irrelevant in the context of the great proportion of those common sense reviewers who post the great proportion of well-intended and factual guest reviews.
Here's an excerpt from The Telegraph: 'For very small establishments, such as out of the way country pubs, the effects can be devastating financially and incredibly upsetting, personally. The review sites say they have procedures for dealing with malicious reviews. But honestly, having tried these several times myself, they basically say, “Not my problem, guv” and then invite you to sue them if you want to take matters further. Answerability, it seems, is great for restaurants but not for TripAdvisor. Of course, I know that it cuts both ways. As has been widely reported, these sites are often abused by PRs and other shills for restaurants and hotels who flood them with fake positive reviews. Perhaps then, the best we can hope for is a kind of equilibrium where the idiots and trolls are balanced out by the charlatans and bribed endorsers. I suppose it’s human nature, but it’s not a very good way to find a restaurant'.

My own tuppence? Well, when I look at any venue's TripAdvisor page and reviews, I tend to ignore the top 10% and the bottom 10% - 'get the truth and go'???, well that is perhaps somewhere in the middle of what remains!!!

I also mention that TripAdvisor has not remunerated me for these thoughts!!!

With my kindest regards from all at Balbirnie House.

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 8 May 2014

Though we was only there for a short period of time. I would not regard it as "known” stop off we were well received by the staff. I would certainly recommend anyone to stay as the grounds are a place to explore. There was a wedding party departing when we arrived. I can say that it must be a good venue as the facilities allow you to get away from the “crowd” if needed.

If I'm ever back in Scotland, I hope that I'm in the area to have a longer stay at this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank mollygogger
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 15 May 2014

Hello MollieGogger, and we are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit, even if it was just for coffee. We look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Dear Readers, Just to say ... it is always advisable to call (or email) just to check we have space to serve...

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 5,750 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!)

Most helpfully intended- we point out to all readers of TripAdvisor ‘reviews’, that these ‘reviews’ are never ever checked for factual accuracy. Furthermore, reviews are expressed subjectively and very much as personal opinions. We have had numerous comments over the course of time which are misleading and factually incorrect, and from correspondence with TripAdvisor, most unfortunately nothing can be done whatsoever to correct them. Additionally, as hoteliers we sometimes never know who the reviewer actually is, as ‘reviews’ are incognito.

We’re accustomed these days for accepting TripAdvisor for what it is, and we hope that our comments and replies bring some joy somewhere.

Dear Readers, anyone new to TripAdvisor, and thinking of 'reviewing' any premises- please do ensure that you are factually correct in all you say, because if you aren't, then you are exposed to potential legal action, in the form of libel for written defamation. My comment is most helpfully intended. This also works both ways, as responses must equate too!

There is a most helpful article about TripAdvisor in The Telegraph newspaper, please google it under the search term 'TripAdvisor is Democracy for the Stupid'. That search term singles out a small element of reviewers, and is obviously irrelevant in the context of the great proportion of those common sense reviewers who post the great proportion of well-intended and factual guest reviews.
Here's an excerpt from The Telegraph: 'For very small establishments, such as out of the way country pubs, the effects can be devastating financially and incredibly upsetting, personally. The review sites say they have procedures for dealing with malicious reviews. But honestly, having tried these several times myself, they basically say, “Not my problem, guv” and then invite you to sue them if you want to take matters further. Answerability, it seems, is great for restaurants but not for TripAdvisor. Of course, I know that it cuts both ways. As has been widely reported, these sites are often abused by PRs and other shills for restaurants and hotels who flood them with fake positive reviews. Perhaps then, the best we can hope for is a kind of equilibrium where the idiots and trolls are balanced out by the charlatans and bribed endorsers. I suppose it’s human nature, but it’s not a very good way to find a restaurant'.

My own tuppence? Well, when I look at any venue's TripAdvisor page and reviews, I tend to ignore the top 10% and the bottom 10% - 'get the truth and go'???, well that is perhaps somewhere in the middle of what remains!!!

I also mention that TripAdvisor has not remunerated me for these thoughts!!!

With my kindest regards from all at Balbirnie House.

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 3 May 2014

Stayed as part of a wedding package and Balbirnie showed why it has been the top wedding venue for nearly a decade. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and they went out of their way to make sure the day passed seemlessly with no slip-ups. Cannot praise them enough.

Room Tip: Rooms on the side of the hotel, away from the ballroom and bars are much quieter
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Euan F
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 6 May 2014

Hello Euan, thank you Sir for your kindness, and I will be sure to pass your comments on to all at Balbirnie House, praise indeed.

So there we are Dear Readers, I am indeed very honoured and most humbled to convey that Balbirnie House is now formally recognised as Scotland's top wedding venue, in 8 years out of the most recent 10 - a quite staggering thought, in the context that The Scottish Wedding Directory lists over 300 venues!!!!

This year we are seeing somewhere in the region of 170 large weddings taking place at Balbirnie. Blessings counted every single day, Memories Made of This, and speaking as a hotel manager - it is so very special to see so many couples deciding to get married at Balbirnie. All individually a part of such a special accumulating history.

Dear Readers, as I am sure you can imagine, we also have so many who return to celebrate Anniversaries each year. That is what I additionally mean by 'an accumulating history'... Balbirnie is such a wonderful property to operate and be a part of. No two days are ever the same ...

And so, onwards we go, and we will keep on maintaining constant evolution, in the knowledge of course that Today is never a Dress Rehearsal for tomorrow.

Dear Readers? Anyone wanting to get married? We have a handful of remaining dates for next winter, on which we have the sharpest deal in the land. Please see all info on our web site.

And as today's arriving copy - just fresh off the press- of To Have and To Hold wedding magazine says: 'Deciding to have your wedding at Balbirnie House is symbolic of a moment in life that is full of hope and love'. I guess that says it all!

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!)

Most helpfully intended- we point out to all readers of TripAdvisor ‘reviews’, that these ‘reviews’ are never ever checked for factual accuracy. Furthermore, reviews are expressed subjectively and very much as personal opinions. We have had numerous comments over the course of time which are misleading and factually incorrect, and from correspondence with TripAdvisor, most unfortunately nothing can be done whatsoever to correct them. Additionally, as hoteliers we sometimes never know who the reviewer actually is, as ‘reviews’ are incognito.

We’re accustomed these days for accepting TripAdvisor for what it is, and we hope that our comments and replies bring some joy somewhere.

Dear Readers, anyone new to TripAdvisor, and thinking of 'reviewing' any premises- please do ensure that you are factually correct in all you say, because if you aren't, then you are exposed to potential legal action, in the form of libel for written defamation. My comment is most helpfully intended. This also works both ways, as responses must equate too!

There is a most helpful article about TripAdvisor in The Telegraph newspaper, please google it under the search term 'TripAdvisor is Democracy for the Stupid'. That search term singles out a small element of reviewers, and is obviously irrelevant in the context of the great proportion of those common sense reviewers who post the great proportion of well-intended and factual guest reviews.
Here's an excerpt from The Telegraph: 'For very small establishments, such as out of the way country pubs, the effects can be devastating financially and incredibly upsetting, personally. The review sites say they have procedures for dealing with malicious reviews. But honestly, having tried these several times myself, they basically say, “Not my problem, guv” and then invite you to sue them if you want to take matters further. Answerability, it seems, is great for restaurants but not for TripAdvisor. Of course, I know that it cuts both ways. As has been widely reported, these sites are often abused by PRs and other shills for restaurants and hotels who flood them with fake positive reviews. Perhaps then, the best we can hope for is a kind of equilibrium where the idiots and trolls are balanced out by the charlatans and bribed endorsers. I suppose it’s human nature, but it’s not a very good way to find a restaurant'.

My own tuppence? Well, when I look at any venue's TripAdvisor page and reviews, I tend to ignore the top 10% and the bottom 10% - 'get the truth and go'???, well that is perhaps somewhere in the middle of what remains!!!

I also mention that TripAdvisor has not remunerated me for these thoughts!

With my kindest regards from all at Balbirnie House.

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 29 April 2014

Unfortunately I did not enjoy our stay at Balbirnie House. It may have been a wonderful hotel many, many years ago, but it certainly isnt up to modern day standards anymore. The room door wouldnt close and it was very difficult to get it locked.There was quite a bit of mould in the bathroom and the light flickered constantly (there wasnt a window). The room was overcrowded with useless "fancy" furniture. I did not sleep at all, as there was a young family with a constantly crying baby and a constantly talking mother in the room next door - we heard every word. A connecting door in the hallway would bang shut very loudly every time someone walked through - which was very frequently.
Breakfast was not great, either. There was hot breakfast or nothing - I think a four star hotel should offer at least some alternative to bacon and eggs.
The hotel surroundings, however, are absolutly beautiful, especially in the spring time when there are daffodils growing everywhere.
Overall, staying at Balbirnie house was overpriced and very disappointing.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Cpunkt
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 2 May 2014

Hello Cpunkt,
What a very strange set of comments. TripAdvisor by its very nature sometimes elicits an unfortunate polar opposite, and that appears to be the case here. Noted, we have no record whatsoever of any dissatisfaction, we have no guest questionnaire, and our front desk team received no comments at all. Most unfortunate, as we would have very much appreciated an opportunity to redeem your perspective.

I can confirm:
- Balbirnie is without doubt currently looking at her best in History.
-We are of course not 'a modern hotel', we operate in and around an original Grade A Listed House, dating back to 1777.
-We do not have any corridor door which bangs.
-All bedroom doors lock!
-Room overcrowded with 'useless fancy furniture' ...??? My goodness, how ludicrous. I think that is the weirdest TripAdvisor comment I have ever read in relation to Balbirnie.
-You say Breakfast was restricted to bacon and eggs? How strange, and how totally incorrect- as we provide an extremely comprehensive Breakfast buffet, with everything the modern traveller may expect, and the rest. And the rest again. For the sake of clarity Dear Readers, this is what we currently provide every day:

BREAKFAST AT BALBIRNIE
(inclusive in all room rates)
Good morning!
We will serve tea, coffee and toast, please let us know if fresh re-fills are required.
- Freshly ground cafetiere or decaffeinated coffee
- A selection of fine Indian and Chinese teas
Earl Grey, Assam, Lapsang Souchong, Darjeeling, Green tea or our house-blend breakfast tea
- Hot chocolate
- Hot or cold milk

Brown and white toast - with Homemade jam and marmalade

Please help yourself from the breakfast buffet & to juices.

CONTINENTAL
Apricot compote
Prune compote
Fresh Orange and Grapefruit Segments
Fresh Fruit Salad
A full selection of cereal including our handmade muesli, served with natural yoghurt and fruit compote
Fresh from the Bakery; croissants, pain au chocolate, morning currant pastries.
Porridge

TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH BREAKFAST
Served from the buffet
Eggs, fried or scrambled. Ayrshire bacon rashers, Pork sausages, Tomato, Mushrooms, Haggis, Black pudding, Potato scone & Baked beans.

(While you are enjoying your breakfast this morning you are listening to 50 Shades of Grey: The Classical Album.)

-We believe we offer absolutely outstanding value across the board.
-Sorry to hear you were kept awake by guests in an adjacent bedroom. As I am sure you will appreciate, - especially if a child was ill - there is nothing we can do as a hotel to manage that. Such circumstances can arise in any hotel. Perhaps a bad night's sleep has gotten you out off bed on the wrong side the next day?

Delighted to hear that the grounds are beautiful. We fully agree, the daffodils this year were just magnificent.

We're sorry to read your overview, and obviously do not agree with your comments. Over many years I have myself come to recognise that not every hotel will suit every visitor, alas that is just the way it is. In context, Tiger Woods will miss the occasional green.

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!)

Most helpfully intended- we point out to all readers of TripAdvisor ‘reviews’, that these ‘reviews’ are never ever checked for factual accuracy. Furthermore, reviews are expressed subjectively and very much as personal opinions. We have had numerous comments over the course of time which are misleading and factually incorrect, and from correspondence with TripAdvisor, nothing can be done whatsoever to correct them. Additionally, as hoteliers we sometimes never know who the reviewer actually is, as ‘reviews’ are incognito. We’re accustomed these days for accepting TripAdvisor for what it is, and we hope that our comments and replies bring some joy somewhere.

With my kindest regards from all at Balbirnie House,

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 28 April 2014

When we found this Hotel on the internet we thought it was out of our league for a our small (26 person) wedding, but Gaynor was very quick to advise me that was not the case and thank heavens she did. We live in Kent but Gaynor and Kirsty made it fun to organise with their friendly, efficient collaborative approach and responded within 24 hours to any trifling question I had. We could not have felt more special from the minute we arrived to the minute we left. The staff were spectacular and it was so relaxed to be virtually stress free! The Wedding breakfast was excellent and served with no less professionalism than the 2* Michelin Restaurant we visited the following day. The Bell Tower Suite was perfect for us, our daughters having a room to themselves. Most of our guests commented to us that their rooms were magnificent. I cannot speak highly enough of Angela and the staff who looked after us on the day and into the night. The barmen were also superb, great company and attentive, with a few interesting drinks (Flaming Lamborghini - maybe not one for your wedding night but I enjoyed it!). It's not the Best Wedding Hotel in Scotland without reason!! In fact we have just booked to go back on our anniversary. Thank you Balbirnie - Simply the best.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank kevjacks
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 2 May 2014

Hello KevJacks, and on behalf of all at Balbirnie, we thank you for your kindness and factual accuracy!!!

We have literally just returned from this year's annual Scottish Hotel awards, and we're delighted to convey that Balbirnie House is once again Scotland's Wedding Hotel of the Year. 8 times in 10 years, against the competition of every other hotel in the country. All information on that is now over on our Facebook pages, and we've had some 30,000 views in the last couple of days.

Kevjacks, we're over the moon to hear your comments, ands thank you for mentioning individuals in particular. It is lovely to know when we have delivered or indeed exceeded client expectation.

Dear Readers? Anyone wanting to get married? We have a handful of remaining dates for next winter, on which we have the sharpest deal in the land. Please see all info on our web site.

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!)

Most helpfully intended- we point out to all readers of TripAdvisor ‘reviews’, that these ‘reviews’ are never ever checked for factual accuracy. Furthermore, reviews are expressed subjectively and very much as personal opinions. We have had numerous comments over the course of time which are misleading and factually incorrect, and from correspondence with TripAdvisor, nothing can be done whatsoever to correct them. Additionally, as hoteliers we sometimes never know who the reviewer actually is, as ‘reviews’ are incognito. We’re accustomed these days for accepting TripAdvisor for what it is, and we hope that our comments and replies bring some joy somewhere.

With my kindest regards from all at Balbirnie House,

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 26 April 2014

Stayed two nights on business mid week. Although not late checking in (early evening) I was provided with room 301 which is on the upper level with small window well above head height. The room itself is OK and the bathroom adequate. The shower was a little lethargic, but the most annoying thing was no shelf for toiletries which are best stored in the connecting corridor beside the kettle.
The Wi-Fi worked fine, however I could only find two channels on the TV for some reason.
There was some noise from the guests/staff dragging something heavy several times throughout the night past my door to room next door. Some clumps of dust from the wardrobe under the kettle got stuck on my suit jacket which I had to clean off. The old pillow case used by the cleaner to clean the room was left on the bedside table on my return.
Food on the first night was in the Bistro which was recommended at 7 as 7:30pm was fully booked. In reality 7:30pm came and went with plenty of tables still available. Staggering dining times probably helps the staff?
The food was really good and service was acceptable.
I can't comment on breakfast as I did not have time on either morning.
Reception check in and out was OK.
The building and grounds are lovely, and I'm sure there are other bedrooms with views of the grounds. As mentioned this was a two night business stay so most of my time was involved with business admin and e-mails, and would happily stay again.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JSR007
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 2 May 2014

Hello JSR007, we are delighted to hear that you will be returning. Please DM next time, so I can ensure all is as it should be, and an upgrade, subject to availability. The bedroom you were in residence, is the last room to be assigned in the house, and is priced as such.

Lovely to hear your comments on the grounds, they are certainly looking just lovely. And we're delighted that that food was good.

Our apologies for the oversight with the pillow slip.

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!)

Most helpfully intended- we point out to all readers of TripAdvisor ‘reviews’, that these ‘reviews’ are never ever checked for factual accuracy. Furthermore, reviews are expressed subjectively and very much as personal opinions. We have had numerous comments over the course of time which are misleading and factually incorrect, and from correspondence with TripAdvisor, nothing can be done whatsoever to correct them. Additionally, as hoteliers we sometimes never know who the reviewer actually is, as ‘reviews’ are incognito. We’re accustomed these days for accepting TripAdvisor for what it is, and we hope that our comments and replies bring some joy somewhere.

With my kindest regards from all at Balbirnie House,

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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Additional Information about Balbirnie House

Address: Balbirnie Park, Markinch, Glenrothes KY7 6NR, Scotland
Region: 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: £94 - £206 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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, Fife

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