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“Magical Castle with Secret Passage Way!!!”
Review of Balfour Castle

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Balfour Castle
Reviewed 24 January 2009

I stayed as a solo traveler here, and it was incredible! The room I had was like walking back into time (down to the showerless tub in the bathroom)! I felt like a Princess. The Castle itself was a little smaller than I anticipated - but it was way cool. Fancy old rooms, even a secret passage way from the library to the conservatory...ha! It was like I was in the game CLUE (: Fabulous food as well, in a very family type setting. If you get there early you can stroll the gardens and almost have the island to yourself. It truly was a magical experience!

  • Stayed: May 2006, travelled solo
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2  Thank TravelerBarbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (29)
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20 - 26 of 29 reviews

Reviewed 2 November 2008

This place was quite an experience. Although it is a little out of the way, it is well worth the trip. The castle itself has many rooms to explore (including a secret door!) and our room was decorated in a true Victorian style. The bed was very comfortable. Our bathroom was a turret with an excellent view of the water and grounds. The castle also has several acres of beautiful gardens and pastures to explore.

Dinner was a multiple course meal with a huge variety of flavours and great presentation. Both before, during, and after dinner there was a wonderful ambiance as all of the guests spent this together and shared their experiences.

Although Balfour Castle is expensive, it is a wonderful experience for a special occasion!

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sparky_buckwheat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2008

When we booked this holiday, we did not know what to expect. The Castle was visible from the ferry as it dominates the southwest end of the Island. The peace and tranquillity offered would not suit everybody. No noisy bars or disco, no sound of passing traffic. In fact it was very hard to hear any noise from our room only the clucking of a pheasant, the cows in the field between the castle and the beach and the sound of the waves on the beach. We had glorious weather, sun most days. Yes, it was cold, but look on a map where you are! All the staff in the Castle were wonderful, helpful and appeared happy to be there, unlike some hotels you visit. I am loathed to recommend Balfour Castle, in case it becomes so popular we become unable to return again, which we will.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MightyMurphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2008

We were greeted at the door of the castle when we drove up. There's no reception desk or other earmarks of a hotel, just a fabulous 52-room castle. There's just a few guest rooms on the third floor, but you can spend a week looking at all the fabulous common rooms and grounds. Huge comfortable library with self service honor bar and fire. Pat, the owner was very friendly and welcoming. Came up to the library to tell us about the dinner gong to be rung at 6:30. Then after the gong rang out in the castle, she came up again to make sure we heard it. Of course our room was huge with amazing views. Old fashioned plumbing, but everything worked! Had the castle all to ourselves, the first night, but had to share the castle with honeymooning Brits the second night.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank PhillandKaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2006

Just returned from a wonderful stay at Balfour Castle. This is a magical place and the service and meals were outstanding. Our room and bath were very large with a fantastic view of the grounds. Both the breakfast and dinner meals that are included were delicious and expertly served in the nicely appointed dining room. It was such a treat to have
drinks in the library each evening. Be sure to enjoy touring the walled gardens and beautiful grounds of this estate.
The island of Shapinsay is very picturesque and our bike tour of the island was such fun!
After the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh, this was the perfect place to unwind and see another side of Scotland. The town of Kirkwall is another part of this trip that is
not to be missed.
The owners and staff at Balfour Castle make your visit so special. They are eager to make sure that you feel at home and share the history of Balfour Castle with you.
AKNIC

  • Stayed: June 2006
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4  Thank AKNIC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Stourbridge, UK
11
Reviewed 23 May 2006

We decided for our wedding to do something different and get away from the stress of a big formal wedding day. When we found Balfour Castles website we fell in love with it, it was exactly what we wanted.

The staff was amazingly helpful in the run up to the wedding, as we live in Stourbridge it was hard to organise everything up there so instead the staff there took over and sorted out everything phoning me and sending emails to see if i was happy with things. They are all lovelly people who were as excited about our wedding as we all was, they made us all feel so welcome and made our day so special. Our familes all fell in love with the relaxed, homely atomosphere there and Shapinsay itself is beautifull especially the boat ride we took and the beach by the ruins with the seals on.

I would recommend this castle to anyone, especially a couple looking for a romantic, relaxed, intimate wedding. It was fantastic. The castle itself is fascinating with all the antiques and portraits and the rooms were beautifull and full of character.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2005

A castle hidden away on a remote Scottish island seemed like a very fairy-tale way to cap off our honeymoon, and our stay at Balfour was almost as romantic as we hoped. The castle had lots of atmosphere, and chills ran down my spine as I explored our wing under the watch of the ancestral portraits. The service was excellent, prompt and friendly but unintrusive, and the dinners consisting of local seafood and game were scrumptious. The room, however, was a quite a disappointment. Antique furniture is nice to look at, but bad to sleep on! The bed was so mushy that we rolled together and sunk down in the middle, and we woke up each morning with little red bites on our legs. The chairs were equally broken down, and the paint on the walls was peeling and water stained. The service, food and beautiful island, along with the coolness factor of staying in a castle, made the trip worth it, but for the price I expected more comfortable accommodations.

  • Stayed: August 2004
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9  Thank castlegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balfour Castle

Address: Balfour Village, KW17 2DY, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Orkney Islands > Shapinsay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Shapinsay
Hotel Class:3 star — Balfour Castle 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Balfour Castle Hotel Shapinsay
Balfour Castle Shapinsay, Orkney Islands

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