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“An experience to remember” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Buness Country House

Buness Country House
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Buness Country House
Ranked #1 of 1 Baltasound B&B and Inns
England
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“An experience to remember”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2010

We stayed at several places in Shetland. This was by far the best and most interesting. We were made very welcome and nothing was too much trouble for our hosts. It's a huge old house and a bit run down, but the discomforts were slight and more than made up for by the character of the place and its owners. Dinner started with sherry and nibbles by the fire, followed by four courses of good quality home cooking in the dining room or the conservatory, and intelligent conversation with our hosts. The bedroom and (private but not en-suite) bathroom were adequate but no more than that. The breakfast was the best we had in Shetland, by some margin.

I see that other reviewers complain of a political rant, and yes we did get that, but it soon developed into a thoughtful discussion with people who, despite having views very different from our own, were happy to listen and to engage in debate. Having said that, if you're a gay couple, I think you'd be more comfortable somewhere else. Anywhere else.

In summary, if you're looking for a sanitised modern hotel experience, this is not the place for you. But if you want to stay in the ancient home of the laird and his wife, chock full of interesting stuff, and really engage with Shetland and it history, this is the place to go.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank qwertyuiop74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bay of Plenty
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2010

I laughed and laughed when I read the other two reviews, because I stayed at this faulty towers B&B myself many years ago and I am actually planning to go back and bring my husband this time! It was an experience, and I do want to share it with my loved one. Yes the house is decorated with an assortment of strange paraphernalia from times past - tiger skins and various stuffed creatures and treasures. I was travelling alone and joined with other guests at the communal table for dinner. We were promptly put in our place by one of our hosts, and unlike the previous reviewer whose dinner went on and on, we were told by our host she had a busy day organised for the morrow and we would not be able to linger after dinner, and packed us off to our rooms. She also lamented the fact she were even accepting B&B guests, an obviously unpleasant financial necessity.
Anyway, I remember it fondly as a marvelous English cultural experience, and plan to poke a little fun myself this time round.

  • Stayed June 2007, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank organicexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Baltasound hotels

Prudhoe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
103 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2009

Oh how we agree with the previous reviewer. We have been to B&Bs across the UK and this one rates as the worst!!! The house is beautifully set, although it was rather 'down-at-heel' and not as good as in the photo. Our problem, as with the other reviewer, was with one of our hosts. Our evening meal was terrible and one of our hosts was very, very 'tired and emotional' as the evening wore on .... and on ... and on! We really felt that we were not welcome and indeed comments were made about not liking having B&B guests! The dog, Meg is beautiful as are the two cats! When it came to paying in the morning our host seemed to 'forget' that we had paid a desposit until we produced the evidence. All in all, we were pleased to leave - thank goodness we were staying just one night. Such a shame as the rest of visit to Unst was great.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Lucylocket87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheHague
Level Contributor
159 reviews
140 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 283 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2008

In all my years of travelling I can never remember counting down the minutes until I could leave a hotel, then punching the air with joy as I left the hotel premises, relieved at last to have escaped ... that was until my visit to Buness House.

Now I'm not going to be totally negative, the B&B is in a beautiful location on the shores of a sea loch, just outside the village of Baltasound, although it isn't easy to find - just head towards the Baltasound Hotel along the sea shore from Haroldswick/Baltasound and its the big white building on the left.

Upon arrival we received a surprisingly lukewarm "so what are you doing here" kind of welcome, being told that they weren't actually open for the season yet. Waving around a copy of a booking confirmation email with mention in it of a deposit paid did the trick in getting us in though. The inside of the property is bizarrely decorated with skins of dead tigers and other animals hunted by the proprietor's family in the days of the Raj, giving it a bit of a colonial/olde worlde atmosphere. We were shown the residents lounge, with a TV, but were told "You won't need to watch any TV around here", before being shown to our small room and its very chintsy decor (carpet in the toilet/bathroom too, hmmm). Well so far so good ...

As the dining options in the area were limited, we opted for evening meals at the B&B. In any normal establishment the guest would be allowed to at least give some input with regards to dining time, if not choose. We were told bluntly "We always eat at seven", no arguing. OK, that was us told then ! Arriving for dinner, which is served in the conservatory, it hit home what they meant by "we", yes, we had to eat dinner with the proprietors. Oh ... The food in fact was absolutely delicious and very imaginative, all claimed to be based on organic produce, many of it grown in the garden. However, rather than be treated to polite, neutral dinner conversation we had to suffer endless political rants, and if that wasn't enough one of our unwanted company spent the best part of the evening scoffing and sneering at practically everything the three of us said. To say that it was truly unpleasant is an understatement and by the end of the first evening we were seriously thinking about packing our bags and leaving. But surely we could manage just one more day ...

Day 2 was an exact repeat of Day 1. I attempted to retreat into the guest lounge to watch some Champions League football on TV, having mentioned it in the day. Perhaps it was just a coincidence that the TV was unplugged and the aerial disconnected. Either way, I enjoyed the game and we headed down the road for an evening stroll to the Baltasound Hotel for a much-needed escape and beer. We did say that we were going out, so why oh why did we find ourselves locked out when we got back later in the evening ?

Now I’m sure there might be some people will actually love staying here, lone travellers particularly might enjoy the company, but I’m equally sure many will hate every last second of it. I felt the whole time that I never had any privacy, in fact we were going out of our way to be decent and pleasant for the hosts, which I would have been OK with except for the fact that it wasn't cheap. The whole experience could be likened to going to stay as a teenager for the first time with your girlfriend’s parents.

There aren’t many hotel options on Unst, but the nearby Baltasound Hotel is under new management and they were renovating while we were there. They are a friendly bunch and have a great bar on site. The Saxa Vord complex up the road may look grey, cold and uninviting, but the food in the restaurant is great and the bar service is superb, so either of these places would make much better accommodation options.

  • Liked — The food, location, Mr Edmondson
  • Disliked — Mrs Edmondson
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Casualist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Buness Country House

Property: Buness Country House
Address: A968 ZE2 9DS,, Baltasound ZE2 9DS, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Shetland Islands > Unst > Baltasound
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Baltasound
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Buness Country House Baltasound, Unst

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