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“Superb location,food expensive”
Review of Oak Tree Inn

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Oak Tree Inn
Ranked #1 of 3 Balmaha B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Barnsley, England
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Superb location,food expensive”
Reviewed 10 April 2012

We stayed in Room 6 and it was very well equipped with large flat screen freeview TV and large en-suite. We were over the bar and ear-plugs were provided but the noise wasn't a problem once those were in place

The food and drink was of the highest quality but unfortunately was on the expensive side -£3.45 for a pint of beer and £10.95 for haggis and mash and £11.25 for lasagne and around £13 for house wine.

There is the village shop next door that provides everything you need for evening time or next day hiking

Breakfast is superb and option of dining in the conservatory. I know it's a tourist trap but if the food and drink was cheaper I wouldn't hesitate to give it 5 star!

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Terry061
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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leeds
Level 6 Contributor
283 reviews
264 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 285 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

We arrived at 1.30 on Easter Sunday and it seemed that half of Scotland had converged on the hotel. Its also a popular bar/restaurant (the only one in the village) and consequently was extremely busy with day trippers and tourists, jockeying for position at the bar and trying to obtain a table for lunch. We wandered through the bar to the restaurant and back trying to attract a staff member's attention and were eventually directed to the bar, which had people queuing 5 deep. Staff were dashing around carrying food and drinks and it seemed unlikely we would be welcomed as hotel guests at such a busy time. So it proved, as we were asked to return after 3 by an harassed barmaid. We went for a walk and returned around 5pm expecting things to have quietened down but this wasn’t the case. Again we had to wait at the bar, being jostled by customers and serving staff. Eventually we got to the front of the bar, managed to check in and were taken to our room by a girl who pointed out the new reception area under construction –definitely needed in my opinion!

The hotel is quite new, built in the late 90’s but using local stone and wood so fits in well with the area. Our room also had a ‘new feel’ and was painted in bright colours, had pine floors, doors and window frames and was very clean. It only had a small window facing the road so could be quite dark, especially in winter I would guess. There were ear plugs provided and a note on the wall saying all rooms are the same, and some guests can be noisy hence the ear plugs. You could hear the general hubbub from the bar below while in the room and there were outdoor tables below our window- in summer with drinkers outside I could easily see how it could get noisy. Also the walls between the rooms seemed thin and you could clearly hear the TV in the room next door. Therefore I guess complaints about noise are quite common. Our room looked out onto the road, but I believe some rooms may have a distant lake view (its not right on the banks of the Loch), we slept OK as the road was quiet though we could hear the guests in the next room when they returned at night and got up in the morning.

The food is a big attraction at the hotel and you couldn’t fault the meal we had – it was huge and very good. The hotel operates a system of putting your name down at the bar to wait for a table and this seemed to work OK – we only waited about 10 minutes, though this system can easily turn into a game of guessing who’s going to move, who’s in front of you in the queue, whether that fat bloke is going to have a pudding etc etc, therefore it tends to not be a relaxing experience. Once the diners had left, the bar actually has an authentic village pub feel with fishing pictures on the wall and press clippings relating to the hotel and its short history.

Balmaha attracts a lot of tourists wanting to see Loch Lomond and is also a stop on the Highland Way. We spent a day there and did some walking and its possible to catch boats across the Loch. I got the impression though that a lot of day trippers turn up and aren’t really sure what to do –The Loch front that’s easily walkable without proper footwear is only a couple of hundred metres stretch of road, therefore they end up heading to the Oak Tree Inn as it’s the only pub/restaurant. We’d arrived from the laidback Isle of Mull and arriving at the busy hotel definitely had a feel of bringing us back to hectic City life. The new reception being built should help but I got the feel that on a busy day, the staff see overnight guests as something of an inconvenience (I also saw another comment to this effect in the visitors book),and consequently one didn’t feel welcomed upon arrival. A reception staffed by a full time person rather than a busy waiter or waitress would be a much better initial experience.

In summary, it’s the centre of the limited ‘action’ in Balmaha, it’s a new building and I feel may not have been built with particularly thick walls and floors, therefore could be noisy. The rooms were clean and well decorated, the food is excellent but they need to improve the check-in experience considerably.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LS13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

We've always been regulars to the Oak Tree for it's food which never fails to please but...

On the last three visits for an evening meal we've been sorely disappointed and on the last visit we ended up just leaving and went somewhere else for dinner.

Lately when it's busy the restaurant seems to let customer service drop. The last straw was when we arrived last week and was told to go through to the bar and wait for a table, we even asked if someone would take our name but we were just told someone would come and get us. Needless to sY after 20 minutes we discovered that staff in the bar were taking names and people who had arrived after us were given a table before us.

We took our business elsewhere.

In short: great food but customer service has dropped in standard of late.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wibblemonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen
Level 6 Contributor
293 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

Stopped off for lunch along the Way. Prompt, friendly service and great Cullen Skink - possibly the best soup of the week! Good food and a very welcome stop.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AbClare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

We had our wedding meal here, as we had fell in love with the oak tree inn and balmaha during previous visits there. We had people from Australia there also who absolutely loved it. The staff made our day very special, the food amazing and the cottary just beautiful. We will never forget our time there, neither will our guests who have pledged to return in the future. Thank you

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Zetecs10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

Arrived 2 hours too early to check in. Staff quite rudely told us to come back at 3pm with no offer to store our luggage etc. Quite dishearting after walking 8 miles of the west highland way to get there. We ended up sitting outside for 2 hours. Good job it was a nice day. Came back at 3pm when a credit card was demanded even though the room was already paid for. Eventually shown to our room which was beautiful although had no bath. (Nice to have if walking west highland way). Evening meal was ok but overpriced. Breakfast good choices. Beautiful hotel spoilt by rude inexperienced staff.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank petejackie50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2012

Stayed at the Oak Tree five nights for a family celebration. The double room in the cottage was excellent, with lots of room, cupboard space and was nicely decorated with a nice hospitality tray with local biscuits and tea/coffee. My only complaint about the room is that the bed is in need of replacing - it was soft and sagging in the middle. They had tried to address the problem with a padded pillow top over the mattress but it really didn't do the trick - a couple of nights would be bearable, but after five nights I was suffering! The bathroom was fabulous, really big and modern with lovely underfloor heating. The room had a gorgeous view over the Loch and we had a small patio for our private use too which was great. Breakfasts were really good and the food in general was excellent. Great walks and views made this a relaxing place to stay.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank theroberts_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Oak Tree Inn

Property: Oak Tree Inn
Address: Main Street, Balmaha, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park G63 0JQ, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park > Balmaha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Balmaha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Oak Tree Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Oak Tree Inn consists of accommodation in rooms above the inn and in a series of on-site cottages. There is also a restaurant and bar, coffee shop & ice cream parlour and village shop. The Oak Tree is in Balmaha, a beautiful loch side village in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Oak Tree Hotel Balmaha
Oak Tree Inn Balmaha, Scotland

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