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“Money well spent?” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Banff Springs Hotel

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Banff Springs Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   8 Golden Knowes Road, Banff AB45 2JE, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Banff
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Money well spent?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

The blurb on the Banff Springs hotel website claims that the hotel changed hands 4 years ago and has gone through a massive refurbishment since then.

I never knew the old Banff Springs - other than this rather industrial looking edifice on the very outskirts of Banff - so can't comment on what it was like before.

Some things haven't really changed. It's still this rather industrial looking edifice on the very outskirts of Banff that HRH the Price of Wales might class as a carbuncle

But inside - well that's a different story. It's obvious that someone has devoted a good deal of thought to the refurb, and has come up with something that, by and large, is simple, tasteful and elegant.

Though I suspect it might be true of other rooms, I can only speak for the one that we stayed in, namely, the Gilmore Suite. It was obvious that an equal amount of thought had been given to the refurbishment, but the execution has been given a quirkier edge. I approved of the colour scheme, but the overall effect was a little girlie for me. What set this room apart from anything I have ever stayed in was the shower. If you're not comfortable with being naked in the presence of your significant other, this room isn't for you. The shower is in the bedroom, so perhaps not for the faint hearted.

As far as I could tell, there wasn't a lift, so if you're a little less than nimble on your pins, this might be a problem, but staff were always on hand with offers of help should you so wish

The hotel has an excellent restaurant, that served well prepared, good quality food. The bacon actually tasted like it came from a pig, and the chips I had one evening were probably the best I have ever had. Incidentally, they are served in this rather cute little deep fryer basket.

But I've saved the best till last. Our enduring memory of the hotel is of the staff. They were unfailingly kind and helpful, and treated us more like friends than customers. In common with the rest of the folk in this region of Scotland, they still seem to have time for other people, and it added immensely to the enjoyment of our stay.

Now, if they could only be persuaded to support some of the local microbreweries . . .

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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264 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
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English first
Newport, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014 via mobile

The staff are a credit to the hotel. We had a lovely room, it was excellent value for a dinner, bed and breakfast, and the dinner is well worth staying onside for. wifi speeds were well above average, which is an asset.

Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

Just back from a lovely meal here with friends. Really nice decor and the food was excellent. We had the platter so share for dessert which was just amazing too. Staff all lovely and friendly. Would definitely recommend this for lovely surroundings and great views too.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wormit, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

We have stayed at the Banff Springs on numerous occasions over the past 40 years as my husband has relatives in the area. It is certainly the best hotel in the area, although we have also been pleased with guest house accommodation.
This visit, we were pleased to see that it had been refurbished. It had looked tired and old fashioned the last time we were there. Now the rooms are modern with comfortable beds, good quality bedding and nice co-ordinating curtains. No complaints there.
Staff a friendly, helpful and welcoming. Again, so far so good.
Breakfast options good, with a nice buffet of cold options as well as cooked to order bacon, eggs, etc.
However, there are a few negatives.
Firstly, on arrival we were asked if we needed help with our bags. My husband was parking the car, and I declined, as I had only a carry-on case and a handbag. This was my mistake, as I discovered that there is no lift, and I had to go up a few stairs, open a fire door, and then climb a flight of stairs to another fire door and open it before going along the corridor to my room. This was not easy with a long coat and a bag in each hand! I should have accepted the offer of help. I noticed, during our stay, several other guests struggling with several small pieces of luggage, handbags, newspapers, etc. They obviously made the same mistake. Perhaps staff should accompany gusts to their room, and at least open the doors!
Secondly the room layout was not good for me. It had obviously been designed by a man. I have no objections to the masculine colours, etc, but there was no mirror above the dressing table. Instead the TV was mounted in e centre of that wall. There was a full length mirror at the side, but the power points were on the opposite side and the hairdrier would barely stretch the length of the desk/dressing table. Also the flex then knocked over anything that was on the table! Similar issues with straighteners. There wass no way a right handed peerson could look in the mirror and use either to style hair.
The light in the bedroom was not good enough for applying makeup. So I decided to use the bathroom. There was no shelf for toiletries or makeup. Instead ere was a cupboard. OK for storage, but I had to put my cosmetics on either the toilet seat or the cistern lid when I was applying make up. I was uncomfortable with this. I know the cleaning staff were good, and have no complaints about the cleanliness, but it didn't feel hygienic to use a toilet as a shelf for cosmetics.
While on the subject of the bathroom, there was an overbath shower with a curtain (I hate shower curtains, screens are much better), and basic toiletries (soap, shampoo and body wash) in dispensers. Nothing wrong with that, but I have been at many lesser establishments, including 2 star B & B's, where complementary toiletries are nicely presented in little bottles.
The hotel seems to aspire to it's namesake in Canada, but it is not a luxury resort hotel. It is a decent 3 star. No complaints, but the rates charged give guests the impression that they will get more than that. I certainly won't be rushing back there at these rates.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with e mirror beside the powerpoint! My daughter had this.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Strichen, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

We stayed for one night and were delighted to find our favorite hotel firmly back on form after the disaster that was McIver Hotels a few years ago. The rooms are very clean, modern and comfortable, and it's clear there has been a big investment by the new owners in the last couple of years. As always, the staff were very friendly and welcoming. The food was excellent - the only downside being the continued absence of local smoked haddock off the breakfast menu.

Thank you for a relaxing break.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cumbernauld
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

Stayed here recently with my wife on a combined business / jolly trip for one night. Modern hotel , very clean and warm. Hotel is situated on a slight hill meaning the front rooms have very good sea views, so worthwhile booking a sea view, although the road noise is a consideration. On arrival the smell of gloss paint upstairs in the corridor was very strong as the decorator had painted virtually all the doors that day right up our room. I complained to reception and they offered us another room in an extension round the back but I preferred the view from our room. We opened the windows in the room and it did help. This unfortunately led to increased road noise from the fairly busy road. One incident that spoiled the experience and in fact really irritated me was that later in the evening a medium sized bus turned up to pick some people up and the idiotic driver sat right below our open room window with the bus engine running for almost half an hour. It sounded like the engine was on its last legs as most clapped out buses do so you can imagine the racket. Despite me giving him various dirty looks he didn't take the hint. As I had already complained about the paint smell I was reluctant to go back to reception and moan about this moron. Someone either from the hotel or from the bus company should speak to this clown as I understand that this is illegal. Perhaps Police Scotland should pay this guy a visit and educate him.To be fair I didn't book direct with the hotel and I am guessing the booking company were not made aware that a mad painter, apparently named Bill, had been let loose upstairs. The lady at reception was very apologetic and gave us a free drink at the bar, so they did their best to help. Later in the evening the smell had subsided a bit and we let it go, but really the hotel should not be booking people in to rooms that are being decorated. Anyhow it didn't spoil our overnight and we lived to tell the tale. Food in the restaurant was good but very pricey. Breakfast was good and well presented and the solitary waitress did a sterling job keeping up with demand. She even managed to smile when I asked her for brown sauce which seemed to be rationed, as we had to ask both at dinner and breakfast. All in all not a bad hotel. Shame our overall experience was spoiled by an inconsiderate bus driver.

Room Tip: Book a sea view room, although road noise can be quite high in the morning and I hope you don't...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Upton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

My niece booked my wife and I in for my wife's 60th birthday meal treat. Stunning! We didn't stay in the hotel but everything about it spoke of high customer care levels. Food was outstanding and matched the venue.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banff Springs Hotel

Address: 8 Golden Knowes Road, Banff AB45 2JE, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Aberdeenshire > Banff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Banff Springs Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 36
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Banff Springs Hotel Scotland

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