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“Great location for outdoors, average hotel 70s style” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Macdonald Highlands Hotel

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Macdonald Highlands Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Aviemore Highlands, Aviemore PH22 1PN, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 8 hotels in Aviemore
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Great location for outdoors, average hotel 70s style”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

We stayed during the Scottish Golf Open in Inverness. The hotel was a bit far from the venue, 45 mins, but the road to Inverness was very good and picturesque.

Due to rain at the Golf Open and play suspension we had time to explore the Cairngorms and surroundings. It was really spectacular. We drove to the Cairngorm one evening and saw the most spectacular sunset. We enjoyed the beautiful panorama of lakes, mountains, trees and mist . A must see.

The hotel is a 70s type hotel, with some renovation but not fully modernised. It's aging.

Worst place to eat: the nearby Spey Valley Golf Clubhouse - where we met the most unwelcoming head waiter. He was in a rush to leave, the place was nearly empty and asked if we had a reservation. He sat us in a dark corner away from the garden views.

Best Place to eat and highly recommended for atmosphere and value for money: La Taverna Restaurant. Italian, owned by Italians. Food and people till late

Room Tip: Don't expect much, try to get a valley view room, else you'll face the rear parking lot
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, October 22, 2011
Dear RinRankD
Thank you for your comments. Delivering the highest standards of service is paramount to our company and we would always welcome feedback where you feel this has not been the case.
If you would like to contact me at the resort directly I would be more than happy to discuss your comments further and to resolve any outstanding issue for you.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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357 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Scotland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011

We stayed at the Macdonald Highlands hotel for one night at the end of July 2011 and were pleasantly surprised. The hotel looks a bit basic from the outside and the corridors a bit dark and dingy but the room was very smart and spotlessly clean. The bed was so comfortable we slept soundly. We were impressed with the breakfast the following morning - we had prepaid and I had an excellent full Scottish cooked selection while my wife enjoyed smoked salmon and scrambled egg. The breakfast staff were very friendly and helpful and would recommend this hotel to anyone wishing to stay in Aviemore.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, October 22, 2011
Dear Don9
Many thanks for your positive comments that you have given the hotel and staff.
We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to welcome you back to the resort in the future.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011 via mobile

We stayed over Easter and booked it on our Tesco clubcard vouchers, so our b&b for 4 nights for 4 of us stayed for nothing! The swimming pool is superb and amazingly quiet early evenings. The kids went to the cinema which was on site as well. Bikes are handy as the complex is rather large and these ease getting around. He complex is centrally located as just off the high street. Also 500 m from the railway station.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, October 22, 2011
Dear LancashireFamily590
Thank you for the positive feedback you have given the resort and the facilities.
The cinema has proved to be very popular with lots of our guests.
We hope top welcome you back to the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the future.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

We had a really nice stay in this hotel, but I did feel it wasn't quite up to 4 star standard. our room was clean, fairly spacious and well equipped, but the hallways were a bit tired. The layout is a bit confusing too, with guests having to check in at a separate building rather than the actual hotel, but it wasn't a big issue. Breakfast was great. A well prepared full cooked breakfast and a really good selection of fresh pastries, fruit, cereals etc. Staff were very attentive too. Why charge £2.50 extra though for some items like smoked salmon and scrambled eggs when people are on the b&B tariff? Seemed a bit mean to me.

My only real gripe was that the jacuzzi in the leisure centre was luke warm and barely bubbling, which is a shame because we'd finished a hard day on the mountain bikes and were really looking forward to relaxing in it.

If a good deal was on I would definitely go back, but doubt I would pay full price.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, October 22, 2011
Dear Lushley
Thank you for your comments. We do receive lots of positive feedback about our breakfast service and have won awards as a company for the high standards we offer.
We note your comments concerning the Jacuzzi and please be reassured that we have taken them on board
We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to welcome you back to the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the future.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011

Myself, my husband and our two children, aged 2 ½ and 15 have just come back from this hotel and I cannot say enough positive things about it. This is our third trip and this was the best because the resort now has even more activities on offer. We stayed for 6 nights had breakfast included in our stay. Our room was well appointed, comfortable and clean and there was nothing we could fault about this.

We had breakfast in 'Aspects' restaurant and this is lovely. The continental option is a buffet but we opted for the cooked breakfast. The waiting staff take an order and then serve this at the table. The food is lovely and was always really hot. All the staff are really friendly and there was plenty of them.

One night for dinner we ate in Giovanni’s, the onsite Italian. Again this food was good quality and value for money. The children’s food was really good quality for a 'kids menu'.

In terms of activities there is lots to do. There is a great family swimming pool with a slide, which is big enough for my youngest and my 15 year old to enjoy. There is a large outdoor play park which had lots to do and which also had seats for parents to sit on which is a bonus as my daughter wanted to play forever!!! There are two indoor soft play type areas, (we only tried one and my daughter loved it) There is also a cinema, spa, gym, sauna but I didn't try them so cannot comment.

The location of this hotel is good and is really close to Aviemore. An easy walk - even for my 2½ year old.

The staff are really cheery. Check-in and check-out was really efficient. Twice we went to the family entertainment in the evening and the staff worked hard and had a lot of patience with the kids. Kevin, the guest relations staff member I met when I checked in, always stopped and spoke or waved when we drove past which was a really nice touch and this makes you feel welcome.

I really enjoyed this stay and really rate this hotel. The staff seemed genuinely interested in offering a good quality service and were welcoming and cheery. I have stayed in other hotels of equivalent rating: St Andrews, the Borders and the Lake District and I would say that this resort is definitely the best for families or couples who want good quality accommodation in a good location

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, July 21, 2011
Dear taylor1family

Thank you for your feedback. It is always a pleasure to read such positive comments about the resort and the staff and we are delighted that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay with us.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the future.

Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haslemere, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2011

We were staying in this hotel for a wedding having been informed it was the best in aviemore. We felt it lacked the warmth of a good hotel. Staff seemed overworked and disengaged. The bathroom panels were cracked. Perhaps it was an off day but we just didn't feel all that welcome.

A few specific pluses and minuses
On the plus side the croissants were fresh and delicious. The best we've tasted for a while.

On the minus

Really we should be allowed to have as much tomato ketchup as we choose rather than being subjected to rationing by a waiter.
Water was hideousy expensive at £4.60 for a bottle
Hot Room service ended earlier at 10pm which meant a trip to the local curry house when we arrived from the airport on the evening flight from London.
There is no separate hair conditioner in the rooms nor does guest services have any when you ask.

Room Tip: It is surrounded by car park so it's tricky...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, July 13, 2011
Dear fountaincottage21
Thank you for your comments. We have always had a passionate approach to hospitality and we would always welcome feedback from guests who do not feel that we have succeeded in this.
Please be reassured that we have taken on board your feedback and we hope to welcome you back to the resort in the future.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2011

Stayed here for one night on Saturday 25th June 2011 and was travelling with my wife and young child.

On first arrival we were pleased as the hotel is well situated and has impressive views. The room was also more than adequate, although could probably do with a bit of a revamp.

Our only issues with the hotel came to light the next day. Firstly, breakfast was an absolute disgrace. Simply the worst hotel breakfast I've ever had the misfortune of being presented with.

Breakfast is all served buffet style, except for tea/coffee and toast which are served at your table. The toast was hard and it was clearly not made with fresh bread, this was a recurring theme throughout the meal.

I opted to go straight to the hot selection and helped myself to sausage, bacon, black pudding and beans. Everything (except the beans in fairness) was severely overcooked, especially the black pudding which was basically a disc of carbon. When I touched it with my knife it exploded into tiny pieces all over the table. I could understand if these items had been lying under a heat lamp on the servery for ages, but we went for breakfast at 8.00am, half an hour after the service began.

I gave up on the hot option and decided to go for a more continental croissant and jam. Yet again, this was clearly not fresh and was so stale as to be almost inedible.

I then decided to try some cereal, what could they do to Coco-Pops?! Well who knows because whatever cheap excuse for cereal they are serving, its certainly not Kelloggs.

All in all, a severe disappointment. I'm far from a fussy eater but it fell far below the standards I would expect from any hotel, let alone one which claims to be four star.

We then headed to the pool. We didn't have any concerns about swimming so soon after breakfast as we had actually been able to eat so little.

The pool was also a let-down as it was absolutely freezing. In addition the flume and jacuzzi were not working. Whilst we were not that bothered by this, if I had booked this hotel expecting these amenities to be available it would be disappointing.

I believe at £116 we paid too much for the standard of accomodation we recieved and would have complained upon checkout were it not for the sizeable queue and the desk staff made up of Eastern Europeans with varying commands of English. Perhaps foolishly, I decided that I would just not cause a fuss.

In summary: nice setting, average room, terrible breakfast. We will not be returning.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, July 13, 2011
Dear cjh231
Thank you for your comments. Delivering the highest standards of service is of paramount importance to our company and we always welcome feedback where you feel this has not been the case.
If you would like to contact me at the resort directly I would be more than happy to discuss your comments further and help resolve any outstanding issue for you.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
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 Macdonald Highlands Hotel

Address: Aviemore Highlands, Aviemore PH22 1PN, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Aviemore and the Cairngorms > Aviemore
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 hotels in Aviemore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Highlands Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relax in style and complete comfort at the 4-star Macdonald Highlands Hotel. With 151 luxury rooms-with-a-view and its own signature restaurant, Aspects, boasting spectacular views of the Cairngorm Mountains, the Highlands Hotel is ideal for discerning business and leisure travelers. For relaxation there's direct access to the Leisure Arena, a TV lounge with comfy sofas and a DVD player, and the cozy Laggan whiskey bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Highlands Aviemore
Hotel Macdonald Highlands
Macdonald Highlands Hotel Aviemore, Scotland

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