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“Great resort” 4 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 #6 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
UK
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Stayed here for a winter break. Very busy but then we did choose the school half term to go. There is plenty to do on the resort including cinema, spa, pool and gym. There are a choice of restaurants on the resort, we dined at the signature restaurant, Aspects, the food was excellent. There are a couple of issues that marred the stay slightly. The hotel was very noisy. There seemed to be little insulation/wall depth between rooms and everything could be heard from the room next door and everything and everyone that walked along the corridors including the fire doors banging when closing. The other issue was staff levels, given it was a busy time there seemed to be insufficient staff to cater for numbers. Minor issues but issues all the same. Would I stay again? Yes I would ideal for families and couples.

Room Tip: Stay outside of school holidays
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear Hoylite
Many thanks for taking the time to write a review on Trip Advisor and for highlighting the positive points you felt about the resort and your stay. Noise issues with our rooms is not something that we normally hear about from our guests and I regret that you experienced this. It is unfortunate that you didn’t bring this to our attention during the early part of your stay as we would have been pleased to arrange an alternative room for you.
We do hope to welcome you back to the resort again soon.
Kind Regards
Michelle Brown
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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415 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (74)
Date | Rating
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English first
anstruther
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We stayed here for 1 night in Feb '13 and overall it was a pleasant nights stay.
The room was quite nice, clean, large bed, nice tea tray, toiletries, iron, hairdryer etc. On the minus side the pillows were very limp, had we been staying more than a night I would have asked for replacements and the tv was a bit stoneage with only a handful of channels. Not quite sure the room is 4* standard, have had nicer rooms in 3* hotels but certainly nothing major to moan about.
We did have a drink in the bar at night and as others have said it was very expensive but I was prepared for this.
The breakfast we had at Aspect restaurant in the morning was outstanding. Tea/coffee and toast were brought to the table and the rest was buffet service. The range of food available was outstanding and everything we had was delicious (and believe me we did our best to taste as much as possible!)
We didn't use any of the facilities but looking through the window the swimming pool looked great, especially for youngsters.
Overall we had a pleasant nights stay at the Highland Hotel and would return again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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 Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear 17lbp
We are delighted to learn that you really enjoyed your stay with us on the resort especially highlighting breakfast. Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Trip Advisor. I was sorry to read that we did not meet your expectations regarding certain aspects of your room but if you had brought this to our attention during your stay we would have been pleased to amend where possible.
We hope to welcome you back to the resort soon.
Kind Regards
Michelle Brown
Guest Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We have stayed 2 nights in February '13 with our four year old and the hotel has got number of facilities for kids of all age, especially the younger ones. There was a soft play, bouncy castles, a pool with a slide, pottery painting, 3d cinema- all within premises of the resort- comes handy if you were not too lucky with the weather! Rooms decor very old fahioned but with the large bed which we found quite comfortable, breakfast buffet was however fantastic!
Aviemor itself has plenty for active families - sledging, skiing, dog sledges, reindeer and wild animals farm, nature trials, water sports- you can come either in winter or summer and you will find plenty to do.
Would come back in Summer for a longer stay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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 Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear Monika B
We appreciate the time taken to post feedback on Trip Advisor and it’s great to read that you enjoyed the wide variety the resort and Aviemore has to offer.
Thank you for such a great response on your breakfast and we do look forward to welcoming you back to the resort in the summer.
Kind Regards
Michelle Brown
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Llanrwst, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Could not quite understand why some reviewers were so negative. We stayed for three nights and found the staff to be friendly and helpful. Our rooms were comfortable as were the beds. The rooms were well serviced every day and spotlessly clean. Breakfast was really good and enjoyed by all of us. We did not use the restaurants - the only negative for us was the bar prices. We would certainly stay again and found it good value for money.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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 Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear Nico386
Thank you for the great feedback, we appreciate the time you have taken to write on Trip Advisor and your kind comments are very encouraging for our staff to read.
Please be assured we have taken your comments onboard regarding the bar prices.
We do hope to see you again soon.
Kind Regards
Michelle Brown
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Just back from a couple of days at the Macdonald Highlands Hotel. We were not too sure about booking given some of the less than positive reviews (and nearly booked the Hilton Coylumbridge, where we have been before). Really pleased we made the choice we did, and this is where we will be going back to. They have improved greatly from what we experienced several years ago, and our kids (aged 6 & 3) had a ball. Highlights include: giant inflatables, excellent pool and flumes (streets ahead of competitors in the areas), 3D cinema with latest releases, really comfortable rooms, spotlessly clean, with space for 2 kids, great playpark, and excellent breakfasts. Not perfect of course - the service in the Italian restauarant was poor, and the food average at best. But the staff were really apologetic when we complained, and we got all drinks and coffees free. In general, service was excellent (the staff making up the rooms were especially friendly) and kids ate free the whole time. Away from the complex, we enjoyed sledging, and a trip to Landmark. Off to rebook....

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear Paulandeliz
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and taking the time to post such a positive review. May we apologise again for the service and food you received in Giovanni’s, this is in no way a reflection of our usual standards of service in this very popular restaurant and we are only too pleased to read you left on such a positive note.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Kind Regards
Michelle Brown
Guest Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Everytime I told someone we were going to Aviemore for a couple of days I got the same response: going skiing? No, was the answer. But of course Aviemore in February is full of skiers and, on the second day we were in town, families taking advantage of the school weekend holiday.

Booking a McDonald hotel on their website is a bit like buying a train ticket on-line: options and deals and seasonal offers abound. But we got a deal - £117 a night for two, dinner bed and breakfast. Given the pleasant bar areas, the quality of service, the swimming pool and gym facilities this is good value. But there were components which let Macdonald down and the company needs to be attentive or they might be on a slippery slope.

Our deal included a £25 three course dinner. What we ate was not a £25 meal; there are numerous places in Glasgow I know where a far better meal can be had for £5 or £10 less. On the first night the starter and the desserts were a model of disappointment: a goats cheese and red onion tart, served cold, with nary a whiff of the goat. A chocoloate brownie for dessert which must've been in its plastic wrapper two minutes before being cut in two and placed on the slate plate; also served cold. A slate plate does not fine dining make! We informed the maitre'd that we were disappointed and he was very apologetic. In fact all the staff were pleasant, hard working and good natured. On our second night the meal was good and the staff extra attentive! It is worth complaining! I only hope our comments got back to the chef.

Our room was fine, but not luxury or terribly well-appointed. It lacked extra blankets (not that we were cold - we kept the heating on - but it was February in north Scotland) and a modern TV. It's time the rooms and corridors were smartened up.

But as I said, however, for the price we paid it was good value: it was just some of the component parts were not up to scratch. On check in we were acknowledged as regular Macdonald customers: a bit more effort from the company might make that loyalty more deserving.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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 Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear B-RReviews
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on you recent stay with us, it is always a pleasure to welcome MacDonald Loyalty Club members to the resort. Please be assured that we do take all feedback seriously and all your comments have been duly noted and passed on to our management team.
We do appreciate your kind words regarding our staff and we do look forward to welcoming you back to the resort again.
Kind Regards
Michelle Brown
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Llandrindod Wells, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We booked the stay with an online booking agent, not really knowing what to expect although we had been to Aviemore before. When we arrived and booked in we were told we had been given an upgrade and would now be staying in the Highland Hotel rather than the Aviemore Inn. The room was lovely and had plenty of room for the two of us and our 4 month old daughter. The bed was Kingsize and extremely comfortable. Our ground floor room had an unexpected view of the Cairngorm Mountains. We hadn't requested a travel cot for our stay but on realising it was needed the request to reception was no bother and was put up whilst we were having dinner. Other requests were similarly promptly dealt with. The receptionist was very friendly and helpful and the entire place was clean and tidy. Breakfast was everything you could wish for,, cereal, fruit and full Scottish cooked breakfast available as well as fresh pastries. We used the on site swimming pool and although it seemed a little on the cold side the facilities were clean, tidy and everything you would want including a towel and bags to put your wet swimming costume in. The weather was snowy and on site staff kept the site gritted and very well cleared. In summary we had an extremely comfortable stay with far more than we expected, for a suprisingly budget price. We wouldn't hesitate to return.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear T68teen
It was great to hear your positive feedback on how much you enjoyed your stay with us, and we thank you for the time taken to post your feedback on Trip Advisor.
We do appreciate such a helpful review and look forward to welcoming you back to stay with us again soon.
Kind Regards
Michelle Brown
Guest Services
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:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Aviemore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Highlands Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 151
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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