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“The Spa is Dreadful - vote with your feet!” 1 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 12 Hotels in Aviemore
Tayport, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“The Spa is Dreadful - vote with your feet!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We visited the spa as day guests since we were not staying at the McDonald complex. It cost us £21.00 for two of us to get in but we stayed only 40 minutes. The wave machine, jacuzzi bath and steam room were all out of order, the steam room had little steam and lots of bathers because the rest of the facilities were so bad. It took me three attempts to find a changing cubicle that would lock, there are no private showers and only six public ones for the whole place. The floor was muddy and fluffy. What a disappointment. The pool is old and dated too. Don't be tempted. Swim at Dalfaber or Coylumbridge instead. It's a kids place really but the families there didn't look as if they were having great fun either. What a disgrace for visitors from abroad to experience. Time Aviemore sorted out the lack of swimming facilities.

Room Tip: Don't go at all.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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, April 30, 2013
Dear Heather Suds
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on our leisure facilities at the resort. It was unfortunate that on the occasion you attended some of the facilities were temporarily unavailable however this was a coincidence as normally all facilities are fully operational. There are ample showers, cubicles and lockers and no issues with these seem to have been brought to our attention in the past with people seeming quite satisfied with what is available. The pool area can, especially at holiday times become very busy, however there is a full time cleaning attendant in place at all times ensuring it is maintained to as high a standard as possible considering the volume of people present. I must say that I can in no way relate to your comment about the pool being old and dated. In fact it is totally the opposite, being a fairly new and feature building with great facilities and is much enjoyed by its many users.
Gina Macpherson, Guest Services Manager
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464 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 (83)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Aberdeen
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We visited this hotel on 24th February 2012 for 1 night. We stayed in a family room which was very spacious. The bed was huge. The room lovely. We stayed on B & B basis. We have stayed at this hotel a few times before and it was very quiet this time. Aviemore itself was very busy with the ski season but this hotel was dead. We had drinks in the bar but it was very cold. They had the air conditioning on and it was freezing. We did ask them to turn it off but the bar guy said it was automatic. Breakfast is usually a buffet for cold and hot foods but as there was very few guests they were taking orders for hot breakfasts.

We would definitely recommend this hotel. We will return.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear Thundercatsgirl
Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay with us in February 2012. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback on any aspect of the resort.
Please note that your comments regarding the temperature of the bar area has been noted and fully discussed with the team.
We do hope to welcome you back to the resort soon.
Kind Regards
Michelle Brown
Guest Services
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Peterhead , Scotland
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
183 helpful votes 183 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We have just had another lovely weekend in Aviemore at the MacDonald Highlands Hotel. This is one of our favourite places to stay and it certainly was as good this time as any other time we have stayed.
Nice large , warm room with a very comfy bed and all the amenities required for a pleasant stay.
The food was excellent as usual with the breakfast buffet being the perfect start to the day. The leisure facilities are really good with the swimming pool being the place to have some family fun when the weather turns sour.
It is good to see the same familiar faces when we stay there . The guys up there do a great job in what i can imagine could be a pretty hectic place. Gina was on holiday this time but Gordon and Hanna at the front desk were very welcoming and helpful during our stay. A big shout has to go out to Colin the breakfast chef who made sure the buffet was kept topped up.
We hope to be back up again soon.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 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, April 30, 2013
Dear skiboy_robertson

Many thanks for your positive comments it is so wonderful to hear that you again enjoyed your stay with us at the Highlands Hotel. I have passed on your kind remarks to all of the relevant staff.

The leisure facilities have proved very popular with many of our guests.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
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Leeds
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

I and my hubby have just returned from the resort of Aviemore.We went skiing for the first time in the Cairngorm Mountains.
We did the pit(so called for the beginners).All was briliant,we booked it through Skinorwest and they were very reasonable.We had 5 nights Dinner/Bed and Breakfast,ski/boot hire and two days lift passes.
We stayed in the Highlands hotel,which was on the Macdonald hotel Aviemore resort.There are other hotels on the resort and a Gym,swimming pool with slide,sauna and steam room,plus a spa.
Dinner and Breakfast,was in the Aspects Restaurant,though you could also have dinner in the Spey Valley resort/Golf club,as long as you book a reservation first.A driver will pick you up and take you and later on,bring you back.(All very organised).It was called a steak house and it was lovely and made a nice change from the hotel.
Now the Pricey bit....The bar,...two glasses of wine,will set you back at least nearly ten pounds and as there were four of us,you can imagine what the bar bill will be.
The staff from Reception to the housekeepers were outstanding and were very good at their jobs.So a credit to all.
It was lovely place to stay and just down the road from the resort,there was plenty of shops and pubs.
I would definitely recommend this place if you are going skiing,climbing and the watersports.There is really so much to do.

Room Tip: We had a room overlooking the archway,to the carpark at the back,but it had views of the mountains.I...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 diane_walsh44
Thank you for taking the time to post a comment on Trip Advisor; it is always a pleasure to read such positive feedback regarding what the resort and Aviemore have to offer our guest.
Please be reassured that we have taken on board your feedback on the prices of the bar drinks and we do hope to welcome you back to the resort in the future.
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.
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

My husband and i stayed here for a two night break its in a great location for the ski resort that is 20 mins in the car. The hotel is nice comfortable and stylish, we paid extra for and executive double this was a little disappointing as it was not much bigger than a double in my opinion.
The view from our room was of the hotel car park this was a shame. The breakfast was first class plenty of choice and the buffet style suited us both we left plenty full and thats what you need for a day on the slopes.
Overall i would go back but would not bother to pay extra for the executive double.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
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 Leisa43
Thank you for taking the time to post a comment on Trip Advisor and for your kind words on breakfast and the comfort of the hotel.
I am sorry to hear of your disappointment with the upgrade to one of our executive doubles. There are several features that our executive rooms provide that our classic doubles do not. Please do not hesitate to contact us at the resort if you would like to discuss your comments further.
Kind Regards
Michelle Brown
Guest services
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scotland
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Just back from another great break at Macdonald Highland Hotel; another lovely, comfortable room and as usual a great base for outdoor pursuits in the Aviemore area. Yet again looking forward to our next visit!

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 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, April 30, 2013
Dear TiggScotland
Thank you for the positive comments that you have given the hotel. It is always a pleasure to hear from a regular visitor that they have once again enjoyed their stay with us.
We look forward to seeing you again.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
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
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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:
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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