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“A delightfully relaxing experience” 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
Livingston, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“A delightfully relaxing experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

We arrived on the Friday for a 3 day stay the Aviemore Inn, but to our surprise and delight we were upgraded to the Highlands Hotel. We were very worried about the Aviemore Inn after booking, due to lots of bad reviews and were very relieved to be upgraded, although still a little unsure. Apart from the bathroom being a tad on the small side and the bath sides being rather steep (fine for us, but less able bodies would not find it easy getting in and out), we absolutely loved the hotel. The bed was massive and very comfortable. The bath towels were a good size, which makes a nice change in comparison to some hotels. We had everything we needed to hand and with breakfast just along the corridor and a smashing pool and gym downstairs, what more could you ask for. A pint and a vodka was £10.75, which is pretty dear, so we only had the one. The breakfast team were very pleasant and the chef on the hot plate counter was a joy to see each morning. He would chat away about where you were going, what you'd done and come up with local information and ideas. He's an asset to the hotel and should be commended. There was plenty of parking. We would love to return next year for our wedding anniversary again, but we would need to look for a good deal as the prices are a little steep. It's well worth a visit.

Room Tip: Make sure you ask for a room that is NOT overlooking the car park i.e. get one at the front.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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 Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Dear karon_duke
Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a lovely review.
I am delighted to read it and ever so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and found the rooms comfortable.
I am happy that you had the opportunity to really enjoy the resort and all it has to offer, the leisure facilities always tend to be very popular with our guests and its great that you feel the same way.
Thank you for your kind words of our breakfast chef, I know he will be delighted to hear such lovely feedback.
We look forward to welcome you back again, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Best regards,
Hanna Wolimbwa
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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416 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
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Saskatoon, Canada
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

The hotel is a part of a bigger resort complex and has a golf course, cinema and shopping area. The room and bathroom were very nicely furbished, classy, and clean. Great selection of room service (and well priced). The staff we met in the hallway (carrying luggage) were very friendly. There were wild bunnies all over the grounds which made looking out the window very amusing during supper.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
    • 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, August 29, 2013
Dear TanzlyB
Thank you very much for taking time to write a review.
I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. It is always such a pleasure to read that we have succeeded in providing the best possible guest service and facilities.

We look forward to welcome you back again in the near future.

Kind regards
Hanna Wolimbwa
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, Scotland
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We booked 3 nights mid week on bed and breakfast in an executive room and weren't disappointed. The room was very nicely decorated and handy for the amenities. The Highand hotel is part of a complex owned by MacDonald and it is definitely the nicest. Aviemore itself is a bit run down in places, but MacDonald have clearly spent a lot of money modernising the resort. The leisure pool and gym facilities are excellent and the cinema is a bonus, unfortunately we had already seen the film they were showing. If I was going back to Aviemore I would definitely stay here again as the hotel is lovely and we got a good deal.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Services at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Dear Wendy2601
Thank you for your wonderful review of our resort. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and were able to make use of the leisure facilities that we offer onsite. It is always a delight to hear such positives words and I am happy that you enjoyed the resort as much as we take pride in it.

We look forward to welcome you back again soon.

Kind regards
Hanna Wolimbwa
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

The hotel is a bit tired and could do with a refurb, check in took ages and was given a keycard that didn't work, the room was pretty small but had everything you would want. Breakfast was very good, lots of choice with a chef to cook fresh eggs. The resort on the whole is nice and is within walking distance to the shops and restaurants in town. Plenty of parking. If you want phone signal or internet go elsewhere! My wife paid for internet and when she couldn't get on the hotel put her through to BT as it was nothing to do with them.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Members at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
Dear WWWtraveller1978
Thank you for taking time to write a review, we always appreciate all types of guest feedback.
I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the resort and your breakfast experience with us – something that is always popular with our guests. I am sorry to hear that you experienced issues with the BT openzone connection – we do offer free wi-fi in the conference centre which can be used by all of our guests and have noted your points with BT to avoid a future reoccurrence of this issue.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Resort and thank you for bringing this to our attention

Kind regards
Hanna Wolimbwa
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

The hotel is a part of a big resort complex. The location is amazing and the complex itself has everything from a golf course to a cinema and from a shopping mall to a mini water park. The hotel is only about a 30 minute drive from Cairngorms National Park and many Lochs which are great for a BBQ. The steam trains and main town of Aviemore are within 10 minutes wlalking distance. The rooms are large and the views are great. They have spared no comfort in the room and the hotel was the best one I have stayed at in the UK. There are some great restaurants nearby (the Italian and Indian restaurants are particularly good) and the towns only nightclub right across. Last of all, the hotel is completely value for money for a 4 star resort and the facilities provided. I would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed June 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, July 6, 2013
Dear Amishi2490
Thank you for your excellent review about our resort. It is always a pleasure to read that we have exceeded our guest’s expectations and provided the highest possible level of customer service – as this is what we all strive for. We are happy that you had a great stay and we hope to see you again in the very near future.

Thank you for taking time to write a review here on trip advisor.

Kind regards
Hanna Wolimbwa
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

Just returned from a stay here with my wife which we booked through bookings.com at a rate of £99pp for 3 nights bed and breakfast. Thinking we would be given a tiny room in a far away location we were to be pleasantly surprised. From the moment we arrived we were treated exceptionally well, from the staff at the reception to the leisure centre everyone was both knowledgable and extremely freindly.It was nice to know that the pool, sauna, steam room and gym were not extras as expected but free for hotel guests.
The breakfast was a buffet selection which included cereal, fruit juice, croissants and the cooked section of eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms and beans.You also get waiter service for coffee, tea and toast. Awesome! We also ate at the on-site Italian which does a buy one get one free on mains from Sunday to Thursday, although at £8.80 for a large glass of wine that takes away most of the saving. Again though the staff here were attentive and friendly.
The resort has plenty to keep you occupied including a 3d cinema, pitch and putt, shops, bars and restaurants on top of the leisure centre and although some of these are chargeable it was still a good value trip.
The room was large with a very impressive bathroom and huge bed but the furniture and tv could do with upgrading, however this is a minor detail taking everything into consideration.
The staff and the spectacular location of this hotel make it well worth a visit-especially if you get such a good deal as we did!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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, July 6, 2013
Dear SRSTAUD
Thank you for you positive review – it is always a pleasure to see that we have delivered outstanding customer service as we take great pride at the resort in looking after our customers.
I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and made full use of and enjoyed the leisure facilities we offer on site. It is encouraging to read your wonderful words about our staff as this is something that each and every staff member works hard on and I know they will be happy to hear your positive feedback when it is cascaded back to them

We look forward to welcoming you back again in the near future.

Kind regards
Hanna Wolimbwa
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordshire
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

There were a couple of things which really didn't assist us in our stay and made the trip less satisfactory than expected:

The main problems was that there was no wi fi available across the site, either in the conference suite, accessible to purchase or though any other option. As a business professional, I need to get access to constant access for work purposes, even during a holiday/vacation. This caused me significant disruption and embarassment on a professional level that I was not able to keep in touch with key business contacts. I found it staggering that for such a large hotel chain, particularly as you are a conference hotel, the service was 'down' and had been for over a week. Having raised this with staff at reception and in the conference suite their attitude was passsive with little consideration or regard for how important this was. It was equally disappointing that dispite wi fi access being down there were no PC's available in the lobby nor in the business suite to gain internet access via a wired connection. I would have expected this an a minimum.

Secondly, but less importantly, it was disappointing for the children that the slide was only available for a limited duration during a short period of each day. I understand that there may be health and safety reasons as to why this was not possible however there were a number of lifeguard staff available to supervise the activity. Dispite accessing the pool for the 4 day duration of our stay, we did not manage to access the slide nor wave machine as it was 'the wrong time of day,' which was disappointing and would be useful if this 'inavailability' could be more widely circulated upon committing to a stay in the hotel.

Other than that we enjoyed our stay, love the location and the complex and would return, as long as the wi-fi and internet access can be guaranteed

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 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, July 6, 2013
Dear CarolineFS1
Thank you for your balanced review of the Resort. We always appreciate it when a guest takes time out of their busy schedule to share their experiences with us.
I am sorry to hear that the wi-fi was not in working order during your stay with us, I can fully understand that must have been an inconvenience and a frustration. We do offer free wi-fi in the conference centre and having checked our records we cannot find anytime when it has been out of order for over a week. That said there was clearly a problem for you and we do apologise for that inconvenience.
Regarding the times of the slide and wave machine in our pool the times are standard and repeat each hour to give everyone a chance to use each of the facility types. We are sorry that this did not fit in with your schedule.
I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you would return and should that be the case please do not hesitate to contact us in advance so we can make sure next time we can hopefully make up for the inconveniences of this stay. We do hope to welcome you back to the resort in the near future and thank you once again for your feedback.
Kind regards
Hanna Wolimbwa
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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