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“Exceptional Value” 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 12 Hotels in Aviemore
australia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Exceptional Value”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

We booked a last minute two day break at an incredible price. We were very happy with our room which was comfortable and gave us a good nights sleep. The swimming pool, sauna and steam room was an added bonus which we thoroughly enjoyed......but.....Aspects Restaurant was just wonderful, food delicious, mmmmm I will definitely have to revisit even if just for the food!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, November 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for writing a review to share your resort experience.
I am absolutely delighted to hear that you had such an enjoyable stay with us.
Thank you very much for you wonderful words regarding your dining in Aspects Restaurant. Your wonderful comments were well received by our restaurant staff.

We look forward to welcome you back again.

Best regards,
The General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Scotland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013 via mobile

Great location as a base for visiting the area with good sized pool (jacuzzi broken just now - no information provided on when it would be fixed when asking). Room was not luxurious but was comfortable, quiet and the bathroom had a powerful shower. Wifi at no charge a bonus (hopefully Hilton are watching their competitors on this point). Request to provide extra pillows and fix broken bathroom door handle was dealt with efficiently, however, we queried why only one dressing gown/slippers but no explanation nor resolution given. Breakfast was good with a wide range of food at a high quality - disappointed that our request to sit at a quieter table was declined; several noisy children running between tables were off putting. (I'm sure this was frustrating the staff as well.) Returning to the bar one evening after dinner elsewhere, we were welcomed with a smile and service was impeccable.
Only a 2 minute stroll into the village centre, this hotel is probably hard to beat if you can get a good rate. Some other reviewers have mentioned decor; our room was well decorated and furnished as were the public areas; a hotel of this size is always going to need attention somewhere; the only down side worth mentioning is the no doubt eco-lighting does leave the rooms and restaurant a bit too dimly lit.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, November 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for the time and effort taken to write a review and share your resort experience.
I am delighted to read your review and learn that you had an enjoyable stay with us.
It is a pleasure to see that you found the staff so welcoming during your stay, I know they will be delighted to hear your lovely comments.
I am happy that you enjoyed the breakfast, it is always something that tends to be popular with our guests.

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

Best regards,
The General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livingston, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Just back from a three night half-term break with the kids and are really happy with our experience at the Macdonald Highland hotel. We've been going to Aviemore on and off for the last 6 or 7 years and had the feeling that the Macdonald resort was going downhill, but this year's visit has restored our confidence.

The rooms are comfortable with traditional decor - boutique hotel it's not, but we knew what to expect and weren't disappointed.

Where we saw a big improvement was in the restaurants, which seemed to be more tightly managed than in previous years. We were on a DB&B package and ate twice in Giovanni's and once in Aspects. Giovanni's is very family friendly - starts dinner service at 5 and with a decent choice for adults and kids. Good service, friendly and efficient staff. My only slight criticism is that the pizza bases seemed to be "bought-in" rather than home-made - you would expect better if paying £12-14 for a pizza.

The highlight was definitely Aspects - dinner service was first-class, staff working really hard and the food was of a high standard - a great chance for the kids to experience fine-dining. Go early if you are able - it got busier after 8 and service inevitably slowed down. The breakfasts here were also great - full buffet including fab sausages and Stornoway black pudding - yum!

The resort had lots organised for the kids - on our last evening we went to the Scottish night and we're pleasantly surprised - a top-notch ceilidh bands and a superstar ents coordinator (Louisa??) who clearly loves her job and couldn't have done more to keep the kids entertained.

Well done Macdonald Aviemore - we'll be back next year!

  • Stayed October 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
    • 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.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for the time taken out of your schedule to write a review to share your resort experience. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and found the resort accommodating for you and your family.
Thank you for all your kind words regarding your dining experience - it is such a pleasure to read and I know the staff will be happy to hear that you enjoyed the restaurants so much both for breakfast and dinner as well.
It is great that you really had the chance to enjoy every aspect of the resort and enjoyed the childrens activies and evening entertainment.

We look forward to welcome you back again.

Best regards,
The General Manager
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

We had a great stay. The only downfall was the fact that there were no nets or blinds on the bedroom windows. We had a ground floor room which looked directly on to facing parked cars which meant the curtains had to be drawn to have some privacy from other clients of the hotel going back and forwards to their cars.

Room Tip: Make sure you request a room on an upper floor if you want some natural light.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review - I am happy to hear that you had a great stay with us and enjoyed the resort. I am sorry to hear that you were not perfectly happy with the location of your room, I do wish you would have brought it up with us during your stay in order to possibly find you another room that you would find more accommodating.

We hope you welcome you back again in the near future.

Best regards,
The General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

Been here a few times with my wife & young kids and it is an ideal family break during the school holidays.

Staying in the Highland Hotel this time (courtesy of an upgrade) on a 3 night break, it was adequate for our needs, offering breakfast in Aspects restaurant each morning which was plentiful and well serviced.

The food overall is good with a choice of 4 restaurants to choose from, one of which is located a short drive from the main complex which we have still to sample.
We ate in Giovanni's Italian on our 1st night the food being good, but the service painfully slow.
Next night we chose the carvery in the main hotel area which was a bit slap dash, and lacking a pleasurable dining experience.
Aspects was our final choice on the DB&B package which always comes up trumps, even if a slice of hand cut bread with butter or balsamic vinegar & olive oil, comes in at a hefty £1.75 per slice.

During one of the days I wanted to order a sandwich or light snack but to my surprise their is no light bite menu available outwith regular meal times. Surprising for a hotel offering so much, to miss a trick like that.

The facilities here are excellent, they cater for youngsters brilliantly with plenty on offer, with afternoon activities, and entertainment provided in the evening. The leisure club is excellent, including a well laid out gym and large pool area incorporating sauna's.

I would ceratinly recommend The McDonald Hotel in Aviemore as an ideal family short break destination, even if some of their pricing is a bit out of kilter.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed review of your resort experience. I am happy to read your review and learn that you enjoyed your stay with us and found the resort accommodating for yourself and your family.
I am delighted that you enjoyed the food in Aspects restaurant - your kind comments have been passed on. Please also note that you feedback regarding both the service in Giovannis and atmosphere in the Carvery has been passed on to the relevant departments. We do offer room service menu in the Highlands hotel that has sandwiches that are available 24 hours for our guests if they want anything light during the day.
It is great that you had the time to really enjoy the resort and use the leisure facilities and entertainment offered on site and enjoyed both.

We hope to get the opportunity to welcome you back again.

Best regards,
The General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Larkhall, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

Stayed here for 4 nights in July, we had a large room and bathroom, no complaints very comfy bed. corridors of hotel could do with an update but this is the only complaint. Breakfast was excellent, very good selection and waiting staff on the ball. We were on a DBB basis and food was excellent, dined in the Italian restaurant twice also Aspects restaurant is worth visiting, very good service and again food excellent . The steak club at Spey Valley golf club is very good with free transport. .
Pool area very good with wave pool & flume, daughter loved them both, areas very clean.
Again Macdonald Hotels is a winner!

  • Stayed July 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.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for the time taken to share your resort experience with us.
I am delighted to hear that you had a wonderful time staying with us and that the resort was accommodating for your and your family. Thank you for your kind words regarding the dining offered on site - I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed it as much as you did.

We look forward to welcome you back to the resort again.

Best regards,
The General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galashiels, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

I have just returned from a two day break at this hotel and cannot recommend it highly enough. The staff were friendly, efficient and very helpful. My room was lovely, with a nice view of the distant mountains (when I could see them through the mist!) and overlooking a garden area. Excellent supply of toiletries, tea and coffee etc. The Aspects restaurant could not be faulted, the dinner on both nights was superb. I will definitely be staying there again very soon.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor. I am delighted to read your review and learn that you had such an enjoyable stay with us. Thank you for your kind words in regards to our staff, I know they will be happy to hear that they made you feel welcome and you found them helpful throughout your stay.

We look forward to welcome you back again, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Best regards,
The General 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:
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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