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“Good .....but not great!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort

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Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Highland Resort, Aviemore | Inverness-shire, Aviemore PH22 1PN, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 8 hotels in Aviemore
linlithgow scotland
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Good .....but not great!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2009

Spent a Saturday night recently in the resort and had mixed feelings of the break!
Despite being booked for the 4 seasons we were allocated to the Highland hotel on arrival. Disappointing start, even although reception informed us this was an upgrade!
Like others on here we decided to have a small refreshment and found there were no bars in the resort open till at least 4PM. Had evening dinner in the Aspects restaurant which was good even if the portions were on the small size.....warning to any future diners...the only table available when booking at 4PM was for 8.45!!! The complete lack of evening entertainment in the complex was also a sore point for many of the visitors we spoke to.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Hamilton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
148 helpful votes 148 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2009

Westayed here for 2 nights and it was fabulous very clean and big rooms plenty of places to eat we did eat in the main restaurant and the meal was delicious staff were the most friendly and we also used the pool and steamroom they give you towels down at the pool so no worries there very good , they also have a fab shopping center and the surrounding views are to die for , all in all a very good experience would definately recommend it

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2009

Managed to get a good deal during the October Break, we did upgrade to the Highland Hotel I think it cost an extra £40 a night, but after reading the reviews of some of the other hotes in the group, Academy, Four Seasons, Avuiemore Inn...we tookt he advise of other tripadvisors and upgraded. The swimming pool and facilites were great, and you could walk to them through the hotel with your bathrobe on if you stay at the Highland Hotel. The breakfast in the Highland Hotel had a host of extras that the other hotels did not have, my sister stayed in the academy and although their breakfast was good, not a patch on the service and extra choices at the Highland Hotel. We ate dinner in the complex the three nights, the Italian was great, and a really good atmosphere, Aspects in the Highland Hotel was excellent, and it was good that the guests with much smaller noisier children were at one end as it could have marred a really nice atmosphere. The bistro in the Highland Hotel OK, onyl a few choices and then they did not have what we wanted (Lamb Curry), the service not a patch on the other restauants, but maybe there were not enough staff on for the tables, it was still OK but if only eating for two nights, give this one a miss....All in all a great time away, Large Clean Room, so much so we left £5 gratuity every day as the request for extra pillows etc was no problem, service with a smile. The location is great, fantasic outdoor oppertunities close by, quadbiking, archery, clay pigeon shooting etc.....We will return for a few dyas break again, hopefully sooner rather than later......

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Aberdeen
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2009

With fond memories of Aviemore, ranging from school trips to the Youth Hostel, family holidays to the Coylumbridge right through to working trips to the Stakis Four Seasons hotel, I can only admit to being heartbroken when I visited Donald MacDonalds Highland resort! What a terrible, terrible collection of hotels he has in Aviemore.

We were visiting to do the Aviemore half marathon and booked online, paying £85 for a "family room". I noticed that they deducted £20 from my card, without my authorisation, and despite the confirmation notice saying that no deposit would be taken. When I queried this, I got a standard, negative response from someone who could not care less. Not a good start. When we checked in, we were told we were staying in the Academy hotel. Oh dear. The Aviemore resort is a collection of 3/4 hotels, centred around the shopping centre. Academy is probably the worst. It is very shabby, and just depressing. Travel Inn and others do the budget market so much better. There is no services at this hotel, breakfast, reception etc is all done centrally. Just adds to the awful feel. Along with the tacky amuesment arcade situated in the hotel. The room was clean, but for a "family room", lacking somewhat. Just had a small extra bed, which was no use to us anyway, as our toddler needed a cot. Old looking room, depressing.

Never mind, breakfast too look forward to............ Hence the title of my article. In the "good old days", you could count on a Stakis Breakfast. I think they had over 137 items on the checklist? Now, I know there is a recession on, but the breakfast I saw, was awful. Just awful. Served in the four seasons, it had the bare minimum. Some cereals, some juice, and then some undercooked bacon, sausages, beans, eggs and black pudding. Even Premier lodge do it better than that! Nobody cleared our table, and as I sat, I thought about the days when you could not beat a Stakis Breakfast, along with service from an old dear, who had being doing the job for 40 years, and personally new Sir Reo, (they all did), and gave you some friendly chat. I looked out the window, admiring the autumn colours, from this what was, a majestic hotel, (ignoring the dirty pants lying on the balcony) and thought, what a terrible waste of a view!

Aviemore is a bit of an enigma, and I know there must be more to it than just simply investing in the hotels. But it is such a shame. Donald, why dont you just knock the lot down and sell your share to Center Parcs? Somebody must be able to do it better. Oh, and this central check in system, has anyone given any thought to how it makes the other hotels feel? With no real "reception" at the Academy, it feels, strange. There is a lot of space, not used up behind the desk, and it makes it feel like the business is about to close down. You know, when you go to a shop, and they are cutting down on stock? Kind of feels like that. I noticed the same feel in the four seasons, as bars are not stocked, areas that once would have had staff working, not used, strange. I guess it is because you are trying to push everyone to use the Food Court at the shopping complex.

Good stuff? Well, the barman at the "Family Disco" was great when I took back my pint of Belhaven. He changed the product quickly, and tried to see if he could fix it, but alas, as the product had not been used all week, it was a bit sour. The poor lady working at the leisure centre coffee centre, on her own, could not have been more apologetic about the wait. I thought she was doing a great job considering the level of business, and really, given the half marathon event, should have had been given a hand. The Outdoor leisure park for kids is impressive and the new swimming pool looked good, although why oh why are the public allowed on poolside with their outdoor shoes on!!!!!

Bad stuff, loads. Aswell as above, the two piles of sick outside the hotel in the morning was not good! Also, I noticed the rather dirty mirrors. Dont know why this stuck out, but I think it was a sign that no one cared! A bit of an indication of the state of play. Maybe time the management looked in the mirror, all be it, a dirty one! (I did see the resort manager walking about one day, although despite my friendly hello,seemed reluctant to engage in any customer chat).

Overall, maybe it was a bit of nostalgia kicking in? I long for the days when people got dressed for dinner, waiting staff cared, hotel rooms were lovely places to be in, breakfast was exciting, with waffles and omelettes and muffins and pastries! And, most of all, Santaland was open in Aviemore!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2009

As an Australian this complex would be great for sunny Queensland, but not Scotland, the long walks for breakfast & tea (dinner) both at different sites, with little signage to show patrons the way. Good thing the weather was reasonably fine.

  • Stayed October 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Glasgow
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2009

Inadequate bar services, limited choice dinner menu. Breakfast was available from 7.30 only after complaints that 8.00 was too late to make our Golf tee off times.
We returned from Golf at 3.15PM no bar services available whatsoever.
Bar staff were friendly and efficient, explained when they arrived that the normal start time for them was 4.00PM,
Central book in centre, system a "nightmare" badly signposted and confusing one way system.

  • Stayed September 2009
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Scotland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2009

Service standards at all levels was unacceptable. Our group was split into 2 different hotels. Disgraceful. We were made to go to another hotel for breakfast, where they didn't even have a note of our names. The management is apalling. The locals say the place is worse than Fawlty Towers. Arrange a mortgage if you want a drink. Never again!

  • Stayed October 2009
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.

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Additional Information about Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort

Address: Highland Resort, Aviemore | Inverness-shire, 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 Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 hotels in Aviemore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort 3*
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Aviemore Highland Hotel Aviemore
Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort Scotland

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