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“a very good example of a 3-star hotel, hopfully heading up” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Tor-na-Coille

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Tor-na-Coille
Inchmarlo Road | Royal Deeside, Banchory AB31 4AB, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Banchory
Scotland
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“a very good example of a 3-star hotel, hopfully heading up”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011

Officially rated three star, the Tor-na-Coile is a comfortable mid-market old hotel in the busy Royal Deeside town of Banchory. Having been allowed to run down somewhat over the past decade or so by former owners, new owners since 2009 have been refurbishing and improving many aspects of the hotel, beginning with public rooms and now moving on to bedrooms, about half of which have been completed. I suspect these are the rooms described as "deluxe" on the hotel web site and ours was spotless, comfortable and the brand new (if very small) bathroom beautifully done.

The hotel is a popular wedding/function venue, but also attracts couples, families and some business users. On my weekend stay there was a mix of family and function guests, but the hotel managed these well and there seemed to be plenty of space in terms of lounges, dining rooms and so on.

The refurbishment is a bit hit and miss in my honest opinion: in the dining room decor is still rather busy with swirly patterned wallpaper and carpets, and older bits of furniture and artworks clashing with more modern pieces. I suspect buying and refurbishing has been piecemeal and not done by an interior designer. In our room too, despite very fresh and modern decor, very old wardrobes and dressers were more shabby than chic. But despite all of that, the rooms and the public areas are comfortable.

There were other small niggles - no morning paper was delivered but was charged to my bill; the electric 'Mira' shower in our bathroom was hot but fairly feeble and as others have pointed out, wifi is poor and absolutely non existent in our upper floor room. For the cost of a couple of routers and relay boosters this makes no sense when wifi is advertised.

Food was good and reasonably priced. I found the menu slightly over-complicated and without enough sense of clarity and direction from the chef: Breast of free range Chicken stuffed with wild Mushroom and Asparagus carved onto a sun-blushed Tomato and Mascarpone Cheese Risotto" has about three ingredients too many IMO, and would be much better being simplified. Bizarrely, edible flowers also featured on all three of my courses, from 'deconstructed' haggis, neeps and tatties, to dessert. This smacks of a chef trying a little too hard to be "fancy" rather than concentrating on good local ingredients cooked well. The wine list is short and fairly standard small hotel fare, though prices are reasonable. The young staff were pleasant, mostly very efficient and helpful.

So a mixed bag and very much a work in progress, but I would recommend the hotel which offers good accommodation, an excellent setting and good food at reasonable prices. The management seems to be making a real effort to improve the hotel and deliver a good guest experience. Banchory is short of accommodation options other than B&Bs, as the other main hotel - the Banchory Lodge - was very poor on a recent visit and the other hotels are basically pubs with rooms, so the Tor-na-Coile is a worth considering if visiting the area.

Room Tip: deluxe rooms worth the small premium. Views from front rooms are good but there is a little road noi...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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189 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Elgin, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

Booked this hotel purely on Trip Advisor customer reviews and wasn't disappointed. Manager and his staff are very friendly and inviting,yes staff are all young but very polite and well trained. Rooms are lovely, very clean,couldn't fault them. Lounge area is welcoming, dining areas, spoilt for choice. Food was very good, I do admit that it was a a pity that there was only the one menu available, I had a slight problem as I don't eat meat so it was fish cakes one night and pasta the next. Hotel was very busy on the Saturday night as it had private functions on,staff were run off their feet but coped well I think! All in all I would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Canada
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011 via mobile

Not a lot to choose fromin Banchory, but the Tor Na Coille hotel is a nice place to stay. We had read the TripAdvisor comments before we went, and were quite pleased with the hotel, the service, and the restaurant. North Americans note: if you want a paper, they charge you for this (they don't tell you ahead of time either).

Room was clean with a comfortable bed.

WiFi is very poor - despite all staff saying it was available in the lounge, in fact it was only available in the lobby, which means all hotel guests using the Internet are all congregated there. This has been noted in the past but the hotel has not acted quickly on this. Philip (the manager) says they are working on it, and I should hope so, because ths aspect does not pass muster. In 2011, free wifi should be an expectation.

Breakfasts in the restaurant were excellent, as was our dinner, although the servers seemed quite young and perhaps not adequately trained in excellent service.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
cheshire
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

Our fishing party booked a number of rooms (some de-luxe, others standard). My de-luxe room was en-suite, large and very pleasant. There were good views over the grounds. I had booked a dinner, bed and breakfast package (choose from the A La Carte menu) which was good value.

Wine list was reasonable, and attractively priced. They did run out of our first two choices (however staff pulled out the stops to get additional supplies in for the following day).

One small niggle was the dinner menu didn't vary, so staying over for a few nights one was presented with the same selection. However the food was good and well prepared.

Plenty of parking and the hotel is just on the outer limits of Banchory, a pleasant town to meander around.

I'm sure we will make it the place to stay for our annual fishing trip.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Glasgow
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

We would also return to this hotel if we are staying in the area.
Room and bathroom comfortable.Hotel is set back so no problem with noise from the road. Lift was great when we had cases to shift.

One small problem wifi was only in the public rooms . It was best in the seats near reception.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2011

We recently stayed at this terrific hotel. We had not visited the east side of Scotland before, what a beautiful area.
Tor na coille is a gem. We have stayed in some very nice hotels over the years and for this to be rated as a three star is unbelievable. We stayed in room 6, beautifully refurbished and still within the character of the hotel. The public areas are very peaceful and relaxing. Food excellent and look forward to the A la Carte menu, which is to be unveiled shortly. The service, excellent and attentive without being obtrusive. Attention to detail and the needs of the guest are uppermost in the minds of the excellent staff and especially the General Manager, Phillip Fleming.
Number 1 on our list of hotels in Scotland!!
MarpleJxx

Room Tip: Once refurbished all rooms will be of very high quality
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Aberdeen
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2011

This hotel is wonderful and full of charm and character. The new owners are wisely investing in a refurb and its transformation is fantastic. The staff and the manger in particular are so friendly and helpful - nothing is too much trouble. The food is amazing! They do a wonderful Sunday lunch at great value and it was wonderful sitting in the lounge looking out to the beautiful mountains in the distance. I am heading back for afternoon tea in a couple of weeks and can't wait!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.

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Additional Information about Tor-na-Coille

Address: Inchmarlo Road | Royal Deeside, Banchory AB31 4AB, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Aberdeenshire > Banchory
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Banchory
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A beautiful 4-Star Country House Hotel in the heart of Royal deeside. Offering luxury accommodation where the care and attention of our guests is paramount. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tor-Na-Coille Hotel Banchory
Tor-Na-Coille Banchory, Scotland

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