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“Christmas in Braemar” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fife Arms Hotel

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Fife Arms Hotel
Mar Road, Braemar AB35 5YL, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Braemar
Fife, Scotland
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Christmas in Braemar”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011

We have just returned spending christmas in the Fife Arms Hotel, Braemar. The hotel is a very big building with a welcoming reception area. We found the lighting in the whole hotel to be very dull, especially so in our room which was to the back of the building and was dark even with all three lights on. Decor needs to be updated, again our room had paper borders hanging off, parts of the carpet were threadbare and the floor boards showing through, the toilet bowl had a dark brown rusty mark down the back where there had obviously been a drip for a long time, it was clean apart from this mark, the sink & shower were clean as was the bed linen & furniture. We found the staff to be friendly and quite helpful. The food was excellent in quality and quantity, however the service between courses was a bit slow.

Room Tip: ask for a room at the front of the building as they may have more natural light coming in, rooms to...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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445 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
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English first
Musselburgh, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2011 via mobile

We stayed in this hotel on a b&b basis booked via groupon so we paid £49 for a double room. For this price we felt it was good value and cheaper than the other accommodation options in the village. The room was warm, spacious and the bed comfy and the staff were friendly and helpful. The decor in the rooms is a bit tired but we had an amazing view looking over the river cluny. There was a good spread at breakfast although the cooked element could have been better. For what we wanted, the fife provided a good value, warm and clean place to stay in the cairngorms national park.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
durham
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

we have just returned after a very enjoyable stay at this hotel yes its old and tired looking but it adds to its charm food good water could be hotter we had adverse weather snow gales powercuts but didnt spoil our enjoyment

Room Tip: rooms above entrance give a great view over braemar and surrounding mountains especially in the sn...
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2011

like many others, we took advantage of a voucher offer offering two nights, with food for a very affordable price.We therefore, did not expect full a la carte, however, were shocked and surprised at the lack of quality, choice and overall experience of everything at the hotel. The key things that made this a once only visit are:
1. the choice of food included savoury mince/stuffed peppers- hardly a great choice, with little effort shown on the part of the chef. This would have been a great opportunity for the chef to showcase some of his culinary expertise and would certainly have made us consider going back, however it was awful and we had no desire to stay or eat there again. Although the hotel seems to cater for older people, it is a tad patronising to serve a menu reminiscent of 1960's old folks homes. The waiters were friendly enough, however the food was served like customers were on a conveyor belt, with little space between courses.
2. the amenities were questionable- the guest information book stated private dining on request, however, when we enquired about room service we were told emphatically that no such service is available.
3. the t.v. in the room was not working properly and when asked for someone to look at it, were told that this was due to bad weather, however, the television in the bar was working. Moreso there was no offer to look at t.v. and it remained out of action for the weekend.
4. Thankfully, there was a restaurant open nearby and it would seem that the hotel's loss was their gain, as there were a number of other people staying at the hotel when we ate there. This restaurant is called the Gathering Place.

Overall, this experience is not one we will be repeating and is unfortunately one of the worst we have stayed at. However, we would not let this put us off visiting Braemar again.

Room Tip: go to another hotel
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kendal, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011

I very rarely write a bad review. I recognise that hotel and restaurant owners have a difficult job, that maintaining an establishment in the current economic climate can be a hard and unrewarding task. I recognise that staff absence causes difficulty and that when an establishment in under pressure, honest mistakes are made. Very occasionally, even after all mitigating factors have been taken into account, customer service is so brazenly and unapologetically poor that others need to be made aware of it.

The Fife Arms is an immense rambling Victorian Hotel, a hugely impressive building which dominates the village. In November it is the only eating establishment open in the village and
the other two restaurants were closed.

On the night we arrived, we inquired about food and were more or less screamed at. Fair enough, we were late. So the next night we asked when food was being served and were told that they finished serving at nine. Ominously, we were told we couldn't reserve a table and that all tables in the (cavernous) dining room were taken and we'd have to eat in the Bar. So we arrived at eight and sat at a table in the bar. The barman (who did his best to be helpful in what is clearly a disfunctional establishment) brought us some menus. Five minutes later he came back and advised us apologetically that the chef had decided that he wasn't doing any more cooking and that no food would be provided.

As a result of this, we had to drive twelve miles to Ballater to get something to eat where the Lochnagar Indian Brasserie did an excellent curry with exemplary customer service, If the other eating establishments in Braemar are closed, I would recommend anyone else to do likewise. We didn't patronise the bar for the rest of the holiday either - there is a quiet little pub called the Inver Inn a few miles towards Braemar which also has the quaint view that customers are to be welcomed.

Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carnoustie
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2011

Gordon K
The basic room we stayed in was not fit to let. Apparantly upgrades are available on request for an extra payment, which i should imagine occurs very frequently. The carpet was in a deplorable state being worn and grimy. The bed was uncomfortable and like the carpet should have been replaced many, many years ago. The bathroom was cramped and dingy, with evidence of mould. Food in the dining room was poorly prepared, badly presented and unappetising. There would appear to be a take it or leave it attitude from the kitchen. The predominantly young staff were doing there best under difficult circumstances, and had my sympathy. Scotland is the bonniest country in the world, and deserves better.

Room Tip: Find somewhere else.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thurso, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2011

We arrived to a room that hadn't been cleaned, was booked and paid for up front otherwise we would have left. They upgraded us to a superior room where there were dirty tea and coffee cups that looked like they had been there for a while. We were given a cheap bottle of plonk as an appeaser! They offered breakfast from 8am only but because of our hassle they gave us breakfast at 7.30. They didn't know the difference between bacon and black pudding. Never again!~

Room Tip: Don't go
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fife Arms Hotel

Address: Mar Road, Braemar AB35 5YL, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Aberdeenshire > Braemar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Braemar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 84
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Fife Arms, In the stunning village of Braemar, now under new management of Steven Turton with over 20 years experience in the trade. The fife Arms is owned by Harts Hotels group, orginally called "Hunters Fife Arms", and built by the Duke of Fife, in the 19th century. The hotel is on the door step to Balmoral Castle, just 9 miles down the road!, glen shee, ski centre is also near by for those who love the winter sports. WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fife Arms Hotel Braemar, Scotland

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