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“Brilliant Stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Resort

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Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Aberfoyle, Kinlochard, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park FK8 3TL, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kinlochard
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Scotland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Brilliant Stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2007

Great hotel, I stayed for 2 nights breakfast & dinner, had a room with loch view and balcony. Great views and the room was lovely and spacious. The staff were very helpful and friendly at all times. The food was amazing with plenty of choices to cater for everyone. Like the last review the Lamb was amazing, meat just fell off the bone !!! Breakfast was also amazing. Well done Chef !!! The drinks in the hotel are a bit pricey (£3.65 a pint) however the sports centre just across from the hotel has a bar (bit cheaper at £2.60 a pint). Plenty activities for kids in the sports centre. Overall a great stay and would recommend this hotel for fantastic weekend. I cant wait to go back !!!
I have stayed in many MacDonald hotels and I consider this one to be the best.

Stayed October 2007
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964 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (222)
Date | Rating
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  • Russian first
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English first
Scotland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2007

I booked this hotel as a birthday present for my partner through Visitscotland on a dinner bed and breakfast rate. When the hotel found out it was my partner's birthday we were given a complimentary upgrade to a loch view room with balcony. On arrival we were impressed with the hotel's location and stunning views on offer. Our room was fantastic and the views we had were amazing. Dinner on both nights was excellent. Wine and other drinks are a bit pricey but not any more than you would expect in a good hotel. Vegetarians are well catered for and my partner enjoyed the best lamb he has ever tasted.
Compliments to the chef!! As another review mentioned, most of the waiting staff are european but their English is fantastic and we found them to be very friendly and extremely efficient. They couldn't
have been more helpful if they tried. There was a wedding on in the hotel on the Saturday night and the staff coped extremely well with the busy restaurant as well as the function. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this hotel and hope to go back in the future. Would definitely recommend.

  • Liked — Food and service second to none
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Christchurch, Dorset
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2007

The location of this hotel is excellent, we had great views from our room and it was very convenient in terms of getting to various walks in the area.

I wasn't overly impressed with our room, it was of a good size but a bit chinzy and the DVD player they provided didn't work.

The customer service wasn't as good as I would have expected, we were never made to feel particularly welcome.

There are lodges in the same resort where people clearly come regularly and stay for a week or so at a time and so there is a feeling of comraderie between a lot of guests and very large groups. This made us feel a little out of it and to be honest I think everyone else there was in an older age group than us!

The food was ok, the first night though we were really rushed through dinner and asked 3 times what desert we wanted within minutes of having the menus. The serving staff are a bit grumpy. Breakfast in our room was wrong the first morning and forgotten about completely the second!

Our paper was apparently stolen before we got it too one morning we had advised them of this but then had to ask yet again to have the cost removed from our bill..

I believe it's one of the best hotels in the area though and it's definately worth staying there for the access to beautiful surroundings.

  • Liked — the location
  • Disliked — the customer service
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Galashiels, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2007

I booked one of their special offers "Romantic Break" at the time we were booking for Sat 22nd and Sun 23rd and it was cheaper than booking DBB alone for the two nights, however this changed when I required to change the booking to the Sun and Mon night - it ended up costing an extra £20 as it was the start of a new week!!!!! I have never heard of this before, its usually chaeper on a Monday, it then became more expensive than purely booking DBB.
However, I must say, it was not a problem to change the booking and the person I spoke with was very helpful.

We arrived at the hotel, hoping that the Scotland vs New Zealand game might be on in the bar, however it was cartoons, so we went back to the room to watch it. As I had booked the "Romantic Break" I expected there to be Champagne and Chocolates on arrival and as a previous reviewer has said, there was no sign of them. This was rectified by a trip to reception and just under an hour later the champagne and chocolates arrived. Likewise with the Bucksfizz breakfast - not apparent at breakfast the first morning but appeared the 2nd morning after reminding the receptionist that we had booked the romantic break package! I feel quite let down by the hotel regarding this - its meant to be special, it takes the romance out of it having to ask all the time for things that should automatically materialise.

I have to agree with previous reviewers, the hotel is a bit tired and run down - it needs some TLC. We stayed in the four poster room, I dont mind chintz or shabby chic, but this was just mismatched shabby without the chic - the two chairs in the bay window were burst at the seams, the furniture had lots of stains from cups/drinks, the bed was hard and uncomfortable, both my husband and I had aching backs in the morning and didnt sleep too well, the windows had been painted, but were in need of a good clean, you could see the previous layer of paint peeling off where it had not been rubbed down and simply painted over - there was also a birds nest in the corner of the window, long since vacated, but a big pile of bird crap on the windowsill below did nothing to inspire me.
The bathroom was compact, nowhere to hang used towels to dry and there was lots of black mouldy mildew around the bath. The tiles in the shower also had mildew/mould on them, obviously had not been cleaned properly as the growth was in the middle of the tiles as well around the grouted edge. There was just a musty, carpety smell about the place. Overall a real dissapointment for the money we paid.

Dinner on the otherhand was wonderfull, I could not fault the service, the helpfulness of the waiting staff, of the standard of the food - HOWEVER - I noticed a smell of body odour when walking into the cocktail bar, and noted it also when certian waiting staff walked past, not entriely what you would expect at a four star hotel in Scotland, we have travelled quite a bit and you dont mind a bit of B.O. in a four star Kenyan hotel, its a hot climate and the staff are very poorly paid - but 3 for 2 on linx in boots is not hard to come by in Scotland.

Breakfast was OK, not fantastic and they only give you one egg, even if you ask for two, bit stingy when they charge £16 for breakfast.

We wanted to eat in the Rafters Restaurant and Bar on the Monday night but were dissapointed to find out at the last minute there was a scottish night on and that there were not serving food that night - it wasnt advertised anywhere other than the chalk board above the bar, only noted when we went in to book!

Pool etc OK, surroundings lovely, beautiful views of loch Ard, road to and from Aberfoyle a bit hairy - but we are from the Borders and used to rubbish roads. Staff very freindly and helpful, drink expensive, but no more than other hotels (30yr old MaCallan Malt £29.95 for a nip).


Overall a dissapointing trip - I wouldnt go back to this hotel, although I would recommend that you try it purely for the food, I took this on board when booking after all of the other reviews, and decided to take the gamble as the food sounded good. We stayed at the Three Chimneys in Skye last year and our stay cost us the same there for one night as it did here for two, but I would rather go back to the Three Chimneys than waste money on accommodation here.

  • Liked — The food, views and freindly staff
  • Disliked — It screams for a makeover!
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Livingston, Scotland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2007

This was my 7th visit to a McDonald hotel and it will be my last. Having read the reviews and based on my past experiences (all good) I was looking forward to my break at Forrest Hills, but the reality was vastly different.
The Good:
The location is wonderful - beautiful views, excellent grounds. The hotel rooms are fine - standard for a McDonald hotel, nothing earth-shattering but comfy and a good size.

The Bad:
The food was laughable. I've stayed in some excellent hotels across the world and I have quite a refined a pallate, but what we were served was synonymous with a greasy spoon chef trying to be Gordon Ramsay. The 4 choices were very limited, with obscure items that were specifically designed to force those with a more limited palate to spend an extra £10 on a below par steak. You can choose a sirloin for an extra £6.50 and then fork out for salad and potatoes for £2.50 each ... what a con. Hang your head in shame McDonald hotels. And for all the pretend nouvelle cuisine trappings, they didn't even offer a decent cut of beef ... who has sirloin, when fillet is by far the better cut !!
The vegetarian choice was laughable ... who offers risotto two nights in a row ??? Plus I'd like to ask what chef puts frozen peas in a tomato risotto and serves oven chips with the steak !!

The Ugly:
The service ... oh dear where do I start. From the receptionist that looked as if she'd swallowed a wasp, to the Eastern Europeans who's smile button was obviously switched off at the control panel. I visited Poland last year and had the most wonderful service and friendly staff ... but they've obviously chosen to remain in Poland and sent us the duff ones instead!

As I said at the start, this will be my last visit to McDonald hotels. Not entirely for the things I've mentioned above, but for the cardinal sin of any hotel .... for not being interested or bothered when we complained about the numerous things that went wrong - that I just can't forgive.

  • Liked — the location
  • Disliked — the food and the service were terrible
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
SCOTLAND
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2007

Have just returned from a few days here and can’t agree with the negative comments on the run down nature of the hotel or lack of service.

There are the odd pieces of furniture which have seen better days, but the overall standard of the hotel is excellent and above what is found in many 4 star UK hotels.

We found the restaurant staff (of all nationalities) in particular to be polite, willing and eager to please. The quality of the food was first class, although the kitchen appears to have difficulty coping when things get busy.

We booked on a wine and food lovers break with a wine tasting and special dinner menu. The level of knowledge of the wine “expert” was not clear, but he displayed almost biblical qualities by managing to get 44 tastings out of a single bottle! The special dinner menu was not offered.

£1 was added to our account as a donation to a charity, although no consent was sought. There was also a £2 charge for paying by credit card. Why do these companies to this? It simply alienates customers and in future if we have a choice of an hotel from this group (MacDonalds) or another of the same standard we are unlikely to choose this company again.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2007

This was our first time at this hotel, it‘s fantastic.

The location is gorgeous, (this was probably helped by the fantastic weather we got!).

We booked an executive room, which was spacious,(décor was dated for my taste, but was all clean) for dinner, bed and breakfast.

Room service arrived on time at breakfast time, and was lovely and hot (If you book dinner bed and breakfast there was only a tray charge of £3.50 for room service, which was well worth it. There was a conference on when we were there and there seemed to be a wait for breakfast)

The food at this hotel is second to none!!! (But not really for those with a plain pallet.)
The service from the staff was excellent.
Drinks in the lounge are served with a tray of nibbles including olives, nuts, parsnip crisps, which was a really nice touch.

There is a swimming pool, sauna, gym, bowls, badminton, table tennis etc.

I wouldn’t hesitate to return to this lovely hotel.

  • Liked — Food
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Resort

Address: Aberfoyle, Kinlochard, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park FK8 3TL, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park > Kinlochard
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kinlochard
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled within the breath-taking scenery of The Trossachs, Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa provides a luxurious getaway right on your doorstep. Our hotel in Aberfoyle is located just 20 minutes from Stirling, 40 minutes from Glasgow and less than an hour from Edinburgh, offering the perfect retreat from city life. Indulge in award-winning dining in the Garden Restaurant, or enjoy a delicious afternoon tea on the terrace while watching over Lake Ard. Our sumptuous spa is just the thing if you need to relax, with a fabulous selection of Elemis treatments on offer or, for the more adventurous, why not take to the surrounding hills or venture out on to the lake. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel Aberfoyle
Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel And Resort
Macdonald Forest Hills Aberfoyle
Forest Hills Hotel

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