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“Excellent but needs work” 4 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
Derby, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent but needs work”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2011

For location, service & staff this hotel can not be faulted - the hills and loch are on a par with New Zealand, plus Stirling, Glasgow, Loch Lomond etc are not far away.

One small problem - it is in dire need of refurbishment, we stayed in one of the SC lodges and it looked and smelt like my grand parents old home. The carpets, windows and paint work need replacing / re-doing. Why oh why have they got the bistro overlooking the pool instead of the loch !!!

With a bit of work and money this could be one of the best hotels in the whole of the UK.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FHillsmanager, Manager at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, May 5, 2011
Dear Guest,

We very much appreciate the feedback and thank you for the compliments to our service and staff.
We fully appreciate the points that you made regarding the lodge accomodation and can assure you that we are continually upgrading all 65 of our Lodges in order to maintain our current ratings. I will pass your comments on to our Property Manager for review and consideration when planning future phases of re-development.
I was interested to hear your point regarding our Bistro and fully understand that a Loch view would be far superior, I am sure that you are aware that we have a wonderful longe and dining room at the front of the hotel which enjoy views of Loch Ard and Ben Lomond.
In addition to this we have a superb terrace which overlooks our gardens and the mountains as an outside option.
Once again thank you for taking the time and trouble to post the feedback, hopefully we will have the opportunity of welcoming you back to the resort in the future.

Yours sincerely,


Andrew Seal
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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828 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (196)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2011 via mobile

After spending two days here, I honestly can't wait to go back!
It's beautiful setting, surroundings and views just woes you to start with.
I think it could do with a little updating in areas but it gives it character too!
The spa, pool, sauna etc are great (modern facilities).
Meal prices were fair enough, drinks were extortionate!!
Not sure which way you see it, but no mobile phone signal at all in the hotel or within about a 10 min drive from hotel!
The staff were amazing, friendly, helpful and we thourougly enjoyed our stay - I will certainly go back very soon!!

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 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
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glasgow United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2011

After a fabulous spa day and light lunch on 30.03.11 with my friend I decided to book again for my mum, daughters and me. Once again we had the most amazing experience. The staff in every area of the hotel were extremely friendly and helpful. The spa facilitiesand treatments were great, food excellent. With only an hours drive from home and beautiful scenery we'll definitely be back again soon.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2011

We have stayed at Forest Hills several times, both in the self catering lodges, and the hotel itself. The setting is hard to beat, with the hills and the loch, and the very well tended gardens. Quite stunning! The standard of the lodges is generally very good, well equipped, with almost everything you could possibly need for a week's stay. This year there was the added luxury of Interactive TV, with decent movies and internet access (albeit a bit limited) for an extra £15 for the week. We felt it was worth paying that amount for this service.

The lodge we stayed in on this occasion was in need of updating. It's a bit old fashioned, and the appliances could do with being replaced. We had to wash our dishes after they had been through a full cycle in the dishwasher, because they were still dirty. Another little niggle was that the kitchen knives and tin opener were old and blunt. Would be great if the management could invest in new kitchen equipment,.

The Spa and leisure centre is excellent, and I cannot praise the staff highly enough. Everyone was pleasant, smiling and helpful, and the changing areas are of a high standard. The food in the Garden Restaurant is consistently good also, and the service is of a high standard. The hotel lounge is a nice place to relax for coffee in front of the fire. Everyone seems to work hard to meet guests expectations. There is much to praise about Forest Hills - however.................

On the down side, the lounge bar area and Rafters Restaurant are desperately needing some TLC, looking uninteresting and bland, with absolutely no atmosphere whatsoever. I never saw any more than one person buying a drink at the bar, probably because the prices are astronomical! We really don't mind paying 4 star prices for 4 star surroundings, but why should we pay 5 star prices to sit somewhere so depressing and neglected? It needs investment. The old ice rink downstairs is being used as a huge storage area for furniture, and although steps have been taken to cover the windows with a very unflattering opaque film to hide the mess, it is still possible to see the gloomy picture of old mattresses and beds below. The lighting is poor, the games machines had "out of order" signs on them, and the pool cues have no tips. It's just neglected really, which is a shame. The management need to step up their game I feel. It has been like this for years and nobody seems to care.

One final point - I think the hotel exploit the fact that there is virtually no mobile phone signal anywhere near the property, which as far as I can see is not something they advise guests of when booking. Receiving a £30 charge on my bill for two phone calls each lasting less than 10 minutes is nothing short of daylight robbery. Why is it approx £1.65 per MINUTE to call on a Sunday evening? It is also worth checking to make sure that your final bill is correct upon checking out, as we were overcharged, although when we queried it at the time, the receptionist assured us that it was correct. It wasn't. This has happened on previous visits too. I would advise guests to be vigilant.

In summary - a beautiful location with stunning views, good clean accommodation and excellent service from hard working staff, but some areas of the resort are neglected, and guests are exploited when it comes to pricing. We will be back at some point, because we do love the place, but Macdonald Hotels really should review their pricing, as people don't like being ripped off, and their prices are quite ridiculous.

Room Tip: Don't use the phones, and check your bill
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Scotland
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2011

First impressions of a rather tired old hotel were dismissed at the attentiveness of all the staff. Travelling with an elderly relative is never easy, but we were given a ground floor room near all the facilities. No one rushed us and the spa staff, particularly, were very understanding! The room was in first class condition, spotlessly clean and very comfortable. It proved too warm overnight, but that was soon sorted out. The views were great; very peaceful. The two nicely-upholstered chairs by the window were well used!

The food in the restaurant was very nice; small portions, but beautifully cooked - and a nice choice; extremely good service by the waiters. As is usual in a Macdonalds hotel, the wine and spirits bump up the price horrendously, so bear that in mind as you relax!

I look forward to returning in the future and using the hotel as a base for walking; this was not possible for my first visit. There is much to explore in the vicinity as there is such wonderful scenery.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2011

Married at the hotel, the staff, food, amenities, beautifully kept grounds and view all ensured my daughter's wedding day was everything she hoped it would be. The guests and wedding party stayed for the weekend and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and superb hospitality provided by the Manager and his friendly and professional team.

  • Stayed April 2011, 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.
Lanark, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2011

My wife and I had two great days here even though the weather was poor.The pool was not huge, but large enough for a dip, sauna and steam room were as you would expect at any of these leasure centres.Food was great and very tastey We also had afternoon tea which was top class, the scones being made to order. All staff were very courteous especialy the on duty manager who I kidded the life out of.If you want to try a whisky go for the Higland Park eighteen year old, it was top class and a great introduction to this Scottish drink. Thanks for a great time.Some people will complain about the most trival things.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
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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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