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“Much better than last year.............but some areas in dire need of a refurb!!” 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
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Grangemouth
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Much better than last year.............but some areas in dire need of a refurb!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2010

We stayed at Forest Hills for the first time in Oct last year and were quite disappointed to say the least. We expected much more going on, especially as it was the Schools October break.
As we were getting a very good deal, we decided to go back for a couple of nights in Nov this year. It was excellent. I think we knew what we were expecting this time, therefore the disappointment factor wasn't there. The hotel was fairly quiet, we had the leisure centre (which has been totally refurbished and is fab) to ourselves mostly. We ate in the Garden Resturant and the food was fantastic. Our 6 year old daughter, who is quite a foodie, even at her age, loved it. The warm bread is to die for!! Betsie is a total asset to this resturant, she is wonderful and so efficient!!
We had a room in the original part of the hotel, which we requested, so again new what to expect!! This part of the hotel is in dire need of refurbishment. The public areas are lovely, however the staircases and bedrooms badly need done up. The bedrooms in the newer part of the hotel have been refurbished, and look lovely. At this time of year the Rafters Bistro is quiet and was actually closed one day and only opened later the next. This wasn't a huge issue, however I'm unsure why some food it much more expensive in the hotel than in the Bistro when it is the same!!
Overall we throughly enjoyed our stay. The staff were great and very helpful.
I still think more of an effort could be made with the Rafters area - especially the decor and the atmosphere, however as the weather was good, it didn't bother us too much.
Great, relaxing couple of days - even with a 6 year old!!

  • Stayed November 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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)
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2010

There seemed to be every thing required for a beautful relaxed time ,Plenty of out door activities the wals were brilliant ,with brilliant characters in ever interest, the tree colours were outstanding our appartment was glorious over looking Loch Arde the steff we encoutered were all brilliant. thank god there was no sign of the other mcdonalds,and that that rafters is very pleasant place to spend an evening.

  • Stayed November 2010, 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
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Cumbria, England
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2010

We have just returned from a week’s stay at the Forest Hills Resort.
The approach to the hotel is truly stunning, with views of the loch, mountains & forest. The hotel gardens complete with waterfall and duck pond are also beautiful & well maintained.
As we were staying in a timeshare apartment rather than the main hotel we had to check-in at a separate building (porta-cabin !). Check-in was swift & staff were friendly and efficient. We were allocated apartment 11A in the Ben Lomond block.

The Ben Lomond apartments are attached to the main hotel and I suspect they are not as new as some of the other detached apartment blocks. The exterior of the Ben Lomond apartments is not attractive and to reach our apartment we had to walk up a short road full of pot-holes and puddles, past various sheds, stinking rubbish bins, the back of the hotel kitchens, house-keeping and the laundry ! All of which had their doors wide open. It was not a pretty picture & we were not impressed. I don’t think guests should have to use the service or Tradesman’s entrance and we almost returned immediately to reception to request an alternative apartment.
However, we decided to at least look at the apartment before making a decision.
Our apartment was a one bedroom, two bathroom apartment. On arrival the entrance hall felt shabby, cold and dark. The bedroom had small windows high up at ceiling level and looked out on to the entrance corridor. Consequently the room always felt dark & gloomy & we needed lights on even during the day.
The lounge was spacious and the kitchen was well appointed with all the appliances & crockery that we needed. The lounge had glass windows & patio doors right across one wall and the view was just amazing. We looked out on to the hotel gardens, the loch and the mountains. It was fantastic and I have to say it was the only reason we decided to stay in that apartment. Had the view been poor we would definitely have requested another apartment.
This resort is supposed to be an RCI Gold Crown resort. The apartment certainly wasn’t Gold Crown and it bore no resemblance to the pictures on the RCI website. It was in desperate need of a thorough refurbishment and no way could it be called luxurious. The décor and furnishings are very well-used and extremely dated (think ‘70s teak wood doors and shiny woodchip wall-paper and 80’s curtains & furnishings !). The seating around the dining table was stained and marked.
The curtains, carpets, bedding & furnishings were a clashing mix of colours & patterns ! I also noticed that there were no smoke alarms in the apartment and I didn’t see any fire alarms either. I would have thought that was against the law ?
I mentioned earlier that the hotel laundry was nearby, in fact it was directly next door to our apartment ! Every morning at 8.30 the noise of the industrial washers & driers came thundering through the bedroom wall ! Fortunately we are early risers but if you want a lie-in forget it ! We also heard the people in the apartment above us and knew exactly when they were using the bathroom !
Another point to mention is that you are charged for all electricity you use and the rate is higher than the normal domestic rate. I’m sure the timeshare owners pay hefty maintenance fees so why electricity is charged extra, I don’t know. Our bill for the week was just over £13, which was a lot less than we expected. We didn’t use the wall heaters but we did take a good fan heater with us which we used to heat the lounge. We had to use the water heater every day in order to get hot water and we used the cooker & microwave every day. We did not use the dishwasher and only used the electric shower once (tip : use the ones in the spa !). We also took hot water bottles and warm clothes !
I should also say that there is no mobile phone signal and radio reception is also very poor.
My review sounds negative so far but there are some good points !
The apartment was very clean. The bathrooms were well stocked with lovely thick white towels. The bedroom had two single beds (we would have preferred a double) but they were very comfortable with thick, cosy duvets and quilts.
The lounge in the apartment was large with a very comfortable leather sofa & a large TV. The windows faced east so when the sun shone the room was filled with morning sunshine & warmth.
The resort staff were all very friendly and pleasant.
The highlight for me was the excellent gym, pool & spa. I think this is a new addition to the hotel as it’s in a separate building and is ultra modern. I used the gym several times and the equipment was excellent. The music system was good and the cardio equipment had TV screens. The changing rooms & showers were very high quality. The changing rooms were always lovely and warm and we preferred to use the showers there rather than in our apartment ! The useless electric showers in the apartment were temperamental and tended to be cold rather than hot !
I cannot comment on the bedrooms in the hotel, however we did go into the public rooms and the reception area and lounges are lovely (if a little drab and lacking in colour). The bar lounge is particularly nice with the roaring log fire and comfy sofas. Be warned though, the bar prices are outrageous. We didn’t eat in the hotel so can’t comment on the food.
I have already said how lovely the setting & the scenery is. There are loads of walks in the area and lots of wildlife to be seen. I can recommend Loch Ard Forest for some excellent walks.
The nearest village (Aberfoyle) is approx. 4 twisty miles away. There is a small co-op there but not much else. Callander is worth a visit with quite a lot of shops, restaurants & cafes. There is also a small Tesco there.
Stirling and Perth are also good for a visit. Excellent shopping & restaurants in Perth. Use the Park & Ride service to get into Perth. It’s very convenient & cheap.

To sum up, we did have a good week’s holiday and I would stay at this resort again but definitely not in the Ben Lomond apartments. These apartments are not Gold Crown standard and I have to say we were disappointed as we expected better. I would not recommend them to a friend. The apartments do need a serious refurbishment and the exterior of the hotel is also showing the effects of age, time and weather (peeling paint, shabby old windows etc). The hotel has seen better days and definitely looks better from a distance !

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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Falkirk, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2010

Just felt the need to comment on the Forest Hills Hotel. I took my girlfriend to this hotel to celebrate her 30th birthday and thought I would I take her away. I did not want her to be disapointed. She was'nt!! From the moment we checked in to the time we left it was such a pleasure.
The service from the waiting staff up to and icluding management was nothing short of outstanding.They gave the impression that nothing was a chore.
The food was utterly devine and once you have finished your meal then relax the night away in front of a warm log fire.
As far the room was concerned, the bed was so comfortable you don't want to get up. The overall standards were very high and above anything else I have experienced.
Well done to the whole team they should be proud of they want do.
Thanks very much for a very,very enjoyable stay. We will return

  • Stayed November 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesLerche, Managing Director at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, November 16, 2010
Dear Guest

Thank you very much for the comments you have place here following your recent stay. It was good to read how much you both enjoyed your experience of Forest Hills and your feedback is very much appreciated. I am fortunate to have a team of people working with me who enjoy looking after our guests and this certainly makes it easier to offer great hospitality to everyone who stays with us. I look forward to welcoming you both on a future occasion.

Sincerely

James Lerche
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Notts
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2010

This is the second year running we have stayed at the Forest Hills in October and we have already booked our return trip next year before leaving for home. Unfortunately just have to wait another year for it to come around.

We cannot praise this hotel and staff enough. Everywhere is spotless, the food is fantastic and the spa treatments wonderful, (Thank you especially to Suzanne for making me feel at ease).

We always save this hotel till last as the perfect place to spend our wedding anniversary and the view from the hotel is stunning. The hotel is supervised by a very caring Manager Mr James Lerche whom always makes sure your stay is beyond expectations.

When you see the respect he has for his staff and those likewise in return to him, you can see why all their hard work and efforts make the hotel run so smoothly and perfect.

Thank you also to Nikki (Head Receptionist) for always taking such great care of us.

We definitely recommend this hotel to everyone without any doubt 100% fantastic.

Thank you to everyone at the Forest Hills until next year.

  • Stayed October 2010, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JamesLerche, Managing Director at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Resort, responded to this review, November 21, 2010
Dear Guest

I was absolutely delighted to read your feedback following your recent stay with us. It was a pleasure to welcome you back to Forest Hills and I am thrilled that you have already booked to stay in 2013 - sorry it can't be sooner but who knows........ One of the highlights you mentioned is the food, David our Chef is a real strength in the business being extremely dedicated with a very disciplined approach and of course years of experience enabling him to produce consistently good food with wonderful flavours.
I'm looking forward to welcoming you back to Forest Hills and would like to thank you for taking the time to write about your experience here.

Have a good year ahead.

Kind regards

James Lerche
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Scotland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2010

This is the third time my wife and I have stayed at Forrest Hills, and the service is always
first class. The staff are always extremely helpfull, and the Chef, David always manages
to accomodate my fussy vegetarian wife.The locations is excellent ,especially if you enjoy
walking, there are some excellent walks with wonderful views nearby.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2010

We've just returned from a short break at this hotel and we had a lovely time. We had a classic room which was tidy and comfortable. It wasn't total luxury but it was very nice. The staff at the hotel were very polite and friendly and the breakfast was excellent. We were also impressed with the leisure facilites, and if pools, jacuzzi and sauna is your kind of thing you will be too. A few points to note for future visitors: we ate the first night in Rafters bistro. The food was good and the waiters were very good, although the surroundings didn't reflect the level of service. The bar was a little more working mens' club than smart bistro, although they did serve food in a separate area. The second night we decided to venture into Aberfoyle for a meal, but the taxi cost £10 each way and the pubs stop serving at 8pm. If you fancy driving then go early but Aberfoyle itself isn't lively enough to justify the cost of the journey. We would certainly go to this hotel again for another short break. The area was beautiful and we would recommend Ben A'an for a stunning walk.

  • Stayed October 2010, 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
    • 4 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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