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“An overpriced, overinflated excuse for a resort with an undeserved four star rating.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort

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Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“An overpriced, overinflated excuse for a resort with an undeserved four star rating.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2011

We attended the Mac Donald Highlands Hotel as part of a large ball which they hosted this may.

The 'resort' itself has been graced with the aesthetics for which inspiration must have been drawn from a concrete scheme in Glasgow's east end. Who gave planning permission for a combination of grey concrete blocks to be sneezed onto the beauty of the highlands is beyond me, not only does it not do it's environment justice but feels generally sterile and unwelcoming, losing all the rustic charm you would expect in a place where limestone and wood are plentiful.

Rooms at the Highlands resort undeserving of a four star rating are relatively small and dated, lacking bathrobes, mini-bar, free internet or safe. The heating is provided by 30 year old electric heaters (unassisted) which fill the room with the smell of singed dust, the television is old but had a decent range of channels. On a positive note the bed was very comfortable, and the shower pretty awesome.

The hotel staff were all quite original and friendly, except for one sneaky sub manager who at breakfast told us to follow him to the downstairs dining area as the upstairs had become full, this was done with the pretence that everything available would be the same as it was in the main breakfast set-up. However I later found this to be a blatant lie and the staff hadn't bothered to bring down a number of items downstairs. The breakfast was pretty good if you were to be seated in the main area and had a decent choice.

The bars at the hotel are ridiculously overpriced, which is interesting considering at this cost you would expect the staff to know their way around a bar which was not the case.

The spa facilities and service was disappointing, and while the swimming pool is good if you are swimming for endurance or to stay in shape, it wouldn't be as suitable for relaxing or if you are travelling with children is not very family friendly.

A fire alarm went off at 2am, and took half an hour for the hotel staff to figure out what was wrong and turn it off, in this time they weren't particularly helpful or open as to what was going on.

This place generally would be fitting for a conference or trade fair, but gives an unpleasant and cold feeling. If you plan to visit the highlands for a relaxing getaway I would recommend somewhere else where your money wouldn't be wasted.

Room Tip: Stay in the building which houses the reception.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Notsolol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this review, July 3, 2011
Dear Notsolol

Thank you for your comments. We have always had a passionate approach to hospitality and we would always welcome comments from guests who do not feel we have succeeded in this.
If you would like to contact me at the resort directly I would be more than happy to discuss your comments further and to resolve any outstanding issue for you.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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733 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (129)
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English first
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2011

Just back from a 2 day stay at this hotel. Staff were great. Food in aspects restaurant was superb. Also breakfast was of a great standard. Gym not great( as a leisure centre manager) good equipment in need of service, pool basic but clean. Golf course superb and massage staff were also brilliant.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Golfcol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this review, July 3, 2011
Dear Golfcol
Thank you for your feedback – it is always a pleasure to read such positive comments about the resort and staff. It is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the future.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
Level Contributor
106 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2011

Another lovely weekend break at the Macdonald Highland. Nice hotel, nice food , nice staff! We will be back !

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tiggScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this review, July 3, 2011
Dear tiggScotland
Thank you for the positive comments that you have given the hotel. It is always a pleasure to hear from a regular visitor that they have once again enjoyed their stay with us.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
42 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2011

Stayed in this hotel for one night. Room was fine, nothing special and the bathroom needed some freshening up. The location was okay....a pleasant walk to the centre of Aviemore....just felt the Highlands resort had little in the way of atmosphere. Breakfast was actually tasty and the selection was pretty good....unfortuantely things went downhill when my husband had to wait 25 minutes to check out. This was very poor considering it was the start of the kids' Easter hols and the hotel must have known they were going to be busy!

I shan't return.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LouiseSAbuDhabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this review, July 3, 2011
Dear LouiseSAbuDhabi
Thank you for your feedback. We receive lots of positive feedback about our breakfast service and have won awards as a company for the high standards we offer.
Please be reassured that we have taken on board your feedback about check out and hope to welcome you back soon.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2011

We stayed here in March for a short snowboarding break and loved it! It was a great place to be based with great facilities, including swimming pool, sauna etc which you could access without having to go outside. These facilities came in very handy after a day on the slopes. Room was a good size and clean and modern. We didn't eat in the hotel (except breakfast which was amazing) as there are so many great places to eat in Aviemore.. I'd recommend the Old Bridge Inn, Cairngorm Hotel and International Starters. The Mountain cafe at the ski resort also served great food - just what was needed for a day on the slopes. Hotel looks ideal for families too with an outdoor kid's play area and cinema to help keep them entertained. I'd happily stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DL_1300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this review, May 4, 2011
Dear DJWH
Thank you for the positive comments about our hotel and the onsite facilities. It is always good to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us at the Highlands hotel.
The leisure facilities have proved very popular with many of our guests.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the near future and hope that the next time you do visit you will join us in one of our many restaurants, so you get the opportunity to try them too.

Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glasgow
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2011

We spent the Easter weekend at the resort and it was fantastic. The kids entertainment was great- Captain Ice and his team were hilarious. We spoke with a lot of the hotel staff and found them to be helpful and very pleasant. The breakfasts were great and nothing was too much bother - Gabriela was an extremely pleasant girl!
One thing I would say- the hotel could do with some lighter options for lunch i.e. soup and a sandwich (although the chef did make us a sandwich when we asked). In fact after we ordered our sandwich several others followed suit. Oh and finally, why charge for internet access - it's 2011

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mcnails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this review, May 4, 2011
Dear Mcnails
Thank you for your feedback – it is always a pleasure to read such positive comments about the resort and the staff and we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Your comments concerning lighter lunch options have been passed to our chef and this be implemented, as it is a totally valid point and something families will want. Thank you for pointing this out.

Our company offers competitive Wifi pricing across the resort however your comments about this being free have been noted and will be added to our customer comments file for suggested improvements.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2011

We stayed at the Macdonald Highlands Hotel for a few days after our wedding and I was a bit dissapointed. The best thing about our room was our bed which was big and comfortable. The room itself was not the biggest and looked as if it needed a major revamp. The corridors of the hotel were pretty unpleasent with the walls needing a fresh lick of paint and the carpet needing ripped up and replaced. The leasure facilities are good but the food was highly average. This hotel is not four star hotel. Its ok though

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gtbairns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this review, May 4, 2011
Dear gtbairns
Thank you for your comments. Delivering the highest standards of service for all our guests is at the heart of our core values and we always welcome feedback where you feel this has not been the case.
We note your comments about the décor of the hotel and will ensure that we take these points on board.
Thank you again
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort

Property: Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort
Address: Aviemore Highlands, Aviemore PH22 1PN, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Aviemore and the Cairngorms > Aviemore
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 151
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relax in style and complete comfort at the 4-star Macdonald Highlands Hotel. With 151 luxury rooms-with-a-view and its own signature restaurant, Aspects, boasting spectacular views of the Cairngorm Mountains, the Highlands Hotel is ideal for discerning business and leisure travelers. For relaxation there's direct access to the Leisure Arena, a TV lounge with comfy sofas and a DVD player, and the cozy Laggan whiskey bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Highlands Aviemore
Macdonald Highlands Hotel
Hotel Macdonald Highlands
Highlands Hotel At Macdonald Aviemore Resort Scotland

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