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Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort
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Reviews (867)
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All reviewsaspects restaurantexecutive roomswimming poolleisure centreaviemore resortbuffet breakfaststeam room and saunamain receptionitalian restaurantweekend breakstayed here for two nightstea and coffeespey valleydb benjoyable stayplay areatwo night stay
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Reviewed July 18, 2012

Used loyalty points for a 3 night stay in the Highland Hotel for my wife, two kids (aged 4 and 7) and myself on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. Despite having sufficient points, for some reason we still had to pay a supplement per night for our eldest child and pay for dinner for both children - not quite sure why, but all in all it worked out a very inexpensive stay.

We've been going to the Aviemore resort for around 6 years now, mostly at Christmas. On each occasion it's definitely a worse experience than the previous one. This time it definitely has the feel that it's being run down.

No more Aviemore Adventurers (no longer with you every day!), no wave machine and jacuzzi off. Upon speaking to staff, we were advised that the wave machine has been inoperable for around 2 to 3 months and won't be getting fixed due to costs (apparently it's a big job). No mention of this at time of booking or at check in. Although it's still advertised on their web-site, all their literature and on the billboard which meets you on the driveway on the way in - surely a breach of trading standards there I would have imagined. The kids were really disappointed and as a consequence we only used the pool once - normally we would have been in at least once every day or they would have pestered us to death.

Dining is now restricted to either the Aspects, Geovanni's Itialian restaurants on-site or the Steak House at the Golf Resort - the buffet option in the Food Court is no longer available, which was what we have always used before as it's better suited to young kids.

We dined in Geovanni's twice and Aspects once. Both were very good but a bit uncomfortable with two young kinds in Aspects as it's quiet and a bit more posh. Food was very good in both. Main course in Aspects was about the best I've had anywhere.

Staff are very pleasant in general.

There is a kids activity programme throughout the day every day. We didn't make use of these so can't comment.

Other thing worth mentioning was that we (well my eldest child really) lost a key card for the room. We asked and expected both key cards to be deactivated and new ones activated but reception refused to deactivate them on the basis that the room number's are not printed on the cards. They didn't think that anybody would try the card in several rooms on the off chance that they would strike lucky. Aviemore can't have the same type of dodgy characters you would find where we come from! There wasn't a safe in the room, so felt a bit exposed with regards to our valuables and slept with a chair jammed against the door.

Don't want to drone on, so in summary, it's going down hill and it's unlikely we'll be back. Had we paid full price, I would have been asking for a refund.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank steve-l-edin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2012

We were staying locally and decided to use macdonald resort for a swim. We were charged £26 for a family swim being 2 adults and a 3 & 5 yr old. On entering the pool the wave machine was not working and the spa pool out of action. The seating area had one table two upright chairs and two loungers. The staff were the only pleasant thing about our visit, friendly and helpful. Shower areas were thick with pink body fat, hasn't seen a scrubbing brush in a while!

The kids played in the softplay afterwards at £4 per head and ordered coffee, tea, kids boxes and panini amounting to £18, and the tea and coffee to be served in slush puppy cups! The poor member of staff was trying her best.

Having been familiar with the area for numerous years the standards if the Macdonald Highland Resort have gone downhill considerably and feel it is overpriced, overrated and at present not worth a visit.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank Mandelie12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

We had a girly pampering weekend for my 21st birthday.
Hotel reception lovely, rooms were a little dated but they were clean and nice. Our beds were very comfy which was an added bonus.
Had an amazing time at the Vital Spa, def recommend visiting there for pampering.
Went to the italian for our dinner, had a good meal which was reasonably priced, except the wine list which was expensive.
The drinks were quite expensive in the Laggan Bar but the waitor was very good and made us cocktails which weren't on the menu. They were delicious!

Overall the resort is lovely, had a really good weekend and would return here for another visit.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Soph1706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2012

Only used the swimming pool facility which was very over priced and pretentious. For all its outward grandeur this swim pool set within the famed macdonald hotel resort in aviemore is nothing but a polished turd. The spa was not operational and this was not made clear when we came in. Phone ahead to check when the Pool slide is open as it is only open at certain times in the day. There is slide opening times on the counter but are written in tiny font. There are no childrens' toys available at the pool therefore unappealing for children. The pool attendants follow you around the pool in an intimating manner. The poolside is a danger as the smooth tiles around the front of the pool caused my 2yr old son to slip and hit his head twice while walking towards the pool. Attempted to ask for some money back at the counter but this fell on deaf ears by the uncaring attendant. A rip off, disappointment and a terrible family day out. Plenty other brilliant attractions in aviemore and surrounding area, avoid this extremely poor attraction

  • Stayed: June 2012
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1  Thank giant-viking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2012

Can't understand how this hotel was awarded 4 stars. Have stayed in Travel Inns where the rooms were bigger. The Tv was situated on the dressing table & sitting over the mirror. The Italian restaurant served poor quality food, a penne dish resembled a bowl of soup with pasta through it. Would go back to Aviemore again but would avoid this hotel & stay at one of the privately run local hotels.

  • Stayed: June 2012
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1  Thank Feerob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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