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“Aviemore in the snow..”

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Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort
Ranked #8 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Reviewed November 4, 2008

Just back from a half term adventure at the Macdonald Highlands hotel with my wife and two boys (14 and 11). We had an excellent stay. The activity manager was outstanding in helping us arrange a range of excellent activities - climbing, shooting, quad biking and cycling. The hotel staff were friendly and attentive. The food at Aspects was outstanding and good value - and the Scottish breakfast very welcome. Malt whisky tasting in the bar by the fire, swimming in the great pool complex and brousing the shopping area made the time pass too quickly. Although the rooms were quite small they were well presented and very comfortable - no problems sleeping! I strongly recommend it as a centre for an exciting break.
Ian - London.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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Thank ChelseatheChampions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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749 - 755 of 801 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2008

I Stayed at the macdonald highland hotel with my four year old and it was clean and cosy and comfortable. the resort had plenty of activities for my child the fun factory and swimming etc . the staff were lovely and we enjoyed our stay we look forward to going back again!

Stayed: October 2008
Thank poppy025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2008

I have Multiple Sclerosis so when booking I asked for a room for disabled. I have to go about on a compact electric scooter, The room was big but had very little space for me, to be able to turn and get on and off my chair.

The bed was very comfortable, I slept very well. The bathroom was large, enough to maneuver with my chair, some thought had gone into what a disabled person would require, space and drop down bars at the side of the toilet.

My real problem arose when I required a shower, I am unable to step into a bath this made showering a problem. wet rooms are ideal for disabled people.

The second morning of my stay, the stair lift between my room and the restaurant was not working, one of the staff passed and said they would send someone, after waiting for a short while there was no sign of anyone so, after struggling up the few stairs my husband had to body lift my scooter upstairs, it was the same on the way back to my room

The lifts are very narrow and small not built for scooters or wheelchairs.

I understand that you aim to make guests feel welcome and do all in your power to make their stay a pleasant one.

I had a pleasant stay and enjoyed my weekend, my comments are to raise a little more awareness of the needs of disabled people.

I myself did not realise the problems disabled people are up against on a daily basis until three years ago when my mobility became a problem.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank gracedarling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2008

Stayed 2 nights with my young family. (See also the reviews on this resort posted under "Aviemore Highland Resort"). The Highlands Hotel is supposed to be the best in the 4 hotels in the complex, it looks fine from the outside, we found out later that the building is over 40 years old and although some areas are revamped, you can tell it is just so dated. There is no central lift shaft which means guests enter via fire exits at the sides of the building. This didn't feel very secure as you don't need to pass a reception area to enter and the doors just seemed to be left open. The corridors are downright grotty (think shabby 2* establishment). We had an executive room (i hate to think how the standard rooms fare). Yes it had had a refurb, the bathroom was very nice, quite spacious but the room itself bland and the cot we were given for our baby had some stains on it. Strangely, we were given a room at the back with no view at all but an attendant at the leisure complex told us there were only 160 guests staying in the WHOLE resort that night (over 4 hotels). On the positive side, the bed was huge and really comfortable and the breakfast served in Aspects was very good - nice choice of continental/cooked. Service at breakfast was good but overall, like many of the other reviewers, we found the service unfriendly, mainly Polish workers (so much for the traditional Gaelic welcome). This may be reflective of the hospitality trade now in large hotels, I don't know but surely everyone can be taught that service should be with a smile, not a surley face.
The leisure complex is good but it is obvious that that is getting outdated, I didn't think much of the changing rooms and the flumes at the pool were shut. We ate in town, there is plenty of choice. We looked at Giovannis but it looked totally lacking in atmosphere. Glad we gave it a miss based on the reviews here. The shopping complex is nice but totally overpriced. The whole complex just seems dated and had a strange feel to it (some have said it is like a Butlins holiday camp but when we were there it was so quiet it was almost ghostly...). The concierge was very friendly (local guy) and told us that the Four Seasons is due for a multi-million revamp next year which will make it the best hotel in the complex. Maybe others will follow but Macdonald hotels, don't rest on your laurels, there is plenty choice of places to stay for families and couples alike. Buck up your act a little!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank scotlass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2008

We were not expecting this at all. When we arrived, we had to check into a central reception area in the middle of the "resort". We were given a list of "activities", just like a Butlins holiday camp! Needless to say, we didn't bother with the Family Disco, the Scottish Evening or the Remember Then Night.

Our hotel was very confusing. We never did find the front door, and always used the fire exit at the side (as did everyone else). I've no idea what would happen if someone had pulled it shut from the inside. Our room was a bit small, but it was comfortable and had everything we needed.

The location of the hotel, in central Aviemore, is great. After a disappointing meal in the Four Seasons Brasserie (overpriced as you have to take all 3 courses even if you don't want them), we subsequently walked into Aviemore for other meals.

This seems to be a good hotel for hen-nights (there were several) but not if you are looking for a highlands experience, or peace and quiet.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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1  Thank Fern3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2008

Pleasant staff, reasonable decor, but unbelievably overpriced. We stayed for 2 nights on the DBB rate of £160 per night. With a choice of booking dinner anywhere on the complex. We tried Aspects the first night, but found it slightly dissapointing. Myself and my partner are both chefs and we are defintley able to spot laziness, cliches and decades old trends in food. We can be guilty too!
But the food seemed worse than this, under and overseasoned throught the different courses (so nobody with a palate is tasting or perhaps nobody at all is tasting), mass produced and blandly presented. My partners confit duck press amazingly tasted just like corned beef, now that's some feat to pull off!

2nd night we booked into the very empty Giovanni's, what a pile of pants that was. I had slightly defrosted prawns in dishwater and my partner had pink glupe that had been gellatined into rubber that Pirrelli would be proud of. To follow was pizza that was worse than anything you've ever had a spotty kid serve you at Pizza Hut. Then we were told chef left early in a "huff" and there would no dessert! Remember we have already PAID for DBB in advance.

Wine was so overpriced that when we cam to check out our bill was £140 on top off the DBB rate for the 2 nights. Broken down this was a half bottle of Sauvignon, 1 bottle of Cabernet, 2 Cognacs, 2 Malt Whiskies and 1 final bottle of Merlot. All very mediocre wines from labels and vineyards we recognise and are familiar of prices from our wine clubs. So marked up by around 600%.

We tried the pool on a few occasions, but on 3 times it was closed when it should have been open and on a 4th visit they were too full!

Save your bucks and try another hotel, Oh and do visit the Royal Aviemore Tandoori. Very good naans and fresh well spiced curries!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled on business
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2  Thank Jenny&Budge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2008

I stayed at the Macdonald Highlands for a conference and wasn't particularly impressed. Despite it being updated a few years ago, it felt really dated and was far too "chintzy Scotland" for my tastes. The hotel is a bit like a maze and you have to lug your suitcase up and down stairs, which doesn't make the disappointment once you actually get to your room any better. The room was a bit pokey and distinctly cold and the bathroom wasn't too great either. There were silly little things too - the room service breakfast only came with cubed sugar, despite an order of cereal, and the toast hadn't spent too long in the toaster judging by its colour. I won't be rushing back any time soon.

Stayed: March 2008
1  Thank TravellingBoos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Macdonald 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:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Price Range: $129 - $252 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald 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 travellers. For relaxation there's direct access to Aviemore Activity Centre, a TV lounge with comfy sofas and a DVD player, and the cozy Laggan whisky bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Highlands Aviemore
Macdonald Highlands Hotel At Macdonald Aviemore Resort Scotland
Hotel Macdonald Highlands

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