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“not worthy of it's 4 star status.....”

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Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Aberdeen
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“not worthy of it's 4 star status.....”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2009

We stayed at the Highland Hotel for one night in July 2009. The setting for it is beautiful and promised so much. However, once we actually got to our hotel, we were asked to enter by a side door / fire escape that we used for the rest of our stay - not sure why there isn't a main door to go in and the lay out is weird. The hotel looks unfinished - doors are still not completed, door frames have big chunks out of them and it just looks like it could do with being refurbished. However, the room was comfy enough although a little dark. Some of the staff were really friendly and professional, however we had to order room service twice as a bottle of wine we ordered never arrived. The worst part of the trip was a particularly rude and unenthusiastic bar maid who looked like she was doing you a favour by serving us. We asked her for a wine list and she waved over in the general direction of somewhere and told us to get it ourselves. She never cracked a smile once and was, well basically, rude, and should not have been in a position where she was welcoming people to the bar. We ordered 3 drinks later on - 2 glasses of wine and a double baileys - and the bill came to a very expensive £22!!! The Baileys was tiny - one mouthful - and I went and asked if it had been a double, she said that it was but I am not convinced! The food in the restaurant was lovely, however, and restaurant staff very friendly - they shoul maybe teach the bar maid some things about manners and professionalism. We also went to the spa for spa treatments, which were just lovely and the ladies that worked there very friendly and professional. Overall, however, I've stayed in nicer hotels and won't be back!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank blueeyes33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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744 reviews from our community

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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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Herts, UK
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2009

I got a letter a few days before my trip that let me know that the hotel had gone into administration so I didn't have high hopes of a pleasant stay. But I needn't have worried. I booked 3 nights in an executive room in this, the best hotel in the resort and it's been great. The only negative is the lack of signage around the resort (how does one find the way back into town?). And the entrance into the hotel is not very welcoming. For some reason - never explained - you are encouraged to enter via a fire exit (the door of which is broken so always open). The first door you pass on entering the building is boarded up(!) and there's a strong smell of damp. However, once inside the room it's great. I watched through the spy hole with amusement as a small group of elderly Italians tried to get their room key to open my room. I don't suspect foul play - I think they were simply confused by the odd layout. But this really was the only problem. Breakfast is wonderful and the atmosphere on site is good. Have jus had a disappointing experience at the Macdonald Hotel in Forest Hills, Aberfoyle, I was pleased to find that my tour of 5 Macdonald Hotels north of the border wasn't a total disaster.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank juliejulie1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2009

I stayed here on business and found the hotel to be excellent in all respects.
The staff were helpful and efficient -the hotel was spotless and comfortable.
In particular - the breakfast staff were all very helpful and keen to tell you all about the food eg origin. The chef at the breakfast buffet told me all about the mushrooms! even tips on how to cook them!
This I have never experienced before .
I would definitely think about coming here for a short break.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 2scots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterhead , Scotland
Level Contributor
117 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2009

I had booked a short break for the family at the Four Seasons Hotel in Aviemore but when we went to check-in we were given an upgrade to a suite in the Highland Hotel next door. We were delighted with this as it meant we could enjoy all the facilities of the hotel complex without having to go outside as the Macdonald group own four hotels in close proximity to each other and you are free to use the excellent leisure facilities of the Highland Hotel if you are staying at any of their other hotels. The meals were very good, the suite was clean,spacious and tidy. The staff although having distinctly unhighland accents ( by this I mean Eastern European) were very friendly and helpful. As a rule we normally stay at Hilton Coylumbridge when we go to Aviemore which I think is a great family hotel too, however as we had such a good time at the Macdonald Highland hotel we are going back for a late spring break in May.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank skiboy_robertson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
219 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2009

Booked this hotel through a special deal, £39.99 per night at the Highlands Hotel, which I believe is the best out of the numerous hotels on their site at Aviemore.

Arrived early in the morning (8am) by train, went to Check-in, and was wonderfully surprised when they allowed us to check in to our two rooms so early in the morning! We had not called ahead of time to ask for early check-in, so this was a nice surprise.

Both rooms were really nice, 4-star quality. The room was clean, the beds very comfortable, and the heater worked well and kept the room warm through sub-zero temperatures outside at night.

Buffet breakfast is available at £7.50 a person (if not already included in your room rate), and the restaurant and the service was very good. Foodwise they serve the same everyday, so might get a bit boring if you're there for a long stay, but there was a good selection of hot food as well as cereals, juice, fruits, bread, etc.

Next door there is a leisure center as well with a swimming pool, gym, sauna, and steam room. Use of the leisure center is included in your room rate, and everything was very clean and well maintained.

All in all after reading some of the reviews on this site I had low expectations, but I am very impressed with the place and it is exactly what you expect from a 4 star hotel. In addition, it is located right across the road from the train station, and the bus to Cairngorm Mountain for skiing stops right in front of the Highlands Hotel.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dahokolomok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2009

My wife booked a 3 night break at The MacDonald Highland Hotel and we arrived about 7 PM on the Friday and were checked into a standard room. We walked in and the room was cold and rather cramp and poorly lit, when we couldn't get the radiator to work we decided to go back to Reception.
To be fair the Manager noted down all our concerns and offered to upgrade us to an Executive room. That was exactly what you'd expect in this level of Hotel, just a pity they consider it a premium room.
The first room may have been a one off but in our opinion it fell short of what should be provided at a 4* Hotel but the Executive room wouldn't disapoint anyone.
The Hotel is a strange layout as others have commented with a single small lift and our first room was up 2 floors in the lift and then back down half a floor only accessible by stairs, worth considering if you've got a lot of luggage, particularly when carrying it both ways in the space of 5 minutes!

We only ate breakfast in the Hotel and thought it was excellent.

Worth reading how AA award stars and you realise 4* isn't that fancy!
http://www.theaa.com/travel/accommodation_restaurants_grading.html#stars

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Neil1969_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
61 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 214 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2009

The MacDonald Aviemore Resort has five premises: Highlands Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel, Academy Hotel, Aviemore Inn and the Wooden Lodge. We originally booked the Academy Hotel (3 stars) and surprisingly got a free upgrade to Highlands Hotel (4-5 stars) when we arrived.

The hotel staff members are friendly and accommodating. We took the Caledonian Sleeper train and arrived very early in the morning, they allowed us to check in. The room in the Highlands Hotel is spacious for my family of four with a queen size bed and two extra single beds and we enjoy the cosy Scottish design.

The rate includes daily Scottish breakfast at the Aspect which is an incredible high class restaurant. The breakfast is delicious with a hot dish of your choice from the kitchen and cereal, fruit, yogurt and juice from the buffet table. However, the price for dinner is a little bit high while other restaurants in the resort are closed during the low season.

Accessibility is good. It is located within 12 minutes walk from the Aviemore rail station with direct trains to London Euston or Kings Cross twice a day. There are also frequent trains to Inverness and Edinburgh. You are recommended to take a scenic train ride to Perth for a day trip. Bus available every hour and the bus stop is located outside the Leisure Arena. The bus can take you to Cairngorm Mountain for skiing or Glenmore Forest Park for hiking.

In time of adverse weather, you can relax in the indoor pool with slide, enjoy the spa treatment, or take the retail therapy in the shopping mall and I bought a half-priced Aquascutum raincoat!

  • Liked — Great value, good accessibility for winter sports
  • Disliked — the Aspect restaurant is a little bit pricy
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MikeKwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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