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“My single room was excellent the evening meal was dreadful”

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Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Reviewed March 13, 2011

I had a very good deal when booking this hotel and because of this was somewhat concerned as to the state of the bedroom. However, I was very pleasantly surprised, my single bedroom was more than adequate with an excellent bathroom. The cleanliness and heating and hot water could not have been better. However, on the second night the room next door was occupied and I could hear everything that was said - telephone conversations and television. The downside was the evening meal. I am vegetarian and Hilton seem to think think that 'Fisherman's Salad', consisting of poached salmon, mussels and prawns, is vegetarian. When I brought this to the attention of the waitress I was told that they had been told to say that some vegetarians do eat fish and - there isn't much fish in it anyway!! I had risotto one evening which was 'awful' and on the menu this is considered to be 'vegetarian' even though it mentions 'parmesan', which any vegetarian will tell you this cannot be the case because Parmesan is an EU Protected Designation of Origin product and for that reason, it has to be made the traditional way, using calf rennet, so it's never suitable for vegetarians. I would not expect a small village cafe to know this but I would expect HILTON. It was also served with some very sad potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and swede. I ate in the Terracotta Restaurant after this, which was much better. On top of all this I did find £9.70 for a large glass of Shiraz a bit over the top.
I would like to say, however, that all the staff were very friendly, particularly Indra and David in reception.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
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Thank GioiaIsleofAxholme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,859 - 2,865 of 3,172 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2011

This hotel was one of the Stakis group taken over by Hilton. Built in the 60s, it's set in Rothiemurchus Caledonian Pine Forest in the newly designated Cairngorm National Park, and the grounds are pretty much unspoilt woodland, full of wildlife, such as a range of birds, red squirrel and even deer. The Timeshare lodges on site are sympathetically designed, and do not detract too much from the natural atmosphere. There are attractive walks through the large site, and across the ski road to Cairngorm, there are miles of pathways which you can explore on foot or by mountain bike. The holiday village of Aviemore is something of a blot on the landscape, about a mile or so to the West, but provides all the services you would require, with plenty of restaurants of good standard, an expensive filling station, pubs and hotels. There are shops, ranging from the ubiquitous Tescos, to various outdoor clothing outlets, a few independent local stores, and the expensive retail area up at Macdonald's Highland Resort. So much for the setting.
The Hilton Coylumbridge has undergone something of a facelift over recent years, and this is most evident in the foyer area, which comprises a large seating area and raised bar with typically high prices. Opposite the bar are two restaurants, the Grant, where dinner and the included breakfast are served, and a bistro-style smaller restaurant. Don't be foooled by the Costa Coffee counter, and it's Costa by name, and Hilton by pricing. Let's face it, Costa coffee is not cheap when you buy at Costa, but when you parachute it into Hilton, you pay £3.50 for a weak Americano, and the strains of Rip Off Britain ring in your ears. Jump in your car, and take a run along the road to Mor, at the Visitor Centre on the shores of Loch Morlich or the Mountain Cafe in Aviemore, for excellent and reasonably priced coffee and cakes to die for.
There are two pools, jacuzzi and sauna, but we didn't use them on this visit, so can't comment.
We took an inclusive DBB package, at an extremely attractive price of £63 per couple per night, so we were obliged to take dinner in the Grant. The menu was varied enough, unless, like my wife, you are vegetarian, in which case there are only 3 choices. The menu never changed on our 3 night stay, and although as an omnivore, I could have manged a week's worth, my wife ran out after two nights, and we were forced to head into town for La Taverna on the third night. My two meals in the Grant were adequate. Nothing special, but edible. The veggie food was dull and overcooked, and the pasta with supposedly roasted vegetables bordered on the inedible, with both pasta and vegetables ruined by over-cooking.
Breakfast is a buffet, with omelettes and waffles cooked to order. The buffet is better than average, but they did struggle to keep up, even though the hotel was not busy. Only about 1/3 of the restaurant was open. Expect bacon, sausage, eggs, haggis, beans, mushrooms, potato scones, fried bread, etc. The waffles are good, but expect to get sticky, as they haven't the gumption to put the syrup in jugs, and the squeezy bottles are covered in the stuff. Coffee tastes of old tin cans. There is quality bread, a few pastries and muffins, and a poor cold buffet.
Our room was on the ground floor, and although it had been refurbished to an extent, this was pretty superficial. There was no mini-bar, and you will be charged £3.95 for the £1 bottle of still water. The only internet connection is the chargeable wireless in the foyer, so you can't get on line in your room, and in this day and age, you should expect free room internet in a hotel of this standard. The bed was creaky, but not uncomfortable, but pillows were insubstantial and unsupportive. You get a kettle and instant coffee/tea and some Walkers shortbread, a desk, side table and a decent flat screen TV (some hotels still seem to be the last bastion of the cathode ray tube). The windows have been replaced with UPVC, but somehow still managed to be draughty, and the room was cold throughout our stay. Heating consisted of a small radiator underneath the window, and was no more than lukewarm throughout our stay. Although we had snow, it wasn't all that cold outside, just above freezing, so God knows what the room would have been like in winter, with -20C outside. The shower was barely a trickle, and the economy buttons on both flow and temperature were broken, making it difficult to adjust from low trickle to slightly higher trickle. As is so common in hotels, the remote waste plug on the sink was badly adjusted, so the water wouldn't run away and I had to remove the plug altogether, as the mechanism was buried behind fascia boards. No heated towel rail either.
In short, the room was of the standard of a tired Travelodge, and worse than a Premier Inn. Definitely not Hilton standard, and it's a national embarrassment that we allow foreign tourists to suffer these shoddy standards in our country.
On the plus side, the staff were generally cheery and friendly, and they even had a few locals employed, to dilute the Eastern Europeans (who provide excellent and efficient service, so no disrespect to them).
This hotel is adequate, but the rooms and corridors need investment. If they are going to have the same set menu for days on end, they need to provide more choice for veggies, as many if not most groups have at least one in their company, and they need to make more effort to provide food that tastes freshly cooked, instead of tired and overdone.
The heating system needs to be replaced with something that works, and the rooms need to be upgraded. Bolting some wooden panels on the wall, and buying a new TV does not make for a refurbished room, and everything needs to work, especially the plumbing.
I do sympathise with hotels; it must cost a fortune to refurbish a large rambling 60s pile, but if you commit to owning it, do it right, or your reputation suffers.
Finally, get it into your head that people don't like getting ripped off. I can afford £3.50 for a coffee, but I also know what coffee costs, and I know what it should taste like too.
There is no justification at all for charging more than Costa do for Costa coffee, and there is no excuse for serving dirty dishwater disguised as expensive coffee. If Costa can make money at their prices, Hilton can too, and it's these little things that are guaranteed to leave customers with a bad taste, and put them off returning. The same applies to the bar pricing, which is way over the top. As an out of town location, Hilton probably think they have their customers trapped on the premises, and can charge what they like. Their cheap deal was no doubt intended to draw people in, so they could milk them on the extras. Fair enough, if the prices were fair. I am old enough to remember when Stakis owned the hotel, and it was a bit of a hot spot. The bar and function rooms were buzzing, with hundreds of people out having a good time, proving that it's far more profitable to sell a large quantity of drinks and coffee at sensible prices, than have somebody grumbling over their two hour pint, and wandering off to bed.
Given decent coffee at decent prices, we'd have been happy enough to spend a couple of hours over the morning papers in the foyer, but chose to spend our money elsewhere instead. Hilton's loss; not ours.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank bancquo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2011

Recently went to this hotel for a girls long weekend we had skiers/snowboarders and non snow type with us so it was important to get the right hotel. We did..
The hotel staff were helpful, accommodating both before we went (many emails, calls) whilst we were there and as we were leaving.
The group of 12 were all happy, we had value for money and a great time all around.
Read a few reports before and I must say they are unfair, we had one room without hot water one day it was dealt with immediately, we asked were we could let off lanterns to celebrate the duty manager was more than helpful.
We were allowed to watch England play rugby in the bar!!

  • Stayed: February 2011
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Thank pteresa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2011

I stayed here for a weeks skiing for which the location of the hotel is perfect. However the service is AWFUL. The room was clean but very tired dated and the corridoor smelt of cigarrette smoke. The bar area is quite pleasant and the breakfast is of a good standard. I must mention the evening meals - they are dreadful, the menu is like a walk down memory lane with smash, cheap frozen prawns and dried up horrible chicken etc. The food is a disgrace and the waiting staff rude and totally untrained. This evening meal is an experience I never wish to repeat. I expected better of a Hilton

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank forkie_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonCath, Guest Relations Manager at Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 30, 2011

I was sorry to read that you had a disappointing experience whilst dining with us but thank you for highlighting these issues. Comments such as these help us to identify areas for improvement and these comments have been passed on to the relevant departments. Concerning the smell of cigarette smoke, our hotel is 100% non smoking but regrettably we do have guests who disregard this and this, as I am sure you can appreciate, can be difficult to police.

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Reviewed March 6, 2011

I have to agree with a previous poster, check in was not a great first impression with no information forth coming from the front desk. We later found out that the Scottish reception staff were transferred in from other Hilton hotels because it was peak week ( half term). Hilton if you're reading - not good unless staff know the basics ie how to book taxies. We returned to reception later on our first evening and the Aussie on duty gave us lots of information on what to do in the local area, and the facilities available in the hotel.

Our room was average with just enough space for 4. The restaurant was great. No queuing for a table at dinner or for breakfast. Plenty of choice for dinner at the inclusive rate, and lots of fresh vegetables. But Hilton,if you're reading, your wine prices are ridiculous - we bought our wine from Tesco in Aviemore ( a decent bottle cost less than a glass at the Hilton) and drank water with our meal. Your wine was nasty and expensive !! The gin in the Woodshed bar (no children allowed after 8pm ) however............. :-) :-)

Loved the wall to wall children, and the happy families on holiday. My major criticism would be that Hilton Coylumbridge is classified by Hilton as a Vacation Resort. The level of service provided just does not compare to other Hilton resort hotels. It's rather shambolic and very British. Think Pontins rather than Hilton and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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Thank DevonShaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2011

Ive stayed at this hotel a few times over the last 7 years, and have enjoyed each stay, but i think its time for a face lift, just come back from skiing trip and hotel is in great location for walking, biking, and every outdoor pursuit you care to mention. the rothiemurchus estate is great for all of these, and its right outside your door.
its a mile walk into aviemore village, if you want cheaper drinks thats the nearest place, if not you have to pay thru the nose at the hilton.
it is far too expensive for wine and beer, your best bet is to have a tour round the aviemore brewery which is just at the end of town, and best of all FREE, great little place and you can sample ALL the beers that they brew

Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank CazzaSazza55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2011

Arrived here for a weeks skiing holiday and it was obvious from walking through the doors of the Hotel that it was a full house.

Mainly serviced by Polish workers it tried to keep everyome occyupied but it was clear hat it was struggling as there were also Children and pets allowed in the Hotel.

The food was acceptable (breakfast's were thebest) and the service courtious and plite. The prices charged at the bar were huge as was the coffee from thr Costa Coffee site, inside the Hotel.

I was in room 216, it had black mould on the window frames and the bathroom was also growing black mould on the ceiling. Rom service costs £4.00 extra and the menu meals were a selection, anything else you wanted you'd be charged for i.e prawn cocktail would cost you an extra 2.50 and the Cheese board would cost you 5.00.

The hotel is poorly lit, using energy saving light bulbs and this brings down the mood of the waiting area and the reception, also the lighting in the rooms is poor and not well ventelated.

Sorry to ber a grince, but I'm only writing what I saw, I expected a lot more from ther Hotel with such a prestegious name but was left dissopointed. I'll post some photos when I get the time.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Inverness1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel

Address: | Coylumbridge, Aviemore PH22 1QN, Scotland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Aviemore and the Cairngorms > Aviemore
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Price Range: $143 - $338 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 175
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hilton Coylumbridge resort hotel is set in a 65 acre woodland estate in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. It is located close to Aviemore and is a perfect holiday destination all year round. The resort includes five restaurants and two bars including the Woodshed Bar with its roaring log fire and the American Diner sure to please the kids. The resort also includes indoor swimming pools, outdoor tennis courts, play park, spa, outdoor activity park and The Fun House for the little ones. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Coylumbridge - Aviemore Hotel Aviemore
Hilton International Aviemore
Aviemore Coylumbridge Hotel
Hilton Aviemore
Aviemore Hilton
Aviemore Coylumbridge Hilton Hotel
Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel Aviemore, Scotland

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