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“Decent hotel but stop overcharging for alcohol and breakfast please!”

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Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cardrona
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 8, 2013

My husband booked a £99 deal for dinner, bed and breakfast for a one night stay at the MacDonald Hotel in Cardrona.

First impressions were fairly good. Not particularly cosy and inviting but the hotel has a decent lounge area with comfy sofas and tables. The front of the hotel is unfortunately right beside the road but the back looks out onto the golf course and has a much better view.

Our room was fine. Really comfortable beds and very clean, except for the grubby worn carpet. Furniture was slightly chipped and there was a large cracked tile on the bathroom floor, which wasn't great but otherwise fine. We did have a bottle of chilled still water, which was lovely but a very small supply of instant coffee and tea and one very small packet of shortcake to share!

Dinner was good, except for the size of the portions! The food quality was lovely. I ate rump steak and received 3 "medallions" of beef which were around 1 inch each, 3 or 4 green beans and a small fondant potato. My husbands lamb shank was a little more substantial. We don't expect huge portions, especially when eating 3 courses but I would say that the dinner portions were bordering on the ridiculous side of small! On the plus side, staff were friendly and helpful.

The main reason I have knocked off 2 stars is because of the complete lack of value. Thank goodness we booked a deal, otherwise I would have felt completely ripped off!

Cocktails at the hotel start at £9.50 each which is a little on the expensive side and wine starts at £25.95 but breakfast is charged at an exuberant £17.50...... EACH!

In other words a family of four with a couple of teenagers would pay £70 for breakfast.....I find this completely unacceptable. The breakfast consisted of the usual buffet of cereal, yoghurt, pastries and fruit juices, followed by a cooked breakfast ....again with very small portions. One sausage, one piece of bacon and a little scrambled egg. As with dinner, the quality was good but the quantity was poor.

In common with other reviewers, the reception staff tried to charge us a supplement when we checked out, despite us having settled this the evening before.

I think the MacDonald Cardrona is a reasonable hotel which is selling various deals at a decent cost and then charging guests through the nose for alcohol and food.

It's a shame but this has put us off a return visit.

Room Tip: Try to get a room facing the golf course otherwise you will look out onto the road at the front of t...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Where-now-guys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

Stayed on a Friday/Saturday. Very quick check in. Room on the fourth floor not facing the golf course but still a good view from that height.
Nice clean, quiet comfortable room. The safe wasn't working but we didn't really need it. Our last stay was at a Travelodge and you get what you pay for with room quality.
Breakfast was very tasty. There is a wait for the cooked items but I prefer it cooked to order rather than sitting for a long period under a lamp. Lovely dinner on Sat night.
Nice swim in the pool and sauna/steam room was very relaxing.
Great service from all the staff.
Will definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank gmmax1988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

Stay at this hotel last week, 2 days, great facilities steam room, sauna was too hot!
Enjoyed a fantastic evening meal, in fact best meal ever... I am gluten free and the hotel catered excellently for my dietary needs... Always a favourite of ours, will return in December for the Christmas party overnight!

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank louisegough5936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

We 've been to the Cardrona a few times and decided to book for a couple of nights to relax.
We booked a Classic King room staying 3-5th April. We were happy with the location of our room on a high floor but we were given a Twin room instead.
It was really quite 'tired' looking when you paid attention to it. There was a lot of dust on surfaces, the valance was ripped and the bedcover was very crushed and in need of a press.The mattresses need to be replaced, both were very soft with no support and squeaked with every move ! There was no bottled water in the room which would normally be there, also only one small biscuit pack on the welcome tray each day ( is this a new policy?) Little things, but felt like cut-backs. We didn't complain as we decided to make the best of it. It was disappointing but not horrendous.
Dinner was an experience. Service was very slow with staff looking completely out their depth. We were left with dirty plates for too long and were surrounded by tables which weren't cleared as guests left. It looked to us as if it was a new staff perhaps, needing more training and a lack of management.
It seems bread is no longer offered at the table. We used to comment how before, as soon as you were seated, someone came along with a selection of breads to try. It was a small gesture but a nice start to a meal but someone has obviously thought it would be a good idea to stop that! It would have been much appreciated as we were waiting so long for our food!
Dinner was not a success...breakfast on the first morning was worse...
The hotel was very busy, so it was suggested you go early or order room service at £3 per tray. We went down at 9.30 to be met by a huge queue. A member of staff came round and said they had set-up an overflow room upstairs with a hot buffet. It was a good idea but in practice didn't work. Once the initial food was finished there was no system for replacement. A plate of eggs would arrive and 10 mins. later some bacon etc. As for toast..we waited 40 mins by which time we had really given up. The waiters were just serving the nearest tables rather than circulating the whole room.We felt sorry for them as they didn't have a clue how to organise themselves and were very hot and bothered.
Some families arrived and were served everything within minutes even though we were waiting patiently for ours. When this was pointed out it made no difference as we just had to wait for whatever would appear next ! Breakfast wasn't relaxing in any way. By the time we left ( after an hour) and the service was about over, the hotplate was replenished with fresh food!
Dinner on our second evening was a repeat of the first even though the restaurant didn't seem as busy. Still painfully slow service, dirty tables etc. But breakfast on our last morning was fine. We got a table and didn't have to wait too long for our food which was ok.

All in all I can't think we will return soon. It is obviously too much of a hit or a miss at the Cardrona... ours was a miss this time. It is too expensive for such uncertainty. Macdonalds used to be considered a quality chain . I think they have to be careful as standards have slipped and are inconsistent. A hotel of this standard shouldn't 'collapse'when it's busy. Surely 'busy' is a good thing and not something which has such a detrimental effect on service.
Solution: They should get the restaurant team from The Forest Hills or Roxburghe to sort out the restaurant...they would make the difference!
P.S. We also had problems with our biil when checking-out... a fitting end to our stay at the Cardrona!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kirstylothians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Stayed for just one night on a Secret Escapes Deal. Excellent value for money with great service, friendly staff and high comfort levels. The room was huge with a lovely bathroom and the best shower!
We ate in the bar area rather than the reception but food was excellent and well priced. Breakfast was high quality with plenty of choice both from the buffet and hot food.
Would recommend to anyone staying in this area.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 974San
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

We stayed here in 29th March on the winter warmer break. They kindly gave us a complimentary upgrade to an executive room with a lovely view of the golf course. The pool and sauna etc were great. We had a 3 course dinner In the renwicks restaurant which was lovely and the service was excellent. Bars were quite busy as it was a very busy weekend at the hotel with it being Easter weekend but staff were very friendly. The only problem was that they were so busy we couldnt get our spa treatment the day we arrived so we had our treatment the next morning. We both had a massage which was lovely and relaxing. Also breakfast was great too. Excellent choice and the cooked breakfast was delicious. Would definitely visit again.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank Jub1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

A quick family overnight stay near Peebles. Hotel was clean, room large and comfortable. Was fine as a baseto explore the area, or if you are a golfer. Did not have a great deal to do in the hotel itself.
Staff seemed to be abit overwhelmed by the amount of guests (a bit understandable perhaps---it was Easter Sunday). Some complaints from other guests e.g. they could not book an evening table as the hotel was full. Also the cream tea consisted of a scone and hardly enough cream to cover it.
Overall an O.K. but would not hurry back.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank smithythemackem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa

Address: Cardrona | Peebles Near Edinburgh, Cardrona, Peebles EH45 8NE, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Borders > Peebles > Cardrona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cardrona
Price Range: $85 - $198 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa in Peebles, offers luxurious contemporary accommodation set in timeless natural surroundings. With the hotel's scenic location on the banks of the River Tweed you'll discover a relaxing haven - just 40 minutes outside Edinburgh and 90 minutes from Glasgow and the North of England - nestled amidst the tranquillity of the Scottish Borders landscape. With an award-winning restaurant, two bars, 99 comfortable and spacious bedrooms and conference and wedding facilities, our hotel in Peebles makes the perfect retreat for a leisure stay and offers a superb backdrop for any special occasion. While you're staying with us, why not try your hand at a round of golf on our 18-hole championship course or enjoy a dip in the pool and a luxurious treatment in our spa and leisure club. Guests can also take advantage of our fishing rights and try to catch some Scottish Salmon along the River Tweed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf Hotel Cardrona
Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf And Spa
Macdonald Cardrona Hotel Country
Macdonald Cardrona Resort Country
Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa Scotland

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