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“A great week's get-away”

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Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch Lodges
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 21, 2013

This was our second visit to Hilton Craigendarroch, as owners. Stayed in Lodge 1 with amazing views from the balcony up the valley towards Balmoral. We could watch the weather as it changed from snow, to rain, to sun and back again, with the light falling across the mountains. The lodge was in a good state with a nicely furnished kitchen (some appliances where so new that they were still in their boxes). Heaters, as many others have commented, were certainly needed since the temperature was down very low at night and there fresh falls of snow - i do wonder how the electricity charges are calculated though since the week cost just over £55 which did seem somewhat high. Note that the bedrooms are all on timeswitch-based heaters and can get pretty cold in the winter - a extra blanket certainly helps!

As you may know, the main house is being refurbished and turned into new apartments. The work is due to finish in the summer, so there are workman there right now but the noise is not bad at all. Will be interesting to see what the new restaurant will be like. The swimming pool was at a very nice temperature too, making it a real pleasure to swim. The men's locker area could do with some improvements though.

Did a few good walks in the area as well as horse riding over at Glen Tannar in brilliant sunshine. Also went to Dunnotrar Castle, near Stonehaven. A real find! well worth the visit.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Joel O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 9, 2013 via mobile

We've been visiting Hilton Craigendarroch for over sixteen years. Most of that time as owners.
We stayed in Lodge 307 which is one of only two lodges which are on ground floor level. We would have preferred one of the other lodges if we are honest. Although you can just see a view of the River Dee in the distance.
We had a meal in the Club Bar and the food was very good and reasonably priced.
Several new cafes have opened in Ballater so there is plenty of choice if you fancy lunch out locally.
It is worth a drive to Loch Muick for a lovely walk around the Loch. There was plenty of snow on the ground when we

  • Stayed: April 2013
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3  Thank TidyBetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We exchanged a week of timeshare to Craigendarroch over Easter and had a lovely time. Reception staff were friendly and helpful as was anyone on site we dealt with.

As it was only a one bedroom we managed to get we stayed the first 4 nights and our daughter and husband and 2 small grandchildren stayed for the last 3. The lodge was all on one level which we liked. Open-plan living room/kitchen, good sized bedroom and a beautifully updated bathroom. A large balcony was off the lounge which would be wonderful in warmer weather. Although the kitchen was not updated it was in excellent condition with lots of storage and fairly new kettle, toaster, coffee maker and microwave. There was a washer dryer in a cupboard in the hall as well as another full sized dryer. Only downside is the storage heaters which are not the easiest to understand. Due to all the reviews re the electricity charges we were loathe to turn them up too high. As it was it cost approx £38 for the week which wasn't too bad. We used the dishwasher lots and the washer/dryer once.

The family used the area where the dry ski slope was for sledging and had a great time in the snow. They also loved the pool. There are lots of great places to eat in Ballater which is approx a mile away. We'd all love to return, hopefully to a larger lodge next time.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jackiee19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We were family of 4 staying in one of the lodges. Those lodges are very nice, it was extremely roomy, especially for 4 of us, and 2 recently renovated bathrooms were a big plus. Beds were comfy, kitchen is complete, and it was clean and well cared for. The heater units (for sure needed in March) were not too bad to figure out either. I do have to say the folks working the desk to the pool and gym area were outright rude. The second thing that I hope someone from management there is reading and fixing, is the check in process. We arrived at 345pm (4pm is check in time) after a full day of flying across the ocean and a drive. We were allowed to fill out the paperwork and get the credit card swiped, and then, at 350, were told to go away for 10 mins and come back at 4 for the key !! Seriously !! So we checked out the pool (very nice) and came back to now find a LINE of 4 people, so its now 415pm before we get the key and go. That certainly is about the stupidest rule and process I've seen.
Views were outstanding, there is a really nice woods hike around the mountain behind the resort, just catch the trail by the top units near the lodge and go. Look for the trail going UP and you find the top and an absolute stunning view of Ballater and the mountains and a rock Cairn and other monument on top. Really nice and not to difficult walk/hike. And yes, the electricity was $94 USD for us after 7 days of a pretty cold March, I didn't think that was overly bad, but if you aren't used to extra charges, just be aware of this coming. The town was nice, the Coop grocery store is well stocked (even with beer), and the butcher shop 100' down from there is excellent, try their game burger, Irn Bru Sausages, and haggis (butter fried, mmmm) to cook back in your own lodge kitchen.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank scattershot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

I have grown up here having a timeshare and look forward to going back each August. From the age of 1-now 21 there is everything to do, rain or shine!
Could not recommend the lodges or the surrounding area enough, I get excite each time i get on that Deeside road!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Hannah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Have just come from a week stay in the lodges, enjoyed the stay ,but if you want clean towels during your stay you have to pay extra for them.storage heaters kept upstairs warm but downstairs was quite cold.Downstairs bathroom had only a hand held shower in the bath,not easy to get a good shower.Electric is charged extra and is expensive could heat and light my home for a month for what a week cost. Ross ,Glenrothes

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank rossiepossie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

We were invited by my parents who had exchanged their foreign week for something different. Having visited Craigendarroch 25 years ago it was interesting to note the differences or perhaps things that had remained, unchanged and old fashioned. Firstly Lighting, installed in the 80's this already out of date 70's lighting is dreadful, lights in wrong position, too high above the table and not centered etc, using up too much energy in this modern age is not good. Get a good lighting designer and the energy savings could pay for the new fittings. I can recommend one. The heating is a bit wild and difficult to use, too hot, too cold, however I can understand this as it is storage heaters, which if you are not used to is difficult to regulate .
The mattresses are covered in some protective material which made for a very unpleasant and uncomfortable sleep. It was clean enough, however had to leave not about the rear of bathroom doors which were dirty.

Good points, staff, location and food. Stunning watched the red squirrels from the window, it is gorgeous, but with maintenance costs, electricity costs of £77 on top, its not a cheap week and there are standards to maintain.

Lastly, there is a scary abundance of 'no pets' signs. We were let down at last minute by our dog sitters and although we had no intention of taking our dogs into the property, we keep them in their cage in the car, we had to drive off regularly to walk our dogs outwith the resort. Why? As responsible dog owners we respect rules, but a ban, it was a bit much and spent less time on the resort than we planned due to this. Might go back if the dogs were allowed to walk about on the resort. Maybe I am just fussy, but I have experienced all standards of accommodation, from caravanning to Skibo Castle. I appreciate each for what they are. We are also owners of Self Catering elsewhere in Scotland so know what we need to provide.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Gobbsmak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch Lodges

Address: At Craigendarroch Lodges Braemar Road, Ballater AB35 5XA, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Aberdeenshire > Ballater
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Ballater
Price Range: $163 - $343 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch Lodges 3.5*
Number of rooms: 131
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hilton Grand Vacations at Craigendarroch is a beautiful resort in Royal Deeside. It boasts 32 newly developed luxury timeshare suites along with it's existing 99 lodges set within the grounds, the Keiller Brasserie and Lounge offering a fantastic range of frshly produced and local menu items, an indoor lagoon pool, LivingWell Health Club and The House Spa. The resort also includes indoor games room and squash court together with outdoor play park and tennis courts providing activities for all the family. The resort is perfectly located for walkers and hikers to take in the beautiful surrounding scenery. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Craigendarroch Hotel Ballater
Hilton Hotel Craigendarroch
Hilton Hotel Ballater
Hilton Ballater
Ballater Hilton
Hilton Grand Vacations Club At Craigendarroch Lodges Ballater, Scotland

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