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“Wonderful stay - would return in a heartbeat!”

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Columba House Hotel
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Kingussie
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed December 17, 2013

We enjoyed a delightful stay at Columba House weekend of 25 Oct 2013 with our 3 yo son. Columba House is situated in a nice and quiet area with beautiful surrounding scenary. The hotel itself is about as homey as it can get, an instant wave of comfort and warmth when you walk in. Mark and Yolanda were welcoming from the minute we walked through the doors all the way till the end. The food was fantastic, even our son cleared up his plates after dinner! (a very rare occasion). Just the right portion and just the right flavors, all perfectly combined. The view was impeccable and the staff were all very friendly. Mark and Yolanda made all 3 of us feel right at home and were accommodating from beginning to end. Breakfast was always a joy as we could see ducks marching left and right, even rabbits hopping about! We had a fantastic stay at Columba House in Kingussie and will definitely be returning again!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Team_ACE_TS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 - 277 of 349 reviews

Reviewed December 2, 2013

Simply perfect location and perfect stay! The staff is very firendly and professional. The welcome was very warm and the service very smouth food was amazing too.
Thank you very mutch for Mark /the ohwner/ he was very helpful to get me a vase for the flowers .

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank tonymontana97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

As soon as we stepped in the door we could tell the Hotel would be perfect to suit our needs for our short visit in the highlands, and it was more than ever could have been expected. The homely feel that surrounds the hotel is unlike anything you would believe when on holiday. It seemed as though we had known Mark and Yolanda all of our life. The rooms were superb and clean. Absolutely couldn't fault anything. The cosy little restaurant overlooking the garden and the outstanding view of the Cairngorm mountains is better than anything that could be expected. Food was fantastic, you can really get a sense of the passion Mark has for cooking when the meals get presented to you from the outstanding staff. The only Dim moment at The Columba House Hotel was leaving. Definitely be visiting again soon!

Room Tip: Stayed in the Spey four poster suite that overlooks the fantastic garden and the cairngorms! A Fabul...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dorothy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013

From check in to check out everything was perfect.Mark and Yolanda fabulous couple made sure all our needs were catered for.The check in was painless and mark made us feel so welcome.
The dining was excellent.You can see and taste that Mark is a top chef with years of experience.The food was top quality and the service top class.The ambience of the hotel is so relaxed.It was lovely just chilling in the lounge next to the fire trying different scottish beers or whiskies or just reading our books.Mark and his staff were always on hand to to see that we were all ok.Everone in our group were just so chilled out and felt so relaxed.The rooms were amazing no faults what so ever.Our whole group all commented on how clean and homely the rooms were and how well we slept.We are already planning our next trip to Columba house hotel because we had a five star experience a The location was wonderful and the building full of local history.We enjoyed our stay so much.I predict that this hotel is going to be around for a long time as they have fantastic owners who know what they are doing.Everything was perfect.
Thanks Dennis and family

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank denoose69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2013

Let me start by saying I have stayed in many hotels but this horrific

Check in Reasonable 3/10

Bedroom Dirty, not clean bed linen we slept in our bedding we keep in the car for emergencies
1/10

Bathroom Mouldy , plus hairs in the shower 1/10

Room service none and no way 0/10

Lounge Cold & uninviting no fire on or warm welcome 1/10

Pre dinner drinks non existent 1/10

Dinner Menu rather dull, over use of balsamic dressing, food semi warm really not inviting we ended up going out to get food 0/10
Plus during the meal a young child came running into restaurant and was touching place settings very off putting later found out this was the owners child. 0/10

White wine was warm 0/10

Checkout when I spoke to the proprietor Mark he made no offer to offer a discount for anything


Overall Customer service is non existent Mark and Yolanda i understand have just taken over the business earlier this year but the lack experience in the dynamics of running a hotel they need more staff in order to ensure that from check in to checkout the is staff always around the fire should be on in the lounge with staff available to take pre dinner drink orders.

Plus you need to re - fresh the paint work and your children should not be able to wander freely around a hotel that is supposed to be child free. You would be better offering this as a back packer hotel rather than trying to be something your not.

Will not stay again

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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4  Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark A C, Chef Patron & Hotelier at Columba House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 29, 2014

We welcome the person who wrote this REVIEW to contact us, as we we have no record of this complaint ever happening, we further have no information regarding the night you had supposedly stayed and in which room you stayed. By contacting us we may be able to resolve and or compensate for your issues if found to be genuine.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

The following an account of our stay at The Columba House Hotel.

Dear Sir,

With reference to our stay with you on Saturday 19th of October, reserved in the name of Tanya Beard, the following is an account of an extremely unpleasant experience, culminating in what I would consider to be an act of fraud on your behalf.

I booked the 'Executive Garden Suite'. We arrived to find one broken blind (which was pointed out to us), and the largest window in the room overlooked by other rooms and facing the car park completely devoid of blinds and curtains. There was therefore no privacy. The bathroom had no toiletries, and the shower cubicle was mouldy.

We booked dinner upon arrival for 7.00pm. We arrived at 6.15 in the bar/restaurant, expecting to study the menu and have pre-dinner drinks, to find no-one there. We sat in an empty lounge with no fire lit (until 7 o'clock) for ten minutes until a young lad turned up to stock the bar. No table service, my husband had to go and ask for the drinks. He had to wait another 5 minutes whilst the young lad went in search of lemon slices, which he eventually put into the drinks with his bare fingers.

We had to ask for the menus. They were like a throwback to the 1970's, (Spicy Potato Wedges/Scampi and chips - for goodness sake!!!). Eventually our order was taken, and I asked for a bottle of white wine with the starter and a bottle of red with the main course. We were asked to our table at 7.00pm. My husband had to go and collect a candle from another table,

Our starters arrived, both with a large amount of balsamic vinegar on them, totally inappropriate to the dishes we ordered (and not stated on the menu) , but no wine! It took my husband at least 5 minutes to get the young lad to come to the table and my husband asked him for the white wine. When it arrived it was warm. The young lad explained it had been in the fridge! Not wishing to enter an argument we asked for an ice bucket and some ice in a glass to put in the wine, (a bottle costing £24). We had to ask for some decent size glasses to put it in, and additionally some bread to go with the starter. Meanwhile another ten minutes had gone by before we were able to commence eating.

Whilst we were still eating our first course, our main courses arrived - but were given to another table, and promptly taken back to the kitchen. When we had finished our first course the main course was delivered to us within seconds of our plates being cleared. Again no red wine, and no glasses to drink it from. My husband ordered a rib-eye steak at £17.95, and when it arrived it was about the size of a medium fried egg, and served with rancid mushrooms(chopped) and soggy onion rings. Due to it's size and how thin it was, it was impossible to cook it medium rare, as he had asked. Admittedly it doesn't state a size on the menu, now I know why.

When the proprietor/chef came to our table, my husband explained all of his grievances to him, pointing out about the service elements, the need for professional staff or at least some semblance of training to be given to those youngsters tending bar, or serving food. The proprietor/chef responded "your points are taken on board" and left, nothing else, simply that.

He naturally expected something to be done about the lack of privacy in the bedroom, and that the proprietor would reflect my our dire dining experience within his bill, - he did neither. We ended up hanging a spare yellow blanket at the window, and of course were woken at dawn of light.

The following morning my husband went to settle the account using his credit card not mine which I used merely to secure the reservation. When he received it he noticed that there was no deposit removed from the account, and that the proprietor hadn't taken a blind bit of notice of his complaints, it was for the full amount of £181.50. Questioning the deposit, he was told that no deposit had been taken on the card. It clearly states on Booking.com that a £40.00 deposit, will be taken on the day of booking to guarantee the reservation.

My husband then refused to pay the account. After a lot of belligerence and an unpleasant scene, in which the proprietor said that he would take the money from the credit card anyway "and he had 'ways' in which to ensure someone paid, (which my husband took to be threatening behaviour), my husband told the proprietor repeatedly that he was not authorised to debit that credit card and that by doing so he could end up in a court of law. The proprietor dismissed this by saying "see you there".

My husband then left the hotel to calm down. After a couple of minutes discussion in the car with myself, he returned to offer the proprietor £140.00 in settlement of the account. The proprietor told him it was "not a game show" and repeated his intent to debit my credit card.

We left, and upon arrival back home, I checked my online account with Capital One, only to find that at 9.16am that morning the transaction had indeed been processed for the full £181.50. Since I did not hand over the card (my husband was going to use his) and since no pin number was entered by myself (which I thought was private), how therefore could this retailer have processed the transaction? I consider this to be an act of fraud on the proprietors behalf.

In conclusion to this deeply unpleasant experience, I ask that the Hotel retract it's claim for £181.50 to my credit card, and instead invoice in writing the amount of £60.00, (to cover the hotels costs in this matter) to my husband.

Sincerely, Tanya Beard.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Tanya B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mark c, Owner at Columba House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2013

Dear Mrs Beard,
Thank you for taking valuable time out to set up your trip adviser account and submitting your first review.
We value all reviews in the respect to help us satisfy our valued guests and to keep improving our services and product.

Having reviewed your complaint, please allow me to point out some of our findings.
While we cannot discus all the findings on this page, as you are well aware your complaint has been escalated to the Bookings.com resolution center by yourselves.
While I did point out the issues with the one blind,( the window overlooking the car park has a roll-up blackout blind, quite possibly you did not notice this), this is the reason the room has been significantly reduced in price.
The penthouse is on its own wing on a second floor, and there is no opportunity for any intrusion from any areas of the building and this has not been an issue for past guests.
It was also an overcast morning and therefore no sunlight.
If this had been an issue and mentioned I could have dealt with the window issue immediately.

We only supply bath and shower gel soap.
Any special requirements, deodorants, toothpastes and the likes of should be requested beforehand on the booking form. For guests who have traveled unprepared we do go out of our way to accommodate their needs on request.

Mr Beard mentioned to me that he is or was a professional chef, and my style of cooking was throwback 70,s, which may not have appealed to him, but we certainly have satisfied all of our previous stays
Amazing to say that you ordered “SCAMPI”
He did mention that as I am South African I need to up my game as the British public expect more and I’ll be out of business in no time.

In line with our service, we are not sure what the Beard group were expecting, suffice to say that our relaxed style of service has never been a cause of complaint before.
On doing my rounds on the tables, Mr Beard had no mention of any quality issues, which leads me to think that his complaint is now becoming somewhat embellished.
The starter and main meal was fully eaten along with, a double gin, a double vodka and 2 bottles of wine, at what point was he not happy with his meal?
While I was amazed at his arrogance, tone and “constructive criticism” I had no reason to see this as a complaint
Mr Beard proceeded to slam the restaurant door on leaving and my wife had to stop him from slamming the front entrance door, Mrs Beard was clearly and visibly embarrassed by his behavior throughout the evening.
On approach to the reception Mr Beard was very volatile, arrogant, and belittling, he refused to pay outright. At this point causing a scene, in an undignified manner, embarrassing himself, I decided to remove him from our restaurant to the front reception desk.
My wife and staff were all left upset by Mr Beard’s behavior throughout that evening.

It is unfortunate that you did not enjoy your stay with us and our Hotel was not the correct choice for your needs.
On this only ever occasion, I took the stance that the guest is NOT "always right".

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2013

Our first stay at the Columba for 2 nights DBB and what a fabulous hotel. Looking for peace and relaxation - it has it. Room clean and 4 poster bed. The food was excellent and well presented, compliments to the chief. All the staff were friendly and accommodating and our small dog was also made welcome. Will definitely stay again. Value for money and enjoyment more than exceeded. Great stay.......

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Anne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Columba House Hotel

Address: Manse Road, Kingussie PH21 1JF, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Aviemore and the Cairngorms > Kingussie
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Kingussie
Price Range: $58 - $114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Columba House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to our Hotel:Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, an oasis amidst the magnificent scenery of the Spey Valley. Shimmering lochs are fringed by sandy beaches, and sparkling rivers lie in the shadows of heather-covered mountains. A paradise for outdoor activities, golf, fishing, climbing, rambling, pony trekking, water and winter sports, and those who appreciate invigorating Highland air, dramatic scenery and Highland hospitality.The village of Kingussie is in the Central Highlands of Scotland, surrounded by the Monadhliath and Cairngorm mountain ranges, it provides the opportunity to explore the peaceful countryside with the chance to see a wide variety of wildlife from Golden Eagle or Osprey to Red Deer Stag and Pine Martin. There is also an abundance of wild flowers, plants and trees. 2 miles from Kingussie is the rspb insh Marshes Reserve, one of the finest wetlands conservation areas in the UK. Many wildlife events are organised from here. Golf Pass available guaranteeing 30% reduced rate at all eight of the finest courses within the Cairngorms National Park.A romantic Highland Retreat, highest standards of accommodation, welcoming hospitality, & customer care. Nestling in a secluded, walled garden with ducks, red squirrels, rabbits, deer, pheasants & numerous beautiful birds in attendance. Regret we cannot accommodate children but offer indulgent refuge for grown-ups wishing to enjoy peace in beautiful surroundings with attentive service, & a relaxed adult atmosphere.All modern facilities while retaining the original charm of the Old Manse & Croft.Various stylish, en-suite, room types, doubles/twins/super-king doubles/a large suite and the superb, triple aspect, Penthouse Suite, with ever-changing views of the surrounding village and mountains, including romantic four-poster rooms with locally hand crafted traditional four-posters, mostly king size, and all with double baths, showers. Personal controllable heating, The pampered comfort we offer tells a story, which speaks for itself, as many guests return time and time again. ”Monarch of the Glen” was filmed entirely in the Spey Valley, including many scenes featuring Kingussie.The sport at which Kingussie excels is Shinty and if the team is playing at The Dell (their local ground) you will have the opportunity of watching one of the oldest Gaelic field sports, performed by a team with an unrivalled record of championship and cup wins in the modern era. So….break free from city life and take to the byways, vast moorland, hills, and highland glens. Breathe in the pure highland air, which brightens the eye and lightens the step. Total freedom to relax, unwind and accept the slower pace of the Highlands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Columba House Hotel Kingussie, Scotland, UK

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