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“Great Value”

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The Invercauld Arms Hotel
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Braemar
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great Value”
Reviewed August 29, 2008

Stayed at the Invercauld Arms for a 4-night short break. The hotel itself is an impressive building and a former coaching inn. It is owned by the WA Shearings group and as such is used as a base for their coach tours. The company sells 'self-drive' breaks on their website to people who want make their own way there and are happy to do their own thing. If you come by car, the hotel has lots of parking - there is an area at the front of the hotel and a large parking area at the rear and side. There is also a free public parking area across the road directly opposite the hotel.

As you enter through the main doors there is a lounge area with the reception desk beyond. As the hotel caters for a large number of more mature people, the front entrance had a ramp for easy access for people with limited mobility and there are a number of ground floor rooms. I have to say that if you do have any mobility problems make sure you let them know. I was allocated a room on the top floor which was up several flights of stairs. Not a problem for me, but might have been for some people if they struggle with stairs as there was no lift to that floor. Check in was very warm and friendly.

The room I was allocated was on the top floor. The room was clean and well presented and had a comfortable double bed with bedside tables and wall mounted lamps either side. Other facilities in the room included a television, hairdyer, large desk and chair, clock radio/alarm, phone and kettle with a good stock of tea, coffee and biscuits and plenty of storage space. The only thing I would comment on was the lack of spare electrical sockets. There was only one spare socket which was located in the corner of the room by the door. The bathroom was completely tiled and had a good stock of shower gel/shampoo sachets and soaps. There was a bath with a shower over the bath which always had piping hot water.

Had a restful nights sleep each night, there is very little traffic in the village at night and so there is little to disturb you. Most of the guests seem to be more mature people on coach trips you don't get disturbed in the early hours by the raucous types that you can sometimes get in hotels.

The short break deal was on a half board basis with meals being served in the hotel's elegant dining room. You are allocated a table which you dine at each night. The nice thing is that you do get to know the people sat around you and it makes it a much more enjoyable experience. The maître d' was very welcoming and ushered you to your table on the first night and ensured everything was to your satisfaction. The waiting staff were also top rate, very pleasant and polite. They really seemed to keep their eye on the ball despite the larger number of guests. Meals were served promptly with very little waiting between courses. Evening meals consisted of three courses. A choice of starters were available followed by a choice of around 4 main dishes. For dessert there was a larger choice and included some traditional favourites such as apple crumble and custard to the more exotic! As others have mentioned, portion sizes were not huge as they are catering to a predominantly senior market. Having said that, I did not go out of the restaurant still feeling hungry as I have done many occasions in other restaurants and the portion sizes at the Invercauld were certainly more than adequate.

Breakfast was also served in the dining room and consisted of a buffet table with cereals, fruit juices and fresh fruits. For the main breakfast course there was a full fried breakfast and a range of other options. Waiting staff would also bring a rack of toast and either a pot of tea or coffee. As with the dinner, the waiting staff were extremely attentive and there was no waiting for service.

All in all, I have to say the restaurant service was absolutely excellent and all the staff were a real credit to the hotel.

The hotel has a small bar - ' the Slainte bar' - with a small range of beer and wines, plus a few different brands of whisky. There is entertainment provided most nights which seemed to consist of a singer in a room adjacent to the bar. This seems to be aimed at the coach trips as it was pitched at the more mature age group! They all seemed to really enjoy it anyway. Not really my thing though.

The hotel is located within a very short walk of the village centre and there are many easy (or strenous!) marked walks on the hills around the hotel or around the banks of the the river Dee.

If someone were to ask me if I would recommend the Invercauld Arms it would be a definite yes. It is incredible value for money and had to be one of the most friendliest places I have ever stayed at. The staff are all absolutely top notch from the cleaning staff who would always greet you with a 'good morning, to the restaurant staff and the cheery receptionists. If you are looking for a relaxing break in beatiful surroundings in a hotel with lots of history then the Invercauld Arms is definately for you. I certainly hope to be back there again in the future.

  • Liked — Staff, Location
  • Disliked — nothing to dislike!
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank 787_Andrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Fife, Scotland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2008

We booked the Invercauld Arms through an advert in one of the National papers on a special deal. The hotel is owned by the WA Shearings groups.

After a two hour drive from the house we finally arrived at the Invercauld Arms, its a very impressive building standing next to the Braemar Aberdeen road. Looking the very part of a country manor.

The interior is well presented, lots of impressive pictures of various areas of Scotland, along with well know Scots personalities such as MacIntosh, Walter Scott...The list is endless. The interior design is well maintained with the only thing that I can highlight in the bad sense is the carpets throughout being of a dark colour.

The meals are set in what I believe to be the old hall, wll laid out and run to know where to sit immediately with a table number being assigned when you first arrive. We were a bit unfortunate to be assigned table 17 which was the very first table which everyone walked past. The Maitre de greeted us on arrival at the dining room and showed us to the table.

The hotel is normally run for coach tours, mostly elderly and thus the meals were on the smaller size that could suit their needs. However they were tasty and cant be knocked. The meals were three courses for dinner (starter, main course and sweet), breakfast was a cereal or other starter, tea/coffee and toast followed by the main dish, fried breakfast, Kippers or one other (cant remember what is was)

The staff were very good and friendly and always there, catering to your needs, in the dining area they were very efficient and friendly. They did appear to be from other EEU countires except for the Maitre De

Our room was confortable and filled our needs. However due to the age of the building and over time settling the floor did slope away from the window to the door. This was quite amusing to say the least, especially when placing a drink on the bedside cabinet as after a short period you noticed it moving towards the edge. If we hadnt of noticed the slight sloping of the room we would have said it was haunted.....

The guests at the hotel, appeared to be mostly elderly with the odd exception, either participating in the coach visit or hill walkers. Either way they were a nice mixture who were friendly.

Entertainment was provided at the hotel, during our visit we had two different men singing verious melodies, there is no room for dancing and as the hotel put it the Entertainment was 'sitting style'

All in all I cannot really fault this hotel, the staff were efficient and friendly and the rooms were comfortable and met our requirements. The hotel is well placed for visiting Glenshee and nearby Ballater, with the Queens offical Scottish residence just 10 miles down the road. A gentle walk through the village, a romp over the hill or a short drive shows the beauty of this area and its wild life.

Approaching the town of Braemar from Glenshee during our visit we saw in access of 150 deer gracing along the glen, this could be put down to the fact that the hills were still covered with a lot of snow thus forcing them down to lower grazing areas.

  • Liked — Central location
  • Disliked — Very dated bathroom styles
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Scotsnomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
N.Wales
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2008

I and my wife stayed in this hotel on a Shearings Mid week all inclusive deal.The hotel is in a good spot only a five minute walk from the centre of Braemar.The Hotel is spotless and rooms are reasonably sized.The bathroom in our room was a little dated but had a Full size bath and a shower over it.Whilst we were there the lift was out of action for the begining of the week but was fixed before we left.The resteraunt was quite nice and the service was excellent and food nice with a choice of all courses.My only fault and it is a small one,was the temperature in the Public bar.They made it that warm that it was almost uncomfortable.Maybe they do this to stop you drinking to much and it certainly worked.The surrounding area is stunning and there are plenty of walks.For lunch times it is worth trying the Fife Arms hotel in the middle of Braemar as they serve a nice bar meal and the selection of drinks is very good.Overall i would recommend this hotel and the Shearings break to anyone.Will be trying it again next year.

  • Liked — Friendly atmosphere
  • Disliked — Lift didn`t work most of the week
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank santasid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2007

we stayed at the invercauld arms on the weekend of the 23rd nov this was our first shearings holiday it was great value for money but was not to impressed with the entertainment
over all it was ok the hotel could do with a revamp the food was good and the staff were good i thought they could have had a little light music in the reception area we will be back and with the walking boots lots of lovely hills around

  • Liked — meals
  • Disliked — entertainment
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank kello11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Invercauld Arms Hotel

Property: The Invercauld Arms Hotel
Address: Main Street, Braemar AB35 5YR, Scotland (Formerly Bay Invercauld Arms Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Aberdeenshire > Braemar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Braemar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Invercauld Arms Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The impressive baronial style of The Invercauld Arms is set against the stunning backdrop of the Grampian Mountains. The Castle view Restaurant with its impressive windows and wood paneling adds to the character of the hotel and makes for an informal dining experience with us. The Rebel Lounge comes alive most evenings with our talented entertainers offering a relaxed style of entertainment for you to enjoy. In the winter months there is a traditional coal and log fire burning in the front lounge providing a warm welcome for weary travelers. The intimate atmosphere of our Slante Bar provides a very cosy and relaxed setting for unwinding at the end of the day. The Invercauld Arms is ideal for those looking to partake in outdoor activities, explore the Highlands or just relax and enjoy the unrivaled world famous Scottish hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Invercauld Arms Hotel Braemar, Scotland

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