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“brilliant”

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The Invercauld Arms Hotel
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Braemar
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
167 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“brilliant”
Reviewed September 4, 2009

what a lovely hotel, great staff, lovely room, great dining room with lovely views, food great, lovely breakfasts and a sweet little village, very pretty and fantastic scenery, we would definately go back.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Happyholidayer8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Newcastle Upon Tyne
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2009

We have just returned from a four night break in this hotel, having booked through Shearings. The hotel is very much aimed at the older customer and this should be taken into account when booking. We had no problem with this at all and found our fellow residents extremely friendly.

The main problem in the hotel lies in its owners' unwilling to modernise. We paid extra for a room with a view, and while the views were great, the room itself failed to impress. The carpets were threadbare in several places and the room had a generally dingy feel to it. The layout was poor, with a large dressing table being placed right in front of the main window making it pretty much impossible to safely open and close windows. The room felt cluttered and was made worse by the fact my partner was confined to a wheelchair. Access to the small bathroom was unnessacarily difficult and we had to keep moving the bed in order to successfully navigate around the room. Sockets are sparse. There was one behind the afore-mentioned dressing table which was pretty difficult to access and one next to the door. With all of this in mind, I would definitely think twice before recommending the hotel to wheelchair users. There is a lift, but it only fits three people in comfortably and that becomes one when using a wheelchair.

The restaurant has a set three-course menu each evening. The food was average, seeming to have been reheated and the portions are definitely on the small side. This was a small grouch though. For the money paid the food is pretty good value. The desserts were good and full marks for variety. (There is a choice of dishes each evening). The staff were helpful and efficient.

The hotel bar only served two beers; Fosters lager and John Smiths bitter. There were a few bottled beers and ciders available and the selection of wines and spirits was good. The bar staff were particularly friendly and I felt very welcome. The bar does cultivate a nice atmosphere and is quite cosy.

The hotel does offer entertainment on some evenings. As you would expect, this is aimed at the old customer. We found some of the acts to be quite entertaining and it certainly kept some of the old folks happy. The entertainment takes place in a separate room anyway and can be easily avoided should you wish!

The Invercauld is in an excellent location, has good staff and adequate food, but the management need to put some money into modernisation to make this a hotel worth recommending.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hamano_kaito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Braemar hotels

Alicante, Spain
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2009

Stayed at this hotel for a weekend in February.

The hotel was clean and the staff very welcoming and friendly. First impression was good.

Getting from the rear car park to the reception was not an easy task with luggage. No problems checking in and the girl on the reception was very nice. On the way to the room the stairway carpet and walls had obviously experienced lots of traffic and it left us wondering what to expect when we reached our room. We were pleasantly surprised with the room, however the bathroom was a bit dated.

We found at this time of year that it was mostly older people who were staying at the hotel and the hotel was obviously more geared up for them.

As already mentioned the food portions were small, but i would say they were ample and the weekend package was good value for money.

There is a nice hotel bar in the village called the Fife Arms, which is more suitable for the younger age group (Under 65).

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Stwblair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nort West
1 review
Reviewed February 12, 2009

Hotel is in need of redecoration through out. Meals were small in quantity, main course served on a large teaplate. Breakfast was cold on the saturday.The heating in the rooms was not adequate at the best of times and on returning from a trip out on the sunday we arrived back at the hotel to find that the heating had been turned off while we were out. The hotel stated that there would be entertainment on it was not entertaining! We travelled with Shearings which involved an hour and ten minute wait at stretton interchange, a 1hour stop at Gretna Green,and a 45 minute stop at Stirling, this made a 6 hour journey into a 10 hour journey.

Stayed February 2009
Helpful?
Thank Dolly004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North East
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2009

Wish I could comment on what this hotel is like but am unable to as Shearings cancelled our holiday 5 days before we were due to go.
They had even issued our tickets the week before but gave us no warning that this was about to happen.
Surely they knew then that they didn't have enough seats filled on the bus?
We had booked weeks in advance as it was for school half-term holiday week - but try finding another holiday with only 5 days notice.
Just thought I better warn anyone considering booking with them.

Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank NorthEastBanker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
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 Andyflyer787
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fife, Scotland
Level 6 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.
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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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