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“Dissapointing”
Review of Forbes Arms Hotel

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Forbes Arms Hotel
Ranked #6 of 6 Alford B&B and Inns
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Dissapointing”
Reviewed June 11, 2012

We found the hotel on the internet when arranging a short family break in Scotland. We had a warm welcome when we arrived however the rooms were a bit tired and expected it to redeem itself when we went down to dinner as the pictures of the dinning room on the net looked good as did the menu. However there were only 2 tables including ours occupied and the food was the same as the bar menu so nothing special as was the service - the breakfast the following day was equally disappointing. The hotel itself has loads of potential and in great location however the quality of the service and the food let it down badly.

Room Tip: Choose a room overlooking the river
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lonarch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2012

The service here is still reasonably good, very pleasent and helpful. And the setting is stunning, overlooking a river view in the country.

A few years ago, it was difficult to get a table booked at the weekend. Now the near deserted lunchtime restaurant didn't bode well, and our food confirmed our fears. My partner had scampi but the black intestines were left in to give it that special "poo" flavour. You would think you can't go wrong with chips, but these homemade attempts were soggy on the inside and burnt on the outside. (The only other seated table also seemed to send the chips back to the kitchen.) My steak pie was OK but lacked any pastry around its serving dish - more just stew with a puff pastry top. It was tepid, but edible. A burger replaced the poo-ey scampi, but it was dry rubber burnt to a frazzle.

I hope they manage to get their kitchen to come up to the standards of their service and the setting, as this is a unique location and could be a stunning restaurant.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank stroch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paisley, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 15, 2012

I was on a business trip and was given this Hotel as a booking, it was short notice and i hadnt packed anything which I wasn't too bothered about for one night. On arrival the receptionist (i forgot everyones name) showed me to my room which was spacious and well kept. She was considerate of my rushed situation so much to provide a charger for my iphone, toothpaste and also a toothbrush! Bathroom is well kept with constant hot water and a big bath which i needed after driving around all day. Got a good sleep too as its very quiet. Both women there you'll find very approachable. The male owner (who's name leaves me) i met the next morning who provided a good breakfast and considerate service and provided any other information about the area i needed. The Forbes is a good quality hotel. Good natured staff and nice setting. I can't fault it in any way

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ryan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2012

The Forbes Arms Hotel is pleasantly situated beside the River Don with views over farmland beyond the river. It is close to a main tourist route through the region and about 50 minutes drive from Aberdeen.

I stayed here on a recent business trip, because I could not find a room in central Aberdeen. I booked using Laterooms.com and paid £90 for an ensuite room with B&B. In my opinion this was vastly over-charging for single occupancy in this level of establishment with this level of service. I was also a little taken aback that the full amount had already been charged to my credit card before arrival. Perhaps it is a sellers' market when Aberdeen hotels are full.

First impressions of my room were that it was a little dull and not great decor (green carpet, with red/pink bed-covers and towels). However, on closer inspection it was very clean, had good quality (but very dark) furniture and the bed was perfectly comfortable. The TV was cheap and very small (not flat screen) with a set-top box delivering Freeview channels. There was a Guest Information Folder in the room but it had no guest information. That's a first! It did have standard tourist board issue about Aberdeenshire tourist attractions but nothing about the hotel e.g. when and where breakfast was served, dinner options, checkout times etc etc.

The main issue with the room was that it was absolutely freezing - and I mean that. I like a cool room but even I found it unpleasantly cold. There were 2 wall-mounted electric heaters in the room which I switched on. However, there was clearly no electricity supplied to them at 4.30pm in the afternoon because the fuse light on the wall remained off and there was no heat. This is very poor. I went down to reception and the part-time employee who had shown me to my room said she thought the room was very cold too but she did not know how to fix it. Later the fuse lights on the wall turned on and heat came from the heaters. It appears that the circuit that supplied the heaters was either on a timer or management manually switched the circuit on and off to save money. At £90 a night you do not expect that.

Dinner in the residents' lounge was surprisingly good. A smoked mackerel pate and a prawn curry were both tasty, washed down with a decent beer. The decor of the lounge was bland, but the public bar (which I could see behind the bar) appeared to be wood-panelled and had a real fire. However, to get to it you have to leave the hotel, go outside and enter via another. Service was pleasant and efficient.

I slept well, although my room (8) did overlook the car park and bottle bank and I did hear noise from the latter both late in the evening and also in the morning. It did not bother me but would bother others.

Shortly after 7am I went down for breakfast but found the reception and dining rooms both completed deserted. I looked around the reception area and found an A4 typed sheet taped to the wall which said breakfast started at 7.30. I went back to my room and returned downstairs shortly after 7.30. I could see lights on in the kitchen so went into the conservatory area and helped myself to cereal. After more than 10 minutes, I had still seen not one member of staff. I was about to go into the kitchen to request some service when I met the owner (later discovered that is who he was) coming out. He didn't apologise for the delay, but just told me that he didn't have a breakfast card from me. Apparently when I checked in at 4.30pm the day before I should have been given a breakfast card which would tell them what I wanted for breakfast 15 hours later! Fine for a B&B but not for £90 a night.

Breakfast was tasty enough but neither the bacon nor sausage were good quality.

It should be standard practice to provide receipts for the room and for dinner, but I had to request these both. After breakfast, I had to go through the "staff only" door to see out the owner in order to request the receipt.

Perhaps this gives the impression that I was the only hotel resident. I was not. Four of the eight rooms were occupied.

In summary, if I had stayed here with some male friends for a walking weekend and had been charged £35 to £40 B&B I would have been quite content. However, at £90 it was very poor value. Having said that, the room was fine and clean and dinner was good. But charging good hotel prices for poorer than average B&B service, while cutting corners on expense is not acceptable.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HAL11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 2, 2012

we were going for a day out on sunday 30th april.we decided to book a table for 4 for high tea at 5 30pm as in the past it was always busy.On our arrival we were taken straight away, which was unusual. Our order was placed.our meal arrived my daughter had the scampi chips and salad chips were very soggy as though they had been cooked and then reheated And she said to me dad there is a blond hair in my salad my daughter is brunette.I had ham salad not much ham and chips soggy.my wife and mother in law had roast beef roast potatoes potatoes and veg.the roast potatoes were not cooked through and the beef was a bit chooch scottish for tough.When our tea and cakes finally arrived the cakes were minimal a few scones and pancakes and caramel shortbread.Not the quality we had received in the past which was excellent.For £12.95 each not worth it.On paying the bill which we had to wait ages for we went to the bar to settle the bill. We were asked if we enjoyed the meal .My wife said we were very disapointed with the above.NOT even a discount on the meal which came to nearly £60 with drinks 2 cokes and a soda water Would never go back

Room Tip: no comment
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, UK
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

We arrived here on Mothering Sunday without a reservation. Although the restaurant was full, the owners did their utmost to accommodate us, allowing us to deviate from the set mothers' day menu. The home made bread alone is worth a return visit. Excellent value and service.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Downthepub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2012

I did not find this restaurant as welcoming as the other reviewers have suggested. We found ourselves rudely greeted after waiting some time. The staff were both unpleasant and unhelpful, showed no interest in our custom and treated us with contempt. Their only helpful deed was, when pushed, to suggest another restaurant.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Fallentoadstools
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Forbes Arms Hotel

Property: Forbes Arms Hotel
Address: Bridge Of Alford, Alford AB33 8QJ, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Aberdeenshire > Alford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Alford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Forbes Arms Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Forbes Arms Hotel is a well-known landmark to Sportsmen, visitors and tourists in this charming part of rural Aberdeenshire. Situated just beyond the bridge over the river Don the Forbes Arms Hotel offers modern hotel facilities Including comfortable en suite letting bedrooms with free WI-FI,popular bars and a charming restaurant with a conservatory style extension overlooking the River. The hotel gardens run down to the river and are popular for alfresco dining.Bridge of Alford is a small country village nestling in the Vale of Alford on the banks of the River Don and is surrounded by the Hills of Bennarchie and Coreen. Despite this tranquil litythe City of Aberdeen is only a 40 minute drive away. The Forbes Arms Hotel enjoys a highly visible location in the village and is ideally situated to benefit from sportsmen and visitors to the area together with local patronage. Thearea is reputed to be where the world famous Aberdeen Angus breed of cattle originates and has many attractions to offer the visitor including a Heritage Centre, Transport Museum, Steam Railway, a Country Park in corporating an historic battlefield and a golf course, all within easy reach of the hotel on the banks of the River Don. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Forbes Arms Hotel Scotland/Alford, Aberdeenshire

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