The main hotel building houses the reception, dining room, residents lounge and a lounge bar. The accommodation blocks are separate from this and therefore it’s necessary to brave the open air for a short walk to go for meals and drinks.
There is a large car park on site.
The “musty” smell which greeted us at the reception was not an encouraging start however our group were checked in efficiently enough. As has been mentioned by other reviewers there is a general dated feel to the internal fixtures and fittings. For example the large, bright, residents lounge had a motley collection of settees and chairs which resembled a furniture showroom from the 1970’s - with no two suites the same.
Our bedroom was spacious and had twin beds pushed together to form a double. The bed was soft, had nice clean bedding and we managed to sleep ok - possibly assisted by a few drinks. There was an open storage area with plenty of hanging space and a chest of drawers and dressing table which were functional. The room had a small television (not a great picture), a hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities with biscuits. The room and the hotel in general was well heated.
The ensuite had a boxed in shower which was small enough to make arm movements difficult and attract the shower curtain to attach itself to you - not a good experience. Water pressure was poor and hot water was available - at times. The hot water from the washbasin in contrast was always near boiling point.
Although we were in a group of 26 or so the dining room was set for tables of 4 to 6 people so we were a bit more spread out than preferred. Breakfast consisted of the usual cereals (the porridge would have been warmer if it had been kept in a heated container) and a choice of a full cooked meal (egg, bacon, sausage, potato scone, haggis) or waffles with assorted toppings. We had the cooked meal both mornings and found it was good. The evening meal had three options per course on the menu and again was good - the fish I had was a Vietnamese species I’d never heard of before but it was nicely cooked and probably farmed closer to home! As mentioned by others there was a choice of dessert from the “sweet trolley” followed by tea & coffee.
The staff in the hotel were all pleasant in our experience - albeit they seemed bit pressurised at times.
The bar was basic and not particularly cheap. We ventured out on one of the evenings and found several others in the village which were more pleasant. The hotel is at one end of town and the high street is about a mile long so be prepared to walk.
All in all the hotel is functional, clean, the staff pleasant, the food good for the price - i.e. decent value - I'd recommend as a budget option but not somewhere to go for your honeymoon.
It’s not that far to get to the Cairngorms for skiing and there are walks in the area around the village - we followed a wild cat trail and branched off up to Loch Gynack and over to Kingussie, returning along the cycle path to Newtonmore. Overall it was a pleasant walk of approximately 7 or 8 miles and worth doing. Boots are required as there are some boggy areas and at one point we had to ford a stream.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- For true Highland hospitality come to the Highlander, a hotel renowned for its good food and warm welcome. The hotel is an ideal base for touring the North of Scotland with mountain ranges, forests, lochs and river valleys waiting to be explored. Wind down in our inviting restaurant serving an array of dishes made from locally sourced produce. Perhaps a wee dram from the bar would suit; choose a whisky from one of the many local distilleries for which this area is famous for throughout the world. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Highlander Hotel Newtonmore, Scotland