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All reviews forest hills garden restaurant leisure facilities beautiful location steam room afternoon tea main restaurant rafters bistro evening meal executive room self catering both nights bottle of wine waiting staff short break relaxing stay changing rooms
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The first thing to say is that the location is stunning. We stayed for 2 nights and the weather was mixed, rain and low cloud followed by beautiful clear skies.

We booked a Family Suite for 3 and the room was more than big enough. Our 14 year old found the sofa-bed comfortable.

The bathroom was functional, but the bath was narrow and high, so making use of the over bath shower wasn’t great. I know other less mobile guests found it a challenge.

The hotel has a charm and warmth and I’d stay again, but some areas need a bit of TLC.

We ate at Rafters on the first night and the food was standard pub type. Certainly nothing to get excited about. The food in Rafters is relatively inexpensive, but drinks are just ridiculous, more expensive than any hotel I’ve ever stayed at, including London and New York.

It was the same in the main hotel bar, high prices, but I can’t comment on the main restaurant food.

The location is remote and perhaps the management think they can get away with high drink prices. Not good, play fair with your guests. If you charge in this way customers simply won’t buy, so reduce the mark-up.

Breakfast was good with very relaxed service on cooked items, allowing guests to enjoy the view.

We had an early check-out and asked for breakfast in our room. Despite what the card said, cooked items are not available until 7.30am, something we only found out when breakfast didn’t arrive. This delayed our departure. That needs sorting, it should be 7am as a minimum, in line with most hotels.

Helpful and polite staff, some quite amusing characters, happy to have a laugh with guests. Not a stuffy hotel, which is a definite positive.

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank HighFlyingBards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMForestHills, General Manager at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thanks for the review High Flying Bards,

We do really appreciate your constructive feedback.

Regards

Duncan Johnston
Resort General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We stayed in a refurbished lodge, very nice & tasteful.
Rafters tries to be too up market for the needs, very expensive. No draught English or Scottish beer. Guinness or European lager.
We eat out for all meals only used 2 rooms, the bedroom & lounge with a little background heating. The TV & lights. Our electricity bill was over £70 for the week! No meter readings are given so I couldn't check if a mistake was made. If I over there that would be £3,600/yr! Either they add to the suppliers rate (illegal) or I'm funding their profit. Not impressed.

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank j666kfm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMForestHills, General Manager at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hi j666kfm,

I will certainly look into the electricity charges, thanks for letting us know.

Kind Regards

Duncan Johnston
Resort General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We booked this hotel for the quiet location after deciding to spend 3 days in the Glasgow area and 3 days in Edinburgh. We booked the lodges as they were half the price of the hotel rooms and came with a small kitchen and lounge . Our room also had a ground floor balcony over looking the gardens and lake . Our room was a time warp back to the late eighties which was ok as it was clean and the view made up for it . Our disappointment was with the food availability in the evening. On the first night the main restaurant was closed for a wedding so we had to eat in Rafters the bar attached to the leisure centre. The food was ok , if a little bit expensive and the wine was expensive £14 for a medium glass of red wine . The second night the main restaurant was open and we had a pleasant meal . The next night after eating lunch in Glasgow we were looking forward for a light meal in Rafters but found it was closed . We went to go to the main restaurant at 6:45 but were told there were no tables until after 9:00 . The only option was to eat a full price meal in the bar area . I complained to the reception and was told the Rafters bar was not making any money so they closed it early in the season . That is fine but in a venue 5 miles from any other food venue it is not acceptable to eat a restaurant meal on a settee, hunched over a low table and still pay full price . Some of the people having to do this were in their early 80’s , it is not acceptable for a hotel of this quality to close food venues purely because of profit and not offer a practical alternative. When I went to the toilet near the reception there was a whole dinning room area with no lights on that could have been used .

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank 906col
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMForestHills, General Manager at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

I am sorry that our Rafters restaurant was only available for part of your stay, we would recommend booking for dinner to ensure you get your preferred time.

Regards

Duncan Johnston
Resort General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

View from room exceptional. We were given the disabled room on the ground floor (not sure why) but it was lovely. My only gripe is that people strolled passed the room all the time and looked in. There were no nets so we felt continuously exposed. When I wanted to change for dinner, I had to close the curtains, despite it still being daylight and a beautiful sunny afternoon. The organ player in the restaurant was a little too loud for my liking. I could hardly hear myself think. We were glad to finish our meal and escape to the lounge in the main building for a quiet nightcap. The concierge was a delight to talk to and gave us some great advice on where to go for an afternoon stroll. We ordered 2 packed lunches for our mountain climb the next day. Price was extortionate at £12.50. Even more so when we got to the top of the mountain to find we did not have a ham sandwich as ordered, only 1 bag of crisps and only 1 banana. Not impressed. Having said all that, I'd still return as the location takes some beating and the room was beautiful

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank RavensworthGang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMForestHills, General Manager at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hi RavensworthGang,

I am so sorry about the packed lunch, I do hope this didn't detract from your stay too much.

Regards

Duncan Johnston
Resort General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I decided to treat my wife to a bit of pampering on her 50th birthday. We booked a "treatwell" dinner, bed and breakfast with Spa treatment included, at the MacDonald Forrest hills hotel. We could not have been more delighted by the hotel and setting (including stunning backdrop and gardens). But best of all was the first class service we received from all staff at the resort. Despite a busy wedding taking place at the same time we were warmly welcomed with a special mention to Fiona at reception who was absolutely lovely, and booked us in with minimal fuss. A lovely card and bottle of prosecco marking my wife's birthday also awaited in our room. This was a lovely personal touch.
For our meal (in the Bistro), again, the staff were so nice and attentive - with yet another surprise for my wife (I had left a birthday cake for her birthday). A special mention here too for Shamek as the restaurant manager. Nothing seemed too much of a bother, and Shamek and all his staff were so nice - as well as being very professional.
I would highly recommend this hotel and Spa, and would add the hotel must also be very proud of its staff, who certainly enhanced our stay.

Date of stay: September 2019
    • Value
    • Location
Thank ColinMacD_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMForestHills, General Manager at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thanks so much ColinMacD_11,

We do have a great team of staff here, I'm really delighted that they made your wife's birthday a memorable one!

Regards

Duncan Johnston
Resort General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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