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“Making good progress”
Review of Dowans Hotel

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Dowans Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Aberlour
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“Making good progress”
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We visited the Dowans Hotel in the midst of the new owners updating it. As a result, it felt thematically a little disjointed (some areas quite modern, other areas very old-fashioned), but it seemed to be going in the right direction. Our room was very small but comfortable and offered a pretty view. The owners were friendly and outgoing and offered to help out with whatever we needed. The hotel itself is well-located and is an easy walk to Aberlour Distillery and the main street of the town of Aberlour.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank C D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MurrayFamilyDowans, Owner at Dowans Hotel, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
Thank you for your review. It is honest and open feedback like yours that renews our drive to achieve even more progress in our efforts to regenerate this wonderful old building.
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230 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 (39)
Date | Rating
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English first
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2013 via mobile

Gorgeous building, flawless and friendly check-in.
Clean and cosy room.
Lovely wee bar, very helpful and friendly staff.
Had a 3 course meal in the restaurant which was scrumptious and very good value for money (soup with bread, lobster with potatoes and side salad then sticky toffee pudding with ice cream for under £25!)
I was made to feel welcome from the second I arrived until the moment I left.
I cannot wait to stay here again the next time I'm up this way.
Thank you so much =) xx

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank audreydaisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MurrayFamilyDowans, Owner at Dowans Hotel, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
Thank you for the kind words and we do look forward to you visiting us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed August 6, 2013

Having stayed at the Dowans hotel last week I found it to be very relaxing and friendly. The new owners took over the hotel 7 months ago and are making brilliant inroad's into the refurbishment of the rooms and also the kitchen area that is due to start this week. The hotel is in an amazing location and the welcoming, comfortable and warm hospitality from the family of owners added to our trip. We also found the food that was served to us both at breakfast and dinner to be of excellent quality and great to here that all the food is sourced from local producers. It was also great to have a proper coffee machine rather than the usual instant out of a pack and with easy to follow instructions provided. Now that's service!! This has been our first visit to this particular area in Scotland and both myself and my partner can't wait to return and visit more of the area but also the family run Downans hotel. The owners have taken the time out to talk to you and understand the importance of costumer service. I would like to thank the Murray family for a most enjoyable short break and look forward to returning in the near future.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BRIAN_ANN30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MurrayFamilyDowans, Owner at Dowans Hotel, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write and review and we do sincerely look forward to you coming back again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2013 via mobile

Having visited Aberlour numerous times over the past few years we were excited to hear that the hotel had new owners. I had previously eaten here but found it rather stuffy. We dropped in to have a look round earlier in the day and were shown round by Lauren, the owners daughter. We were impressed and booked a table. We were welcomed later by the Murray family who came to speak to us in the bar. It's clear they have great plans for the hotel. We ate in the bistro which is decorated in a modern contemporary decor, we loved it. There were five of us and everybody's meal was great, including two fillet steaks which unlike previous reviewers we had no complaints with. Service was friendly, atmosphere good. Cannot comment on rooms as didn't see them, but if they are like the bistro or dining room I would be impressed. We had a great evening and will definitely return, no question! We wish the Murray family every success in their new venture. Many thanks.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hilary_crosby1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MurrayFamilyDowans, Owner at Dowans Hotel, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
Thank you for your kind words and positive feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your meal and the atmosphere that we seek to create. We attempt to learn from our failings but equally as importantly we take energy from reviews acknowledging where we are getting it right.
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kilmarnock
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2013

We stayed at The dowans recently , and could not thank the family enough for their hospitality, generosity and overall friendliness. We even had the pleasure of seeing a very rare Japanese motorcycle! :@)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank eddiekai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MurrayFamilyDowans, Owner at Dowans Hotel, responded to this review, July 21, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback. We are thoroughly glad that you were able to experience the rare sight of a Japanese motorcycle...hopefully you will see more rareties on your next trip! The Murrays
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

We have been staying at the Dowans for many years, we will not be returning. We were disappointed with the hospitality, food and cost. Some examples of the problems we experienced are: On returning from dinner elsewhere one evening at 10pm we were surprised to find that the bar was closed, on enquiring as to whether it might be possible to have a drink we were told that it would not be reopened. The set menu was repetitive and the al a carte extremely expensive (£30 for an 8 oz steak) the food was generally poor, on our first night the majority of our group ordered the beef and when asked how we'd like it we all requested medium rare or rare what we were served can only be described as very well done. Strange to be asked how you'd like it cooked if your request is then completely ignored!
On the positive side the building is nice and the rooms perfectly adequate.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dave H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MurrayFamilyDowans, Owner at Dowans Hotel, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
As a business that has just recently been awarded a “Certificate of Excellence” by Trip Advisor; an award that is only given by the Travel Website to the top 10% of establishments, it must be said that the extremely negative rating by yourself does run rather contrary to the normal assessment of our performance. Nevertheless, it is, of course, entirely your prerogative to hold to your own assessment. Yet, although we were disappointed to receive your review, we were not entirely surprised given some of the events that had transpired before and during your stay with us. All hotels that aspire to achieve the highest levels of professional service nevertheless are required to implement certain limitations from time to time in order to conform to legal requirements. You note that the bar was closed on your return one evening but, of course, neglect to add that you were served drinks in the lounge.
We apologise that you did not find the beef on that one evening to your standards however, we would have appreciated the opportunity to address any issue on the night itself. Prior to arrival you had requested an all-inclusive DBB rate which was explained at the time would mean choosing from a set menu of 4 choices per course although it was further explained that if the a la carte was desired for more choice of dishes, then the dinner portion of your DBB rate could be utilised as a discount instead which would have allowed you to eat from the a la carte with little further cost to yourselves, depending on your choice.
Finally, although your statement that you will not return is not something that we would have wished for, we do feel that it was a somewhat foregone conclusion before you arrived and nothing we could have done would have been sufficient in order to keep you here.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
1 review
Reviewed July 16, 2013

My wife and I stayed here, the night before business meetings in Rothes, Scotland. We absolutely loved this hotel. It is family owned, and run. Steph (one of the daughters), is who we dealt with, for our reservation. She ended up being the one that checked us in, and her father helped us carry our bags up to our room.
Our room was completely renovated within the last few months. They put in some very nice touches. The bathroom was very modern, with everything that was needed.
Before dinner, we went down for a glass of wine in the bar. It was a mix of guests, and locals that were in there. It has a nice atmosphere, with a beautiful view.
We decided to stay at the hotel for dinner, and were very happy that we did. The meals were very good. We shared the herb crusted lamb. It was prepared exactly how we requested. For dessert, we had the strawberry brulee'. It was also very good.
Breakfast was included, and served in the same restaurant as the dinner. They had buffet style, or cooked to order breakfast. It was a wonderful start to the day.
I was really empressed at the service, and the genuine friendliness of all of the staff that we encountered there.
I have never written a review for a hotel before this. It was so good, that I felt it was worth writing in.
Thank you, John and Shari

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John_H33364
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MurrayFamilyDowans, Owner at Dowans Hotel, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review and to be so positive. We will most definitely look forward to your return at some point in the near future. The Murrays
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dowans Hotel

Property: Dowans Hotel
Address: Dowans Road, Aberlour AB38 9LS, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Moray > Aberlour
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Aberlour
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Dowans Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set high above the picturesque Spey Valley, overlooking the village of Aberlour and the River Spey below, The Dowans Hotel offers a rare opportunity for guests to relax and enjoy the elegance of a fine Highland hotel. Built over 100 years ago, now converted to a first class hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dowans Hotel Aberlour, Scotland

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