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“Fantastic hostel”

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The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul
Certificate of Excellence
The Hague, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic hostel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

Three friends and I cycled from Aberlour to Tomintoul, through a thunderstorm. We had only called to book a room earlier that day and we arrived late, tired and wet. We were greeted at the door by the host, who immediately offered to finalise the booking over a warm cup of tea. He put us up in the largest room at no extra charge, so we had plenty of room for all our stuff (we were on a two-week cycling trip through Scotland). Then we got the tour of the hostel itself and directions to the nearest pub for a good meal. The facilities are great, a fully-equipped kitchen, clean bathrooms, hot showers and free wifi. There is even a shed with a heater and dehumidifier which came in handy because our cycling gear could not be tumble dried. The breakfast was perfect, a wide selection of cereals, bread, eggs, etc.
One of us had had a fall the previous day which busted the front break, the host has a stash of bike repair tools and supplies and when we decided to fix the break next morning (because it was getting late) we found out it had already been done.
In short, best hostel ever.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank tberben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglerHostel, Marketing at The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review The Smugglers Hostel. I don't think we can do better than being termed the "best hostel ever"!!

We're so pleased that you thought the facilities we have to offer are great. We are constantly striving to further improve the Smugglers experience and so this Winter we will be making a range of upgrades to the Hostel, including installing a new efficient and eco-friendly biomass heating system, charging points in all the bedrooms and a total refurbishment of the shower and toilet areas, allowing greater privacy and doubling the number of shower units available! So next time you stay with us after a riding through a Scottish thunderstorm, you will be even more cosy and comfortable!

Glad you loved the bike shed and the breakfasts too! It was our absolute pleasure to repair the break on your bike!

We hope you had a great cycling tour and hope to see you again!

The Smugglers Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

I cycled into Tomintoul from Aviemore on an off season Monday. I received a warm welcome and plenty of great chat those working there, including local info on my continuing route. My bike was locked away for me, I had warm showers in an on-suit room, used the free wi-fi and enjoyed the spacious and well equipped communal area.

In town I bought a picture from the art gallery (which they posted on for me), went to the free museum, had coffee in the old fire station, bought the next days supplies, had a dram of Tomintoul Whisky and a massive steak meal from the Avon Pub.

The staff in the hostel really did go the extra mile for me and it all finished off with a large and wholesome breakfast. A fantastic hostel.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank andyharvey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglerHostel, Marketing at The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Andy, thank you for a fantastic review of The Smugglers Hostel! Great to hear hostellers making the most of our facilities - the secure bike shed, free Wi-Fi, spacious communal area and healthy and hearty breakfasts we offer!

It sounds like you explored the village well too! Tomintoul offers a range of great local shops and eateries.

Haste ye back!

The Smugglers Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013

After a long walk to Tomintoul I was hoping for a good hostel, and I wasn't disappointed - it's great! The hosts are setting out to establish it as a well-run independent hostel, and they're great too. Very friendly and most helpful. The place is kept nice and warm, and linen is provided foc. Breakfast items are offered (cheaply) to make sure you set off in the morning with food in your belly. I wish them all the best...

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hmphffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglerHostel, Marketing at The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay at The Smugglers Hostel.

We really enjoy getting to know our guests and helping in any way we can. The communal lounge helps to make the hostel a very sociable one. Glad you liked the breakfasts too, they set up our guests for another day of adventures!

It's great that you found your stay nice and cosy! The hostel will soon be undergoing some renovations and we will be installing an eco-friendly biomass wood pellet boiler soon, so hostellers will be warm all winter long in 2014!

Thank you for your warm wishes.

The Smugglers Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gateshead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013

Stayed overnight recently whilst on a bike tour with 2 friends, our welcome was great:- would you like a pot of tea to sort you out? we looked fairly beat up after a hard day. It's the little things, the beds were already made and the offer of a breakfast buffet for £4 was perfect. Facilities were clean, bike shed and the drying room were good. Use the honesty box, there's not too many hostels like this. Many thanks, Chris C.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chris c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglerHostel, Marketing at The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Thank you for your great review of The Smugglers Hostel Chris - "there's not too many hostels like this" - wow, that makes us Smugglers proud!

We are delighted that you appreciated our warm welcome and the facilities we had to offer - the drying room, bike shed and breakfast are all very popular with our cycling guests!

Hope to see you again!

The Smugglers Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Smugglers with two friends over three nights.

The hosts were very friendly & knowledgeable, with good advice about walks. The hostel was clean and comfortable, and the honesty box for tea was very welcome. The self-cook breakfasts for £4 looked great, but we'd bought our food before we knew about it. The village is quiet but with a few shops and cafes (plus adventure playground), and the pub we tried was good.

The Smugglers was a great find, definitely somewhere to head back to.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Egn_C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglerHostel, Marketing at The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback on your stay at The Smugglers Hostel. We love to make our guests feel welcome and with the team having our very own qualified Mountain Leader, we can always offer advice on the great walks and climbs the area has to offer!

We are really pleased to hear that you loved the honesty box for tea but are sorry that you had already bought breakfast before you knew about our £4 breakfast deal. From now on, we will be working hard to get the word out!!

Tomintoul is wonderfully peaceful but has a fantastic range of shops selling local arts and crafts, the finest malt whisky's and delicious deli foods. There is also a wide range of places to eat and drink - so you will have a new one to try out on your next visit!

Look forward to hosting you again.

The Smugglers Team

Look forward to seeing you again!

The Smugglers Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penicuik
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2013

Stayed here for three nights last week and although the owners have just taken over from SYHA they are doing a great job at keeping a much needed facility in this area afloat. It is a really lovely hostel, not too big so very friendly and thank goodness someone has the confidence to make such a great contribution to the community (unlike SYHA!)
The little town is so well placed to walk (Munros and Corbetts) and cycle as well as all that whisky it's great to find such a nice place to stay. They also have electric bikes for those a bit daunted by those hilly roads! Had a great time and will definitely go again.
Just one word of caution, take cash to pay because they haven't got card facilities sorted yet.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglerHostel, Marketing at The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Thank you so much for your excellent review of The Smugglers Hostel Joan. We are absolutely delighted that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us. Many people have yet to learn that the hostel is now independently run by the Tomintoul & Glenlivet Development Trust. It is a fantastic asset for our rural economy, with all profits being re-invested into the local community.

We are very proud to offer affordable, friendly and sociable accommodation in this beautiful part of the Cairngorms and it is a pleasure to get to know our guests - walkers, cyclists, whisky enthusiasts... I'm glad you think we are so well placed because we believe The Smugglers is situated in the best part of the Cairngorms National Park! No surprise that the electric bikes have proved popular and are giving visitors the confidence to tackle those hills!!

We are working hard to continually make improvements to the facilities and you will be pleased to know Joan that card payments are now accepted!

We are looking forward to welcoming you back again!

The Smugglers Hostel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lagos, Nigeria
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2013

I was very kindly put up here when I was on my Land's End to John O'Groats run and had a lovely evening in Tomintoul. Thank you so much for making me feel so welcome and helping with out, giving me advice. Terrific hosts and hospitality. Enjoying the SYHA hostel experience given by The Smuggler's. Best wishes Joseph Mbu

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JoeMbu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglerHostel, Marketing at The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Thank you so much Joseph for your very kind review of The Smugglers Hostel. Giving all of our hostellers fantastic hospitality and advice where we can is all part of the service! We are glad that you enjoyed your evening in Tomintoul too - it really is the 'hidden gem' of the Cairngorm National Park and is waiting to be explored by many more! We hope that you had a very successful Land's End to John O'Groats run and would love to have you back!

The Smugglers Team
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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 The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul

Property: The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul
Address: Main Street, Tomintoul AB37 9EX, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Moray > Tomintoul
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Tomintoul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the picturesque village of Tomintoul, The Smugglers Hostel, the highest in the Scottish Highlands, is surrounded by stunning scenery. We offer friendly, comfortable and affordable accommodation for 20 'Smugglers' in our four cosy dorms, including two en-suite private rooms suitable for couples and/or families. The hostel has fantastic facilities: - Tea & Coffee - Bed linen (included in price) - A fully equipped kitchen with fridge, oven, hob and microwave - Bike shed - Outside hose to wash down those muddy bikes and boots - Drying room - Free Wi-Fi - 24/7 secure access - Lockers. As the northern gateway to the Cairngorm National Park, Tomintoul is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Climb our very own Munro, Ben Avon, get on your bike (or ours!) And enjoy the renowned cycling roads and mountain bike trails, follow in the footsteps of the first whisky smugglers and sample a local dram, try your hand at fly-fishing or explore the glens by horseback - the outdoor opportunities are endless. As an independent hostel, The Smugglers is run by the local Community Development Trust, so by staying with us, you're investing in the local community and making a difference to a rural economy! ... more   less 
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The Smugglers Hostel, Tomintoul Scotland

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