The Boat has got a new chef. Now the old chef was really good (we've stayed a few times), but this new chef has just moved the whole menu up a few notches (turns out he's been Scottish chef of the year - I think). There's pretty much something for everyone on the menu, regardless of time or occasion - from a quick light snack to a full on fine dining extravaganza.
We were there for my wife's birthday, and the whole weekend was tremendous. The staff are great, they're very friendly and will go out of their way to help.
For the birthday dinner, my wife had a smoked wood pigeon starter followed by seafood linguine for main course, while I had a hot smoked salmon starter followed by a platter of scallops. Then to top it off we both had a terrific chocolatey dessert.
As for the hotel in general. The public areas ooze charm (the leather chairs beside the log fire are just fantastic after a days skiing at Cairngorm mountain). The rooms are well equipped, and the views looking out over Boat of Garten golf course and the Spey Valley are just stunning.
It's a great location, in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park, and overall I don't think I can rate it highly enough. It's a fantastic place to go and stay for a break, but even if you're staying somewhere else, you should still go there for a meal.