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“Excellent value for money”
Review of The Boat Hotel

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The Boat Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Boat of Garten
Dumfries, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent value for money”
Reviewed June 7, 2014

Hard to fault- got a room very cheap as a late online booking and it was excellent value-very clean and comfortable-some aspects perhaps were a little dated, but that's part of its charm! Was awoken early by snores from next room however!Service in restaurant was good but a little slow-but I was a late arrival and the food was excellent however! I would definitely return in the future. Some improvements possible but overall good place to stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ray d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 7, 2014

We have just returned from a 2 night break at the Boat Hotel. It's unlikely we'll be back.

The decor is a bit jaded and our room (211) can only be described as bizarre. It was L shaped with one part of it being no more than a narrow corridor which had one upholstered chair (only one in a room for two) stuffed right in front of a wardrobe which made it almost impossible to get clothes in and out.

In the hallway and stair areas the carpets are worn, the floors are uneven and creaky and the whole place is dingy and dull.

We waited 40 mins for breakfast on our first morning then gave up. No one seemed to know what they were doing. We could see the mayhem of wrong breakfast orders all around. Surely it's not difficult to get the choice of tea or coffee wrong? It seems to be at the Boat.

I could go on but it's all been said in previous reviews.

On the plus side, we had a reasonable meal in the bistro and all the staff we encountered were keen to help and both friendly and polite. It's just a shame no-one took the time to manage them properly and give them direction as they spent most of their time apologising for mistakes and wrong orders etc.

Come on management team. Start listening to your customers and giving your staff some direction because you're living on the good reputation the Boat has earned over the years and you're in serious danger of blowing it.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank meandus2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newcastle
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed June 4, 2014

We booked a last minute break , and judging by the mixed reviews it was with trepidation we approached the reception desk .A few moments later we were relaxing in a newly decorated room with a nice garden view ,phew !! We ate both nights in the bistro and the food was much better than we ever imagined ,there were a few niggles ,but nothing that would spoil our stay .considering how much we paid we were very happy when we left .
Would recommend the fish and chips offer on Tuesdays ,good value and very tasty ,not sure about them being served in a newspaper though ,especially when ours was the daily star !!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank martandmaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2014

My partner and I had an Itison voucher for 2 nights DB&B at the Boat Hotel. We had stayed here in the January of this year and it was wonderful, so when the offer appeared, we bought it and booked it straight away. (Bought and booked in March) Due to other holiday commitments and school holidays, we were unable to use the voucher before the end of May. When we arrived at lunchtime on Friday 30th May, we were earlier than the recommended check in time, but thought we would ask to see if the room was ready early (approx. 1.30pm). The woman who greeted us at Reception couldn't find our booking details so she went to find someone else who could assist. Another member of staff came over and after some time, it became apparent that there was no booking for us. It turned out that the booking had been recorded on their system for the 30th March not May. We were out of the country on this date so we knew we hadn't incorrectly made the earlier booking. We were offered a drink until they could work something out. A short while later, the Manager (been with the company only a matter of weeks) got involved and offered his apologies for the mix up and advised me that the hotel was fully booked that evening but they had booked us into a nearby B&B instead for the 1st night and an upgrade to a bigger suite on the 2nd night. I wasn't impressed with this as we had made plans for the whole weekend on the understanding we would be in the one hotel. As it was, we were now having to change our plans to check out of one and check into another. Due to the mix up, we were offered a complimentary bottle of wine and our dinner for the Friday evening was still honoured to us.

When we arrived for dinner on the Friday evening, we waited approx. 10 minutes at the bar for a drink as there appeared to be a foreign member of staff trying to serve everyone whilst a young boy (we think on his first shift) just hovered around. Once we finally got our drink, we sat at a table in the bar we advised a member of staff that we had a table booking at 8pm, this was about 7.50pm. . At approx. 8.10pm, the F&B manager came and asked us to follow him to a more private dining area (less private in my opinion...more open and more tables). As soon as we sat down, we were asked if we wanted Red or White. We said we would like a few minutes to decide on dinner first then he asked us again if we wanted red or white. He then took the hint that we weren't ready to order wine and walked away. A waitress came to take our order and we asked what red wine they had. Her response was "we have 3" that was it, so we had to ask what kinds. She then disappeared and came back 5 minutes later saying "Merlot, Shiraz and Temper something I think" I'm guessing the staff don't receive training. We ordered our dinner and our wine but then had to send back the main course as it wasn't cooked as we had requested it to be. When I asked for the bill, I was expecting to pay for a couple of gins and that's it since we had been offered a comp bottle of wine and we had already paid for DB&B on the voucher. Imagine my frustration when I received a bill for my partners meal and the bottle of wine. I immediately took the bill to the front desk and asked for someone to explain it to me. A few minutes later, the receptionist came to our table and apologised to us and told us everything had been wiped off the bill and we had nothing to pay. (By now we have been offered approximately. £50 worth of free drinks) The whole way through dinner, nearly every other table were making comments and complaining about one thing or another. There was even a gentleman who was offered a pudding when he had only been sitting at the table for approximately 5 minutes and still had the menu in front of him. The whole evening was just comical with the F&B manager deliberately ignoring our table and not addressing our complaint until I specifically requested that he come over and speak to us. He then acted as though everything was fine.
 
We went to the B&B for our Friday night stay and thankfully we had breakfast provided here as when we spoke to guests at the Boat the following day, we were advised that the kitchen didn't open until 9am however the residents had been waiting on their breakfast since 8am and no one had the decency to tell them there was a problem. Thankfully, we didn't experience this first hand. Although, at 9am when waiting to collect another couple who we struck up a friendship with on Friday night, the receptionist asked my partner to apologise to them on her behalf and tell them the wine and weekend supplement would be deducted from their bill.

We enjoyed our day out and managed to do everything we had planned to do, although we did have to come back to the hotel in between to check in to our room which wasn't too much of an inconvenience thankfully. When we checked in though, we asked for an iron and ironing board. We left the room 4 hours later and still hadn't been brought one. We had made plans to dine out on the 2nd evening so we didn't experience the complaints on the 2nd evening but from reports from other guests when we arrived back later that night, there were more mishaps again.
 
As a few of us were sitting enjoying a few drinks and a catch up together, there was a man at the other side of the foyer from us getting louder and louder and his language was becoming more and more offensive with each drink he took. The F&B manager must've walked passed him at least 5 times and didn't say a word. It all came to be too much for us so I asked the man to lighten his conversation and tone down the language. He then hurled abuse at me and after being spoken to by everyone in our group, he finally stormed off and left. He wasn't even staying in the hotel. An incident like this, I would expect a manager to deal with.
 
When breakfast time came on Sunday morning, there were complaints from everywhere. The waitresses were getting the orders wrong, half orders were being brought out to the tables, coffee & tea were being missed (despite being asked for repeatedly) the waitresses were bringing the wrong food to the wrong tables and tables that hadn't even ordered were being offered food. By this point, everyone was exchanging horror stories with each other and laughing at how bad their weekend's had been. When you think you've seen it all, they manage to do something else. The reputation of the hotel has completely changed from 6 months ago and it's really disappointing. My main frustration was the managers being nowhere to be seen and hiding behind walls and doors, apparently happy to let their poorly prepared staff deal head on with the customers complaints. Someone in the job 3 weeks isn't experienced enough to manage or resolve 15 complaints at once. When we checked out on the Sunday, there wasn't a single guest who didn't have a complaint from their stay and the F&B manager, after listening to 1 from behind the partition, walked out the back door of the office and went out of the building for a cigarette. The general manager had taken the day off...

From a wonderful stay less than 6 months ago to this...In my opinion, the management team are dragging the hotel into ruin. The staff need training and direction and from what I witnessed this weekend, the current managers aren't capable of this.

If you want a good laugh and don't mind everything going wrong, visit the Boat Hotel!! 

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Charley M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Lothian, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2014

We spent 2 nights, and have never experienced such shockingly bad service, which we experienced at every turn. Every drink and every food order was either wrong or didn't arrive at all. On the Saturday morning, everyone in the restaurant (20+ people) waited an hour or more for their cooked breakfasts to arrive. Over the 2 days, one particular waiter was making constant trips to tables with the wrong food. We personally saw a few people accepting the wrong meals just so they got fed!
Every member of staff, without exception, was very friendly and appeared keen but proceeded to disappoint.
When the correct food arrived it was well presented and good quality.
We booked through 5pm and despite chasing, only got part of the complimentary package promised.
Overall, this hotel badly needs someone in charge, not only in the restaurant but throughout.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Elmac66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairn, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2014

My cousin booked dinner for 4 in this hotel for his 70th birthday. He had been many times before and said the food was wonderful. We arrived at 7.20 (booked for 7.30) and were told we might have to wait because they had a party of 34 (a bus tour) to service. We accepted this and ordered drinks - a G&T, a Real Ale, a soft drink for the driver and a Belhaven Best. Our drinks were dispensed and three sat on the bar for 40 minutes. When we enquired, we were told they were changing the barrel of the Belhaven - 30 minutes later a waiter (like Manuel) appeared to tell us there was "NO Belhaven Best" - OK ordered Belhaven black and finally this was delivered. We then ordered dinner (including a bottle of wine for 4) and a jug of water) , the wine arrived with 2 glasses and no water was forthcoming. When we asked for 2 more glasses they were dumped unceremoniously on the table along with the jug of water. After an hour and a half we finally got our main course (which I would say was edible, but not much more). When asked if we would like a sweet, we decided to forego this but would like some liqueurs. A Cointreau, a Brandy and a Drambuie (the driver forewent the liqueur). After about ten minutes we were then told again by Manuel that "NO Drambuie". In all this dinner was in excess of £100 for four and totally unacceptable. My Cousin and his Wife who are regular customers will never go again and I can assure you we also would not make the effort to either. Many other customers were also getting agitated at the service. Although the young serving staff were doing their best to placate the customers, there appeared to be no-one in charge and no one would take responsibility. When we asked to speak to the person in charge, we were told we were a "bit cheeky" to be complaining!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank reidhmor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2014

Myself and my cousin stayed 15th to 17th may with 5pm voucher , 2 nights with dinner both nights and breakfast £179 . I felt the hotel room was very tired but some of the other rooms were being upgraded during our stay but the work did not affect us. The room cleaning staff are extremely noisy mid morning shouting orders back and forth so reading in peace was out so we took a walk , the surrounding area with the steam railway and stunning views made up for it.
The waiting staff are exceptional , a young Polish girl seemed to be running the whole show and made our stay ! The food was a total surprise, on a voucher you don't really expect a 3 course meal of such quality , yum yum yum tasted amazing and was beautifully presented . We'll be back sooner rather than later . . .

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rafferty65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Boat Hotel

Property: The Boat Hotel
Address: Deshar Road, Boat of Garten, Aviemore PH24 3BN, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Aviemore and the Cairngorms > Aviemore > Boat of Garten
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Boat of Garten
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Boat Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arriving at The Boat Hotel for the first time can be compared to returning as house guests of a close friend, where needs are anticipated before arrival and the welcome is genuine. Where else can you wear your Hunter wellies at 8am, golf spikes at 3pm and dress up or down for dinner? But while we offer our guests comfort, some luxury and indulgence, this is not a stuffy hotel where you can’t sit on the furniture or let your kids enjoy themselves. Nestled in a tranquil picturesque setting deep within the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, near Aviemore, lies the historic and unique award-winning Boat Hotel & Bistro. Adjacent to the renowned Boat of Garten Golf Club, we boast 2 AA Rosette food and stylish yet relaxing accommodations with exhilarating views. The Boat Hotel is a place where you can relax and enjoy your well deserved leisure time, then put your feet up. Hotel Highlights: * Dining options - 2 AA Rosette Bistro & Bar Dining * Range of guestrooms including king bed, deluxe garden terrace & four poster junior suites * Child friendly hotel near Landmark Forest Adventure Park and kids stay & eat free * Meeting & events facilities for up to 65 * Close to the Cairngorm Ski Resort and adjacent Boat of Garten Golf Club Events Diary. Whether you're looking for an active or relaxing break, an inspirational meeting or private dining venue for your next event, planning a fabulous wedding, looking to indulge in a glass of your favourite tipple by the log fire or simply join us for some of the best food in the Cairngorm National Park. The Boat Hotel & Bistro combines historic charm with modern facilities to provide the leading destination and first choice country retreat hotel in the Aviemore area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boat Hotel Of Garten
The Boat Hotel Boat Of Garten, Scotland

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