Ballater Hostel
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Ballater Hostel

Traveller (18)
View from the Royal Bridge, 1 minute from the hostel
Room & Suite (7)
Dining room
Dining (5)

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Prices are provided by our partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and reflect nightly room rates, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.

About

5.0
#1 of 1 hostel in Ballater
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
Ballater Hostel (formerly Habitat at Ballater) is a 25 bed five star self-catering hostel situated in the centre of Ballater, near Balmoral, on the east side of the Cairngorms National Park. The Hostel is owned and run by Dominique & Daniel, who took over the hostel in August 2016. We have both traditional dorm rooms and private rooms, along with a large open plan kitchen / dining / communal area with wood burning stove. A drying room and cycle storage is also available. Either book the whole hostel, a room or just a bed, with no minimum stay. From £20 per person per night (mixed dorm) and £33 per room per night (private room). Excellent facilities, comfortable beds and a warm and friendly welcome awaits you – the kettle is always on!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Hiking
Skiing
Non-smoking hotel
Shared kitchen
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
Wifi
Shared lounge / TV area
Room features
Additional bathroom
Fireplace
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is officially classified according to VisitScotland standards.
5.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Modern
Family
Languages Spoken
English

Location

Bridge Square, Ballater AB35 5QJ Scotland
Getting there
Somewhat walkable
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 79 out of 100
79
Dyce Airport
33.3 mi
See all flights
Dundee Airport
41.2 mi
See all flights
89Reviews0Q+A6Room tips

Reviews
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Traveller rating
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  • 12
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Detailed Reviews
Mac36 wrote a review Sept 2020
Donaster48 contributions19 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dominique and Dan are fantastic hosts who run a brilliant hostel, although hostel doesn’t do it justice, It’s much more a well equipped hotel.
Excellent facilities, en-suite room with a brilliant separate shower wet room and LCD tv. Everywhere was clean, with plenty of tea/coffee/hot chocolate/milk/sugar in the rooms.
Secure covered bike storage was great, even with a hose to wash them down!

It’s located in Ballater centre which has numerous facilities to eat, drink and stock up on supplies before heading out for the day to discover the beautiful surroundings. It’s at the end/start of the Deeside way, a short ride (flat) to Braemar and also only 10 miles from the stunning Loch Muick.
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Graham wrote a review Jan 2020
130 contributions55 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was my third stay at this excellent hostel.

The hostel is well situated for visiting Ballater and the many wild mountains in the region including the Munros Mt Keen and Lochnagar.

The owners make everyone very welcome and are ready with local advice. The hostel is fitted out to a very high standard with good kitchen and effective drying room. In winter there is a lovely log fire in the spacious lounge. The dorms are cosy and have lots of electrical charging stations.

Parking is in the local side streets.
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Karl D wrote a review Jul 2020
Telford, United Kingdom22 contributions43 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We were allowed to stay as part of a "soft opening" before the full reopen post-Covid. We'd booked long in advance but the lovely couple who run this hostel didn't need to let us stay, they just did us a lovely favour. The welcome was really friendly and they were keen to share local knowledge even down to which specific pint to order from the local pub (it was delicious). Situated perfectly and the surrounding landscapes are breathtaking. We'll be back!
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Date of stay: July 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
CPJScotland wrote a review Jan 2022
Scotland7 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dominique was really wellcoming and helpful and the hostel was well situated, had great amenities and was spotlessly clean. We particulalry liked the communal area with the wood buening stove. Hope to be back
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Date of stay: January 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Bairbre O wrote a review Jun 2022
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed 4 nights in the family room. Great shower with separate toilet. Great location right in the town. Excellent facilies , spotless and kitchen very well equipped. Daniel and Dominique made us feel very welcome with lots of local knowledge about walks.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
dwotherspoon wrote a review Sept 2021
Blairgowrie, United Kingdom85 contributions50 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A very friendly welcome, a spotlessly clean kitchen, lounge and room and a generally relaxed and friendly atmosphere make this a hostel I am happy to return to.
Covid precautions in place in the shared dorm so no real issues.
Situated in the centre of the the village, handy for what Ballater has to offer.
Very reasonably priced. Can't recommend enough. I'll be back.
Well done.
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Date of stay: September 2021Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
happynotatwork wrote a review Nov 2021
Scotland59 contributions37 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Very central to village. Very warm welcome. Very clean & well equipped rooms & public spaces. Plenty of games / information / reading material plus excellent WiFi. Definitely a great location for climbing / walking& mountain biking.
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Date of stay: November 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
E N wrote a review Jun 2023
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Lovely, helpful host and hostess. Clean. Convenient location. Great to have free tea and coffee in the common room. We enjoyed being able to sit with the family at the big tables in the common room.
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Date of stay: June 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip:  Book early - it's popular.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Virginia M wrote a review Apr 2018
5 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dominique and Daniel were extremely nice and helpful and the hostel is very good and cosy.

We made our reservation online 48 hours prior to our stay and got the dates wrong. Moving the reservation was as simple as sending an e-mail, even at such a short notice. We got there an hour later than we had agreed and still everything was ready for us and we had no problem at all.

We stayed in a 8 bed shared dorm. The beds were really comfortable and the shower and WC were clean, modern and conveniently en suite. It was a very cold night but we were very warm inside. Guests are allowed to regulate temperature of the underfloor heating, but there are also extra blankets and hot-water bottles in case someone is still too cold.

The common living area and kitchen are also modern and very well equipped, with free coffee, tea and hot chocolate, plenty of utensils, and a very professional-looking stove that works wonderfully. In the living area there are several leaflets, books and maps with information for every activity you can think of (skiing, cycling, hiking, horse back riding, cultural visits, etc.), table top games, a great TV, a wood burning stove... I could go on.

The town of Ballater and surroundings are beautiful, and the trip there is really enjoyable. We got there from inverness, which means we drove for a long time inside the Cairngorms National Park, and the landscapes are stunning.

Even after all I've said, the best thing to me has to be how nice Dominique and Daniel were to us. If I had to choose something to improve, I guess at full occupancy it would be a squeeze to fit everyone in the two dinning tables I saw in the common area (really minor detail).
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Date of stay: April 2018
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Emma H wrote a review Aug 2020
London, United Kingdom216 contributions95 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Due to COVID our foreign holiday was cancelled and so we decided on a staycation in the UK, choosing to travel around Scotland.
I emailed ballater hostel a couple of weeks beforehand and there was only a 6 person room available, for just two of us. Dom assured me this would not be a problem, she explained about the changes due to COVID and so it was booked and paid for - all wonderfully easily. Emails followed shortly afterwards confirming all the details we had discussed.
I've stayed in some nice hostels and some not so nice hostels over the years - Ballater hostel rates up there in the top three of great hostels. Dominque and Daniel were so welcoming and friendly, it was lovely to be able to chat to them at length about the area, what to see and where to go (socially distanced of course!) Unfortunately the kitchen and common areas were closed due to COVID - which we knew about at the time of booking, but there were coffee and tea making facilities all in our room and loads of shops with a three minute walk.
It was a huge, lovely, clean room - with a great tiled bathroom and shower, hanging space on the wall and lockers too.
Dominique was kind enough to sort some of our laundry in the laundry room for us as we were half way through a two week adventure and fast running out of clean things! We loved the little blankets and hot water bottle in case it was cold (which it wasn't!) Good wifi too.
Parking in Ballater is plentiful and free and felt very safe.
Its a beautiful little Victorian village with everything you could need for a stay and a great selection of places to eat and drink. The weather was perfect (apart from the overnight storm) so we were able to do lots of outside activities. The hostel is a minute's walk from the Royal Bridge, from which you get a picturesque view of the River Dee.
It all felt very safe COVID wise, both our stay at the hostel and also everywhere we visited in Ballater. There was plenty of hand sanitiser and social distancing precautions were taken.
Ballater is a great base for visiting Balmoral and Braemar, and there are loads of wonderful walks and natural areas to visit very close by (Lochnagar, Glenmuick, 7 bridges walk...)
Thank you Dom and Dan, we had a perfect stay and wouldnt hesitate to come again when we're up that way.
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Date of stay: June 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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E N wrote a tip Jun 2023
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
" Book early - it's popular."
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Duncan T wrote a tip May 2023
Balfron, United Kingdom36 contributions51 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Parking is on street but not a problem with plenty of space available."
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dave f wrote a tip Aug 2018
Aspley Guise, United Kingdom81 contributions50 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"I was in the large dorm, but as it was mid week, non-peak, I had it to myself."
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asherah213 wrote a tip Dec 2016
Yorkshire24 contributions12 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Family rooms are worth requesting if available."
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stellab63 wrote a tip Feb 2016
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom18 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"all rooms on same side but differ in size, family rooms have on suite rest have shared bathroom"
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Ballater area.
PRICE RANGE
£58 - £83 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
FORMERLY KNOWN AS
Habitat Hostel
LOCATION
United KingdomScotlandAberdeenshireBallater
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
Prices are provided by our partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and reflect nightly room rates, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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BALLATER HOSTEL - Updated 2024 Prices, Reviews, and Photos

Frequently Asked Questions about Ballater Hostel
Which popular attractions are close to Ballater Hostel?
Nearby attractions include Old Royal Station (0.2 miles), The Balmoral Bar (0.1 miles), and Dee Valley Confectioners (0.2 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Ballater Hostel?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free parking, and laundry service.
Is parking available at Ballater Hostel?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Ballater Hostel?
Conveniently located restaurants include The Balmoral Bar, Rothesay Rooms, and Clachan Grill.
Is Ballater Hostel located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.08 miles away from the centre of Ballater.
Are any cleaning services offered at Ballater Hostel?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Are there any historical sites close to Ballater Hostel?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Crathie Church (1.2 miles).
Is Ballater Hostel accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
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