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“A few attention to basics in the kitchen would...”
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Gowanbank
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Very good
6 reviews
Gowanbank
Drawing Room
Dining Kitchen first view (the AGA is not operable).
Alternative view of the dining kitchen.
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
5 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 11
Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 6 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
English first
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
1 review
“Lovely house, let down by lack of some essentials and general upkeep/maintenance”
Reviewed 26 January 2018 for a stay in December 2017

Gowanbank is a beautiful house with large rooms and plenty of original features. It is a shame, therefore, that it has not been properly maintained for some years. On the surface everything is fine - clean and tidy, the heating works well there is plenty of hot water, towels provided for all guests. However it is the little things that let it down, and there are plenty of them.
The kitchen was poorly equipped to cook, prepare and serve meals for a large party of 11 guests. The cooker is small with a very small grill area and the extractor didn’t work. Dirt and grime down the side of the cooker (in the gap between cooker and units) was awful. Missing cutlery and drinking glasses had not been replaced (I notice the cutlery was missing in July from a previous review), and in the spirit of goodwill we purchased some items on the agreement of re-imbursement from the owner (at time of writing this has not been received). Insides of some of the kitchen drawers and cupboards were dirty. There were barely enough pots to prepare a large meal (one large pot for a stew, for example, but not a second one to also cook the potatoes to go with it!). The placemats on the table were dirty and sticky.
Not all of the beds had bedside lamps, and not all of the lamps were working, so we purchased some replacement bulbs. There were not enough seats in either of the large sitting rooms to accommodate all 11 guests at one time. The upstairs shower had no shower head. Our bedroom had wallpaper hanging off the wall underneath the window, the curtain pole was not properly fixed to the wall, and the light coloured carpet had several dirty black marks on it. There were cigarette ends just outside the back door, as none of our part are smokers this was disappointing. A lack of hand soap (only provided in 1 bathroom), toilet rolls (only 1 extra in each toilet) and waste – paper bins (only 1 between all the bedrooms and bathrooms) when we arrived added to the feeling of the ‘bare minimum’ being provided in this house. The whole house looks like it has not been painted or decorated for many years.
Prior to our arrival, the council had not emptied the wheelie bins due to the previous guests misplacing their recycling and general waste, and so there was nowhere for us to put our rubbish. This had not been noticed by the housekeeper or owner during the preparation for our arrival; therefore we had to come up with an alternative storage solution.
On a more serious note, when we arrived we discovered a few nuts under the window in the sitting room, which could have had catastrophic consequences as one of our party has a severe nut allergy. Thankfully, we discovered and cleaned this up without incident.
We have been in dispute with the owner since returning home, over a bed which was broken. That has now been resolved. We were told that we left the house unlocked for a few hours between us departing and the housekeeper arriving, and apologised for this as the leaving instructions are quite clear and it was our mistake.
None of this had a big enough impact to make our holiday unpleasant – as a group of family and friends who have been holidaying at New Year for over 20 years we are resilient and able to ‘roll our sleeves up and get on with it’. However, we have never encountered such an un-cared for house in those 20 years. Such a shame. Just a little bit more TLC (and a few pounds) would bring this house up to a very high standard indeed.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
26 Jan 2018
I am afraid that the only lack of care in the house was the extreme lack of care that this group took of our house. Our previous guests who left 2 days before these guests left us a 5 star review and they left our house in a perfect state. Unfortunately these guests were the exact opposite. My housekeeper was extremely upset by the state she found the house in. The sticky substance they mention was left by them and was also all over the kitchen floor, The house was very untidy and unkempt, so many bags of rubbiish had to be removed after our tidy up. They moved the furniture all over the house and made no attempt to put it back, this proved quite a problem for our single housekeeper. There are two very large drawing rooms that each seat 8 so the mind boggles as to how many people were actually in the house if they could not find enough seating! You can judge for yourself from our photos. I was in contact with the party during their stay because they wanted more cutlery and glasses (we found their broken glasses when they left). They left the back door unlocked on leaving which could have been catastrophic. Finally they broke our folding bed which we asked them to pay for. They disputed our claim from start to finish but Trip Advisor ruled in our favour. The above review is not accurate and includes some down right lies.If there really was only 1 pot in the house how do they suppose our guests have been cooking their meals? It is a great pity that when people lose a claim they sadly attempt to exact revenge by printing lies or half lies as in the claim "has now been resolved" which should read as TripAdvisor deducted the amount in full for the bed from their damage deposit having judged that they did break the bed. Until that point they had been telling us how lovely it all was. I cannot stress strongly enough: Gowanbank is a beautiful Victorian house and if you are not prepared to treat it with the care it deserves then please don't come.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2017 for a stay in July 2017
1
person found this review helpful

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Angela M
Inverurie, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Lovely house needing upgrading in places so 4 star for house 3 star for lack of cutlery etc”
Reviewed 15 July 2017 for a stay in July 2017
1
person found this review helpful

We booked this for the weekend of our daughters wedding , so the whole family could be together. The sitting room and drawing room were beautiful and perfect for pictures of the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready.
The bedrooms were perfectly sized and comfortable.
The downsides were that there were only 2 showers for coping with 11 possible guests and the one in the roll top bath which was on a step was scary to get out of and no bath mats provided to step out onto , to prevent slipping.
The kitchen was a perfect size but unfortunately some of the drawers are falling off of the rails and it needs updating .
Also , there wasn't enough cutlery to serve 11 guests (7 forks) and having stayed in many places before would have expected there to be 11 of everything and there wasn't. A wee bit of a mismatch with the rest of the house.
The garden was lovely , but again there was not enough seating for the capacity of the house.
We had a lovely time and would recommend , but if we had been staying for longer ( and not out all day Saturday at a wedding ) we would have complained at the time.
We planned a BBQ for the Sunday and took our own as they said they didn't have ( there was a small kettle BBQ at the side of the house ) and also plastic forks etc which solved our lack of fork situation

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
15 Jul 2017
The number of showers in the house is clearly specified in our listing as is the number of beds. If guests do decide to hire extra put you up beds they should expect to have to share the bathrooms amongst more people.
Before we received this review we unfortunately had to complain to these guests about damaged furniture and missing cutlery. The cutlery and crockery should amount to sets of 12 but from time to time items are broken and go missing as was the case with this let. As soon as we are aware of missing or broken items we replace them.
Gowanbank is a beautiful old house which contains many antique items. If guests are not prepared to treat it with the respect that it deserves and take care of it and make sure that all of their party do likewise, we would rather that they did not book to stay.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
1 review
“Spacious and comfortable stay in Huntly”
Reviewed 9 July 2017 for a stay in June 2017

Very central and quiet location in Huntly, close to the railway station and shops. Beautiful countryside and coast nearby.
All in the house was perfect although there could have been more small tables in the lounges for tea and coffee cups, and the downstairs shower's heating better regulated.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
28 Jul 2017
We are really pleased that you enjoyed your stay at Gowanbank. We will have a look at your suggestion for more small tables in the lounges. There are already several tables which of course have lamps on them which we assumed guests would use and the large coffee table footstools in front of the sofas can also be used for cups provided a tray is placed on top. We will certainly consider your suggestion. As for the downstairs shower we will see if it operating correctly and if it is we could perhaps add in clearer instructions for its use. Many thanks for your helpful suggestions and we hope you are able to visit again!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Susan G
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Down memory lane”
Reviewed 25 June 2017 for a stay in June 2017

We rented Gowanbank for 2 reasons. The house used to belong to my grandparents over 30 years ago and wanted to see what it looked like now and as it was my partner's 60th birthday I thought it would be the perfect place. The house is fantastic,very comfortable,within walking distance of all amenities. Only a couple of complaints. As a family of non smokers it was disappointing to see the amount of cigarette ends just outside the back door and although it was no one's fault we were left without electricity for 2 to 3 hours one morning but the fault was soon rectify

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
26 Jun 2017
We're glad that you enjoyed your stay but I shall certainly asking my housekeeper to keep an eye out for cigarette ends outside since as you know our house is non smoking . As for the power cut I think that was due to a furious thunder storm! Glad the power was quickly restored!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Reviewed 15 January 2017 for a stay in December 2016

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
16 Jan 2017
Thank you for your review.

You are quite right about the oven. Our ultimate aim is to entirely upgrade the whole kitchen which is when we will put in a range oven.

We are very glad that you enjoyed your stay in any case and you clearly fell under the spell of Gowanbank! We look forward to hosting you again in the future!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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