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“Great weekend, expected more from the room”

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Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Reviewed 29 November 2013

I stayed here for a weekend in October for the freestyle disco competition "Aviemore 2013" ,the festival is self was fantastic and everyone at my school had a fantastic time!

The Room- I found the room to be very dated and our towels where dirty.

The Food(breakfast)- The breakfast was good, a good selection of cooked (bacon, sausage, egg ect.) There was also different cereals, coffee and pastries!

The Staff- The staff within the hotel & competition where fantastic, very helpful.

I would recommend staying here, whether attending comps or not there is plenty to do for the whole family.

7/10

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Lauren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your resort experience with us.

I a happy to hear that you enjoyed the Dance Festival and that you had a good time, it is great to hear that the staff were helpful and made you feel welcome.

I am sorry to hear that you were dissapointed with your room - it is unforunate that you did not inform us of this during your stay in order for us to get you new towels or possibly find you a room that would be more accommoding for your stay.

Thank you again for writing a review.

Best regards,
The General Manager

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Reviewed 23 November 2013

On arrival it appears you are about to stay in a modern hotel and indeed the reception area and public spaces are reasonably modern and certainly what you'd expect to find in a hotel if this star rating. However, to get to my room I had to go back out the front door, across a road, under a tunnel and into a side door. Bizarre at first I thought, but then it soon became apparent that this is anything but a new hotel and is in fact a revamp of one of the original 1960/70s hotels - shame the revamp hasn't been extended to the corridors and stair cases which shout out 40 years old and reminded me of my late 1980s Student Halls of Residence!

Wish I could write that the rooms were modern, however they are very tired and lack the modern feel you get from other chain hotels - the TV for example looked like one i had in 1993 and because almost all programmes now are broadcast in widescreen everyone was skinny.

Decided to order room service and the Haddock and hand cut chips jumped out at me. Order placed and arrived within 20 minutes or so (good), however when it arrived I was abruptly informed I had to pay cash there and then - turns out reception didn't ask for a swipe of my credit card (bad) but never thought to tell me that when I placed my order!! Paid cash, sat down to eat it and discovered the "hand cut" chips were in fact American style mass produced fries! (Trade Descriptions Act!). And although it was decent enough, £14.95 and a mandatory "tray charge" of £3 is excessively and unnecessarily expensive.

As for the sleep, the bed was reasonably comfortable and the pillows very comfortable so no real complaints here.

Final issue was the sign in the bath that made me laugh - essentially a warning not to take the toiletries away from the room and that they could be bought from housekeeping!! Eh? Every other hotel in the world has no issue with guests taking left over toiletries that likely end up in the bin!

Anyone thinking about booking this hotel for a family break should check out the Hilton Coylumbridge too - in my opinion it's better value, more comfortable, and overall just better.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank dja771
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013

I went to the Highlands Hotel for a relaxing midweek break and that's exactly what I got. I paid £59 p/n B&B and added one dinner for £20. For me the hotel was fine at these prices, it wasn't luxurious, but it was comfortable, clean and quiet, allowing me to chill out nicely.
My room was a bit old fashioned, and the long corridors to get to it reminded me a bit of The Shining, but it was a decent size, with a big comfy bed, a proper full size bath, tv, hairdryer, iron, and tea making facilities. There was no safe or mini bar. I slept very well with no need to use my ear plugs as it was super quiet at night. This may be different at weekends or during peak ski season.
I was a bit suspicious of the wall heater, but it warmed the room up nicely. The bathroom had a heated towel rail. I think a spare blanket should be provided though, for those who require it over the winter, Aviemore gets pretty cold after all. Body wash, soap and shampoo were provided, but no conditioner.
My breakfasts and dinner in the Aspects restaurant on site were all excellent quality. I paid £8 for a single large glass of red wine but I've been charged similar prices in hotels before. There's a Tesco nearby for those who want to stock up on water or wine. Breakfast was slightly disorganised, the staff looked rushed off their feet, but they were charming as were all of the staff I encountered.
The pool is connected to the hotel and free for guests. I was a bit disappointed with the steam room and sauna. I got a great back massage in the nice spa area for £35 which is not much more than I usually pay at home.
The hotel is really handy for the station and for the main street, with Tesco, cash machines, great hot chocolate at Coffee Corner and hearty good value meals at the Cairngorm hotel.
This hotel and resort is not perfect, and does have a slightly retro feel, but for me it ticked the boxes. I wouldn't consider paying above a maximum £80 a night for it though out with peak season

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank T T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed review of your resort experience.
I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and found the resort accommodating for your needs.
I am happy to hear that you had excellent dining experiences on site and enjoyed Aspects restaurant, I know the staff will be happy to hear your lovely comments.

We look forward to welcome you back again, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Best regards,
The General Manager

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Reviewed 4 November 2013

A big mistake staying here, had we not have lost money we would have moved elsewhere, rooms the size of a postage stamp, inconsistent information from staff. I tied to ring guest services 5 times during my 2 night stay, the phone was answered once!
no room safe, no guest information in the rooms, no information in the room to tell you how to get on the the wi fi system,
the bed was reasonably comfortable but only because the old mattress had at least 2 toppers on it.
The only good point about this hotel is the restaurant Aspects , service good and nice food.
staff were pleasant

Room Tip: best way to get a good room is go to a different hotel
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank espritguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 November 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for the time taken to share your resort experience on TripAdvisor.
I am sorry that you feel left disappointed with your stay at the resort; we always aim to provide the best guest service possible and I am sorry you felt this was not the case.

Please be assured that all you comments and feedback has been passed onto the relevant departments for further investigation.

We hope you welcome you back again it the future.
Best regards,
The General Manager

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Reviewed 4 November 2013

My husband and I spent two nights in a tiny room, with an even tinier bathroom. There was a convector heater instead of a working radiator, no safe, no fridge but a glaring amount of light into the room from reception across the road and under the door. The noise from the corridor was enough to make me think I had left the door open but as it turned out the bathroom door offered just as little noise reduction.
The mattress was old and helped only by a separate topper, unfortunately covered by a stained protector.
However the rest of the room and bathroom were clean - credit to the housekeeping department.
There was no information in the room about services (restaurant times, how to access wifi, pool opening hours etc) and no answer from guest services telephone number on 5 out of 6 times that we tried.
No luggage trolleys and a receptionist that told us there was no indoor route between reception and our room, or our room and the pool (incorrect), added to the experience. (We had also asked the same receptionist about a larger room, and had been sent to see two other room of exactly the same size...)
The pool was nice when it was quiet and I have no problem with private cubicles in a communal changing room, but having to run a gamut of workmen (looking over which lockers needed repairing) between the showers and my clothes in a locker was a little too much exposure.
The most significant positive was that most staff were polite, pleasant and helpful.

Room Tip: a different hotel
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank the-flying-fox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for the time taken to write a review. I am sorry to hear of your disappointed resort experience – it is always our pleasure to provide the best possible guest service available and we take it seriously when guests do not feel that this is the case.
Please note that all your comments and concerns have been taken on board – however if you do wish to discuss your disappointment in further detail on a more private level, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us directly.

Thank you again for writing a review, and we hope to get the opportunity to welcome you back again in the near future.

Best regards,
The General Manager

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Reviewed 31 October 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights over half term with a family of 7, including children. We were very excited to arrive with the prospect of dry skiing, archery, t-shirt making, pottery, family entertainment in the evening, the swimming pool with huge slide. Sounds lovely doesn't it? That's what we thought too. We paid over £1000 for 3 rooms.
We arrived- OH, the dry ski slope and trampolines were closed. So what is on in the evening... Oh..nothing tonight ( this was a Saturday night) VERY excited child wanting to go swimming... Oh sorry slide opens at 10 and is only on for 15 minutes at a time every hour!!!
So we had a drink at the bar... 7 drinks at a cost of £43!!!!
Sunday came, we asked the receptionist, where can we find the children's entertainment to be told there was nothing happening, BUT we could travel 25 minutes drive down the road to their sister resort but pay for our own transport to use their facilities!!! WHAT????? We were told you had lots on here, only to be told numbers had dropped so actually they have NOTHING on.
So... we travelled 7 hours, paid in total £1100 for rooms, had no entertainment what so ever, very disappointed family and children. We thought the pottery shop looked like fun, so 2 of us painted a pot.. then told it was £32!!!!
I was told over the phone 2 days before we arrived that all entertainment was up and running, but we had nothing!!!! Spoke with the manager to be informed he would be in touch later that day ( Tuesday) or the day after. I rang on Wednesday, receptionist told me someone would ring me back... it is Thursday and still no call. Customer service is appalling!!! I would NEVER come here again and would advise people against it, if you want a good family break I would not recommend the Highlands hotel. Don't trust what your told, we did and had a very poor experience that cost us dearly and ruined our family trip away. I am so angry as I am sure you can tell. Lets hope MacDonald take note when they read this. If you want any further information please do get in touch with me I would be happy to share my experience and save you the money and upset.

Room Tip: Don't go!!!!!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank AntandGem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We stayed here for two nights last week. Check in is four o'clock which we thought was late. We were a bit earlier and was told to come back at four for a guaranteed check in. Off we went for a wander and came back at 4.15 to be told that our room was not quite ready. We did not get our room until almost five. Now I could forgive this if the receptionist was amenable when we checked out. I was told that check out was two but received a phone call from my sister to say it was eleven. I went straight to reception and this was confirmed. I thought that we had been given a later checkout as our room was late but no I was informed that this was an extra thirty quid. Needless to say I have never packed so fast in my life!

The room itself was lovely. No complaints there and the power shower is lovely. Dressing gowns and slippers are provided so no need to take these. We were very pleased with the kids facilities for our two year old and the pool is great. There is also a cinema and plenty to do in aviemore so a perfect getaway for families.

The first night we ate in Giovannis. Do not order bruschetta if you are hungry. It's the stingiest portion I have ever seen in my life. The chicken dish was also small. Luckily my toddler did not want his tomato soup (which was delicious) so I filled up on this. Other people on my table ordered the carbonara which was lovely. The second night we ate in Aspects. Now if I ever go back I would eat here every night. The food is to die for. We were very impressed and the breakfasts were the best I have ever had from a hotel. Wonderful service too!

On the whole it has been one of the best breaks I have ever had so we have booked to come back at Xmas but at the Hilton nearby so I just hope it's as good.

Room Tip: The second floor is on the same floor as aspects restaurant
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Donna R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your resort experience with us.
I am delighted to hear that you and your family had such a wonderful break whilst staying at the resort.
I am sorry to hear about the delay of your room and the confusion with your check out time. Please be assured this has been taken up with the relevant department to avoid any repeats of the incident.
It is a pleasure to read how wonderful your dining experience was, especially in Aspects, your lovely words have been passed on a delighted restaurant team.

We look forward to welcome you back again, hopefully sooner rather than later, in that case - please do not hesitate to contact us in advance to ensure your stay will be free of any inconveniences.

Best regards,
The General Manager

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Additional Information about Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort

Address: Aviemore Highlands, Aviemore PH22 1PN, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Badenoch and Strathspey > Aviemore
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Price Range: £99 - £190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Highlands Hotel at Macdonald Aviemore Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 151
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relax in style and complete comfort at the 4-star Macdonald Highlands Hotel. With 151 luxury rooms-with-a-view and its own signature restaurant, Aspects, boasting spectacular views of the Cairngorm Mountains, the Highlands Hotel is ideal for discerning business and leisure travellers. For relaxation there's direct access to Aviemore Activity Centre, a TV lounge with comfy sofas and a DVD player, and the cozy Laggan whisky bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Highlands Aviemore
Macdonald Highlands Hotel At Macdonald Aviemore Resort Scotland
Hotel Macdonald Highlands

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