We decided to take our two sons (aged 5 and 7) away for a couple of nights at the end of the school Summer holidays - since we hadn't been away anywhere special. As it happens, our choice of a standard family room meant we got the full "Prince and the Pauper" experience.
Starting with the pauper.
Upon arrival our family room was less than ideal. It had two double beds, both of which were creaky and noisy, and despite being a very warm and stuffy room the window would only open a couple of inches. Not that we kept it ajar for long, as we were overlooking the car park, in an area where smokers stood under our window puffing away on cigarettes. I had a shower to cool off, but the pressure was pathetic and it was like being sprinkled with lukewarm water out of a watering can.
That night, the kids couldn't get comfortable in bed, no matter what we tried. And their wriggling meant the creaking and noise kept us awake until the early hours. I suspect they were like me and my husband, who were left clinging to the sides of the bed, as the springs were worn and our mattress sloped down at the sides, meaning we kept rolling off the bed. We both suffered horrendous bad backs and felt jet-lagged the next day, we were so tired.
After speaking to reception, we upgraded to a family suite for our second night, and a porter helped us move our belongings to a different part of the hotel. It was like a whole different world. This time the boys had their own small room with a TV and bunkbeds, adjacent to our room with a queen size bed (not creaky and with a firm mattress - so no sore backs). The porter unlocked our window so we could open it wider get more air - and we had a plug-in fan to keep the boys cool in their room. The bathroom was bigger and the power shower proved invigorating.
I would expect an upgrade to be a larger, more spacious room. But I have to say I am disappointed that for £150 a night Hilton gives you poor quality mattresses, a crap shower and no fan in the room to keep you cool.
That is, not until you pay £50 more (£30 if you upgrade on-site). It was like paying that extra money made us worthy of decent quality facilities.
We've shared a room in a Premier Inn two or three times before, where good quality mattresses and air con meant we all got a brilliant night's sleep in one small room. For £50 a night.
Aside from this, we enjoyed the food in the restaurant (go to the early buffet if you have young children - there's much more choice), found plenty to entertain the kids in the daytime, and enjoyed the swimming pool.
But sorry Hilton. All of your customers are worthy of a good quality shower and a decent night's sleep. Size (of room or wallet) shouldn't really matter. And until you recognise that, we won't be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hilton Coylumbridge resort hotel is set in a 65 acre woodland estate in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. It is located close to Aviemore and is a perfect holiday destination all year round. The resort includes five restaurants and two bars including the Woodshed Bar with its roaring log fire and the American Diner sure to please the kids. The resort also includes indoor swimming pools, outdoor tennis courts, play park, spa, outdoor activity park and The Fun House for the little ones. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Coylumbridge - Aviemore Hotel Aviemore
- Hilton International Aviemore
- Aviemore Coylumbridge Hotel
- Hilton Aviemore
- Aviemore Hilton
- Aviemore Coylumbridge Hilton Hotel
- Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel Aviemore, Scotland