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“Seedy, sad, cold and dismal. Nice views, and some staff OK.”
Review of Strathspey Hotel

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Strathspey Hotel
Ranked #11 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Reviewed 31 August 2011

Difficult to know where to start.
Ugly 60s tower block recently repainted to make it look like it's been refurbished, which it hasn't. Reception area freezing cold, as both automatic doors broken and left open all weekend. Reception area like a 3rd world bus station. not a place to relax, especially when you would need thermals to sit there for more than a few minutes.

The room? Frayed carpets, right through to the hessian, and an armchair with the stuffing coming out. Grubby, and desperately in need of major refurbishment. But they put some new tartan cushions on the bed, so that's OK, right? Bed comfortable enough but small. Chambermaid made a good enough effort every day, and the towels were all fresh and clean.

The shower is a trickle, even though we were far from the top floor, and bathroom, although clean enough, was tired. No mixer tap on sink, so you can have very cold or very hot, and broken tiles. No obvious ventilation in bathroom (or no noisy fan) and bathroom got very steamed up even with the trickly shower.

TV is ancient and CRT, with limited channels and no text.

It looks like it hasn't been redone since we stayed here under Stakis back in the 80s, but it's been burned down once since then, so they must have done something.

Breakfast was vile. Uncooked bacon, uncooked sausages, lying limp and white in the buffet, and cold fried eggs to accompany them. The mushrooms and beans were OK. On the second day, I gave the uncooked stuff a miss, and took cold meat from the continental buffet instead. Fresh fruit was overboard on citrus, but fresh, so fine if you like oranges and grapefruit, with a wee bit of melon. We get far better at a Premier Inn.

Staff? The (foreign) guy on reception was pleasant and efficient, and we couldn't fault our (foreign) breakfast waitress with the coffee pot. We overheard one (foreign) member of bar staff being downright rude to a customer, and if he'd worked for me, he'd be looking for a new job now.

Ah yes, the bar; where they charge you £3.50 for a shot of normal whisky, and £1.60 for the mixer, and where the prices changed every time you bought the same drink.... We found the drink prices throughout the 'Resort" extortionate, the only exception being the Cafe in the retail area, where adequate coffee was about the same price as Costa.

Apart from one evening meal, we ate elswhere, so not much staff contact. We were in a rush, and so chose starter and dessert. Feeling peckish, I decided to go for biscuits and cheese, rather than a sweet. For my £5.50 (£1 more than a sweet) I was presented with 2 cheap oatcakes, and three tiny slices of cheap cheese, one Brie, one Cheddar, one Stilton. And 2 grapes. No butter, not even a knife. I was speechless just long enough to grab the waitress, who grabbed a manager, who 'resolved' the situation by providing an additional 2 cheap oatcakes and 2 pats of pre-packed butter....

Was I impressed? No.

Eat elsewhere, and drink your own drinks in your own room. Nobody likes being ripped off, and the food and drink were both a rip off.

All in all, it's a standard enough ageing hotel , but it does not deserve 3 stars in the condition it's in today. The prices for food and drink are extortion, and the standards are generally poor.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank bancquo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Strathspey Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2011

Dear Bancquo
Thank you for your comments. We have always had a passionate approach to hospitality and we would always welcome feedback from guests who do not feel that we have succeeded in this.
If you would like to contact me at the resort directly I would be more than happy to discuss your comments further and to resolve any outstanding issues for you.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager

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Reviews (159)
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84 - 90 of 159 reviews

Reviewed 16 August 2011

This is a very large hotel in a very small village. We were told that it was suited more for the ski season. I found the staff at the hotel to be very friendly and efficient. Despite two busloads landing there at the same time they had our baggage in our rooms within half an hour. We only stayed there one night and I found my room to be clean and relatively spacious. There is not much to see in the town though. The restaurant staff were very efficient and the food tasted good although the menu was a little limited but that may have been only what was offered to tour groups. We had our own Bagpipe player and the traditional Haggis ceremony was performed at the end of the meal.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Phil_Campbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Strathspey Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2011

Dear Phil_Camp
Thank you for your feedback – it is a pleasure to read positive comments about the resort and staff.
We hope to welcome you back to the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the future.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager

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Reviewed 21 April 2011

We would normally use the Macdonald brand as a prefered stay in the UK and we booked the Four Seasons months before the stay for a business conference and recieved confirmation of the booking. We even changed one of the party one week before the event so were irate to find that on arrival Macdonald had bumped the three of us into the 'Academy Hotel' on the complex, which is nothing better than a backpackers hostel, without feeling the need to tell us beforehand so that we could make alternative arrangements if we wished, before arrival......in fact I have stayed in better backpackers than this as a youngster, many years ago. After much digging in of heels and the intervention of the local duty manager, -- Gordon, -- I forget his surname but exonerate him completely, the jobsworth on the end of the phone at the reservations centre, [many miles away] put us in 'The Inn' which was just about acceptable and about the standard of a Travelodge. As it was only for two nights we put up with it but the standard of customer care was appalling and I could not recommend this hotel to anyone. They more or less have a monopoly on the market in 'downtown' Aviemore so don't feel the need to try, or care about the customer experience. The only positive from the experience was that the Four Seasons was looking even more tired and run down than it was last year and The Inn was £30 per head per night cheaper !!!!!

Room Tip: Aviod if you can !!!
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled on business
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4  Thank Philwil69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Strathspey Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2011

Dear Philwil69
Thank you for your comments. We have always had a passionate approach to hospitality and we would always welcome comments and suggestions from guests who do not feel we have succeeded in this.
If you would like to contact me at the resort directly I would be more than happy to discuss your comments further and to resolve these outstanding issues for you.
Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2011

Visited this hotel on a business trip and had a look around the whole Macdonald Resort. I learned that this was the oldest hotel in the complex and it is starting to now show its age. When new it would have been and is still to an entent fairly impressive in the public areas. The following is a summary:

POSITIVES
Staff - without exception all were very friendly and professional
Food - decent breakfast and all main meals were of a good standard
Location - good overall location close to the main building and town centre

NEGATIVES
Bedroom - sparse and dated- in need of modernisation. Simple things like no headboard on the bed, TV sitting at a precarious angle , remote control barely working and general decor neding redone.
Bathroom - had to wait about 3 minutes for hot water in the morning. You have to be a controtionist to use the toilet!. Again needs modernised.

Would I stay here again ? I would stay in one of the other hotels min the Macdonald resort but until the bedrooms are upgraded not at the 4 seasosn.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank doonhamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Strathspey Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2011

Dear doonhamer
Thank you for the positive comments about the resort and the staff.

All feedback is welcomed and your constructive approach is noted to the points where we can improve.

We hope to welcome you back to the resort in the future.

Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager

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Reviewed 10 April 2011

I arrived at the Four Seasons and after trying to gain entry for a couple of minutes, I realised that it was actually closed. There is a vague sign apologising for any disruption during renovations but nothing to indicate that its closed or what to do. After sitting with my wife pondering over what to do, I decide to drive round to the McDonalds Reception where after giving an account of these events, I was nonchantly informed that I had been upgraded to the Highland hotel further down the way.

No explanation, no apology.

The Highland hotel is like a large Youth Hostel. All of the doors are sticky, the place smells of cigarette smoke, presumably coming from the smokers at the entrance and is terribly sign posted.The room was small, shabby and dated.

Upgrade??? Only if they meant from the building site which is now the Four Seasons.

On the positive side, we ate in the Aspects restaurant which was the only positive aspect of the whole stay. It was under staffed. but the staff were very pleasant and did their best. The food was excellent.

On saying that, breakfast was understaffed as well and a bit of a shambles.

If the Four Seasons is closed why not tell people, rather than con them into believing that the hotel which they've viewed on the website is where they will be staying and putting them in another hotel and conning them again by saying it's an upgrade.

I welcome some response from the hotel management, who were conspicuous by their absence during our check in and checkout.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Dalethedog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Strathspey Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2011

Dear Dalethedog

Thank you for your review about the Four Seasons Hotel, the title of which we do not agree with. We obviously do however want to solve what is clearly a very complicated scenario as we do not have your contact details to be able to respond directly to you. To this end please at your convenience please feel free to contact me at the telephone number provided below so we can resolve this issue for you.

Best Regards

Gina Macpherson
01479 815 123

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Reviewed 10 April 2011

Had a really nice room with a fantastic view. Staff were friendly and helpful made you feel very welcome. The food on the resort was of a very high standard.
Excellent Leisure Facilities according to my partner. I decided to opt for a couple of treatments in the spa which were great again the girs in the spa were fantastic. The Resort is located a couple of minutes from the village. Had a Great Stay and will return soon.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dgm037
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Strathspey Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2011

Dear Dgm037
Thank you for your feedback – it is always a pleasure to read such positive comments about the resort and the staff and we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Gina Macpherson
Guest Services Manager

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Reviewed 20 January 2011

As with the previous reviews the hotel is tired and in need of a complete refurbishment. Stayed for Hogmanay, food was horrendous, service was terrible and the brochure was misleading. I would recommend the Cairngorm Hotel at the bottom of the hill where the food is home made and every member of staff smiles and wants to have a friendly chat, you can tell this is the place to eat & stay in Aviemore the restaurant & bar were heaving.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank AmyThomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MacdonaldAviemore, Guest Relations Manager at Strathspey Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2011

Thank you for your comments. I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your dining experience whilst staying at the Resort. Delivering the highest standards of service for all our guests is very important to us and we would strive to improve this where this has not been the case.

If you would like to contact me at the hotel directly, Gina Macpherson, I would be more than happy to discuss your comments further and to resolve any issues for you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Strathspey Hotel

Address: Grampian Road, Aviemore PH22 1PN, Scotland (Formerly Macdonald Four Seasons Hotel)
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 Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 11 Hotels in Aviemore
Price Range: £77 - £112 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Strathspey Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 88
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Macdonald 4 Seasons Hotel
Four Seasons Hotel Aviemore
Four Seasons Aviemore
Aviemore Four Seasons
Strathspey Hotel Aviemore, Scotland

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