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“A step back in time..........”
Review of Cairn Hotel

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Cairn Hotel
Ranked #12 of 30 Hotels in Harrogate
Driffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
148 reviews
116 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“A step back in time..........”
Reviewed 25 October 2013

There was a time when vast monolithic hotels like the Cairn and the Majestic, both in Harrogate, were seen as the luxury end of accommodation when visiting this Yorkshire Spa town. Sadly, time has gone past and the offering for the 21st Century needs to be different. Equally sad, is the fact that neither of these hotels have adapted to the new era and are stuck way back in time.

I stayed at the Cairn, whilst attending a conference at the Majestic just over the road. Rather than comment on how dire the Majestic was, I will just paint you a picture of my stay at the Cairn.

After receiving the key to my very expensive room, I got the lift 2 floors and stepped into a vast corridor, with partition doors of old wood and glass, covered in chipped paint and scuff marks. The sign on the lift stated that a refurbishment of these areas was about to take place and non too soon. Shabby, at the very least, with threadbare carpets and holes hacked out of some doors.

On entering the room, it had that musty smell of "age", along with cheap wooden cabinets, soft spongy beds and very tatty curtains. Never mind the public areas I thought, these rooms need a fix over too!!. The bathroom was very olde worlde, with taps that weren't fixed properly (they would spin in their fixings) and hot water that took an age to get there, though clunking, rattling pipes. The windows were single glazed with fairly thin glass, that were covered in condensation by the morning. Mind you, at least I had windows. On looking out at other rooms, some panes had been replaced by chipboard panels which could be seen to be sopping wet through. I'll give you that the place wasn't dirty............but it is in dire need of extensive upgrading. All this for OVER £110 a night!! Scandalous.

I went down to the bar to find the place taken over by pensioners entering the restaurant, prior to the evenings tea dance entertainment (I kid you not). After a quick pint, an evening meal in Harrogate was decided upon. My best decision of the day.

When I returned to the Cairn, the last few revellers were heading to bed (it was 11pm!!) and the tea dance band were packing up. So it was nightcap and bed for me.

The night was a mix of clunking pipes, chugging lift and coughing from the aging neighbours I had just inherited. In the morning, breakfast was a dire affair, with a cooked offering in tin tureens being kept marginally warm. Toast had to be made via the conveyor toaster, which had a queue of OAP's trying to work out the procedure. Then there were bowls of cereals open to the coughs and splutters of every passing guest!!

The tea was OK though!!

I endured this place for 2 nights, parted with £262 of Her Majesties English Pounds and vowed never to return again.

I can't say anything really pleased me. No staff members stood out as really wanting to help, or enjoying their job to be fair. I can only imagine that those that give this place a higher score, are the elderly clientele that this hotel seems to target, for coach tours and tea dances. However, I wonder how many of them have to stump up £262 for a 2 night B & B stay. I have since stopped the Corporate Booking Dept making my travel arrangements.

Room Tip: Other than a room in an alternative hotel, I have no advice.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank IDavidRowley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaynor M, General Manager at Cairn Hotel, responded to this review, 30 October 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to write a review.
I am very sorry that you did not enjoy your stay with us and were not happy with the style of the hotel. If you would like to contact to me regarding your issues I would be more than happy to discuss this with you.
Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (374)
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English first
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
84 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2013

The staff in The Cairn Hotel are polite and friendly to the max.

The dining room team in particular is highly professional and all know their jobs to the letter. Stars of the show are two focussed looking ladies - East European I think - who always seemed to be there. I hope they get a day off occasionally.

And make no mistake - food is where it's at where The Cairn is concerned. We will always be left with the image of coachloads of Scots oldsters coughing and spluttering their way through their Full English before going up for more. How these old folk can put all that away without keeling over is a mystery. The food was plentiful but hardly tasty. Good value though.

The hotel is a bit grim from the outside but palatial within. Comfort abounds in public areas. The atmos is one of former grandeur having to admit the lower orders now but jolly well putting up with it. They don't need a big telly blaring away at all times in the bar unless it's for the benefit of the staff.

Our double room sat in the corner of a very creaky corridor. A complicated light switch system defeated us every time we went in and out - to our amusement. Sadly, however, there were no bedside reading lights (and no plugs behind the bed to power them either). Why not? The bathroom was spanking new though.

All in all, Strathmore Group have the format spot on where The Cairn is concerned. They'd better keep a hold of those dining room ladies though. An operation this size could soon descend into chaos without being ruled by an iron regime.

Room Tip: Make sure you have a reading light by the bed if you like reading.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EdinburghHeretoday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaynor M, General Manager at Cairn Hotel, responded to this review, 30 October 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to write a review and thank you for your lovely comments regarding the staff, I am very proud of the team we have here they work very hard to ensure all our guests have a good holiday/stay. We look forward to seeing you back at The Cairn in the future.
Kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burscough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 18 October 2013

I really enjoyed staying at the Cairns hotel at a midweek special price on 2/10/13. Although it was an old building it had character. The room was very comfortable and spacious, and has lovely bathroom. There was so much space around the lounge and reception and I like the big sofas near the entrance. Breakfast was made very welcome by the manager, and the lady serving delicious food at the hot counter in a wonderful grand well presented dining room, made the whole experience really wonderful. The lady at reception was also very kind in permitting me to leave the car in the car park while I was attending the International Conference Centre. Also the gentleman whom took my call after I left had very kindly offered to send some clothes I forgotten to bring with me. I would chose to stay in this hotel the next time I return to Harrogate and recommend this to my family and friends.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thomas l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaynor M, General Manager at Cairn Hotel, responded to this review, 30 October 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to write a review.
I am extremely pleased you had a good stay with us and we look forward to seeing you again.
Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dunoon, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 16 October 2013

Old building well passed it's prime. Stayed in room 208, double bed covering a single headboard so unsurprisingly not much space to move. Room is next to service lift and opposite service stairs so not a great location either. Victim of cash theft from the room when out at a function, no offer of another room for the night. No security lock on inside of door so wife too scared to sleep and ended up putting suitcase against the door until police arrived in morning.
This was our fourth trip to Harrogate and first stay at Cairn Hotel. Wrote to head office on return home to complain and 2 months later have had no response, not even an acknowledgement

Room Tip: Make sure you are away from the front and service stairs and lift
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FrasMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaynor M, General Manager at Cairn Hotel, responded to this review, 30 October 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to write a review.
I am very sorry that your stay was not a pleasant one.
I have contacted our head office and they will be in touch with you shortly.
Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamshire
Level Contributor
83 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 October 2013 via mobile

Stayed one night for a wedding. There were no double rooms left when we booked, so we opted for a twin room. Booked online with the hotel itself, we got a slightly cheaper deal than phoning to book.
The hotel has the dated grandeur that has been described previously.
In its hey day you can see the beauty the hotel had to offer.
Currently the hotel is in need of some updating, but our room was of a decent size, comfortable beds, nice bathroom and plenty of tea & coffee in the room.
Staff were courteous & professional at all times.
I would return if ever in the area again.

Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank chocomaniac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaynor M, General Manager at Cairn Hotel, responded to this review, 30 October 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to write a review.
I am very happy to read that you enjoyed your stay with us.
Our refurbishment programme is now underway and when you return you will notice many changes.
We really look forward to seeing you back at The Cairn soon.
Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 October 2013 via mobile

We stayed here as guests at a wedding in the hotel. We paid for the club upgrade which was a nice addition to the room. There was good atmosphere in the hotel. The food and drinks in the hotel were very reasonable making it good value. It is only 7 min walk to centre if Harrogate. Would stay again.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Emma M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaynor M, General Manager at Cairn Hotel, responded to this review, 30 October 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to write a review.
I am happy that you enjoyed your stay with us.
We look forward to seeing you at The Cairn Hotel again soon.
Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2013

Just spent a mid week break sequence dancing. First time at this hotel and was not disappointed. The staff, food and accommodation were very good. The bedrooms are spacious as is the restaurant. There are also spacious lounge areas on the ground floor. The hotel is in an excellent position to easily walk into Harrogate centre and if not able to walk, the bus stop is right outside the hotel (both ways). From the bus station in Harrogate you can get buses to all the surrounding towns and cities. This hotel also has a large car park. All in all it was a very good break and this hotel will not let you down.

Room Tip: Room overlooking the gardens.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lynda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaynor M, General Manager at Cairn Hotel, responded to this review, 30 October 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to write a review.
Our sequence dance holidays are very popular and have been running for many many years now, We also do lots of other types of dancing in hotel and our ballroom dance floor is one of the largest sprung dance floors in the north east of england.
The dance floor and carpet will be having a makeover early next year and I hope we see you back to see our changes.
Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cairn Hotel

Property: Cairn Hotel
Address: Ripon Road, Harrogate HG1 2JD, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Harrogate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 30 Hotels in Harrogate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Cairn Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 135
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This grand, Victorian hotel boasts private gardens, a gym, and classical decor. Its traditionally furnished rooms feature private bathrooms, while Harrogate’s centre is 5 minutes’ walk away. Each room at The Cairn includes a TV, along with 24-hour room service and tea/coffee-making facilities. Some rooms offer luxurious bathrobes, wine, and chocolates. Free parking is also available as well as Free WiFi in public areas, in Superior Rooms, or in all rooms if you book direct with the hotel. The Windsor Restaurant serves a locally sourced traditional menu, with a carvery and an extensive wine list. With its classic pillars and arches, guests can relax with a drink in the bar and lounge area. Both The Royal Pump Room Museums and Betty’s Tea Rooms are a 10-minute walk away. Harrogate Theatre and Harrogate Rail Station are 15 minutes away on foot. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cairn Hotel Harrogate, Yorkshire

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