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“Delightful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Darroch Learg

Darroch Learg
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Darroch Learg
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Ballater
Scottish Highlands
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Delightful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2011

We recently enjoyed a one night stay at the charming Darroch Learg and only wish it could have been for longer.
It combines all the elements of traditional Highland hospitality in classic country house style with delicious dining, elegant surroundings, comfortable bedrooms and charming owners & hosts.
The situation of this lovely Victorian house affords glorious views to the hills beyond and is ideal for exploring Royal Deeside, the Speyside Whisky Trail or for venturing a little further north into the Cairngorm National Park.
All in all a most relaxing and enjoyable experience - thank you.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hills_of_heather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    43
    15
    4
    3
    0
See reviews for
14
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2011

I booked the restaraunt based on trip advisor reviews for a meal for my partner and I have to say it was beyond outstanding - i told the owners my choice was based on the reviews and i would like to say bravo to them - it was a beautiful hotel with attentive, excellent staff and advice on everything from wine to walks to do in the local area - next time i am in Ballater i would hope to stay so i could try breakfast!
If you are not staying here - at least go for dinner!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Emma W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2011

I am only leaving this review because I feel the people that run this place have achieved something truly remarkable. This is an exceptional hotel, with the MOST charming owners. The rooms are magical and the views truly spectacular. The food is terrific (yes, I had the fillet steak which melted in my mouth - the sticky toffee pudding was disturbingly good).The staff work incredibly hard to make sure that guests have all they need. Very romantic setting and deliciously friendly atmosphere. I wish I could move in - the place is full of little touches that make one smile. I always stay here when I visit Ballater.

But I don't want you to do the same... it's booked up enough as it is already!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Civnamtra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2011

We stayed with our 11 year old daughter for 3 days DB&B. This is a very well run small hotel and we would definitely return. The food was absolutely fabulous and dinner was a highlight with specials added to the standard menu each evening; the wine list was also extensive and Fiona was an excellent host who always made you feel at ease and welcome. She had an easy smile and conversation in the evening and was there, just as bright, in the morning too! Excellent service!

We stayed in room 1, which had a lovely balcolny that we actually got to use as the weather was fairly good when we visited. It gets the sun in morning which was lovely and the views of the mountains (around the trees) were beautiful. Our bed was extremely comfortable and we slept very soundly. The z bed for my daughter was adequate and I do feel many hotels are let down by their inadequate facilities for children. However at dinner and breakfast this hotel went out of its way to cater for an 11 year old and to chat to her and make her feel comfortable which was much appreciated.

Everywhere was very clean and tidy especially our room. There was some damage to the ceiling in the bathroom which had possibly been caused by a leak and was a bit of an eyesore and needed touching up but everywhere else was spik and span. We had a very relaxing time here and the town of Ballater was engaging. A lovely place to visit.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank YY02ywn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2011

Yet another gently fading hotel with the tiredness beginning to show. Gutters and rhone pipes blocked and rain spraying down below, the drive with potholes. Mind you, the rooms were spotless and no complaints on that score - nor with the very friendly, cheerful, efficient owner's wife. And did she work ? She certainly did. Her husband whom a hotel guide thought was the consumate host was far from that, he appeared as but a shadow, He watched from afar ensuring no guests would enjojn him in conversation. Few had the opportunity to do so. Only the waiter vied with the owner for reticence as, without a smile he served the guests. However, what should make the owners blush was that the same not quite clean menu was in place for two nights in a row- and probably longer, for all I know. At the price charged, that should not happen. Proves for sure there was no Michelin chef in the kitchen!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank haveyoubooked
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
77 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2011

We stayed two nights in this hotel, having come up to Ballater to visit family, and with our young daughter now two, tried out a larger room. This beautifully decorated room comfortably fit not only our king size bed (which gave me the best sleep I've had in months - quite something with a toddler sleeping in the same room as us) but also a camp bed for her, two lovely arm chairs and a small sofa, as well as all the normal furniture (i.e. bureau / tv / desk / etc.) The views from the window were astonishing too - all the Cairngorms on the sunny days we had, and the nearer, gently rolling hills with a soft highland mist today as we left.

The Franks welcomed us very warmly, and bent over backwards to make sure we had everything we needed for our stay.
Dinner was very high quality food - my steak being the highlight (but I must confess to being a total carnivore), but what really stands out for me is the wine list. My husband decided to(REALLY) splurge and bought a Chave Hermitage 2000 - on the grounds that while it was a lot of money, it was not for a restaurant price. I've just searched, and he's absolutely right. It cost us only £10 more than we could buy it for at a wine merchant - IF they had it in. This is astonishing value in a fine dining restaurant - most would charge over £200, and the cheapest I've found it elsewhere is a restaurant / hotel with a similar policy, the Old Bridge in Huntsbridge (and even there, it was £160). The wine list stretches from these heights down to more regularly affordable levels, with many extremely good wines at £25 or less.

If there's one tiny niggle, which I really only put in so as not to seem too gushing, it's that the bathroom could use a bit of sprucing up. This is very minor, however, and unless you are choosing a hotel for its bathrooms, should not put anyone off.

No fitness centre, or anything like that, but plenty of hills to hike up and trails to run or cycle along, so forget the gym and get outside!

Room Tip: Room 1 with own balcony
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FounderBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Biddeford, ME
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2010

The weather on the way to Ballater was terrible-rain, sleet and finally snow-but the welcome was warm, the fireside cozy and the dog friendly. We had booked a room (Room 1) with a view of the mountains and were not disappointed--when we could see them. Our host/owner was always around and ready to answer any need, provide a snack, recommend things to do and make us feel at home. Dinner was excellent, with a wide choice of locally sourced produce, fish and meats. The wine list is well done and suits the menu. Our only complaint was no internet access (although Blackberry worked fine), something any world-class hotel needs in this age.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dla911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Darroch Learg

Property: Darroch Learg
Address: 56 Braemar Road, Ballater AB35 5UX, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Aberdeenshire > Ballater
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Ballater
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Darroch Learg 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
CLOSED FOR MAJOR RENOVATION UNTIL 2016 A Highland Retreat based on the edge of Ballater in the heart of Royal Deeside. Numerous activities from walking to rock climbing can be organised along with exclusive visits to nearby Balmoral Castle. In the evening guests may enjoy dinner prepared by the 2005 winner of Scotland's Hotel Chef of the Year. This is complimented by the best wine list in Scotland.(as named by The UK Top 100 Restaurant Wine Lists). ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Darroch Learg Hotel Ballater
Darroch Learg Ballater, Scotland

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