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“I can see the potential in this place”

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Muckrach Country House Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
CT
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“I can see the potential in this place”
Reviewed 18 September 2013

The staff were very welcoming and friendly but this hotel is in need of updating. It's a beautiful location and was built with attention to detail, like nice high ceilings and detailed molding. However, it just needs someone to realize the potential of this place. The price does not meet expectations. I am ranking this as Average even though the price is too high for what it is and it's in desperate need of updating. When there is worn carpet, bedding, and curtains in the rooms, it gives the entire place a feeling of being uncleanly. I think this place has tremendous potential and could be a top resort with the right vision.

I want to also recognize that the staff were really excellent. Their service upon check in and in the bar and restaurant was very much appreciated.

Room Tip: Ask for the most recently updated room.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Otto-Mags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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494 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (106)
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2013

We stayed here on 9th and 10th September on a Groupon Deal. The hotel is lovely but could do with a bit of TLC a lick of paint here and there would not go amiss. We paid extra for an upgraded room but the lights did not all work and the shower was poor. However we did have good time. The food was top quality dinner and breakfast with separate breakfast and dining rooms both v pleasant. However the bar was a bit of a let down as there was no draft beers and it was necessary to go and find the bar man as he was v rushed as he was doubling up as the waiter in the dining room. The hotel is well located for visiting the surrounding area

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank tom d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aransas Pass, Texas
Level Contributor
54 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2013

Our stay at Muckrach Lodge was extremely enjoyable - the only negative was that it was too short. The lodge is kept in very good condition and the housekeeping left nothing to be desired. We ate both breakfast and dinner there and the food and service was excellent. The bar and lounge area was very inviting and comforting; the only thing lacking was a fire in the hearth - too bad it wasn't cold enough. The grounds are lovely; complete with a Highland cow for authenticity. We had two rooms, one in the main building and the other in another building. My only suggestion would be to clean up the outside area off of the deck of the other building. There is a lot of clutter and makes the room look less than desirable from the outside.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank gmac66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2013

We only stayed here for one night but we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The rooms were comfortable and spacious with an air of luxury about them but without being pretentious.

The food was excellent as was the wine - although I must admit that we chose the wine solely based on the amusing description in the wine list. Fortunately, we were not disappointed.

The best part, for us, was the bar/lounge which was snug and inviting - the perfect place to relax with a good book. As it happens, we were there as a group so, instead, we sat and chatted over whiskey, port and coffee. If only we had visited in winter so that, with a roaring fire, the scene would have been perfect.

The only thing I would tweak would be the breakfast. There was a good choice available but ot didn't rate the £12 per person that it cost. There is, of course, the possibility that dinner the night before had raised the bar too high and the breakfast could simply not compete.

All in all however, this we an excellent stay and I would recommend this to anyone seeking a highland break.

Room Tip: The rooms inside the main building were more recently refurbished than the converted outbuildings so...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Teala1776
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2013

I visited Muckrach with many family members for a birthday, and we couldn't really have had a better weekend. The house and grounds are lovely - it's really amazing to wake up in the morning and see a highland cow from your window! my room was excellent and those of my family were really great too. There's a nice mix of traditional-looking rooms and more modern rooms, and mine had a very nice marble bathroom.

The food was one of the highlights of the stay. Breakfast was perfect, with lots of excellent hot food to order as well as cold foods and cereals etc. Dinner was even better - we had a very large table and the staff were great at accommodating all of us. Very good value and extremely good food, which we were told was sourced locally.

The staff perhaps more than anything made the stay memorable. They were so willing to help and were extremely polite. I rarely travel up to the highlands but if I'm there again I would love to go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alex M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caterham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2013

The setting of this hotel is absolutely stunning....quiet, beautiful, local wildlife...very picturesque! The hotel has fantastic potential. However, it is in need of a little makeover!

So, when we checked in at 2:30pm, the receptionist who greeted us was very friendly! I asked about WIFI, and she said there was a £5 charge per stay, and that SOMETIMES it was not great in the rooms, but works perfectly well in the lounge/bar area! She also asked if we wanted to book for dinner for the evening...we had briefly gleaned at the menu and saw the specials list which looked reasonable. The receptionist informed us that dinner bookings were from 7pm onwards, so we booked at 7:30. She said we should go to the bar beforehand and they would fetch us when the table was ready!

So, up in the room, we noticed it needed a bit of TLC. Trying to log on to the wifi, it didn't work...at all!!! So we headed down to the lounge to try it there...it did work. Tried ordering a drink, and we were told there was no rum.....as apparently the kitchen must have used it all! No Rum??? one of the basic ingredients of a bar! Anyway, we'd had quite a long drive to get to the hotel, so wanted to relax in the room rather than the bar area, so retired to the room. Double checked the wifi....nope, definitely nothing....paying £5 for that privilege was a little annoying!

When we came down for dinner....very hungry, we looked more closely at the specials menu, to find it was served until 7pm. The main menu was quite expensive so that irked me as the receptionist specifically said to book from 7 onwards. I kicked myself for not noticing the small print, but honestly, after driving for hours it isn't the first thing that springs to mind!

I really wanted a dish from the specials and asked the waitress if I could order that particular main...to be told that the chef absolutely under no circumstances will mix menus...not even the insistence of paying the full price for the required main dish would this rule be broken! Hmmm! The hotel was not busy so I highly doubt they had sold out!

So, after much deliberation through the four or five main dish options, of which none were jumping out at me I opted for the chicken. It was supposed to be in a cream sauce, of which I am allergic, so the waitress kindly suggested the chef could rustle up another sauce..ok...lets give it a go!

Starters were: goats cheese with apricots...and for the price, was underwhelming, and haggis in whiskey and mustard...which was very nice!!

Then came the mains...duck, which was over cooked, and my chicken, which was dry! The veg looked great, and were a great combo, except that they were dripping in butter...completely saturated in it!

This hotel claims to be 4*, but I'm afraid this food certainly wasn't....and most definitely wasn't worthy of the prices. I understand the owners want this establishment to be considered a certain standard...but you cannot insist upon it if you are not meeting them. I really think that at some point they can....but they are not there yet, and the prices should reflect that. It does have potential...really and truly, and I hope they reach it, but to think that they are already there could be their undoing. £20 for overcooked duck/chicken, slightly undercooked potatoes, soggy buttered veg and a jus (yes, our plates were practically identicalexcept for the bird!) is not worth it!!!

I always like to think there is a silver lining....so the meal was not great...ok, back to the bar for a liqueur coffee and use of the wifi....Haha....no, they don't do liqueur coffees!?!?!? Wait now....you serve alcohol (well, some), you have cream because it's on the restaurant menu...I'd like to think you have coffee and hot water, and sugar...sooooo......ok...nevermind! We were no longer in the mood to relax in the bar when the night really hadn't gone well....and we hoped after a nights sleep the slate would be wiped clean!

So, more about the room...In our bathroom, the mirror was hanging off the wall and the light above didn't work. The mattress was appalling. We thankfully booked using groupon...had I have paid their asking price for the room I would have been livid! Again....it's just in need of TLC...the potential really is there...just meet it! You cannot provide a mattress that is less comfortable than a Travelodge bed and say that you are a 4* establishment!

So the next day...after a trip to see dolphins with Phoenix Dolphin Cruises (which I cannot recommend enough...Eric is absolutely wonderful and helpful), a pop to see Nessie and a further jaunt to the wonderful Eilean Donan Castle, we headed back to the hotel. We figured we would simply accept that wifi was in the bar area only and would have a couple of drinks before bed...however, when we sat down and tried logging on, we were informed the Internet was down completely!!! Still no rum behind the bar...so we just cut our losses and called it a night! There was no offer of a refund on the wifi fee...and upon checkout, when we paid the bill and saw what was being charged for drinks, well, it was the final disappointing nail in the coffin. £5 for a small shot of Amaretto, and £3 for a tiny bottle of coke.....seriously????

Having read reviews upon leaving the hotel, I am surprised by the managements replies. Completely dismissing any negative feedback, being quite aggressive, and practically saying that only the positive reviews deserve their time.

This hotel really is stunning...in an amazing location, with a great feel to it. It just needs TLC....a LOT of it. The receptionist and waiters are lovely, sweet and approachable, it has the makings of a great little place....but it simply isn't there yet....not even close. Mirrors/shelves should not be hanging off the wall, paintwork should not be peeling, the bathroom air extractor should not sound like a Spitfire engine when you turn it on and remain thundering away for well over 5 minutes after you turn the bathroom light off! This does not make for a good nights sleep! The noise is shocking from that thing!

A mirror is needed in the bedroom, the carpets need replacing....it's not a case of making it a modern spangly boring typical standard hotel....you can keep its character and charm....but these things are not old and dilapidated!

People do not write negative comments because they are mean or have nothing better to do, they are written because they are disappointed! You are a service industry....you advertise a high end service, but do not quite meet it. But you could.....there is hope...such a beautiful building deserves its guests to leave relaxed and gleaming with a desire to come back....time and time again, not to feel disappointed, robbed and underwhelmed.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Carrie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
diabolo666, Owner at Muckrach Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 27 July 2013
When I first read this I thought 'Oh No, we've screwed up'. But thinking on it some more, I realise my issue with all negative reviews, including this one, is that they are part of a complaint culture which subverts 2500 years of dialectics without contributing anything in its place. There should be three kinds of review: Positive (we loved the place!) and positive (we had issues which were resolved) or negative (we had issues which were not resolved AFTER WE RAISED THEM). Essays like this one, a litany of complaint, really have no meaning unless we were given the opportunity to tackle the problems at the time. And all of this could have been done: the chicken could have been re-cooked, or not charged for. The mirror could have been fixed and the noisy fan replaced. The WiFi charge could have been waived and the rum could have been sourced (Bacardi? Lambs Navy? OVD? Pussers? Guyanan? Havana? Morgans? Morgans Spiced? - all very basic indeed!)

Now, we should have been capable of delivering a coffee with some brandy in it, and giving these guests what they wanted to eat. I've reminded the staff to do just that, and the chef too has been told to relax a bit and give people what they want.

In the meantime, I shall nurse my obvious aspiration to receive guests who want to be here and who are willing to help us make their stay as pleasant as we can.

The noisy fan has been replaced

Thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
106 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2013

We stayed for two nights.
Breakfasts were good - one day was cooked to order which was a bonus - plenty to eat and all good quality. The second day was a buffet which was not as good as some was cold.
We did not dine as the prices were higher than elsewhere nearby, we used the riverside restaurant dulnain bridge which was very nice and would recommend, it is less than half a mile walk from the hotel.
We also ate in Aviemore where there is a greater choice.
The bar is very nice and the service was good, overall the staff are very good.
The room we had was small and a lot of furniture in it - but was in keeping with the house.
The bathroom does need some attention - which I think is a repetition from previous reviews - if you are staying a couple of nights this is fine but I think a bit of renovation is required.
I think for what you pay for the rooms it is average, I would stay again if I see that some upkeep has been made.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ilovehippopotamus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Muckrach Country House Hotel

Property: Muckrach Country House Hotel
Address: Dulnain Bridge | Nr Aviemore, Grantown-on-Spey PH26 3LY, Scotland (Formerly Muckrach Lodge Hotel & Restaurant)
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Badenoch and Strathspey > Grantown-on-Spey
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Grantown-on-Spey
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Muckrach Country House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Muckrach Country House Hotel is under new management & re-opened in May 2015, as a 4 star 11 bedroom Victorian Shooting Lodge. Muckrach Country House Hotel was bought in January 2014 and has been fully renovated over a 15 month period. Muckrach Country House Hotel sits in the heart of the Spey Valley, set in 10 acres surrounded by pastureland and mountains. No activity is far away; whether it be winter sports, field sports, fishing, walking, golf, mountain biking or adrenalin-led fun, they are all accessible within half an hour or less. All bedrooms have a contemporary porcelain-tiled ensuite. 1 Bedroom has an inter-connecting family room option, although z beds are available to add to most rooms. All bedrooms have underfloor heating, free WIFI, entertainment system, tea/coffee making facilities and Hypnos beds. The Coffee Shop / Restaurant and Bar are open to non-residents from breakfast through to supper. Our chefs bring the best of Scottish produce together in their menus. Choose to take Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room, a wee dram in the Bar or organise a private dining party for up to 16 in The Grant Room. A Highland welcome awaits you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Muckrach Hotel Grantown On Spey
Muckrach Country House Hotel Grantown-On-Spey, Scotland

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