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“A wonderful experience!!!”

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The Cluny Bank Hotel
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Forres
Certificate of Excellence
Phoenix
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A wonderful experience!!!”
Reviewed 19 April 2013

My husband and I just left the Cluny Bank Hotel after staying 2 nights. If we were not expected to meet relatives in another city in the south of Scotland, we would have loved to stay another day.
Upon our arrival, we started to bring our suitcases up the stairs to the front door when Lloyd
(the owner and chef) raced out of the the front door to carry them up for us. He greeted us with such enthusiasm that we felt like we were long lost relatives. His wife, Julia (Jules) greeted us as we stepped inside and had everything ready for us. Lloyd carried our cases up to our room and showed us inside. The size and decor of the room took our breath away! We felt like we had stepped back a century and entered a castle! The room was marvelous!
That evening we ate at their restaurant (we did have reservations) and enjoyed our meal.
The chef (Lloyd) checked on us several times as did Julia who served us. Dinner was not rushed and the service was fine. We had not planned on ordering dessert but the chef presented the dessert choices with such passion we could not refuse and we were not
disappointed. We had planned on dining somewhere else the second night, however since we enjoyed it so much the first night, we elected to eat there again. Again, we were not disappointed. In regard to breakfast, there is a fine selection of hot dishes on the menu and there is a cold buffet available also.
When we left to head south, both Lloyd and Julia were there to thank us. We left with the promise that if we returned to Scotland, the Cluny Bank would be our 1st stop.
NOTE: I would like to comment to the person who left the previous review. My husband and I have owned two hotels...one small and one large. We are very familiar with putting your heart and soul into making guests feel welcome. We are also familiar with how and what it takes to run a restaurant. The Cluny Bank is not a large hotel (it has 8 rooms) and it should not be compared to a 5 star major chain hotel. This is a very lovely home with a husband and wife who work 24/7 to make their guests feel special. It is unrealistic to expect them to stay open
late to wait for late dinner guests or to have extra food laying about like a major hotel kitchen has. Right at the moment we are at a major chain hotel, in a cookie cutter room and would trade it for one at the Cluny Bank in a heart beat.
So.....for the traveler who wants a special treat....give the Cluny Bank a try...you won't be disappointed!

Room Tip: Hotel is tricky to find....driveway is very narrow...located in a residential area.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mtk1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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212 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Petersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2013

I was unfortunately rather disappointed with the Cluny Bank Hotel, particularly after the extraordinary amount of “excellent” ratings on Trip Advisor. The location, building, rooms and general decor are very nice but the food, service and general reception soured my experience completely.
I had pre-arranged with the hotel that I would be late and placed my food order, and those of my two colleagues, in advance. However on arrival the owner hurriedly ushered me into the restaurant to eat, before I could even see my room. The meal was a let down: not bad but unmemorable, the highpoint being the pancetta-wrapped asparagus spear in the amuse bouche. Portions were very small (so I asked for two extra servings of breads) and my hare was overcooked, despite my request for “rare”. The wine was plonked on the table, no offer to taste it and we had to pour it ourselves throughout.
However what really offended me was the flippant and somewhat arrogant attitude of the head chef-co owner who made several comments to me (who would be footing the bill for all three of us) - in a joking-but-I-mean-it way - about my late arrival (10 minutes after my “authorised” late arrival) as if to suggest this was a major inconvenience. He then went on to “warn” me not to be late for breakfast the following morning. At breakfast he even quipped “at least you weren’t late this morning”. I’d like to think he was joking – but I’m not sure. Breakfast, incidentally, was also unexceptional.

To sum up: The building and the rooms are nice but “Franklin’s Restaurant” is far from the fine-dining experience that is suggested and the overall reception and service I received was rather condescending and disrespectful, making me feel like my spending £250 on a room and dinner for three was a bit of an inconvenience. I don’t think my late arrival is any excuse – should this be offered as one. A husband and wife team should be flexible enough to deal with 3 courses, plus drinks and wine plus a night’s accommodation - commencing only half hour after last orders in the kitchen.

I hope I caught them on a bad day, I don’t think I’ll ever know.

One final point: I think the hotel’s lengthy and rather arrogant responses (of which I will surely also be the recipient) to the postings of other dissatisfied customers on Trip Advisor say it all – the response to the "poor" rating posted by “AJBSH” a case in point. If I was in the hotel’s position I would take the criticism on the chin, with some humility, and sort out the problems.

Stayed April 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
6 Thank Neil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 April 2013

Our four day trip into the Highlands was blessed by gorgeous sunshine, snow capped mountains and the warm comfort of Cluny Bank Hotel. Taking the big things for granted, such as the quiet location, spotlessly clean, large and comfortable rooms, cosy bar etc. What really makes this small, cosy seven room hotel special are the little things: fresh flowers in the restaurant and hall, white linen table cloths and napkins, polished glasses at the dinner and breakfast table, fresh berries and fruit for breakfast, generous fresh fluffy towels in the bathroom, outstanding breakfasts and dinner (the dinners are special), an extensive and sensibly priced wine list, service you will not find in many of the best hotels around the world. Cluny Bank cannot offer some of the facilities one would expect from a large hotel, but every aspect of our stay would put many of the 5 star hotels I have stayed in around the world to shame.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IanC770
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013

We stayed here for a night after picking up our new car in Aberdeen and were delighted with our choice.
This is a restaurant with rooms rather than a hotel and benefits from that in their focus on quality of food.
Not to say that the rooms are deficient, just that the real reason for staying here has to be the quality of the menu, the presentation and the enjoyment of the food.
However, like so many hotels/restaurants the mark up on their wine is off-putting and leaves you wondering why an £8 off-licence wine can be worth four times that in a restaurant. It's a practice that borders on disrespect for the customer - but, like I say, it's an all too common practice throughout Scotland and beyond.
But, overall, we'd highly recommend this venue for its comfortable rooms and excellent food for around £200 a night for room, dinner and breakfast - oh, and good parking !

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Toshkent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2013

We had a great weekend in the Cluny Bank.
The rooms are very warm, clean and comfortable and the fudge is delicious.
Our dinners were top class. Locally sourced food perfectly cooked. The desserts were mouthwatering. We would love to return and would have no hesitation in recommending Cluny Bank to any one.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Allyj66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elgin
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2013

Without doubt the best food in the area. From the starters to dessert....fabulous. Everything is so fresh. The best of local produce.
You will not be disappointed. Lloyd...what can you say.. a great chef and what a character!
Love it, love it!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RonaH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2013

What can I say that hasn't already been said on there! Super friendly hosts, (the friendliness was infectious) lovely rooms, clean, full of character and amazing food. One thing to mention maybe is the location. My partner and I were looking for somewhere in Scotland where we go out on long walks and see some history without it being an issue to get to without public transport. Forres is perfect. The hotel is a short taxi ride from the station and long pine forest walks and the coast are fairly easily accessible. We enjoyed regular 5 hour walks in the surrounding countryside to earn our superb evening dinner. Cluny use local suppliers for top quality produce and they certainly know how to cook. We stayed over New Year and we'd love to stay again in the future if we have the chance possibly in the long nights of summer.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Roadtrippoetry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Cluny Bank Hotel

Property: The Cluny Bank Hotel
Address: 69 St. Leonards Road, Forres IV36 1DW, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Moray > Forres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Forres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Cluny Bank Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Small Hotel (Restaurant with Rooms, really) set in the best residential area of Forres, Moray. There are lots of activities within easy reach of the hotel such as golf, the world famous Malt Whisky Trail, castles, beaches and much more. Inverness is only 30 miles (airport 25 miles) away and there are many places of interest which can be reached. We have an extremely good reputation for food as you will see from the reviews. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cluny Bank Hotel
The Cluny Bank Hotel Forres, Scotland

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