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Cairn Hotel
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Reviews (255)
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All reviewsfriendly localsthe pubmacaroniopen firesmoked haddockgreat atmospherepopular with the localslocal produceowners and staffscottish hospitalitycooked breakfastneck of the woodswee gemate herereal alefish and chipslandmark adventure park
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Reviewed 29 October 2011

This is a truly amazing hotel that really should be higher up the list for several reasons! We only ever stay in 5 star world class hotels such as The Bellagio in Las Vegas and The Royal Meridian hotel in Dubai and to be honest we are ashamed to admit that we didn't have high hopes, it being a 3 star - BUT not only were we humbled by our own snobbery, we were truly amazed at the high standard this hotel offers and believe this hotel should definately be higher up the list in trip advisor and definately is in the top end of 3 star!

This, we think, is due to several reasons - one being the highest standards of cleanliness. It is absolutely spotlessly clean and is cleaned every single day, with towels replaced, toilet rolls turned to a point, beds made etc. The attention to detail within the room, for example the bath towels are enormous - lovely to wrap around several times after having a delightfully hot powerful shower. All the equipement in the room actually worked brilliantly - it sounds pedantic to notice, but we recently stayed in a 5 star hotel in Lugano Switzerland and their fantastic state of the art flat-screen TV with a zillion channels didn't work!!! but in the Cairn hotel you won't find the same - it worked brilliantly with a good signal!

Then there is the fabulous locally sourced food which in both taste and presentation totally blew us away-absolutely high class by any recommended restaurant standard, both the dinner and breakfast we ate was plentiful and delicious - we were going to eat somewhere else for a change in the evening, but just couldn't tear ourselves away. We couldn't tear ourselves away from the standard of the food AND the amazing atmosphere in both the restaurant and bar area which was packed out even though it was midweek. The public bar seemed to be the centre of village life with locals coming in pretty much all day and we rarely saw it empty, in fact it was difficult to find a table near the lovely roaring fire area and i wondered whether the owners had considered removing the pool table and extending the comfortable bar area as many people were standing around or sitting on it, I only saw it being used once!

Then...and we felt this was the cherry on the cake, was the fact that it was also dog friendly...not just dog tolerable, but actually friendly with several dogs being welcomed anywhere in the hotel. To be honest, we thought and we want to say here and now that we were totally wrong, but we thought that because we had a dog with us, we would have to accept a lower standard of accomodation than our usual because hotels that allowed dogs probably wouldn't be of the standard we would ordinarily accept - and we got that completely wrong - totally wrong. This hotel proves it!! You can welcome and accept dogs and still have a good standard of accomodation and we can't thank the owners for this enough. We had an amazing holiday with our dog, we didn't have to drop our standards at all, we know we are incredibly fussy and snobby and as I have said we were ashamed of our inaccurate presumtion and completely humbled.

Whether or not you have a dog, we can't recommend this hotel highly enough for the standard, food, atmosphere and cleanliness - Oh and one more thing, the staff were so friendly, welcoming, chatty and genuinely couldn't do enough for us. They all just seemed really happy to be there and work there! We absolutely loved it..we will definately return and we can imagine that on a snowy new years eve, the atmosphere in that hotel would be brilliant and something we want to experience soon!!

Room Tip: smallest room at the back was slightly noisy - heard some clanking or banging in the night (could've been the fire exit door being used or a boiler which clanked- don't know) It didn't really disturb us, wasn't a continuous noise only happened now and again and we slept fine, but maybe lighter sleepers maybe disturbed - just a note to be aware of - rooms at the front probably wouldn't hear it
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank d12258
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2011

The cairn is a welcoming highland hotel with a great wee bar and nice log fire. I had drank in the bar in 2010 so when the time came to visit the area again this year, I chose to stay in the hotel. Our room was ensuite, clean and the food is excellent, with a good choice of real ales on tap. It's obviously a bit of a locals bar, but that is all the better in my opinion when up north. The only downside I would say was our room was right at the top of the stairs opposite the washroom/ toilet and we got woken up the second night at 4am by a loud conversation in the hallway. I'm sure this doesn't happen all the time though and it was a friday night so.....
My only other criticism was that service during breakfast time was rather slow. They obviously cook to order and this is a good thing (it was probably one of the best cooked breakfasts I've had) but it does mean that if you are in a hurry things can drag on a bit. I have been to other establishments that get you to fill out a breakfast request the night before, that may streamline breakfast a bit?

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LambruscoEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2011

Stayed at a house in Carrbridge but went here twice for dinner. The food was excellent and the staff were so friendly and couldn't do enough to help. I would thoroughly recommend and in fact I would stay there due to the service received at mealtimes if I was back in the future.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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Thank NMcD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2011

After a wet and bike ride we went to the cairn for a bar meal, the place was busy for a Tuesday night. On entering all muddy and wet we were greeted and taken to a table in the dining room, there was no issues with the state of us and the host even joined in with our banter about the local trails. We ordered steaks and one other had stew, you could fault it, value for money and not the usual pub food crap you get. If you want a friendly well run pub then this is the place for food and excellent service!

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank Kirsten G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2011

My husband and I booked this hotel break through hotels.com and got a very good Bed and Breakfast rate. We had been back to my hometown of Aberdeen for a reunion and our friends had offered to watch our two boys in order for us to get a couple of nights away on our own. As we had to head back down to Yorkshire we wanted something not too far from Aberdeen but far enough to have some different places to see.

The owner is a lovely guy who makes you feel very welcome. The rooms although basic are nice and clean with the beds being very comfortable. We did have a problem with our shower but as it was new it was to be fixed once we left which I am sure did happen. We didnt actually choose to eat there at night and that is I am afraid due to the above mentioned pool table in middle of lounge bar. When we first entered I must say we were a bit shocked as previous reports had not mentioned this! (perhaps it is a new and hopefully temporary addition??). Although you dont actually eat in this bar/lounge area but through in the sun lounge/restaraunt, this pool table actually put us off sitting in the bar ( before we got to the Cairn we had planned to eat and drink in the hotel at least one night of our two night break). Although it was mainly locals playing the pool it did not make it a very nice relaxing place to sit and have a drink therefore we ended up going out both nights to Aviemore for meals and drinks. This was a pity as the freshly cooked Scottish Breakfast was amongst the best we have had and we have stayed at some really nice hotels so I am sure the food on offer in an evening was equally good.

Please do not think this is a negative review because it is most definitely not. It is a nice little hotel that is very fairly priced with lovely owners and as far as we could see lovely food. And I must say it kinda grows on you as by the end we were really quite fond of the place, warts and all(even had a nightcap in lounge bar our last night). We would go back and would highly recommend but as we have said..perhaps the removal of the pool table would be the clincher??

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank scotsliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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