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Cairn Hotel
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Reviews (252)
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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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205 - 210 of 253 reviews
Reviewed 8 January 2012

A group of us stayed at the Cairn Hotel for two nights on 29th and 30th December 2011 (two couples, three single ladies, two 18 year old boys and two dogs. We all live in different parts of Scotland and had arranged for a long overdue get together. By the time we were ready to leave we wished we had booked in for New Year too! Gareth and his staff were so helpful and very friendly. The accommodation was extremely comfortable and warm. There is a cozy bar with a log fire and an excellent restaurant menu. We would not hesitate to go back.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Sandi533
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2011

Scotland's worst storms in years, 165mph winds on Cairngorm and 70,000 homes without power including the self-catering accommodation (not the Cairn Hotel) we'd been in all week. As we lost power at 3pm in our accommodation we paid our first visit to the Cairn Hotel that evening which lost power 10 minutes later. The attitude of the staff was excellent who still managed to cook us a freshly prepared hot meal by torch light. They put an extra log on the real fire and with the warm atmosphere and friendly locals we had a good evening with the power coming back on an hour or so later.

Back at the our self-catered cottage there was still no power through into the next evening and we came back to the Cairn Hotel, this time to stay the night. Again the staff bent over backwards to make us welcome, a nice hot shower, two very good pub meals and a pleasant evening in front of the fire chatting with the locals and staff.The free wifi was a wonderful bonus with the mobile masts powerless. We then retired to our room which was warm and clean for a good nights sleep. The following morning the breakfast was excellent, especially the black pudding in the cooked breakfast for me and still a good hot option in the mushroom omlette for my vegetarian fiance.

If your looking for a good hotel and you prioritise the quality of the service and atmosphere above the size of the LCD TV then this is an exceptional establishment. Character comes out in a crisis and this hotel and it's staff have it by the bucket load, we can't thank them enough for the way they received us.

Andy and Elizabeth

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Elizabeth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2011

Welcomed by the lady owner, very friendly, beautiful residents lounge.
A couple with a youngster (11) joined us and made a polite request to use the coal fire to do some marshmallows, met with a less than friendly no! from the male owner who didnt even introduce himself. Then a long winded Health and Safety talk on the subject....pleaseeee.
Noticed one or two creppy crawlies at bedtime, but figured it was perhaps the proximity of my bed to the window so wasnt unduly bothered and didnt want to make too much of a fuss because my fellow traveller has a learning difficulty. Imagine my horror in the morning when I discovered an insect infestation below the mattress, which hadnt been dusted in god know how long. I discretley informed the lady owner and she said amongst other things 'that we have lots of hillwalkers use these rooms'?????? Left soonafter, still itching weeks later, only the drink on my bill £2 waived. Complained to the internet booking agent (Hotels.com) and incredibly after investigating and contacting a 'Mr Gareth'? he stated our room was 'most clean and proper'? WHAT??? So, to cut a long story short, unless your into sharing your bed with creepy crawlies, avoild this hotel like the plague.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank mikeAberdeen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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