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“Sometimes life has surprises”
Review of Cairn Hotel

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Cairn Hotel
Ranked #5 of 8 Carrbridge B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Biggar, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
771 reviews
159 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 817 helpful votes
“Sometimes life has surprises”
Reviewed 5 October 2012

Sometimes life has surprises. It was 1 May 2012, Scotland, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and I was at the top of Cairngorm Mountain skiing over piles of snow - it gets better, it was midweek and the slopes were quiet!

Such was the setting for my visit to the hotel for a couple of nights earlier this year. Cairngorm Mountain is about 17 miles/30 minutes from Carrbridge and with accommodation in nearby Aviemore proving expensive to arrange I had broadened my search on TA to come up with this option. Gareth, the owner, took the call and booked me in when I’d had a hitch on the internet link.

On arrival I parked at the rear of the property (down a lane by the side of the pub) and after speaking to the friendly Kiwi barmaid I was able to get my key, collect my gear from the car and get settled in. There is a hotel entrance so no need to go through the bar if you don’t want to although there is a link.

The hotel only has 7 rooms, some with and some without ensuite facilities. I think they are all named after rivers rather than numbers - I had a large double with ensuite - called “Livet”. The room faced over the street and as this was quiet during my stay I had no trouble sleeping - the skiing and the hospitality probably helped too. The room was very spacious with a large bay window and was clean and bright. The ensuite by comparison had been “accommodated” without compromising the bedroom space and was very small. However it served the purpose with an electric shower - not very powerful - w.c. and washbasin. The communal bathroom was across the hall from my room and I did hear other guests going in and out at various times but not to the stage of this being annoying. The bedroom had plenty of storage - wardrobe, chest of drawers and bedside cabinets. The double bed was comfortable enough and tea/coffee making facilities were provided. The small television, which had a digi-box of sorts, didn’t work but Gareth did remedy this after I had mentioned the issue. The key to the door was a bit temperamental too but at £38 B&B per night I was perfectly happy with the accommodation.

One of the attractions when booking the hotel was the food which had received good write-ups on TA and I was not disappointed. During my stay I had two evening meals in the bar and two breakfasts in the sun lounge on the ground floor of the hotel. The evening meals were of a very good standard, way beyond expectations in terms of presentation and taste that you would normally expect in a pub. The breakfasts were superb - all very tasty local produce and the only issue was that on one morning I tried to take on porridge and a full Scottish which stretched my salopettes to capacity! I didn’t chance it again on day two. The “inn” appears to be a really popular place with locals as well as visitors and with good food and atmosphere it is not surprising. When I was sitting in the sunshine having a pint at one of the tables outside some guests from a hotel up the road commented that they preferred the fact that the Cairn had a bit of life to it and we were joined by a couple who were fairly local to the area but also travelled here out of preference.

I would guess that the staff are selected to reflect the owner’s friendly approach as I found everyone working in the place to be very pleasant. It’s maybe in the water! As you probably gather I would not hesitate to book again - my grading is based on good food and hospitality rather than plush surroundings - yes, life sometimes has surprises.

p.s. the Artists Studio across the road is worth a visit.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Rantin rover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lothians
Level 6 Contributor
250 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2012

I booked the single room with shared bathroom due to the price and convenience of the location. The room is perfectly adequate for a solo traveller with a sink in the room, wardrobe, TV and access to free wi-fi. The shared bathroom is nearby and a good size with a decent shower, I had no problems with access to the bathroom and was not inconvienced by the lack of an en-suite.

On arrival I received a very friendly welcome and was shown to my room. Lots of hotels just send you on your way with the key these days so it is nice to have that personal touch.

I ate both breakfast and an evening meal in the hotel and found the food to be good quality on both occasions. Breakfast was served in the sunroom which was nicely laid out for the guests that were expected in the morning. A choice of cereals is available as well as a full cooked breakfast option. In the evening I had a chicken dish which was freshly cooked and very tasty.

The hotel has car parking at the rear which I used and had no problems getting into to. Midgies find me very appealing and I was bitten as soon as I stepped out of my car so if you are like me put some insect repellant on if it is that time of year and the conditions are right for them.

I'd happily book to stay in this friendly hotel again.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank LothiansJack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 August 2012

We stayed here on the way to Orkney. The first thing that was great about the hotel was that they came to pick us up at the station, great when you have bags, children and a dog. We were also taken back the next day. The staff were all excellent throughout our stay. The next great thing was that we had booked two rooms, but when we arrived were offered an extra room, free, so that the two teenagers could have their own room. We ate in the restaurant and the food was good, one comment would be that the childrens meal could have had some kind of veg with it? Gluten Free diet was not a problem. Stayed at the Hilton a few miles away on the way back and I would come here every time.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank nickie m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arnhem, The Netherlands
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2012

The rooms and bathrooms are clean, and most of the rooms are ensuite. The staff is always there to help you: I wanted to do some walking and the manager gave me a map with walking routes and ideas.The food is absolutely delicious (try the cheesecake) and you get a lot of food for a little money. I would definitely go there again, whether I'd go with my family or friends, or just on my own again.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hanneke B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
95 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2012

Two night stay in Carrbridge.We decided to eat both nights at the Cairn.Good meals on both nights.Staff just great..nothing a problem.The pub part of the hotel has a great atmosphere.And sitting outside is first class.The menu has good choices,something for all.Yes!! a wee gem.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank williamson000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2012

My husband and I stayed here 1 night in June. Our room was very clean and comfy. We found the TV set to be very small. The host is very friendly and helpful with directions. We ate at the pub and the food was excellent. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Very good breakfast.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank annkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, Scotland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2012

Dropped in here for our evening meal and was very pleased by what is clearly a well run hotel/pub where the atmosphere in the pub and the efficiency and friendliness of the staff was the best I have seen anywhere. Good food, and my wife and I were very disappointed not to be able to book a room for the night there and then, even losing the pre paid room in Aviemore just for a bit of craic and a blether with some friendly locals. Cursing our luck, we will be back in the very near future. Ignore the folk who have moaned, this is a small village pub in a small village and one of the most homely places I have been to. an absolute 10/10. Well done to all.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aberdeenangusthebull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cairn Hotel

Property: Cairn Hotel
Address: Main Road, Carrbridge, Aviemore PH23 3AS, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Badenoch and Strathspey > Aviemore > Carrbridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Carrbridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Cairn Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An authentic Highland inn, full of rustic charm and the perfect base for a tour of the Scottish Highlands and the Cairngorm National Park. Our award winning real ale & whisky bar is the centre of our community, providing a genuinely welcoming atmosphere and a great source of information on what to see and do in the area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cairn Hotel Carrbridge, Scotland

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