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The Boat Hotel
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Reviews (1,398)
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All reviewsgarden roomsteam railwayroll top bathtwo night staybottle of proseccoboth nightslovely hotelpatio doorsstrathspey railwayloch gartenfour poster bedboth morningsa bit tiredopen firerelaxing breakenjoyable stayfull scottish breakfast
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921 - 926 of 1,398 reviews
Reviewed 22 October 2013

It is said, quite correctly, that there is a problem in the Scottish hospitality industry. Indigenous Scottish customer-facing staff are sullen and resentful, Eastern European staff have a good attitude but lack the language skills.
I now know why this is the case: all the decent hospitality personnel are at the Boat Hotel! All the staff, without exception: male, female; British, Eastern European; bar staff, reception; you name it, are exceptional. There are no problems of attitude, competence or communication. Quite the contrary: it is a delight to talk with each member.
We were originally in Room 206 for a 3-night stay, 2 of which were a special 3rd-party offer and the other booked directly with the hotel. We felt that it wasn't worthy of either its 4-star rating or the £100 per night B&B price. Mysteriously lumpy quilt had us intrigued. We complained about a smell which may have come from a blocked drain being worked on by Scottish Water or may have been damp. We also thought the bathroom was shabby and dated. No problem: Reception upgraded us to Garden Room 2. Much nicer; lovely, in fact. Not perfect, but very nice.
Not only did Reception move us, but they arranged for our bags to be moved while we were out and were gracious and apologetic about it.
The hotel itself oozes old-fashioned charm. Oak pannelling, real coal/wood fires (and at least one very realistic fake) and sofas all over the place to sink into. The relaxed, unstuffy atmosphere - kids and pets allowed - is balanced by well courteous, highly professional staff.
The restaurant has 2 AA rosettes and the food is lovely. Table d'Hote menu is £25 for 3 satisfying courses. House wines at around £19 mean the hotel doesn't get too greedy and try to claw back too much cash from the good value food.
Breakfast is very good; freshly cooked to order taken by the excellent waiting staff.
The location is very good, too. Immediately adjacent to the Boat of Garten railway station, where you may board one of the last remaining steam trains in the UK.
Osprey-watching facilities, in season, at RSPB site couple of miles along the road. Aviemore, the local big city which even has a Waterstones, 5-10 minutes by car.
Overall, excellent, if you are not in a Classic room. Get a Garden Room and have a lovely time.

Room Tip: Garden Rooms have an outstanding view.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Filosofo1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2013

We went to this hotel 18 - 20 October 2013. The hotel is lovely and the staff are very helpful especially Diane the Receptionist.

Beware the charge a lot of money for very small portions for the meals. My husband had breakfast of smoked haddock and poached egg only to be given a bit of haddock the size of the poached egg! The price you pay for meals is very expensive and we found eating out in Aviemore was cheaper with larger portions. We were told not to eat at the hotel but to go to a restaurant further along the road but it was shut on Saturday night.

All in all a lovely hotel but the prices and portions let them down badly.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lindyl0u57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

My husband and I stayed over 2 nights in October. with the dog. I thought ? a living social voucher AND a dog - I didn't have much hope - what a surprise. Diane on the desk was our first point of contact - very welcoming and so helpful; even remembered our dog's name when we passed to go out or in. Our room was a delight with an en-suite with a lovely deep roll top bath.
Towelling robes and all you could need in refreshments. The dog received a little bag of biscuits wrapped in cellophane with bow and an information pack. what a delight. It was our anniversary so I was delighted not to have anything to feel annoyed about. I didn't want to leave.! The dinner although lovely - was a little pricey for what was on my plate so we ate out the second night at another Hotel up the road as we enquired earlier - we could have the dog in beside us. That made it more relaxing as it was pouring with rain and fogy and I didn't want to leave her in the car for hours. All in all the best break I have had in years - ALL the staff were pleasant - always said a word or two to you when you passed and were happy to help you.

Room Tip: Just ask when you book - communication is everything......This is a large hotel - they will something to suit you.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dorothy1207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

this was our 5th visit to the boat, perhaps the last two visits left a lot to be desired so we arrived with some trepidation . the staff were very welcoming and the room was very comfortable plenty room to move around, bathroom was equally spacious. we ate.in the bar both nights ,meals were good and the quality of food was good. we enjoyed our stay and we are grateful to the staff who made our stay so enjoyable a complete contrast to our last two visits.we would recommend the hotel and would return at a later date.

Room Tip: estate rooms are good
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank david s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

A most enjoyable stay, we were very impressed with the Hotel. We booked with some trepidation having known the Boat Hotel from many years ago. After my last stay, it has taken nearly 30 years for me to go back. Need I say more !! After this time we will be back again very soon.

our room was spacious with a very comfortable bed, and was beautifully quiet. The staff are all a delight to deal with, and could not have been more helpful. What a nice bunch of young people they are. Whilst we did not have any special requirements I feel sure that nothing would have been too much trouble had we needed it.

The restaurant was a real surprise, superb food beautifully presented. In British Hotels normally the hotel restaurant is one for avoiding if at all possible. Not at the Boat. Whoever your Chef is, give him a pay rise and make sure he stays at least until we can come again.

Loved it and will be back.

Neil Duffin

Room Tip: Try to get a map of the building, the Garden rooms are not well signposted!!
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank neil4mrc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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