Hilton Craigendarroch Hotel

, Ballater, United Kingdom
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Hilton Craigendarroch Hotel

, Ballater
Braemar Road - Ballater - Scotland - AB35 5XA - United Kingdom (0 339)755558
307 Traveller

Reviews - Hilton Craigendarroch Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Hilton Craigendarroch Hotel

Great spot

from beseeinyou
Just returned from a two night break and was dissappointed we hadn't booked another couple of nights, we had a 9 person family get together in the hotel itself and had a great time.

The leisure facilities are excellent, good sized pool, seperate smaller pool with slide which the kids loved but one sore point was that the slide is only operational for an hour and a half in the morning (right after breakfast time !!!) and a couple of hours in the evening (when you're either getting ready for or having dinner !!!), sauna, steam room, kids playground outside, snooker room, pool table / arcade room, there were also some other things we never got to.

We drank & dined on both nights in the Club area as the "Oaks" isn't really child friendly, breakfast is also in the Club Restaurant, we had absolutely no complaints, good food, good wine, good service.

One slight irritation is the TV, the reception in both the bar and the rooms is pretty awful and spoiled watching the Open golf a bit, only the main 4 British channels & Cartoon Network, no satellite at all not even Sky News, come on Hilton !!!

We went into Ballater village too and down by the River Dee was beautiful though I could take or leave the village itself. It seemed to me there was no serious contender for dining away from the hotel though perhaps we didn't look too hard.

Overall though this is a great spot for a break.

Seen better days

from A TripAdvisor Member
In addition to this review I will be writing directly to Hilton management. Our stay was not good and I would not recommend this 'resort' to anybody. The public areas are in need of comprehensive upgrading with poor decor. The whole place feels disconnected with poor signage. Furnishings - including what must be the gaudiest hallway carpeting I have ever seen - are jaded and distinctly not classy. They attempt to be upmarket (country house hotel in the Highlands) and miss by a long way. We paid for a £192 for a deluxe room (Room 31 if you happen to have to stay in the hotel, I suggest you avoid it.) The room decor was probably quite fresh in the 1960's - but not now. It just looks like it was decorated in the 1960s. Tiny bathroom, cracked linoleum, missing caulking round the bath, etc - you get the picture. No air conditioning - the room was sweltering all the time of our stay. Our 'balcony' was the rusted metal fire escape from one of the function rooms. The two B&Q white plastic chairs were dirty. The saucer full of cigarette ends lying just outside our sliding windows was a nice touch! The meal quality in the Clubhouse restarant was OK, but they cram in too many tables. The lack of air conditioing is very noticeable here too - very warm. We were two feet from the people next to us and navigating around the tight layout at the buffet style breakfast was not easy. The staff were nice though. Pity I couldn't write a tip onto the room bill, so had to use cash. But the staff advised that Hilton keeps any tips written onto the bill.
I am a Hilton Honors member. I used the hotels extensively on business when based in the USA. On the basis of this offering I will think twice about Hilton in the UK. Very poor value for money - never again.

Nice place, wonderful location

from Richard_Jay
We exchanged into Lodge #33 at Hilton Craigendarroch via RCI. It's an excellent location for a visit to Ballater (1-mile walk), Balmoral (5-minute drive) and the Highlands Whisky Trail and Castle Trail (60 to 90-minute drives each way). I'll rate the property at 8.8 but I'd rather spend a week there than be at a 9.5-rated place in Florida or a European tourist trap.

Our free-standing lodge had 3 fairly small but adequate bedrooms downstairs. One had a double bed, very small TV, and en-suite bathroom with large jacuzzi tub and telephone-type shower attachment; the other two had a pair of single beds each and bathroom with shower in the hall. Upstairs was very comfortable with a large living area (with large pull-down Murphy bed that we didn't use), nice dining area, and full high-end modern kitchen (quality cabinetry, electric stovetop, microwave, dishwasher, double sink, etc.). Also a large deck with two sliding doors for access and good treetop views, and an upstairs bathroom with full sauna. Nice lighting, glassed-in cabinets with quality glassware and dishes, good couches and chairs for seating, small TV with VCR, small radio with CD player. And a clothes washer and dryer (downstairs) so bring laundry soap if you plan to use it.

Ample electric heating throughout, each radiator individually controlled, but the electicity is metered and you'll be billed on checkout for what you've used, we were there in May and paid 32 pounds=$60. The water supply is very hot but if you fill the jacuzzi tub you'll use it all, and that will mean cold showers for the rest of your party.

We pre-ordered a food pack that took care of several days breakfasts (pound of bacon, pound of sausage, dozen eggs, starter-containers of orange juice and milk, block of double Gloucester cheese, pound of butter, bottle of oil, loaf of bread, 2 jars of jam, boxes of crackers) plus daily milk delivery.
I don't recall what we paid for it.

Beds had bottom sheet and duvet; no top sheet. There was a good supply of towels at the start (and heated towel racks to dry them) but we were surprised that there was no maid service and no change of towels the entire week (we paid a few dollars for a change of towels mid-week).

Premises were very clean and well-maintained. When we checked in we found some water on the floor of the sauna and a prior tenant had left a bathing suit hanging on a coathook - - we called reception and someone was there in minutes to mop the floor and remove the garment.

No timeshare sales pressure at all - - no tour was offered; just a flyer one day listing purchase prices for various available weeks.

There's one expensive fancy restaurant, maybe not the best in all Scotland but we enjoyed dressing up and eating there one evening, and one regular restaurant that we didn't visit. Also a bar that we visited on Friday night--a very good folk singer/guitarist was there from 9 to midnight and we enjoyed it for an hour or so despite everyone in the audience being a non-stop smoker.

One assigned parking space was convenient to our lodge. The checkin package included a warning that we should be sure to keep the lodge doors locked as there had been some thefts; we didn't have any problem (there was no safe in the unit so we carried all our cash and our passports with us).

We were up and out early every morning to see the wonderful Highland sights, returning about 9 each night (still daylight!) for a dram and to bed. So we didn't use the jacuzzi and sauna, or the hotel's indoor pool and dry ski slope.

If you haven't been to the Highlands of Scotland, especially in May or June, you really should go!

A Very Pleasant Stay

from A TripAdvisor Member
When I first arrived at the hotel, it was dark, and all the exterior lights of the lodge were on. It was a spectacular vision. When I stepped through the front door, I was welcomed with a lovely smell. The furniture and fittings were very modern and I was very delighted with the lodge on a whole. I would definitely recommend this for a visit, especially if you have children, as there is a wonderful little park for them to play on, and, the swimming pool, and creche is great for them.

Only the Oaks

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Craigendarroch has one of the most beautiful scenery but manages to spoil ones stay by letting everybody down.
Once passed the reception area one wanders around in badly signed floors, (indicating non existing restaurants), with scuffed dirty doors , leading in to some empty rooms if one looses directions. We had an uprated room (£133.00p/N) which was acceptable with the exception of one chair which had a burst back and the TV had only three channels. (plus one Cartoon)
The room service was a let down, we have only been there for two nights and on the first morning the towels were removed but not replaced. After a reminder and two hours later still nothing, after another reminder and 20min later in the afternoon the towels arrived. On the second day our morning newspaper arrived at 11.15 , 45 minutes before checkout. The room breakfast was served with nearly cold coffee.
The Country Club Restaurant (where one has to book well in advance!! ) was a total disaster. We were given a table 3ft in front of the open kitchen service window and 2ft from the plate collection point. We could not have a discussion because of the noise. The food was absolutely tastless,we just finished our wine and walked out.
The Country Club Lounge serves overpriced wines and flat watery drinks.
The leisure centre looks partly like a building site and is run by teens who have no idea what to look for. The childrens pool is so cold that everybody is using the main pool. The jaccuzi was one day hot the next luke-warm. We have seen elderly persons having problems getting in and out as the first step into it is a 2ft drop. The underwater illumination bulbs are very hot. In the centre of the jaccuzi two strainer heads providing a tripping hazard.
This could go on, but there is at least one highlight, the Oaks restaurant. (Must be a different company).
The service is faultless, friendly and attentive. The meals were also nicely prepared and very tasteful.
Certainly worth five stars. The advice would be to eat only in the Oaks, the perfect conclusion to a day.
Due to my work I travel all over the world and have also been in other Hilton facilities, I have however never seen so many people complaining in a reception area during check out.


from A TripAdvisor Member
I stayed in the Hilton Craigendarroch in Oct 04 and i was gobsmacked with how lovely it was. I stayed in a Lodge for 6 and i was like a child in a sweet shop. These lodges arfe amazing,jacuzzi downstairs,sauna upstairs,fantastic views,overall....just amazing. It was spotless from top to bottom,very modern and very lush.

i do work for RCI and when i read the above reviews before i went i was quite worried....but once there i knew that the reviews must be incorrect.

overall,FANTASTIC. Me and my boyfriend loved it and will definately go back.

old fashioned charm

from A TripAdvisor Member
Hotel has an old fashioned charm but the rooms were more than adequate and certainly clean.Despite comments to the contrary we found the leisure centre restaurant pleasant,the food was excellent (one of the nicest steaks I have had in a long time) However the wine was somewhat overpriced and the same could be ordered in a Ballater village restaurant for almost half the price.
If we were to visit this area again we would certainly consider this hotel.

Not up to scratch

from monsta_mo
The trip was to be our first break as a family - we have a 10 week old baby boy. We arrived during a heavy rain shower to find no parking space anywhere near the front door.
Having checked in we were given directions to our room which involved two seperate lifts and several sets of doors - probably the most inaccessable part of the hotel - not easy with a child's buggy.

We weren't even offered help with our baggage which included all the extras associated with small babies (travel cot, bugggy etc). So two trips leter I finally had all our stuff in the room. The room itself had a great view out over Deeside to the mountains but that's as good as it got. the bathroom was very tired and in need of an overhaul and there was a complete lack of local information normally available.

We used the leisure complex and took our baby to the kids pool which was too cold even for my liking. Despite this, i was impressed with the set-up.

Dinner was served in the leisure complex. We were never even made aware that there was a fine dining option. The food and service were very poor and just not up to the standard expected of a 4 star hotel.

Over-rated, over-priced and won't be back.

Refuge in the woods

from DebiDJ
We stayed at the Craigendarroch October 1, 2004. The service at the front desk was excellent. The staff is wonderful at this hotel. Everyone seems to like each other and those feelings are passed along to the customers. For example, Hillary showed us to our rooms and helped us feel at home right away.
We were in a room that overlooked the woods. The view was lovely and we had tea out on the balcony.
We had dinner in the Oak Room that night. The service was stilted and atmosphere seemed better suited for my mother than for me (she's 91), but the food was good. However, breakfast the next morning was only mediocre. All in all, a great value and a very nice experience. We plan to return next year.

Awesome Lodges

from A TripAdvisor Member
Hospitality, Service, Location, Atmosphere everything we look for in a great holiday is to be found in this sleepy village in Scotland. Accomadation was spotless and of the highest standard, the area has something for everone and the food outstanding. We loved it and would recommend it highly.

Top Local Tips for Ballater

Reserve early Because there are not many restaurants in the area, make reservations early on a weekend.

butcher Excellent butcher in Balleter all the meat is tender and tasty, try the sirloin steaks and lamb chops if you are self catering.

Did not realise how close to Aberdeen the hotel was! Less than hour from Aberdeen - fab for a night out


Other names for Hilton Craigendarroch Hotel

  • hilton hotel craigendarroch
  • hilton hotel ballater
  • hilton ballater
  • ballater hilton
  • Address: Braemar Road - Ballater - Scotland - AB35 5XA - United Kingdom
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