Columba House Hotel and Garden Restaurant

, Kingussie, United Kingdom
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Columba House Hotel and Garden Restaurant

, Kingussie

Rooms: 8

Manse Road - Kingussie - Scotland - PH21 1JF - United Kingdom Hotel Website | | (0 540)661402
144 Traveller

Reviews - Columba House Hotel and Garden Restaurant

Comfortable. Watch hidden prices!
Submitted by: Rita in 30/04/09
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Honeymooners
Our room was clean and comfortable. We did however have a few problems during our stay. Firstly the proprietor tried to sell us champagne breakfast in our room and we felt awkward by refusing it. Also, although we are not fussy about names, we felt it a little rude to assume they can call everyone by first name without asking first, it did feel very weird. Food was very good, however, we plumped for DB&B thereby paying an extra £20 pp per night for food to be included. When we arrived the menu was in our room and we chose from this menu only to find when we arrived for dinner that we had a different menu to the one in our room. Some items were the same but some had a "small" ?!?!charge to be added to them. This seemed acceptable until you find out that although you have paid £20 per person already for the meal you had to pay an extra £4.25 for a starter or dessert (normally averaging £6 each) and an extra £6.25 for a main course (normally averaging £16). Therefore paying £34.75 for a £28 meal. Other hotels we stayed in never contemplated this sort of pricing, we feel it paints the wrong picture of Scottish hotels. Others we have visited have not done this, they are normally straight forward, very warm, welcoming and seem to mean it!!
Fab stay
Submitted by: Roslyn in 21/05/08
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From:
  • Traveller type: Honeymooners
Myself and my husband have just had our 2nd visit to Columba House and all I can say is it was just as great as the first visit. Very cosy and welcoming. The room was lovely and clean. The food was really nice. It can be a bit expensiv, but if you get the room with dinner. Bed and breakfast deal then it is more than worth it. The whole hotel was clean and the gardens immaculate. If you want someplace to go and relax, put your feet up and watch the world go by then the Columba is a place to go. Bill and Myra do a great job running the place and we for one will definitely be booking again.
Poor Hotel
Submitted by: Steve in 03/09/07
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Relaxation Seeker
This hotel sounded great on the web, but lacked in many areas. The room descriptions were not accurate, and over hyped. Attention to detail severely lacking, with dirty windows, etc in a room that costs well over one hundred pounds a night. We also didn't see evidence of free use of local leisure facilities anywhere advertised in the hotel.
The food in the restaurant is Michelin Star priced, but extremely ordinary. My wife's meal had to be sent back as it had been cooked till wind dried, and tough as a leather boot. My own dish was poorly put together, and the sauce tasted of OXO cubes. At nearly 20 quid for a main course, there is no excuse for turning out second rate greasy spoon food. After complaining, I'm afraid our weekend was ruined from there on in by sour faced hosts…
We won't be back…

Historical Traveller Reviews of Columba House Hotel and Garden Restaurant

A very nice break

from pwbw30
We booked the Columba House Hotel via an advert in a national newspaper who were offering a 4 for 3 deal for DBB. It wasn't cheap, but it also wasn't expensive.

Reading the other reviews I can appreciate their concerns with this establishment. However, we had a very pleasant stay here.

The building is old and has a lot of character and history. It overlooks the Ruthven barracks - a ruin from the days of the Jacobite Rebellion.

The room was spacious and nicely furnished - the bathroom clean.

What became apparent is that if you book for DBB, the deal was that you were firstly invited into the bar area before being taken to your table for your dinner. At first we found this a little odd, as we were sitting in the (small) bar with the other residents deciding what we wanted for dinner. However, we soon realised it was because they served (sold) you a drink whilst you waited to be seated.

Irrespecive of this, we grew to rather enjoy this format. It was a nice cosy bar with a real fire. It was quite a personalised approach. After placing our order, we were taken to the table which had been set up accordingly.

The food was EXCELLENT- the highlight of our stay. The chef was the lady owner's husband was really was superb.

After 2/3 nights, the owners actually came out after service and had a chat over a drink with us, which was very nice.

The only issue I'd make you aware of is that when we were there, they advertise a free pass for the local sports centre/swimming pool. This is in fact in Aviemore - a good 10 mile drive. We did use this facility, but obviously this is only of any use if you have a car at your disposal.

The food and accommodation were excellent. We'd recommend.

Nice Getaway

from iainskye
We turned up on spec the other day. Nice friendly welcome and cheaper rate than advertised. Average king sized hotel room with pretty weak shower and getting dated decoration. Rediculous corkage charges in your room which I am not sure about. We however drunk a bottle of our wine and simply took the empty away with us.

We had dinner which was very nice and at a very reasonable cost for what was obviously home cooked food. Service before and during was very good. However when we had eaten it felt like we were just being brushed to one side to make way for the next group. It took around 15 minutes to get a drink from the bar!!!! Lack of staff more than anything I personally would have said.

Breakfast was very good with plenty of choice.

We discovered after we checked in they had four poster rooms with double baths which was never mentioned or even any effort made to sell these to us. A little bit dissapointing.

I would stay here again but would eat elsewhere.

Excellent overnight stay!

from Exonians
Previous reviews worried us but we found little wrong with this hotel! Yes, the decor in our room was 'dated' but everything was perfectly clean. Our 'hosts' were very welcoming and our evening meal and breakfast were superb!!! The wine was wonderful!
We have a little worry about the mini bar note re. charges for 'corkage'- this is (a) not legally binding and (b) intimidating for guests who may not be familiar with the system.
Please, Columba, remove this 'restriction' from your rooms. It won't help you to encourage people to re-visit!

Middle of the road

from Strabrick
We stayed for three nights at this hotel. It is in a nice location and a nice building from the outside, watch out for the signs as you drive into Manse road, you can easily miss them!!

Check in was easy enough with emphaise put on the 'cheap' mini bar in the room, beware that they like to charge you a corkage charge(£10 per bottle of wine) for bringing your own drinks into your own room to drink, and the mini bar is not so cheap at almost £4 per vodka and mixer for example.

The room was big enough with views to the hills, a bit dated and defintely not suited to anyone under 50 but clean. The shower in the room was terrible, scalding hot one minute and freezing the next, towels were discribed as fuffy, they weren't!

We only had breakfast one day, we arrived down 10mins before the 9.15am cut off, ( a bit early condsidering your are supposed to be on holiday!) and everything had been cleared, also the room was very cold, food ok.

We did mention to Myra that the shower was not good but I don't really think she was taking much notice of us, then out came the picture of the new property in Marbella!

Alot of money for an 'ok' experience, don't go if you don't like pink and burgundy decor or are under 50 years old.

Not disabled friendly - and lady owner a bit grumpy

from pomona1
Having elderly parents with mobility issues, we asked for a room with disabled facilities and were assured that these were available. On arrival we found that the room with disabled facilities was in a courtyard with no access from inside the hotel and the room furthest from the hotel. There was a ramp to the room then a tight turn from the corridor entrance into the room - hardly suitable for a wheelchair user - equally the walk from the room entrance to the hotel to dine or use the lounge was across gravel and out in the rain, if it was raining. The lady owner could not understand why we were not happy and appeared to be grumpy with us for most of our stay. She did suggest that we put our parents in the car to transport them from the room to the hotel - not really understanding that elderly and less mobile visitors may find getting in and out of a car difficult. In any case, there was no reserved parking at either location, on some occassions other guests' cars were parked there and that is not the right attitude to disabled guests. The only gound floor bedroom had a high step into the en-suite room and no disabled facilities. So avoid this hotel if looking for facilities for less able or disabled visitors.
The food was good, but the hotel is pricey and service in the restaurant was a bit 'hit or miss'.

Disappointed in the owners attitude

from tricia-mumof4
Stayed for 2 nights, the setting of the hotel is lovely, the rooms were maybe slightly dated, but a good size, clean and tidy. The food in the restaurant both for dinner and breakfast was lovely. The service was very good.
The biggest downfall for us was after dinner we went out for a walk and found a bar that had good music playing so we stayed at that and walked back to our hotel at 1am to find it locked. We thought the 2 keys we had were for the front door and our room, but no. We rang the bell and rapped the doors but to no avail, all we got was abuse from another resident for disturbing them with the bell ringing. Eventually we went to the police who were very helpful, and they got the owners up at 2.30. The owners were very rude, especially Bill, told us we should have read our book in our room telling us we were to let them know if we would be out after 11pm. Didnt think at our age we had to check in and out!
After Bill stormed of in a rage, and Myra said she had forgotten to tell us about getting in, we got to bed eventually.
We never received any word of apology and didnt see Bill again for the next 2 days, We were in our room the next night at 7pm and didnt leave it till the next morning!

Poor value

from DWirral
We only stayed one night, thank goodness, on 26 May 2007.
A twin room was booked via, at a rate of £95 instead of the rack rate of £115. and was realy poor value. Unusually we were contacted by the hotel for a £25 deposit to hold the reservation. This was paid, and we arrived late afternoon. We were shown to our room, "Crofters" in the courtyard. We were shown in and the owner then quickly disappeared. No wonder - it was the disabled guest room. No mention of this before. It was newly kitted out, but really small. It was furnished in that 80s style of pink and pine. We had no where to put our suitcase, and only one chair to sit on. Presumably the other small space was for a wheel chair. On entering the en suite, we were extremely disappointed. It was institutional. A tiny was basin, just above knee height, a toilet with no lid, raised for a disabled user and a half curtain over the shower area - no shower tray or anything like that, just a hole in the floor. In effect the walls were covered in fake marble effect ( probably melamine) and an industrial floor. The mirror over the wash basin was small and at chest height.
What made matters worse is this room is in the staff quarters, so you could hear all the comings and goings and smell the smoke from them smoking. The ashtray by the door with cigarette buts was disgusting.
The worst was yet to come!!
When taking a shower, the drain over the shower did not work. It flooded the shower room, and the owner came to investigate, and mopped up, but left the soaking towels over the drain. She informed us that the wash basin had been moved as it had been fitted in the wrong place, and recently moved. Upon leaving us, she said she "would kill the plumber". We were shown the staff shower room, conveniently close, and told the staff would clear it and we could use it. No problems until the following morning. It is not pleasant having to go out of your room to shower. The shower worked, but the drain was blocked. Not only this drain, the toilet in the bedroom en suite and staff shower room were blocked as were the wash basins. A total disaster.
At breakfast we informed the owner. No appology, but a repeat that she would "kill the plumber" and had been too busy to call him the previous night. We used the toilet in the public area of the hotel.
On check, another couple were commenting on poor plumbing with a power shower. We received no appology, no reduction for inconvenience, and handed a leaflet to recommened the hotel and presumably the owners apartment in Marbella.
We do recommend - AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

A friendly welcome

from A TripAdvisor Member
A friendly welcome awaited us on our arrival at Columba House. The room we had was in a courtyard and we were able to park right outside our own front door. It was a nice sized room with a 4-poster bed and a big ensuite bathroom with a corner bath and separate shower. We felt that a bit more attention to detail could be given, ie a loose hot water tap, no remote control for the television (although there was one for the video) and the towels looked washed out.

The food in the restaurant was very good and the service was excellent.

Lovely Stay

from PEO
My wife and I stayed here on 9 Sept. 05 for 1 night and would highly recommend the place. The whole atmosphere was relaxing and you felt as though you were really welcome, nothing was too much trouble for the owners.

Food and drink were of an excellent quality and extremely good value for money. The drink in the mini-bar was actually cheaper than in the downstairs hotel bar !!!! ( this was not an error ! )

There is no reason to go out of the hotel as it is in lovely walled grounds - there is nothing to see or do in the village anyway !

We would certainly recommend this as a great place to stay when touring Scotland

Very Helpful Owners

from A TripAdvisor Member
We didn't stay in the hotel but went up there for food one evening. The resturant was about to close but the owner seeing that we would be stuck (we'd already tried 2 other resturants in town) kindly re-opened the kitchen and cooked up a really good meal for the 3 of us. I had a vegetarian tartlet that was really really good and obviously home-made, the others had a fish and steak dish, again, all cooked perfectly.
The service was great, helpful, friendly and professional.
If we go back to Kingussie we would definately stay here, they have lovely gardens and if relevant to you, they accept pets.

Top Local Tips for Kingussie

Go to the butchers or the pub or the internet cafe!! Go to the butchers or the pub or the internet cafe!!

Tipsy Laird The best pub in Kingussie is the Tipsy Laird which serves a decent amount of beers and does excellent reasonably priced food.

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