Hilton Grand Vacations Club At Craigendarroch Suites
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hilton Grand Vacations Club At Craigendarroch Suites Ballater
Best Hotel in the Area
Staff - All seemed helpful and friendly enough, no complaints.
Hotel Location - Really nice. Set in mature grounds less than a mile walk into nearby Ballater. Lots to keep you busy over a long weekend.
Hotel Rooms - We had a twin room in the main hotel building. Spotless on arrival nothing too fancy but comfortable and nice view of the surrounding countryside.
Restaurante - The buffet breakfast was fantastic with tons to choose from either continental or Full Scottish breakfast. Breakfast is served in the clubhouse and this is also open in the evening for casual dining. We ate in the clubhouse on our first night. The food was good and the service was prompt and attentive. Bill only came to about £25 for 2 starters and 2 main courses. If you like to eat a bit later would recommend you reserve a table. The Oaks restaurante looked like a geriatric old folks home and we gave it a wide berth. Most nights we prefered to eat out and would recommend the Alexandra Hotel in Ballater.
Overall - A great relaxing break the lesuire facilities at the hotel are fanatasic with pool, sauna, steam room, gym, pool table arcade machines, squash court, gym, table tennis and a snooker room. Also a dry ski slope at the rear of the hotel.
The Hotel bar has no atmosphere at all but you can easily walk down to the Balmoral Bar in Ballater for a better night and a taxi home is about £2.00.
Recommend a visit to the Howie Irvine Centre for £35 pp you get an hour session on the quad bikes which was great fun. Also worth a visit is the Cairngorm Mountain the drive itself is a bit special with stunning scenery and the Mountain has the UK's highest restuarant at the top with great views.
The Craigendarroch should be one of Scotland and Britain's premier hotels. Its location is superb, right in the heart of Royal Deeside with spectacular scenery, the smart and picturesque village of Ballater only minutes away and the Highlands on the doorstep.
Sadly, Hilton seem to be living off this five star location and the Ctaigendarroch's past reputation while providing three star service and standards.
A few observations from a recent visit.
There are no "no smoking" rooms, even though Hilton fail to mention this. To a smoker this is merely an annoyance, to a non smoker you'll see a carpet of unsightly cigarette butts on the grass outside every bedroom window.
Unless you dine in the premium Oaks restaurant your dinner will be in the leisure complex. I stopped at a roadside Little Chef on the journey up and the standard of food and service was better. Three waiters, including the restaurant manager, were trying to serve around 40 guests. The main course arrived after a 30 minute wait and was dry and tepid. The wine had not been properly chilled.
At 11pm we were advised both bars were closed. I was able to purchase a beer however my partner was told no coffee was available as the machine had been switched off. We were also advised they had run out of house wine and only more expensive options were available. The brusque attitude of the bar member who advised us this epitomised the unhelpful nature of some staff which is a shame for those who are there who are genuinely courteous and helpful.
The room itself, a Club, was showing signs of age and the trouser press, toilet seat and hairdryer were all broken.
The few positives I can mention are the excellent leisure complex - not including restaurant. The pool, massage and women's beauty treatments can all be highly rated.
We have visited the Craigendarroch several times in the past but are loathe to again until there is a great deal of improvement. Hilton's complacence will be a gain to other hoteliers in the area.
Stay away from the lodges
When my lover and I arrived at the Hilton Hotel we were very pleased with what we witnessed.
That was until we entered our lodge.
As soon as we walked in a musky smell of smoke hit us, i thought no more about it and headed for the shower and there right before my eyes I saw the greenest mould I had ever seen. There were lots of ginger pubic hairs on the toilet seat and toothpaste all over the sink!! There was no way I could wait till the morning for this to be cleaned so I took the matter into my own hands. I had to clean my lodge from top to bottom before I would even consider touching anything. I would not advise anyone to stay at this Hotel as it is not worth the money. This turned out to be a very expensive weekend as i would not eat at the Hotel after seeing what i saw in my lodge. I do recomend the Auld Kirk for a lovely stay and the best food in Deeside.
Great Lodges and Staff
The lodges were great you could hear all the birds singing and it was just wonderful to wake up to. When we arrived there we meet some staff who cleaned our lodge and they were so friendly and the lodge was beautiful. But on the balcony there was bird poo all over it and it was quite disgusting and you could'nt sit on the chairs because it was covered in bird poo. I advise the cleaners to clean the balcony at the same time as you clean the lodges but appart from that i loved my stay i would def go back!!!!
The lodges were poorly cleaned, the bins were not emptied on arrival, and there was a disturbing mould in the shower. I would not recommend this accomadation to anyone, and if anyone did choose to stay here, beware!
Not Hilton Quality
This Hilton Property is definitely not up to snuff. Tiny rooms (closet door could not open fully, because it hit the beds), narrow single beds, slow maintenance, only 4 channels on TV (nothing much else to do at night), appliances that did not work properly-- with nonexistent instructions, spotty service, etc. Unbelievably, no newspapers of any sort are sold on site. Furniture was newer and in good repair, not shabby. I am young, but the very steep stairs in 2 bedroom units would be a big negative for older and/or handicapped patrons. You will be charged for anything "extra", to include toilet paper and towels. We have traveled extensively in Europe staying at a whole range of properties, so are well aware of the differences in standards. HOWEVER, this is billed as a five-star AND carries the Hilton name...it doesn't measure up to other 5-star properties in the UK, and certainly not to Hilton standards. (I suspect that the rave reviews for this property are coming from individuals who own timeshares there, because it in no way way rates an "excellent") Were this billed as a a 3-star it would be fine.
Come on Hilton Group. Get your act together!
We stayed at the Hilton Craigendarroch at the end of January 04. It was a weekend break. Before booking we had heard many good things about the standards in the Hotel. We had been told that we would be pampered in luxurious surroundings. So, that's what we expected to receive. When we were allocated our room all seemed well, that is until we got into it. We found that the furniture was tatty and worn and generally, in need of redecoration. There was a welcome drink in a decanter, which someone had decided to water down and tasted awful! As we went about the Hotel, we realised that it was not just our room, as other people said the same. The food in the Club Restaurant was at best, poor. Asking for vegetables was seen as strange, despite a steak being brought with a few potatoes and litte else.The one highlight of our stay was a truly superb dinner in "The Oaks" restaurant. The food and service was among the best we had ever had. If it had not been for this, the whole stay would have been appalling. Hilton group need to spend the money they are taking in on bringing the Hotel up to the standard that it was known for and definitely expected. It was a very expensive weekend considering how poor overall the Hotel was. We shall not be staying there again, or at least until it has undergone the refurbishment it badly requires!
The Best hotel in Scotland!
My absoloute favourite hotel! WInter or summer, this is a great resort!
The Spa is great, skiing near by is wonderful and the food is delicious! rent a lodge for the best time! five stars all the way!
Whatever the weather
If its breathtaking views and scenery you want look no further. Always maintained to the highest of standards, Craigendarroch is a pleasure to return to year after year. Something for all the family - kids love the Acore Club!!
We have a timeshare there and have been going for the last 16 years it is always such a treat. The whole family love it. It is what you make it - relaxing, fun, stimulating and it is always an adventure. I would recommend it to everyone if your old, young, single or have a family - you should def. go!!!!
TripAdvisor Reviews Hilton Grand Vacations Club At Craigendarroch Suites Ballater
Travel Blogs from Ballater
... for information as you go around. Makes it easy to get around at your own pace. Gardens are gorgeous, with vege gardens and flowers to make the Castle run self sufficiently. Very impressive. Only open November - August each year before the Queen takes residency. So whew just made it! Only a couple of "Summer showers" on the way round, and leaflet makes a good hat! Had ...
Another sleep in till 10.30am so think we are pretty well caught up there. Late breakfast and off to Inverness and Lochness - and very excited to be going Monster Hunting! Only Leigh, Lyndon, Grant and I go, Tarn and Adelaide preferring to stay at Cottage and do their own thing. Reached Inverness late lunchtime and a look around. Went into Marks and Spencer to get Grant some trousers (2 pairs ), and yes one pair indeed cords! A shirt, running socks and some trusty ...
... had a beer called "Sheepshaggers Gold!" What a hoot (sorry bout the pun)! Finished eating at 4.30pm. Full tummies and now a look around. Went up to Cairngorms National Park Skifield Road (no snow - Summer?!), and looked over the land around from a height. Nice drive around the immediate area. Home round 7pm and still way to full for any food or drink. Stays ...
... postcards from here. It was all very interesting, and a fitting way to cap off our tour. After lunch we made another visit to Braemar, and had a walk through Ballater, before going home. Lyndall finalised our packing and I gave the car a wash at the local service station. I also cleaned our walking boots and poles, I don't think quarantine people like Scottish soil! Tomorrow we head for Edinburgh, to stay one last night with Ross and ...
... one we will (or maybe won't) remember. Tune in tomorrow to see how we felt, and how it went catching our bus to Glasgow. Thank you Paula and Chris for having us in your home and being so incredibly kind an generous to us during our stay. We loved catching up with you guys again and can't wait till next time. Thanks Cloe and Jamie for providing us with endless laughs and cuddles, we will remember all the fun times and hope that now you are older, you will remember too. Lots of love Lauren and Brendan ...