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Reviewed October 24, 2018

I'm sorry to say that we were disappointed by our stay at the Grant Arms, which we selected based on its billing as "The UK’s Wildlife Hotel." I so wish we had stayed at the Muckrach Country House Hotel instead, which has two resident Highland Cows (or Coos) whom we met passing by on our very last day.

The Grant Arms is the home base to the BWWC (Bird Watching and Wildlife Club), so they have tons of brochures, a library, and nightly talks—truly wonderful resources that I think might still available without having to stay at the hotel. It was at a small gathering of birders on our first night that we learned the deer population had recently been culled and that therefore our chances of seeing the deer rut were not good. In fact, the only time we saw a deer during our stay was when we almost hit one who ran in front of our car while driving at night!

So my main criticism with the Grant Arms is in its advertising as a wildlife hotel. Other general notes:

Although a few windows offer stunning views of the Cairngorms, it's on the town square. There is a large coop market across the street where we stocked up on drinks, food, and snacks every day. Being Americans, we even bought ice there. :) The hotel's restaurant was overpriced and the food not very good; in hindsight we wish we hadn't paid for the breakfast, as we ended up eating at different tea rooms in the region instead. It would have been lovely if our room had included a microwave so that we could dine on one of the frozen meal options from the market.

Being October, many of the restaurants on the square closed by 5 p.m. so our options were extremely limited. Grantown-on-Spey is a good home base for those exploring the Cairngorms though!

Pluses include excellent Wi-Fi, a large room and en suite bathroom, a decent bath/shower, towel rack above the radiator, an incredibly comfortable bed, plenty of parking, the resources provided by the BWWC, and the central location.

Other minuses: We stayed three nights and I don't think our room was ever cleaned? On the second day the person who "made" our bed didn't even touch the sheets; we found them rumpled below the duvet. There was also the usual eco-friendly note to only leave towels that needed to be replaced in the tub; I did so with one towel and it was never touched—we returned to find that same towel in the tub.

We asked for a room with a view of the Cairngorms, and our single window did have a partial view, but we had to walk quite far to reach it (I believe it was 505), traversing several hallways and staircases. It was generally quiet, although the lino floor in the bathroom is quite squeaky and we heard our neighbors' every move.

I'd recommend the hotel for keen birders visiting in the spring and summer and those interested in guided walks and tours, especially if you can't drive. It has historical charm but is definitely not a ~luxury hotel~ by any stretch, and we had to go much further afield to find any signs of wildlife.

Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank BaggioCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 20, 2018 via mobile

A warm and friendly welcome by all staff including the Manager, we find this Hotel to be a very friendly and relaxing enviroment. Our evening meal was just lovely as was our breakfast the next day.Our room was very nice as was the surprise cake sneaked into the room by staff for my birthday and being a dog friendly hotel on top of all this made our stay just perfect .. Thankyou everyone ..

Date of stay: September 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Niki L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 17, 2018

We booked 4 nights BBD as a special offer, after seeing their Stand at the Bird Fair. This was as a follow on, after staying at Aigas the previous week.

It’s a large impressive looking stone built, AA*** hotel, with parking on the secondary feed road in front of the hotel.
Our room 405, was a standard room, on the first floor, so we were told. We booked at short notice so the ‘better’ rooms were fully booked.
It appeared to be in a large extension towards the back of the main building. There was several corridors and several lots of stairs to reach the room, so we couldn’t actually work out which floor we were on. There was no lift unfortunately within this part of the building. The views from the bedroom windows were very poor, hence the net curtains.

The room itself was large, attractive, with a high ceiling and large double radiator.
The twin beds were very comfortable and had 2 bedside cupboards with lamps.
There was a wardrobe, full length mirror with a coffee table beneath it. A large desk with 3 deep drawers, a table lamp on it and a wall mirror plus TV on the wall above it.
A smaller unit with tea / coffee making facilities and telephone, also had the hairdryer on the bottom shelf. There was a folding suitcase stand.

The ensuite was bright and modern. The bath taps controlled the shower, so I needed to lift the shower head off the rail and hold it, while I adjusted the taps for temperature and pressure. The rail supporting the shower head, was quite high on the wall. I’m 5’3” tall and although I could reach it, a shorted person may struggle to. There was a shower curtain.
I think it would help to have a small shelf fixed on the wall to support the bottle of Hair / Body shampoo/ soap, that was provided.
There was a hand rail on the wall and also 2 handles on the bath. The wash hand basin had a bottle of Hand Wash and a bottle of moisturiser.

When you put the bathroom light on, it activated the extractor, which was a little noisy to switch on during the night. Fortunately we had a torch with us.
There was a radiator with a towel rail above it, which was useful especially if you had socks to dry.
The rooms weren’t particularly insulated against noice, so we were aware of background noice and creaking floor boards, from the room above us. So bring ear plugs.

The very large dinning room has very high ceilings. It was very busy and noisy when we went in for our 7.45pm evening meal booking, on the Sat evening, I think this wasn’t helped by the lack of furnishings eg curtains, to absorb some of the noise. There was blinds but these weren’t drawn. This improved during the week, when we went in between 6.30pm and 7pm, so guest numbers were less.

Both the breakfast and evening meals were good and the latter menu changed each evening. The first night we both order chicken breast, which came with a mushroom sauce, mash potatoes and a single sprig of broccoli. There was a small dish of mixed veg between us, ie roast potatoes, carrot, runner beans and swede, which added more colour to the plate. The food was hot, tasty and the chicken portion generous.

The menu stated ‘mint chip ice cream’ which I ordered. In fact I got one vanilla/ one strawberry scoop of ice cream. Apparently I should have started ‘mint chip ice cream’ and not ‘ice cream’. It tasted nice anyway, so I kept it. The staff were all very pleasant
After the meal we fetched a coffee which was being kept in flasks. It was OK, but not particularly hot when a drop of cold milk was added.

The hotels Bird Watching Wildlife Club is a real bonus, as the arranged activities are very good and appear to be well organised. Some carried additional charges, although we weren’t there long enough to participate in these.
Each morning at breakfast we were given ‘The Daily Chirp’ News sheet, which gave details of What’s On, what to see and items of wildlife news. There’s also a one page summary of U.K. and world news.
We visited their Club room for an evening talk/ slide show from Steve Lovell which we enjoyed. In passing we noticed lots of single sheet ‘Days Out Guides’ which proved to be very helpful.

All in all, our 4 nights stay was enjoyable. Although It’s an ideal hotel for keen bird watchers, especially when they have guest speakers, it’s also in a good location for none birders.

Room tip: If you have any mobility issues, mention it when you book.
Date of stay: October 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Lynne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 16, 2018 via mobile

I love that place and I love this hotel.like I was born here,verry relaxing day and verry friendly staff. Congratulations to everyoane who work here. We will turn back for sure next year and maybe we will stay more.

Date of stay: October 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank robert1976london
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 15, 2018

Visited recently as part of a journey to meet businesses in the Cairngorm National Park. The Grant Arms have created an interesting focus for the business around bird watching masses of information everywhere. The hotel was excellent, great rooms, service and superb food. Thanks to David Duncan and his staff for great service and attention to visitors.

Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Frank P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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