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“Great House, Friendly Owner, Amazing location”

Review of Easter Duiar

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Very good
10 reviews
The cosy snug lounge with fire
Sun lounge with amazing views
The secret bench!
Inside the bothy
A walk on the hill behind Easter Duiar
Loch Morlich
Christmas snow to order!
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Overview
Cottage -
5 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, Sleeps 12
Grantown-on-Spey, Badenoch and Strathspey, Scottish Highlands, Scotland

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 10 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
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English first
Steven O
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A long way from luxury – and don’t bring children”
Reviewed August 22, 2014 for a stay in August 2014
8
people found this review helpful

We rented Easter Duiar from the 9th to the 23rd August this year at a cost of £2900. We wanted a quality rental and the website for this property describes it as "excellent self-catering holiday accommodation" and a "luxury self-catering holiday cottage" - we thought this was a lot of money but we were prepared to pay this for a great (hopefully trouble-free) holiday. We were taking our three young children and since the owner said she had a cot and highchair we understood the property would be suitable for young families.

In reality, the property was not luxurious, was not clean and was not suitable for young children. We thought it was so bad, we only stayed there 4 nights out of the two weeks we had booked. Our key issues were:

*The property is situated extremely close to a main road which we don't consider appropriate for a family with young children. This was in no way highlighted in the property description - in fact the description sounds like it is secluded. When we queried why this was not advertised on the website with the owner, we were told that we should have looked at the map more closely, but the google map on the website still does not show that the property is only a few metres from a main A road.
* We found the property tired, dirty and damp. We found it really dark and depressing. The standard of accommodation represented by the owner's website is not reflective of the standard of accommodation overall. The website photos show only those rooms which appear to have been renovated but do not have pictures of the other rooms in the house which are generally very small. The upstairs twin rooms have restrictive eaves and both of these rooms and the downstairs double bedroom have damp. We do not consider that the condition of the house can be described as luxurious. We have attached some photos. There is one of a broken window pane on the door between the kitchen and the small living room (with the break held together by cellotape). We have also attached a photo showing mould in one of the upstairs twin bedrooms. There was mould around the windows of the other twin bedroom but since we can only post three photos we can't post them all here.
* We wouldn't describe this property as safe for children. The owner left some form of pest control (ether a trap or poison) within easy reach of children in an unlocked cupboard. We raised this with the owner who said she was happy to leave this pest treatment in a cupboard easily accessible by children even though the pest control boxes themselves have a caution warning on them and the pest control company's website advises that pest control devices should be kept out of the reach of children.
*There is unsightly expanding foam all over the house (no doubt to deal with a previous pest control issue) - we were also worried about young children playing with this.
* Some of the electric sockets weren't properly attached to the wall and none of the appliances look to have been PAT tested.
*The child's stairgate (at the top of some steep stairs) didn't look safe to us and had a long piece of string on it (with no apparent function) which we thought could easily strangle a child.
*The fridge, kitchen floor and carpets were not clean on arrival and the house was generally dirty. The bins were overflowing when we arrived so there wasn't anywhere to put the rubbish either.
*The house has a private water supply so if you have a tap on at the same time as the shower, the shower cuts out. The kitchen water supply also cuts out when the bath is running.
* The garden is hilly and full of large jagged stones - various materials (such as wire fencing) have been abandoned to the side of the bothy and are a hazard for children. There was also a wasp's nest in the garden and our children were attacked and stung when they stepped on it. When we raised this issue with the owner, she found the fact that we thought this was an issue, laughable. We didn't think so when one of our party is a severely allergic child.
* We thought the house was cold. The house isn't gas central heated - it's heated throughout by electric heaters and storage heaters. The owner's own literature at the house said this could be expensive to run so there's a warning that you may want to be sparing with how often you put the heaters on!!!

Finally, as regards communications with the owner and customer service, we received no information from the owner about the property hire (including how to access the keys) until we phoned her the day before our arrival. She said she must have forgotten to send it to us. We also raised various of the issues which we had with the property with the owner in two communications to which she failed to reply until we called her. When we did speak to the owner, she maintained that the property is luxurious by the Highlands standard and denied that the property has any issues. She has refused to refund any of our money and we're still awaiting the return of our deposit.

We would not recommend this property or this owner.

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Travelling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
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Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
16 Sep 2014
We are disappointed and upset to read the review from this guest and are somewhat taken aback by its inaccuracy and misleading nature. It’s been a wonderful summer in the Highlands and we have had more than a dozen other parties visit during the summer months with no complaints. However, during his first week at Easter Duiar, this guest had the misfortune of experiencing the tail end of Hurricane Bertha as it hit the north of Scotland, producing the worst August weather for many decades and impacting on thousands of disappointed holiday makers. For over 20 years we have taken great pride in providing high quality accommodation and we always take feedback very seriously, whether it be positive or negative. Unfortunately this guest took the decision to leave early during the bad weather without warning or prior explanation so the reader will understand the difficult position in which we have been placed, particularly in light of a demand for a refund against the spectre of a bad review.
The reviewer has been very pointed in his comments so we feel that it is only right that we address each one in more detail below, in order that the reader can benefit from more rounded feedback:
• Our website accurately represents the quality of the accommodation and garden area. We have several additional photos of the extra bedrooms and other parts of the house taken between April and July of this year and whilst we may not be allowed to post them in this response they can be made available if requested via our website.
• We have a 4 star grading from Visit Scotland with the last inspection in April 2014 therefore standards are high.
• The location plan on our website clearly shows the location. The garden is secured on all sides by sturdy fences. Over the years we have probably had hundreds of children and at least 200 dogs staying who have all survived a holiday at Easter Duiar!
• The house is in an elevated position set back from the road with fantastic views across the Spey Valley. Additional photos again can be made available if requested.
• The garden provides a large area of lawn for small children to play on and a great woodland slope which can be explored, together with lovely woodland walks through a gate from the garden.
• Unfortunately we cannot legislate against wasps although we are obviously sorry to hear that anybody was stung. However they do exist in the Highlands as they do everywhere else. We would be keen to organise for any nests if found to be eradicated by a pest control company. However on this occasion the guests left before advising us that there was an issue.
• There is a pest control regime in place within the cottage. According to the pest control company who we have contacted for clarification, the boxes are “tamper resistant bait boxes which need a special key to open them for safety reasons and the bait used is in solid block form to prevent any spillage.” We have since requested that they secure the boxes in the cupboard to the walls to prevent them being moved.
• All electrical appliances and lamps etc have been PAT tested. We feel that stickers are unsightly and have a separate schedule with over 50 appliances and electrical fittings listed which all satisfy the relevant safety criteria.
• The photos show very minor issues which have been magnified to make a point. The alleged damp in the upstairs bedroom is a small area of discolouration in the paintwork at the window frame. These rooms are not damp but we will organise for the paintwork in the window surrounds to be refreshed.
• Highland council operate an alternate weekly bin collection service with an uplift every alternate Thursday for normal waste and recycling. If we are advised of any excess waste not having been uplifted on collection day then we will organise for our caretaker to remove it as soon as possible.
• The water system is a highly pressurised system where it is possible to have multiple showers. Occasionally the water filter may block and we advise in literature sent to guests, that in the unlikely event of a problem arising, they should notify us as soon as possible in order that we can rectify it without delay. We were not made aware of any such issues until after this guest had left the house.
• The property has ample heating provision with a combination of electrical wall panel heaters which heat up very quickly, storage heaters, a log burning stove in the sun-lounge and coal fire in the lounge. We advise guests to use discretion with electric heating to avoid anyone accidentally leaving heaters on 24/7 which is neither good for the environment nor from a cost perspective.
• We have invested regularly in upgrading Easter Duiar and this year alone have replaced all the carpets in the ground floor of the house together with the stair and upstairs hallway. We have also replaced the sofas and rugs in the lounge area.
• The child gate works well and the string is used to secure a fold down flap which covers the area over the top step.
• We are sorry that the reviewer has not found the standard of cleanliness to be up to their expectations. If this does ever occur we ask that guests report any issues to us immediately in order that we can organise for the situation to be rectified as soon as possible.
• All information regarding access arrangements and further general information for the property were emailed to this guest in June. I assume the reviewer must have forgotten this, although when I forwarded the information for the second time in August my original June email was attached together with the original attachments!
• On a general note we were not advised of the reasons for this guest wishing to cut their holiday short until after they had left!
As already mentioned we have had at least another 12 parties who have rented the house over the summer months including two on either side of this guest’s stay and have had no other complaints. Indeed we have had many positive comments in emails received following guests having left the cottage which is why we are very surprised and confused by this review.
To say the least this review is deliberately misleading, perhaps partly attributable to a frame of mind brought about by the uncharacteristically inclement weather at the time, a hasty decision to leave early and a subsequent attempt to secure a refund under threat of a bad review.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Reviewed May 22, 2014 for a stay in May 2014
3
people found this review helpful

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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Travelling group: Large Group
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
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Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Adults2
Children0
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