Douneside House

Tarland, Aberdeenshire

‘Top of the range in every respect. More

Good Hotel Guide Review

‘Top of the range in every respect.’ Much praise from a Guide stalwart after this year’s visit to the MacRobert Trust’s ‘wonderful’ hotel bordering the Cairngorms national park. The family expanded the property in the early 1900s; more recently, it received a ‘tasteful, high-quality’ facelift. The result is a graceful mix of antique heirlooms, wood panelling, and comfortable groups of low armchairs, warming fires and a grand piano. Some things are little changed: the library has, perhaps, a few more volumes; the view of the Grampians remains ‘spectacular’. Stone paths lace ‘beautifully landscaped and maintained grounds’. At dinner, in the conservatory, local produce (much from the walled garden) fuels David Butters’s ‘outstanding’ Scottish dishes, perhaps belly and loin of Fife pork, sprouting broccoli, potato mousseline, fermented apple, thyme jus. Afterwards, a solid night’s sleep. ‘Our well-equipped room, though not large, had all the necessary extra comforts, ground coffee, good art, plenty of bathroom shelf space.’ The day starts with ‘perfect haggis, scrambled egg, potato scone, good coffee, all promptly and courteously served’. (Robert Gower, and others)

Hotel details


AB34 4UL


01339 881230


23. 9 in cottages, plus 4 apartments in Casa Memoria, 
2 cottages suitable for disabled.


all year.


bar, wine bar, piano lounge, library, restaurant, free Wi-Fi, in-room Smart TV (Freeview), wedding facilities, health centre (indoor swimming pool, all-weather tennis court), 17-acre grounds, public areas wheelchair accessible, adapted toilet.

Background music

in bar and restaurant.


all ages welcomed.


allowed in cottages and apartments, not in public rooms.

Credit cards

MC, Visa.


per room B&B from £174, D,B&B from £250. Set dinner £35–£45, tasting menu £80.

Other reviews

The Hotel Guru

Special offers

10% discount voucher

This hotel accepts discount vouchers which entitle readers to a 10% discount off their normal B&B rate for a single night’s stay. To take advantage of this offer, you must present the voucher at the time of booking.

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