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Dowans Road, Aberlour AB38 9LS Scotland
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Traveller (266)
Dining (45)
Room & Suite (44)
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

About

#1 of 2 hotels in Aberlour
Location
Cleanliness
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Value
Travellers' Choice
Set high above the picturesque Spey Valley, overlooking the village of Aberlour and the River Spey below, The Dowans Hotel offers a rare opportunity for guests to relax and enjoy the elegance of a fine Highland hotel. Built over 100 years ago, now converted to a first class hotel.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Bar / lounge
Skiing
Water park offsite
Books, DVDs, music for children
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
Wifi
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Kids' meals
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Board games / puzzles
Outdoor furniture
Sun terrace
Express check-in / check-out
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
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Room features
Housekeeping
Safe
Bottled water
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Bridal suite
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
HOTEL STYLE
Charming
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish, Portuguese
438Reviews3Q+A71Room tips
Traveller rating
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Maria D wrote a review 4 Sep
Lysaker, Norway12 contributions
+1
I don’t think we realised how good Dowans was until we crash landed at an airport chain hotel afterwards. “From the dizzying heights of Dowans we fall” I texted my partner after realising that Nescafé was our only coffee option - I mean compared to the freshly ground artisan coffee delivered to our room daily at Dowans? Dear gods! Where at Dowans we were greeted with friendly banter, free flowing local advice, and belly laugh inducing story telling, the chain hotel threw us our keys with a belch (seriously). At Dowans when we opened the door to the room, we gasped with delight at the tastefully designed opulence, plush pillows, sweeping views of the valley and a bathtub in a turret - literally - we sent photos to friends with ‘I think we’re in an episode of Downtown Abbey!’ Even the toilet paper was luxurious - the dispenser style, paper thin toilet paper and tiny double bed of the chain hotel jolted us back to our cold hard reality. The 5 star fit for kings Dowans’ fairytale had ended. When asked at breakfast on our last morning whether there was anything else we needed, what flew out of my mouth was ‘to stay another week please?’ By far the best hotel experience either of us have ever had - after travelling through 43 countries over the past 25 years that’s saying something. Steph, Lauren and their team create an unforgettable experience that makes you feel like you’re right at home - and never want to leave. Dowans is a 5 minute walk from the town of Aberlour which has everything else you need - and is in the heart of Speyside whisky country. Gorgeous walks along the river and through the hills - the Ben Rinnes hike is hard but well worth it and not far from Dowans either. The only ‘problem’ we found was that their ability to provide us with drams of whisky that suited our palates was so good that they had us spending an inordinate amount of money at local distilleries. 5 stars all round. Highly recommended. We’ll be back!
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Date of stay: August 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Treat yourself to a suite!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Mary S wrote a review Aug 2022
Bartow, Florida10 contributions19 helpful votes
I simply can’t begin to express how wonderful our stay at Dowans House was. From the moment we pulled into the drive, we were knocked off our feet. The hotel is simply gorgeous, inside and out. We were greeted by Becky who briefly showed us around the ground floor before escorting us to our extremely comfortable room. The bed was hands down the most comfortable we had slept in throughout our entire trip to Scotland. The bathroom was clean, and the provided soaps, lotions, shampoos etc were high quality. We couldn’t ask for more. Heading downstairs to await our dinner reservation, Becky again looked after us. She is a wealth of knowledge and suggestions for whiskies and we availed ourselves of her skill several times during our stay. Speaking of dinner, we were quite impressed. We opted both nights for the special. The quality and presentation was absolutely fine dining. The meals exceeded our expectations. Breakfast was the same. Delicious menu options that were cooked and presented beautifully. As we were there only two nights, there’s not much more I can say except next time we travel to Scotland, we will absolutely choose Dowans House again.
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Date of stay: August 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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scotauz2 wrote a review Aug 2022
Adelaide, Australia179 contributions52 helpful votes
+1
Had the opportunity to dine with friend's, is a wonderful old hotel overlooking a valley in Aberlour. Strange that you sit in the bar & order your dinner from the menu then move through to the dinning room. Overall the experience was good though found the menu items to be a little expensive, had the 8oz Scotch, found to be a little tough for Scottish Beef. Whisky Bar is very well stocked & worth the experience.
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Date of stay: August 2022
Location
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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mds wrote a review Aug 2022
Vancouver, Canada122 contributions118 helpful votes
Love this family run boutique hotel. Clean, beautifully and tastefully appointed. The lounge is cozy before or after dinner while sampling their wide array of scotches. The restaurant top quality with excellent service and elegant dinner menu. Breakfast room available too. Lovely gardens and gorgeous view of the nearby farmlands. Highly recommend!
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Date of stay: October 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Mark B wrote a review Jul 2022
20 contributions20 helpful votes
This is one of the best hotels in Scotland. Beautiful, spacious rooms, excellent modern bathrooms, fantastic whisky list, nice staff, great restaurant. This is the perfect place ( and only great place) to stay in whisky country.
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Date of stay: July 2022
Location
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Gillian O wrote a review Jul 2022
Uxbridge, Canada383 contributions163 helpful votes
Very beautiful room! High end fixtures, furniture and bathroom. My husband particularly enjoyed the TV in the bathroom! Very good breakfast and dinner in the restaurant. Only complaint is the lobby is very dark! Could cause some issues with those with sight imparements.
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Date of stay: May 2022
Location
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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RichardOldfield wrote a review Jun 2022
Nottingham, United Kingdom1210 contributions348 helpful votes
+1
Our main gripe was the approach of the management of the hotel. This seems to have been highlighted by other Tripadvisor reports, namely AMC (May ‘22) and OLD S (February’22). So, we are not unique. We stayed in ‘Knockando’ for two nights, dinner, bed and breakfast. Our particular experience was how we were spoken to. We advised the lady on reception on the first evening, in very polite terms, that we did not have a (UK) King Sized bed. The lady on reception was very very adamant (“brusque”) that we did have one. I politely invited her to measure it but again she very strong affirmed she was right and we [the customer/ guest] were WRONG. We know the difference as we have a King Sized bed at home. Needless to say, we went and purchased a tape measure and measured it. A UK King Sized bed is 150 x 200cm (5ft x 6.5ft) See photos. We were advised the room was usually a single occupancy room, and indeed we knew that before arrival. And we were advised this was a ‘bijou’ room. We had absolutely no issue with such. But we were also advised in writing before arrival that it was a King Sized bed. Our issue is NOT whether it was single occupancy or not. That’s not got anything to do with our issue. Our issue was that a a simple apology which would have sufficed, even the word “sorry”, was not forthcoming, especially having been told in no uncertain terms that we were WRONG. This apology wasn’t forthcoming at any point, infact nothing was forthcoming considering we’d paid for a King Sized bed, and this was again the case when I mentioned such on check-out. All we got was “we thought it was a King Size”, “that was our belief”, well in a hotel of 16 rooms or so, the management should know such facts about their own hotel. Interestingly it’s still being advertised, some three weeks after this was brought to their attention, as having a King Sized bed. We also thought the en-suite bathroom door (from the bedroom) should not be semi-transparent, so you have to put the light on when using the bathroom! We don’t know, but we suspect management have never slept in this room, if they had then they would not need a customer to advise them of the above! We would stress that we also found certain aspects of the hotel and our stay to be good. Namely the food at breakfast and dinner. There’s a good choice and food is of a good quality. Service at both breakfast and evening is fine. We weren’t expecting a dress code in the evening dining room (not breakfast as such is more casual) but we would say though that this is casual dining (which is fine) but we were slightly surprised that shorts and T shirts were worn by several guests, irrespective of the weather. We liked the hotel decor, and position and grounds. We spent quite a lot of time on the small terrace overlooking the gardens enjoying drinks. c £520 for 2 nights, (double) bed and breakfast, and dinner and various drinks during the stay.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from The Murrays, Owner at Dowans Hotel
Responded 22 Jun 2022
Dear "Richard O", A mighty long review! Thank you for noting what you believed to be the positive aspects of your stay but you also had a couple of "Buts" which a cursory glance at your near 1,200 Tripadvisor reviews would indicate happens in a disproportionate number of them. Indeed, your average of a review every three days over the period of your Tripadviosr membership could lead, though of course we would not know, some to the conclusion that it appears to be extremely important to you for your opinion to be heard. In essence, you had two gripes of the owners (not the management, just for clarification). The first being that you conducted a bit of detective work with your little measuring tape and managed to convince yourself that it was not a U.K. king sized bed in the room. This led to your second gripe which was that you consequentially expected an apology from us. But, unfortunately, your Sherlock Holmes' skills simply failed you. You seemed not to challenge that the width of the bed is 150cm which, of course, is the width of a king bed and not a double (135cm) as you sarcastically choose to call it. No, your point was that you believed that the length of the bed was not the 200cm of a king and as your photo with tape beside it purports to show you believed it to only be 180cm in length. Now what we suspect happened is that the bed was pushed under the headboard that is fixed to the wall and thereby the exposed length was the 180cm. We do not know how that happened as the bed is not set that way by our housemaids and surely we should not believe that you would have done it in order to obtain one of your regular review "Buts"? Now we did try and explain the position to you that it was a king sized bed and that it was a king bed that was ordered, and indeed supplied, by the well known bed manufacturer. But it seems that you not only disbelieved us but also did not believe in that company's manufacturing skills. And, indeed, you seem to believe that is not in our right to defend our position against inaccurate claims but, on the contrary, it would seem that you believe that it is your right to readily make such claims without any form of response from those who actually know the facts being permitted. And since we had nothing to apologise for in terms of the bed size then your second gripe was never ever going to be satisfied. Indeed, it would appear from your review that some form of financial compensation was actually the objective behind your "gripe". However, what we are actually sorry about is to have allowed the two of you to stay in a room that is set up for single occupancy normally because the quality of our offer to all of our guests is important to us and what has indeed led to our reputation for high standards over the last 10 years. And clearly our reputation could not have been achieved if we were guilty of the types of things that you have accused us of in this review. And nor are you justified in your accusation of us that we were enacting some form of "con" against yourselves. Both nonsensical and unacceptable. And finally, you shouldn't believe that you are not unique, "Richard O".
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Kadebranson wrote a review May 2022
3 contributions1 helpful vote
Dowans was an amazing place for my wife and I to stay while visiting Aberlour during the Whiskey Festival. The food was outstanding, the bar super fun to hangout in and had a great variety of drinks. The staff were all great and made you feel right at home. Will definitely be back!
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Date of stay: May 2022
Value
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Room Tip: The Balvenie room was great!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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AMC wrote a review May 2022
7 contributions1 helpful vote
This is a well situated hotel with pretty views to the front. The building has been renovated to a good standard, although our rooms were a little small. We certainly enjoyed the food, and found the majority of the staff welcoming and helpful. For us, everything was rather overshadowed by a conversation we had with the staff about a difficulty with internet access. This culminated in us being accused of "ignorance" by the man apparently trying to help us. Closing our bedroom door to end this conversation inflamed him further. I spoke to the manager, who turned out to be the daughter of the man involved (he also turns out be the owner). Unsurprisingly, that conversation didn't go very well, and ended with the owner calling after me and telling us to leave (safe in the knowledge that the whole area was sold out during the whiskey festival). All rather surreal! I'm guessing there will be a response to this post, which again won't be complementary about us.
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Date of stay: May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from The Murrays, Owner at Dowans Hotel
Responded 11 May 2022
Yes, you guessed correctly about there being a response. But only so the actual facts of the events can be noted. As my daughter explained to you when you came down seeking an e-mail address so that you could write a complaint, it was the aggressive and extremely rude behaviour of your husband when he had come down to reception (without you) to complain loudly about an internet issue in your bedroom that created the unfortunate situation in the first place. Before we even had been given the chance to resolve the issue (it was actually resolved by a simple reboot) he was demanding a room change and clearly had lost the ability to say the word "please". And yes, having had the door closed in my face I do not deny expressing my belief that a great deal of ignorance was being displayed by yourselves and nor do I deny offering you the option of leaving as all this nonsense happened shortly after you had arrived for what was to meant be a 4 day stay. And, quite frankly, the offer for you to leave without cost was a genuine one as we are vey clear that neither we nor our staff are here to experience inappropriate and unjustified rudeness. Although, to be fair, there were no further issues raised over the rest of your stay. It is also not surprising to see you express here that your conversation with my daughter did not go to your satisfaction simply because you were not willing to believe what she told you about the events in reception and nor did you receive the expected "grovelling apology". So, it was not a pleasant experience for either party but, thankfully, as the 4.5 out of 5 bubbles from 430 reviews indicates, it is not something that is experienced often.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
UkDarcie wrote a review May 2022
United Kingdom1192 contributions85 helpful votes
Sadly due to covid we weren’t able to attend the whiskey festival afternoon tea . For £70 this is what we were offered as a take away (Two versions of this and a pot of syrup ! ) Some sort of whiskey decanted into a gin bottle - my friends into a vodka bottle - no idea what it was ? And what on earth are the marshmallows about ??? Feeling completely robbed Embarrassing - last time I hand over money to this hotel . Very disappointing
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
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PRICE RANGE
US$226 - US$326 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
dowans hotel aberlour
LOCATION
United KingdomScotlandMorayAberlour
NUMBER OF ROOMS
16
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Frequently Asked Questions about Dowans Hotel
Which popular attractions are close to Dowans Hotel?
Nearby attractions include Glenfiddich Distillery (6.4 km), Knockando Woolmill (7.3 km), and The Linn Falls (0.9 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Dowans Hotel?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Dowans Hotel?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Dowans Hotel?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Dowans Hotel?
Conveniently located restaurants include Seven Stills, The Mash Tun, and The Dowans Hotel.
Is Dowans Hotel located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.7 km away from the centre of Aberlour.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Dowans Hotel?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Are there any historical sites close to Dowans Hotel?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Knockando Woolmill (7.3 km) and Dufftown Clock Tower (6.6 km).