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Reviewed 23 July 2022

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.

Date of stay: May 2022
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Gillian O
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 21 June 2022 via mobile

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.

Date of stay: June 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Richard O
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The Murrays, Owner at Dowans Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 June 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
Reviewed 11 May 2022

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!

Room tip: The Balvenie room was great!
Date of stay: May 2022
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Kadebranson
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 7 May 2022

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.

Date of stay: May 2022
Thank AMC3-61
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The Murrays, Owner at Dowans Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 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
Reviewed 2 May 2022

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

Date of stay: May 2022
Trip type: Travelled with friends
2  Thank UkDarcie
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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