The Coylumbridge Hotel enjoys a beautiful woodland setting a mile and a half south-east of Aviemore. Access to it is from the road that links Aviemore with the Glenmore Forest Park and the CairnGorm Mountain ski resort, and its location is a strong clue to the reason why the hotel was built here in the first place, and the role it enjoys today. The Coylumbridge Hotel serves as a resort hotel par excellence for those wishing to make the most of the huge range of summer and winter activities available in the area (and at the hotel itself). It does so with a sense of style and a presence that makes it a very popular choice for anyone wanting to stay in or around Aviemore, and it does so while offering comfortable high-quality accommodation and outstanding service. You can read our dining review for the Coylumbridge Hotel here.
The hotel celebrated its 50th birthday in November 2015. Photographs taken when it was first built suggest the exterior of the hotel itself has not changed hugely since then, except for the growth of the surrounding trees. Walk through the main doors, however, and it is clear that the interior is much more recent. A spacious lobby and reception area morphs into a large, comfortable and beautifully presented foyer lounge, sometimes used for family entertainment, and beyond this is the hotel's main bar. Further on is a shop and activity booking centre, and then some of the accommodation wings.
Off to the other side of the lobby is the hotel's large function suite; while the bistro and the hotel's main restaurant are also accessed from this side of the lobby. Towards the rear of the hotel are the indoor swimming pools and sauna, plus more accommodation. The attractions extend beyond the main hotel building. As you drive in from the road you pass the "Fun House", which offers a wide range of activities for younger guests, plus an American Diner. Nearby in the grounds is "Outdoor Discovery", featuring everything from dry ski slopes to a skateboard park, taking in an ice rink and a climbing wall. Also in the grounds is the Woodshed Bar offering a very different look and feel to the main hotel bar, but with the same excellent service, and another dining option.
The hotel comes well-equipped to meet the needs of those wanting to arrange private functions, weddings or business meetings. Weddings ranging in size from a handful of guests to very many more can be accommodated, as can meetings and other gatherings from the intimate to the huge, with the Cairngorm Suite capable of holding up to 800 people when it is laid out theatre-style.
The Coylumbridge Hotel has 175 rooms and suites. They offer a comfortable, and stylish look and feel and are well-equipped. The hotel prides itself on being very family-friendly, and while singles, doubles and twins are available, there are also family rooms offering two double beds, and family suites that come complete with a separate area equipped with bunk beds. The family-friendliness places a premium on noise insulation between rooms, and we found this to be good. While WiFi is freely available in the hotel's public areas and freely throughout for Hilton Honors members, it is normally charged for in guest rooms.
Accessibility is outstanding. There are disabled parking spaces close to the main entrance, and the main public areas, restaurants and conference facilities are step-free, and there is a ramp to the bar. Disabled toilets are readily available, and 56 of the bedrooms are on the ground floor with level access from the public areas of the hotel. Two bedrooms have been specially adapted for the use of disabled guests. External facilities such as the Woodshed Bar and the Fun House are also fully accessible. Visitors to the hotel's website (see link on this page) can view an accessibility policy that goes into considerable detail and sets a fine example for others.
The Coylumbridge Hotel clearly aims to meet a wide range of requirements, and it goes a very long way to achieving that aim. The style and quality of the public areas makes this somewhere you would be glad to return to after a long day's skiing, or hillwalking: and the same can be said of the comfort and convenience of the guest accommodation. Meanwhile, the wide range of activities available on-site means that guests, especially those with children, might very well simply decide to spend the day here. The range of dining options also means that guests will always have a choice: you can read our dining review for the Coylumbridge Hotel here. Above all else, however, what impressed us most was the quality of the welcome and the service we enjoyed from everyone we met, whether at the reception desk or in the Woodshed Bar. It would be easy for a hotel of this size to become impersonal: that's a trap that they have very successfully avoided.