Hotel Profile – Hilton Coylumbridge with Kids, Aviemore, Scotland

There are several almost legendary child-friendly hotels in Scotland.  One is the Crieff Hydro which I took my firstborn to when he was three months old and another is the epic Hilton Coylumbridge in Aviemore.  Set in the absolutely stunning Cairngorms National Park (makes me proud to be Scottish) I’d heard tales of Hilton Coylumbridge, I’d seen the happy photos, I’d read the marketing and the magic that is their renowned toddler breaks but was it all true?

20160129_171645_resized

Mr Toddler watches the snow start to fall from the lobby

CHECK IN & RESTAURANT BOOKING

We rocked up in our family wagon for the 3pm check in like many chirpy families ready for a fun-filled, children-orientated, early rising weekend of ‘quality time’.  It was easy and swift to check in, helpful staff and a really convivial lobby/lounge area.  Then we were passed to the restaurant reservation desk, which was new to me, but the restaurants are so busy it is essential.  With lots of block family bookings and families desiring to dine at roughly the same time it’s best to book your table days before you arrive if you have something special in mind.

We were offered two restaurants, The Bistro which is a la carte, or the Italian buffet dining in The Inverdruie restaurant, and offered dining times of 5.30pm or 8pm.  Thankfully the early sitting was perfect for us both evenings.

THE ROOM

We’d booked a two bedroom family suite which was ideal.  Mr Toddler and Mr Baby shared a room: Mr Toddler got his own bottom bunk and Mr Baby was in a travel cot.  Both rooms had televisions and one morning our infants both sat in the travel cot watching Milkshake for half an hour whilst we dozed.  No idea how we got away with that one.

RESTAURANTS

20160129_181818_resized

Mr Baby in the Bistro -Do you sell milk by the glass or the bottle?

The first night we ate in the a la carte bistro – here you put your dinner allowance towards the menu, and obviously if you order more than your allowance you pay for it.  The crayfish and bacon starter was spot on.  Children under ten ate free off the children’s menu, and all portion sizes are the same whether you’re feeding a ten year old or a ten month old so we received an astronomical amount of food for both children, the upside was we helped finish their desserts.

20160129_175233_resized

The second night we dined in the Italian buffet, The Inverdruie.  All food was covered by our room rate so we didn’t have to worry about the bill, apart from my prosecco tab.  The food was varied enough for all generations – lots of child friendly pastas and meatballs but there was seafood and meat for older children and adults.  The dessert table was heaving under treats, and the chocolate fountain was a popular repeat destination.  I felt relaxed with the boys as there were lots of families around, but also hikers and skiers without kids so there was a mix.  The waiting staff were notably good with the babies, helping us with high chairs and even entertaining and engaging them whilst I dashed up to the buffet for food.  It really helped and was appreciated.

Other dining options include the American Diner located within the Fun House, and there’s the Woodshed, a cosy spot with log fires roaring in the winter, decking for the summer months, and an adult only space from 8pm (but tots can do their damnedest till 7.59pm).

FACILITIES

If you book a family suite this includes access to leisure facilities including indoor pools, gym and outdoor play park and free kids’ club at the Fun House.  We went out for the day to the wonderful Highland Wildlife Park but it was bliss, after traipsing through the snow for hours, to take the babies for a swim back at the hotel to warm up.  One tiny detail is that the jacuzzi is part of the pool so there’s no age limit on it as the water temperature is perfectly safe for all – how fab is that? – if you haven’t seen a toddler experiencing a jacuzzi for the first time I suggest you change that if you get the chance.  Very amusing, that’s all I can say, and grins from ear to ear, utterly delighted with himself.  There’s also a slide for tots but if you’d prefer to swim without small people there’s an adult only  session between 5.00-6.30pm every day.  I loved the glass that surrounded the pool as we watched the snowflakes drifting down from the warmth of the water – picture postcard material.

If you have a well groomed tot they can hit the spa – baby massage is available up to nine months old, and the Teen Experience is available for 13-17 year olds.

20160131_102826_resized

Mr Toddler on skis

LOCATION

As well as this hotel being remarkably child-friendly and a real destination for multi-generational family gatherings, it’s also on the doorstep of one of the biggest playgrounds in the UK.  I think Aviemore is hard to beat for outdoor activities, sports and adventures all year round – if you want to feed reindeer you got it, snowboarding, done, a steam railway, no bother, sailing on a loch, you can do that, finding polar bears, yip, a funicular to the top of a mountain, you can do that too.  You cannot get bored in Aviemore.  As your tots develop and get older there’s simply a new challenge, adventure or sport waiting for them.  We put Mr Toddler on skis for 15 minutes, he’s only two but you’ve got to start somewhere!

THE LOWDOWN

We drove from Aberdeen to Aviemore which took just over two hours, Scotrail trains also service the station.  There’s no lift in the Hilton Coylumbridge – staff will help with luggage but if you’d prefer a ground floor room be sure to book it.

 

If you enjoyed what you read then don’t miss a post, enter your email address into the Follow box and click follow.  And join the conversation on Facebook.

For any queries or opportunities please email tots2travel@hotmail.com.  We are always looking for our next adventure.

RELATED POSTS

38 Comments

  1. Reply

    dadvworld

    March 28, 2016

    We’re from Yorkshire and the Mrs has always wanted to take a trip north of the border. We have family in Ayr and would love to stay in a log cabin somewhere the kids can explore and dog can stretch her legs. I will be looking through your blog for more good ideas, thanks 🙂

  2. Reply

    Little Steps/Dean B (@LittleStepsTwit)

    March 28, 2016

    I love hotels or accommodations that are family-friendly and this definitely looks like one of them 🙂

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 29, 2016

      It’s pretty well known in Scotland and you just know your tots are welcome.

  3. Reply

    Rachel

    March 28, 2016

    It must be so amazing to find somewhere that is family-friendly x

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 29, 2016

      Makes a huge difference to how I feel, the children will be themselves wherever they are!

  4. Reply

    Oliver Long

    March 28, 2016

    Looks like a really well rounded hotel! No mention of the wifi though? That’s always one of the first things I look for… :/

    Oliver • http://suedeandsymphony.com

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 29, 2016

      Good point.When I go away with the kids I try not to go online but other readers may need or desire the internet so I’ll include that in future. Thanks for the tip.

  5. Reply

    Someone's Mum

    March 28, 2016

    This looks really lovely – always good to hear of places doing family friendly so well. It’s a long way from us but looks like just the kind of place we’d want next time we get that far North!

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 29, 2016

      That why I started the blog because I couldn’t find family travel recommendations in my neck of the woods. If you like the great outdoors Aviemore does work for all the family.

  6. Reply

    Alana

    March 28, 2016

    Oh my gosh. This sounds like the perfect family hotel! The restaurants sound great and the play and swimming facilities sound awesome. Glad you had a lovely time.
    Alana x

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 29, 2016

      Thank you. When I know the kids are welcome with open arms I can relax (kinda!).

  7. Reply

    Jess Powell (Babi a Fi)

    March 28, 2016

    This sounds amazing! I love the idea of an all age jacuzzi too – I can just picture my daughter’s face! 🙂

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 29, 2016

      Bubbletastic!

  8. Reply

    Ana De Jesus

    March 29, 2016

    I love that the Jacuzzi caters to people of ages and especially if you are travelling as a large family. Glad you had fun.

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 29, 2016

      It’s the small things that make a child happy, like bubbly water. I know a jacuzzi sounds luxurious but it was the sensation of the water that appealed rather than any luxury element of it. I love that about kids.

  9. Reply

    Emma White (@TheRealSupermum)

    March 29, 2016

    oh wow its looks amazing and so suited for a family break I would love to go

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 29, 2016

      It also helps that there is SO much in the area to do. Great hotel in a great location, can’t really go wrong.

  10. Reply

    Lilinha Espindula

    March 29, 2016

    Sounds like you had such an amazing time. It is always great to hear about family-friendly places to visit with kids! 🙂
    http://lilinhaangel.com/

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 29, 2016

      I also like that there were adult only sessions at the pool and at the bar so a bit of a mix for everyone.

  11. Reply

    Anosa

    March 29, 2016

    Looks and sounds like an amazing hotel, I am fussy about checking into hotels so good to know they do it proud

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 30, 2016

      I am more fussy since having children too but we had a good break away.

  12. Reply

    Kara Guppy

    March 30, 2016

    I never thought about skiiing in Scotland. Shall investigate for the winter season. Looks like a lovely place to stay.

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 30, 2016

      I’ve been skiing there twice, I’m rubbish but I absolutely loved it yet terrified at same time. Living locally we can nip up even in April sometimes if the snow lasts.

  13. Reply

    Healthy Cooking Mom

    March 30, 2016

    This looks fantastic! We are in Lancashire and arent keen on flying anywhere with the little ones for a few years so we are going to explore here, and this looks perfect, especially when its snowing! I also love the idea of a log cabin. 🙂 Marie

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 30, 2016

      It is one big adventure playground. Skiing on the doorstep too if that’s your thing.

      • Reply

        Healthy Cooking Mom

        March 30, 2016

        I would love to learn to snowboard, not sure if im too old now ha! 🙂

        • Reply

          tots2travel

          April 1, 2016

          Never too old. I don’t know how to stop on skis so people laugh as I go whizzing by gathering speed in terror. It always ends shamefully.

  14. Reply

    Indah Susanti

    March 31, 2016

    Great review! It sounds a perfect place for a family! I imagine the delightful of your son in the jacuzzi – that paragraph makes me smile 🙂 – I was excited when first time in the jacuzzi and I was not a toddler! 😀

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      March 31, 2016

      Yes it’s up there with the first time he tried icecream 🙂

  15. Reply

    Gama

    April 25, 2016

    Cute baby👌😊

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      April 26, 2016

      Why I thank you. He does his best 🙂

      • Reply

        Gama

        April 26, 2016

        👍😊

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: