Macdonald Norwood Hall Hotel
What We Love
- A gorgeous and tranquil stay in the north of Scotland, with breakfast and three-course dinnerThe Georgian lounge with its malt-whisky collection and indulgent afternoon teas
- Taking a day-trip into Aberdeen to explore the famous Maritime Museum and the Aberdeen Art Gallery
- Having five scenic golf courses easily within reach, including two that are right on the coast
What To Know
- The cozy reception area has an open fire
- There is free WiFi throughout but the connection is iffy
- Rooms are largest and most well-appointed in the new wing which was added in 2011
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Discover the beautiful and tranquil side of Scotland with a stay in the romantic, windswept countryside. Macdonald Norwood Hall Hotel was built on the site of a 15th-century castle and sits within a 19-acre estate of thick woodland and pretty, landscaped gardens. Just outside Aberdeen, right on the edge of the River Dee and close to the rugged coast, this hotel puts you in the middle of some of the country’s most impressive landscapes.
Between lounging in your luxe guest room and exploring the surrounding area, you’ll have plenty to do during your Scottish stay. Spend your days strolling the grounds, golfing in one of the five nearby courses (you’ll discover some breathtaking settings) or venturing into Aberdeen for a day’s shopping. The hotel’s restaurant is AA Rosette-awarded, and there’s a refined Georgian-style lounge with an exclusive malt-whisky menu.
Executive Double and Feature King rooms both offer plenty of space, with separate seating areas, en-suite bathrooms and views of the landscaped gardens and woodland. The rooms are tastefully decorated, offering warm, inviting décor and a relaxing ambience.
The AA Rosette-awarded restaurant serves a mixture of hearty seasonal dishes, packed with locally sourced Scottish ingredients, such as slow-braised Scotch beef, smoked salmon, Scotch lamb and rich Scottish cheeses. There’s also a Georgian-style bar with a luxury malt-whisky menu and traditional afternoon tea.
Three miles outside Aberdeen, Macdonald Norwood Hall Hotel is close to the edge of the River Dee, with a selection of professional golf courses nearby and a 19-acre estate of woodland and landscaped gardens to explore. If you feel like spending a day by the sea, you’re just a short drive from the coast.
How to Get There
This is a real retreat from Aberdeen town center though only a bare 10 minutes drive away. The hotel is set in lovely landscaped gardens with plenty of parking for cars. The grounds are nicely tended though not extensive and maybe they have missed a treat for weddings as they have a lovely canopy in the garden at the back but there was a distinct lack of flowers (would be a lovely photo shot and good selling point). Inside, the reception and hallway were so welcoming and grand harking back to its heyday. The air had a grandness about it and the hallway had an imposing wooden staircase in it. There were chairs to sit on from days gone by in keeping with the rich interior. There was a lovely small library room to sit and enjoy the surroundings or you could equally enjoy a drink in the bar area which was also a very comfortable room to appreciate the decor in. The tapestry room where breakfast and dinner is served is glorious with a large bay window and wooden tableaus. There are actual tapestries on the wall which have survived intact and look Japanese is style. This is not a huge room and through an adjacent door leads to a more modern extension. We were on bed and breakfast and enjoyed a full breakfast with very polite staff. Interestingly enough we ordered porridge and expected it to be amazing as it is one of the things Scotland is famed for but were rather underwhelmed. All staff we came across were very helpful and courteous. The rooms were absolutely lovely. A really spacious room with a very nice bathroom which had a stand alone shower as well as a bath. The bed was very comfortable and it is a really quiet hotel. Maybe the age of the property helped with thick walls but we were not disturbed at all. The hotel room did show slight wear and tear but really nothing more. This is a fab retreat and if you like history this has plenty( a history leaflet of the hotel can be obtained from reception) I would come back to this hotel if I return to Aberdeen.
Stayed at the Norbert Hall Aberdeen on the evening of the 9th May (room 60).
The team were very pleasant and trained the level I would have expected from such a grand hotel.
The hotel itself was beautiful as are he grounds.
But I had the Ham sandwich in the bar and for the price I was expected real ham, it was disappointing to get what had the texture and look of tinned.
In the morning I could hear next door get a shower which was irritating as I was looking forward to a lie in. The shower had little or no pressure so not the most revitalising.
I think the few things which are poor point my review as it sells itself as a 4-5 star but things let it down and at best it is a 3 .
I was surprised by the Norwood. But for the assistance of Jordan, one of the employees at the property, I would rate this as no better than a mid three star hotel. This is problematic when a property is charging four or even five star prices.
The property looks impressive upon arrival and the check in was w/o problem. The young lady up front (from Latvia) was friendly and professional. The main areas are interesting with a dining room, library, sitting rooms, etc., centred around a large staircase from an original large home. In our view most of the interior needed a good freshening up but I was still favourably impressed. But this is where our positive impressions ended.
We were taken to a room in a section of the hotel built about twenty years ago. I’d say maybe twelve to fifteen rooms were located in this wing. The room we entered reminded me of a hotel where a jury might be sequestered. You know, some hotel in an urban jurisdiction that would not be in business but for a contract with a city or county to put up jurors. The room was small, unattractive and possessed an automatic bathroom fan sounding like a motor from a DC-3. The TV screen was the size of an average workstation PC. There was no refrigerator, a full size bed akin to the one I had in college 40 years ago (nice to see that size is still made somewhere), and the bathroom floor had poorly installed linoleum. Meaning there were bare spots around the toilet. The heat was on a setting making it about 85 degrees Fahrenheit (about 30 Celsius) and to cool the room we had to push out the top section of a window which gave us about six inches of space for air to enter.
The room had ugly wallpaper which turned out to be wallpaper painted over the sort of pale yellow one sees in public high schools with limited funding. We had inexpensive fixtures/lamps, thin carpeting, and a single produced en masse for hotels & motels piece of framed art. I actually can’t think of anything good to say about the room. I guess I liked the tile on the bathroom walls.
We decided to gut it out for the evening but just before dinner I changed my mind to the extent of at least getting clarification from the hotel. We came to realise we were in a section of rooms as I described and wanted to get enough information so we could ask the agent who made our accommodations what we did to offend them.
This was when we spoke with Jordan, who essentially saved our experience at the Norwood. I explained our situation to Jordan and the information we sought. We made it clear we did not blame the hotel nor were we seeking an upgrade, change of room or any special treatment. Even though we took this position Jordan insisted on changing our room at no extra charge. He explained the hotel’s policy of offering anyone in our section the option of another room if there any available. He speculated because only one other decent room was open the young lady checking us in must have missed the open room. He insisted on giving us the better room in the main house and away from our cheap rooms wing. In fact he even insisted on helping us move our luggage.
So because of Jordan we were able to reboot our experience. We were put in a decent sized room, queen sized bed, with a normal sized bathroom. Had we been given the room upon our check in I believe my wife would have been absolutely satisfied with a four star experience.
We ate dinner and breakfast at the hotel. Both were fine, with the dinner being around the £60 plus tip level we were experiencing at all of the similar places we were dining in Scotland. The hotel’s location to Aberdeen was not such we could walk anywhere and while there were a few acres of wooded land in front of the hotel as we drove in it turned out there were really no grounds of any note to walk behind or adjacent to the hotel. It is obvious the hotel has facilities for large parties and weddings and I suspect a good part of its business is oriented in that direction. The main building and facilities would make a very nice backdrop for a wedding.
I’m going to rate the Norwood four stars as a hotel, but overall it’s not a particularly strong four stars. But for Jordan’s excellent assistance I would have placed it at a three star level and I commend him and his service to the management. Frankly, without Jordan’s help I’m not sure my wife would have rated the Norwood three stars compared to some other properties we stayed in Scotland, but I would think that unfair. This is clearly a four star property. It has a very polite and courteous staff, nice looking grounds, a very pretty dining room, good food, afternoon tea and some very comfortable sitting rooms, dens, etc. However, make sure you are not stuck in the two floors of rooms in the wing built about twenty years ago. And if you do get stuck in one of the motel-style rooms, ask for help from Jordan!
We were celebrating our 60th Birthdays and Ruby wedding anniversary all in one gathering. We stayed for 2 nights in the hotel. The room had a fantastic view up the drive where could watch what was going on in the grounds. The bed was very comfortable along with a well appointed room.
The lead up to and during the gathering we could not fault the staff on their organisation and attention to detail. During the meal the staff were exceptional in the way they looked after us and ensured our needs were met. This complimented by an excellent meal.
I would recommend this hotel for any function and the setting is beautiful
Check-in quick and efficient, as was Check-out. Staff friendly and efficient. The room was spacious, clean and comfortable. The bathroom was as big as some hotel rooms I have been in (equipped with a bath and separate shower). Breakfast was very good with attentive service.