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Real news! Macdonald makes Aviemore great again. Read more from John Hill in the Cairngorms..

  • On 15 February 2017

Donald Macdonald 1

I regularly shock foreign resorts I visit by telling them that Scotland not only has a ski industry, but at the Cairngorms they have Britain’s best by far residential leisure facilities – at Macdonald Aviemore Resort.

The huge development that overlooks the tiny Highlands village is now 50 years old and was rusting away until 10 years ago when  Britain’s biggest private  hotelier, Highlander Donald Macdonald, rescued the rusting  complex and brought it back Trump-style to make it great again.

Mr Macdonald poured many millions of pounds into refurbishing the once-named Aviemore Centre and turned it into Britain’s best leisure and hotel complex in what is arguably  Britain ‘s best outdoor destination.

To celebrate the resort’s 50th birthday Macdonald has invested another £7 million to

  • Create an indoor kiddies play area
  • New clubhouse for its par 72 Spey Valley golf course – real Highland golf with views to match
  • Upgrade many of the resort hotels to 4-star standard
  • Create five quality eating facilities and a 1,000-seat banqueting facility,

 Despite the many millions spent so far the quiet and modest Mr Macdonald says: “In spite of all this, the potential of this part of the world is still at an embryonic stage and there are still numerous opportunities waiting to be unlocked in Aviemore, which has become a global destination.”

 Man behind the high-quality hotel chain established in 1990 is Donald Macdonald and over the past 25 years Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has steadily and successfully expanded to become the UK’s largest privately owned hotel group.

Macdonald runs 40 hotels across the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal and ten resorts throughout the UK and Spain. The group continues to invest and now employs more than 4,000 staff and 4,500 hotel rooms.

Mr Macdonald’s very high standards has won the group a clutch of  honours including

  • Twice recent winners  AA Hotel Group of the Year,
  • AA Eco-Hotel Group of  Year,
  •  MIDAS award for Best Breakfast.
  • Good Egg Award by Compassion for World Farming
  • National Customer Service Awards for Leisure and Tourism and the coveted Carbon Trust Standard.


So maybe we should warn the other Donald to watch out!