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“Services have a long way to go match the scenery.”
Review of CairnGorm Mountain

CairnGorm Mountain
Ranked #14 of 49 things to do in Aviemore
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Consistently voted one of Scotland's Top 10 Visitor Attractions, CairnGorm Mountain is an unforgettable visitor attraction throughout the year! Nestled in the heart of the spectacular Cairngorms National Park, CairnGorm is home to the UK's highest Funicular Railway and Restaurant, incredible snow-sports (plus our own on-site snow school) during the winter and epic guided walks during the summer season. Add to that our atmospheric Storehouse Cafe (with the region's best homemade cakes!), our Outfitters Store, the UK's highest postbox, beautiful wildlife and plenty of other adventures, there's something for all to enjoy during your visit to CairnGorm! Join us for our spectacular summer line-up in 2018, where we've got a whole host of family adventures to enjoy on the mountain! Visit our website for further details...
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Thankfully the best snow season we've had for a few years, but the facility has much it could do to improve, in my opinion ...
Queues for lift passes at the weekend are way to long and slow meaning valuable time on the slopes is lost.
If you require to hire any equipment this is also painfully slow, even during the week, again more time on the hill lost.
Restaurant facilities at the top are good but far too small even during the week.
Restaurant facilities at the bottom seem under utilised given its capacity but this is perhaps due to more limited offering?

With weather, conditions and opportunity all having to be in alignment for a day on the slopes it just a shame to have any of that time then wasted actually getting out there!

Thank JACKD4444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NRCairnGorm_Mountain, Front Office Manager at CairnGorm Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2018

Many thanks for your feedback. Any comments constructive or positive are appreciated.


In response I would like to highlight a few plans that are already in the pipeline for future Winter and Summer seasons on Cairngorm Mountain.


As you mentioned in your comments this season has seen good snow conditions right down to base station level allowing skiing top to bottom for most of the season. The plus side to this is that we have been able to develop beginners areas on the lower slopes that in the previous 10 years have not been achievable. Although this has allowed us to operate on the lower slopes when weather has been poor at the top, there is a lack of infrastructure on and off the lower slopes for beginners and the public as this area has been historically unreliable.



The business has undertaken a Ski uplift review which will be completed by mid-summer, this will take into account all uplift on the mountain and a course of action that will benefit everyone. This is being done by an external body that will form objective conclusions and is something that Natural retreats and HIE (Highland Island Enterprise), the landlords, will then act upon. Hopefully this will lead to a more efficient and less time consuming effort to get on the slopes.



The Lower restaurant has slightly less capacity than the top, but this season we have adapted the menu offerings to speed up service, as this is something that we are aware of and have been trying to address. Your feedback is great as it allows us to continue to make changes to speed up service and the turnaround of tables.



The facilities in the Ptarmigan top station do not meet the demands of modern skiing and efficiency, and we aware of this. Natural Retreats currently have a planning application in to extend all facilities at that level. The plan is to extend the restaurant to cater for another 100 seats and a complete restructure of the layout to improve customer flow and capacity, this will include upgrading the insufficient toilet facilities.


The queues at the ticket office and Ski Hire have been lengthy this season at peak times, as they always are, and acknowledge that even when it is comparatively quiet it has still caused issues. This is down to staffing levels and as a business we will be reviewing our recruitment process training and also the retention of seasonal staff particularly during the peak periods, hopefully this will improve thing in the future.

I hope this goes someway to reassuring you that we take all feedback and act upon it. I do once again apologise that you had a poor experience, and hope that the changes we have mentioned above will make the visiting experience for you and others in the future and much better one.


Kind Regards,


Martin Amos

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Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Just returned from a week at Aviemore, and had some fantastic weather on the slopes. The staff restaurants and ski lift operators and instructors are all brilliant. Would thoroughly recommend a visit.

Thank carolinelarke123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

Natural retreats: Please sort out the complete lack of facilities for beginners / small children.

You need to put in rope pulls and magic carpets into an area dedicated to allowing child beginners to practice basic skills so they can become confident without having to spend half their time trudging back up on foot.

The lack of catering and toilet facilities large enough to accommodate the number of skiers and non skiers on the mountain is appalling. The staff in the (only) restaurant are very helpful despite being rushed off their feet.

The queue for a lift pass was rediculous. We got their at 8:20 and it took over an hour to get the passes, probably because there was only one person serving on the desk!

Thank two_tots_mum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NRCairnGorm_Mountain, Front Office Manager at CairnGorm Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2018

Hi two_tots_mum
Many thanks for your feedback. Any comments constructive or positive are appreciated.

In response I would like to highlight a few plans that are already in the pipeline for future Winter and Summer seasons on Cairngorm Mountain.

This season has seen good snow conditions right down to base station level allowing skiing top to bottom for most of the season. The plus side to this is that we have been able to develop beginners areas on the lower slopes that in the previous 10 years have not been achievable. Although this has allowed us to operate on the lower slopes when weather has been poor at the top, there is a lack of infrastructure on and off the lower slopes for beginners and the public as this area has been historically unreliable. All the easy tows are in the Ptarmigan bowl at the top of the mountain (where it is more snow sure), and so too is our much larger Ptarmigan restaurant. Up there we have the Polar Express and Ptarmigan T-bar which are good novice tows. It does rely on the weather being favourable up there though.

The business has undertaken a Ski uplift review which will be completed by mid-summer, this will take into account all uplift on the mountain and a course of action that will benefit everyone. This is being done by an external body that will form objective conclusions and is something that Natural retreats and HIE (Highland Island Enterprise), the landlords, will then act upon.


The Lower restaurant has slightly less capacity than the top, but this season we have adapted the menu offerings to speed up service, as this is something that we are aware of and have been trying to address. Your feedback is great as it allows us to continue to make changes to speed up service and the turnaround of tables.

The Toilet facilities on the lower mountain are more so than the top building. We have toilets located in the main Day Lodge building next to the restaurant and down at the base of the funicular building.

The facilities in the Ptarmigan top station are less so, and we aware of this. Natural Retreats currently have a planning application in to extend all facilities at that level. The plan is to extend the restaurant to cater for another 100 seats and a complete restructure of the layout to improve customer flow and capacity, this will include upgrading the insufficient toilet facilities.

With regards to your waiting times for tickets. We apologise that it took so long, and we are going to review staffing levels and recruitment this summer for next winter to ensure that we are fully staffed at busy times and in particular late season when a lot of the staff move on to new things. This is a phenomena throughout seasonal operations and unfortunately a mixture of great late snow conditions and a drop off of staff has meant this issue has really become obvious this Easter.


I hope this goes someway to reassuring you that we take all feedback and act upon it. I do once again apologise that you had a poor experience, and hope that the changes we have mentioned above will make the visiting experience for you and others in the future and much better one.

Kind Regards,

Martin Amos

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

Ride up to top from car park on funicular railway to magnificent scenery and a great cafe with stunning views down the mountain. Skiers and snowboarders have a fun day out with hot good food afterwards . DSUK are a fantastic organisation here.

Thank rebatod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NRCairnGorm_Mountain, Bookings Administrator at CairnGorm Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Hi rebatod. Thanks for taking the time to write a review. The views up here are outstanding and it can be entertaining watching the skiers and snowboarders whilst sitting in the cafe. We are very proud to support DSUK . I do hope you can come back again?

Kind regards

Lorna

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Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

The skiing can be great on a good day and if the sun's out, the wind's calm and there is snow, you can have a wonderful day on the slopes.

...but there's not all that many of those days, so worth choosing your day carefully and not booking in advance unless you're sure as other reviews suggest getting refunds isn't easy even if lifts closed in the wind.

It's also not very good at coping with peaks and equipment hire was horribly slow for us on a sunny Easter Sunday. They let you book hire a few days in advance but oddly not the day before. And the Qs for boots and skis etc are slow even if you do - can end up being an hour or more to get everything sorted. Need more staff - was horribly frustrating even though we arrived early.

If you've not booked you need to enter personal details on a terminal first then Q for boots then get your skis fitted and pay. It was about £88 for a family of four for skis, boots and helmets. You can buy lift passes at the equipment hire place if you are hiring but not otherwise in which case you need to buy at the funicular base.

Top tip us get there early - it opens at 8.30am as does lift pass sale.

Funicular up is good - about 5 mins to the top where there's Lois and a restaurant and la fair few runs and lifts.

In all the resort has 11 lifts including the funicular. They're all drags and a mixture of buttons and t bars - no chairs. Qs mostly not bad in the morning but busier at the top half than pm...but the funicular quieter then. If the funicular Q is bad, you can get to the top via the car park T bar and M1 Poma.

Plenty of green runs - mainly at top funicular station but also a decent green option all the way down. All good fun and great for beginners and just for fun.

5 or 6 blues, several reds (although mostly quite short) and a couple of blacks - but often the first to close.

Big free car park thats about a 20 mins drive from Aviemore. There's also off piste-ish route from the top on the east wall that ends up at the ciste car park maybe half a mile from the main one - but there is a shuttle bus that links the two.

Restaurant food not great and Qs busy.

Fab views at the top.

Staff helpful.

Review score could be 1-5 depending on day and waits. It's not the alps but can still be a great day's skiing in the right day.

Thank RoganJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NRCairnGorm_Mountain, Bookings Administrator at CairnGorm Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Hi RoganJ

Thanks for taking the time to write a very informative report. The ski hire can be very busy in the height of our season and the staff do work as quickly as they can. Our online ski hire has to be booked 48 hours in advance, however we normally have enough equipment on the day. With regards to the weather, it can be very challenging so it is always good to check in advance prior to making arrangements. As you say, we do have a good selection of runs with varying uplifts choice. I am delighted that you experienced great views at the top and you found our staff very helpful. We do hope you come back again soon.

Lorna

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