Ballater Hostel is a 29 bed (sleeps 32) five-star large self-catering hostel situated in the centre of Ballater, just east of Braemar, in North East Scotland. Surrounded by mountains in the Cairngorms National Park the Hostel is owned and run by Dominique & Daniel, who took over the hostel in August 2016. Either book the whole hostel, a room or just a bed, with no minimum stay. Our accommodation provides both traditional style dorm rooms as well as private rooms, all of which are en-suite. There is a large open plan kitchen / dining / living area, with wood burning stove. A drying room with laundry facilities in addition to bike storage is available. We also have a hosepipe so after a long bike ride you can clean your bike up!
A warm and friendly welcome always awaits you – the kettle is always on!
As hopefully you are aware, we have had to make some changes to our accommodation (temporarily!). For any new bookings we are doubly checking that you are aware (it is on our website and highlighted during the booking process). We're trying to be really transparent with the changes so there are no surprises on arrival.
We have reviewed how things are looking CoViD wise and have come to the conclusion that things won’t be “back to normal” as soon as we would have hoped.
- We will continue to offer private rooms only until at least 30th June, 2021. No shared mixed dorms for the time being (sorry…see note further down on discounts for individuals). All our rooms are en-suite so no need to worry about shared bathrooms.
- Each room will be for one household only (or extended household). This is in accordance with Scottish Government’s guidance. If the regulations are relaxed allowing households to share rooms again (with social distancing) we may be able to accommodate two individuals from two different households in a couple of our larger rooms. By household we’re talking about people who are either:
- Currently living together in the same home
- Partners in a non-cohabiting couple, and any children who live with them
- Extended household bubbles - single adult (plus/minus children) joining forces with one other household.
- The communal areas (kitchen/dining/lounge area, downstairs communal toilet and drying room) will continue to be closed until at least 30th June, 2021. There isn’t unfortunately enough space to allow social distancing, plus the time taken to deep clean all communal areas every day outweighs the value of it.
- Due to the kitchen being closed we will be continuing our 24-hour access policy until at least the 30th June and offering tea trays in every room (containing tea, coffee, hot chocolate, choccies, sundries and a kettle). There is also a cool box in every room too. You are more than welcome to bring food back to your room and you can, by all means, borrow crockery, cutlery, glasses, extra mugs etc. – please just ask.
- Secure bike storage will still be available.
- We can also still assist with laundry, drying of clothes/boots and we still offer towel hire.
- Our opening and check out times remain the same, at 5pm and 10am respectively.
- We will be doing contactless check in. To this end balances will be taken one week in advance. We will use the card you booked with to take the balance. If the card doesn’t work, we will contact you and you will have a further 4 days to provide a new card, before your booking is cancelled. On arrival your key will be in a basket at reception (don’t worry, we’ll tell you which is yours). On departure we ask you to drop your used key into our key drop box
- We will be available in reception (from a distance!) from 5pm for questions and queries – you won’t be completely alone!
- Up until 30th June 2021 we are offering on average 20% discount off our standard rates. We understand we are not offering everything we normally would, thus to allow for this we have knocked off on average 20% off our standard 2021 rates.
- Included in this is a discount of up to 66% for individual occupancy across all 7 of our rooms (yes, even the 8 bed). We understand for those hostellers who just want a bed in a shared mixed dorm at a budget rate there is nothing out there for you at the moment. We are therefore heavily discounting the majority of our rooms to enable these individuals to still have a place to stay, but in a Corona safe way.
- To assist with this, we have also reduced minimum occupancy across all rooms to one. Where you had to previously pay for at least two people, if you are on your own, you only need pay for yourself.
- If you have to cancel your stay due to CoViD-19 there will be absolutely no charge up until the end of 2021. The non-refundable deposit will be refundable!
- Sole use of the hostel (with kitchen!) is available, provided current government guidelines are met. If you are a group, within the current government guidelines, we are happy to open up the whole hostel to you for sole use, including the use of all communal areas. Get in contact with us directly and we can discuss your requirements. It will be on a case-by-case basis as we will need to close the hostel after departure for 3 nights and therefore make it viable.
- Hand sanitiser will be available as you enter the hostel and we kindly ask all guests to use it every time they enter.
- It goes without saying we will also be carrying out an even more rigorous than usual cleaning schedule. We pride ourselves on doing thorough cleaning throughout the hostel, but this will be pushed even further now, including a deep clean of all guests’ bedrooms following departure…
- washing mattress and pillow protectors every time
- spraying mattresses / pillows / duvets with disinfectant
- stronger cleaning products will be used that specifically combat CoViD-19
- any unnecessary furnishings will be removed
…to name just some of the changes.
- Cleaning materials will be available in all bedrooms for guests to use throughout their stay.
- To assist with track and trace and in line with government requirements we will be keeping a note of all guests (name, address & contact telephone number). We will contact you one week before arrival to confirm guest details.
How to get here
Coming from Aberdeen – on entering Ballater on the A93 with the River Dee on your left - you’ll past the Riverside Garage on your right, then CLAN cancer support charity shop on your left - just before road splits turn right onto stony track (if you reach T-junction you‘ve missed turning) - we are 20m down on your left.
Coming from Braemar – on entering Ballater on A93 drive through the village passing church on your right - turn left with A93, just past Rocksalt & Snails café (if you go over river you have missed turning) – take first left onto stony track – we are 20m down on your left. If you pass the CLAN cancer support charity shop on your right you have gone too far.
By air: Nearest airport is Aberdeen. 757 Stagecoach bus connects Aberdeen airport to Aberdeen bus/train station (bus every 15mins, journey takes 45mins). Take bus as below.
By train: Nearest train station is Aberdeen. Take bus as below.
By bus: Nearest bus stop is Ballater. Take 201/202/203 Stagecoach bus from Aberdeen bus/train station to Ballater (bus every 30-60mins, journey takes 2-2.5hrs). See www stagecoachbus.com for further info.
Transport and Parking
On Public Transport Route
No Pets Allowed
Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
Level access from entrance to reception
Level access to one or more bedrooms
Level access to all public areas
Wet room or level entry shower
Level access to main entrance
New Year/ Hogmanay
Internet Banking Transfer
|4 Bed Private Room||£19.60 Per person per night (room only)|
|6 Bed Private Room||£17.25 Per person per night (room only)|
|8 Bed Private Room||£17.30 Per person per night (room only)|
|Budget Private Room||£18.25 Per person per night (room only)|
|Superior Private Room||£19 Per person per night (room only)|
Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.
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