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“Absolutely fantastic chalet, hosts and setting.”
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Review of Willowbarn Rafford

Exterior Willowbarn
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Exterior Willowbarn
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Excellent
33 reviews
Exterior Willowbarn
First Visitors of 2014
Kitchen Dining Area
Kitchen
Master Bedroom
Master Bathroom En-Suite
Twin bedded Room
Main Bathroom
Lounge kitchen
Lounge
Lounge
Aerial view of grounds
Especially for taking our younger guests for a cycle in Moray
Bike selection at Willowbarn, free usage for our guests
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Overview
Condo/Apartment -
2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 4
Forres, Moray, Scotland

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 33 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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Donald C
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Absolutely fantastic chalet, hosts and setting.”
Reviewed 5 May 2015 for a stay in April 2015
1
person found this review helpful

I stayed in the Willow Barn for 12 nights in April 2015 for business, but because of the Scottish schools holidays my wife and two daughters were able to join me during the first week.

In short it was the most enjoyable two working weeks I've experienced and my wife and kids had a fabulous adventure in a wonderful converted barn in a beautiful setting.

I've worked and stayed in this area before but my previous lodgings were booked for part of my stay. I also knew my wife and kids would be able to join for one of the weeks that I was working so I wanted accommodation which was attractive, interesting, spacious, child friendly and close to local forests, beaches and attractions. The Willow Barn ticked all boxes and more and was very competitively priced - and I also have to compliment Carlo (the owner) for his prompt, friendly and enthusiastic communications; when you travel so much as I do, you kind of know when you find a gem!

I knew the area well so I was easily able to find the Barn in the forest on the edge of Rafford (4 miles south of Forres). And let me tell you, what a fantastic location. The Barn and owners house is surrounded by a beautiful and very large garden with ponds and magical little islands with joining wooden bridges; my kids loved these! This itself is surrounded by beautiful peaceful forests that you just know you are going to get a good nights sleep.

The Barn itself is a first floor conversion and in a word, is simply stunning, very spacious with two large double/twin bedrooms, one en-suite with an additional large family bath and shower room; both bathrooms are beautifully presented and one gives you the opportunity to bathe under the stars - ignoring the velux window in between. Great kitchen diner with all the mod-cons including oven, microwave, dish washer and access to washing machine and dryer in an adjoining cabin on the ground floor to the rear! My wife and I both appreciated this greatly and meant we had no need for a large washing on our return home - bliss! There is also a television with cable TV and Chromecast and a reliable wifi service - although you might have to reset the repeaters now and again. And the owners can supply a good range of DVDs for the kids.

A small thing I look for in holiday accommodation (ignoring the fact that I was on business) is quirkiness - something different from every day living but with the luxury and finish of a modern house and Willow Barn has that charm and uniqueness in spades - just look at the owners gallery.

My wife and kids had a wonderful holiday week visiting local castles (Brodie), stately homes and some stunning beaches including Findhorn and in particular Roseisle beach which is simply world class. They also enjoyed visits to the HIghland Wildlife Park south of Aviemore and the Landmark Centre in Carrbridge - all worthwhile visits. I must reiterate, you simply have to visit Roseisle beach during the day or for a stroll in the evening, it will take your breath away!

After returning my family to our home in outskirts of Glasgow, I returned for my second week in the Barn but brought my mountain bike with me. The area is superb for on and off-road cycling and the owners, Carlo and Fiona, are cycling enthusiasts and will give you great advice for short and long routes and point you in the right direction; they'll even give you a bike or two or more with helmets for free to use for your stay. Very thoughtful and quite unique!

During my week I cycled most of the Dava Way and back again (27 miles) in glorious evening sunshine with some beautiful views over the moors - remember to leave a comment in the Half-Way hut! I also cycled down the Dava way into Forres, then Findhorn and Roseisle beach (another good 24 mile loop) - cycling on the beach for part of the way. The following night I cycled to the Pluscardin Abbey in back partly though some forest tracks and roads - 18 miles. My only regret was not getting out for a cycle with Carlo and Fiona - but hopefully that will be rectified on my next visit in the summer. :-)

Last few words must go to our hosts, Carlo and Fiona, a truly welcoming and lovely couple who made our stay a happy and memorable one. They are ever so helpful with great advice and good chat and compliment the Barn so well - a wee gem as they say in Scotland;-)

A wee shout out for Sky and Cassie - two beautiful friendly black labs that my kids just loved and still talk about!

As for the business trip, who cares, everything else was perfect! I really really enjoyed my stay. Thanks Carlo and Fiona who I'm hoping deem this worthy of a free carton of Moray's finest ice-cream on my next visit (that's their other passion)! ;-)

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Everything
Liked least: Nothing
Travelling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
10 May 2015
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. It was a pure delight to read your comments and we really appreciate the wonderful feedback you gave us. We hope to welcome you all back soon. Fiona and Carlo
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karen T
Orkney Islands, United Kingdom
1 review
“Simply Perfect”
Reviewed 15 April 2015 for a stay in April 2015

Enjoyed our stay at Willowbarn. Quiet, scenic location. Warm, comfortable, beautifully furnished and very well equipped accommodation. Carlo and Fiona are very welcoming and friendly making the stay even more special. Our children aged 9 and 14 loved it too - especially the 9 year old as he was able to make use of the available bikes and DVDs!
Thank you!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Quiet location and beautiful property
Liked least: nothing to dislike
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
17 Apr 2015
Thank your for your kind comments. We were delighted to have met you all and thrilled you were so happy with your stay in Willowbarn. We look forward to you returning in the future. Fiona and Carlo
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jackie h
East Linton, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“A fantastic, relaxing break !”
Reviewed 19 February 2015 for a stay in February 2015

We have just returned from Willowbarn and we all enjoyed the beautiful barn . The facilities were super,the beds comfy and the kitchen was well equipped.
We spent a relaxing few days exploring the surrounding area and the weather was not to bad at all! Fiona and Carlo were very helpful offering advice about the area.
Our teenage daughter even said she would love to come back ! High praise indeed.
We hope to return in the near future.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The high standard of accommodation
Liked least: Missing the Aurora Borealis!
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
20 Feb 2015
Thank you for your lovely comments. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay and hope to welcome you back again
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MadamePri...
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Absolutely Wonderful”
Reviewed 7 January 2015 for a stay in December 2014

We stayed at Willowbarn with Rebecca (the review below!) - And I can only echo what she has said. It really was perfect and Fiona and Carlo were the ideal hosts. I would highly recommend staying here.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The hosts, the beds and the location!
Liked least: Nothing.
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
9 Jan 2015
We are delighted you all enjoyed Willowbarn over New Year and look forward to welcoming you all back again soon. Fiona and Carlo
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca H
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Wonderful stay!....couldn't' have been any better”
Reviewed 5 January 2015 for a stay in December 2014

Where to start! Firstly the accommodation itself was beautifully done with great taste and it appeared brand new. Huge bathroom and sleeping area with comfortable beds and everything we could possibly need in the kitchen and living areas. It really is the ideal place to spend with family and friends.
The grounds were gorgeous and it's the type of place you wake up with a smile. Proximity to Forres was also spot on however beware if you don't have a car (the kind hosts did provide Bikes however)
Fiona and Carlo were the icing on the cake and couldn't have been better hosts, from providing Prosecco for our New year celebrations to being on hand to make everything we wanted to do happen....it was refreshing to find two people that really do know what being a host truly means!
A BIG THANKS from all of us and we can't wait to send other people your way!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The hosts/the accommodation
Liked least: I loved it all!
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
5 Jan 2015
Thank you for your lovely comments. We are so thrilled you enjoyed your stay at Willowbarn and hope that we will welcome you all back in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Adults2
Children0
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