Atholl Palace Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Atholl Palace Hotel Pitlochry
Will never go back
Where do i start, firstly this was meant to be a birthday treat from my partner, as we drove up, we both said wow, it looked fantastic from the outside, as we entered it took our breath away again, it looked great inside. Reception greated us with a warm welcome, then we went to our room. The room was basic, the only view was of the entrance to the kitchens and two car park spaces, not what we had expected. But we didn't let that bother us, we decieded to go down for dinner.
Again we were greated with a warm welcome, we then ordered our meal and drinks. The only complaint was the lipstick on the glass, and the look of disgust from the staff when we mentioned the glass.
We then went back to our room, and had the worst nites sleep, if it wasn't the heat in the place, it was unbearable, even with the window open, and the fact that the bed was too hard to sleep on. We mentioned this to the Manager of the hotel, and his responce was " What you want me to do about it "
We were also told that many rooms are under refurbishment, and our room was one of them, especially the bed, because it was an old one. We just left, we were so disgusted with the Atholl Palace Hotel, its not a four star, more like a two star.
What a place to relax
I'm relieved to tell you that my stay at the Atholl Palace was wonderful. I had read some of the previous reviews and I had already booked the weekend for 13 of my friends and I. I worried but I shouldn't have. The rooms were clean and have good views. The staff were friendly and helpful and the atmosphere was a contrast of restfull, relaxing and energetic. Breakfast in the dinning room with the beautiful view was a great way to start the day.
just returned from a couple of days staying at the Atholl Palace Hotel and enjoyed every moment of it. We were met by a very friendly receptionist and treated to a delicious whiskey liqueur. Our family room was clean, warm, spacious and tastefully decorated. We all thoroughoy enjoyed our evening meal and subsequent breakfasts. Our sons loved the indoor swimming pool and leisure facilities. The staff were helpful, courteous and hard working and I would not hesitate in recommending this hotel to friends.
We decided to have our wedding in this hotel next year. We were invited to stay for the night with breakfast for a special rate of £94. When you drive up to the hotel, there is a definate wow factor. I have to agree however though that the welcome at reception was zero. They were not unpleasant, just not talkative. Downstairs looked lovely, very homely and very grand, we just couldn't wait to get into our room! Well, our room? VERY dissapointed indeed. It was freezing, and very basic, but was very clean. The only good thing about the room was the veiw we had. I'm sorry but this room was such a let down. We were almost at the top of the hotel, which made me wonder if we were in the waiters quarters. We put on our heater and headed down stairs for a bar meal. It was very reasonably priced at £11 for a steak and all the trimmings...but on eating it realized that it was pretty fatty. When we finished it we wanted a sweet, but were told that the kitchen was now closed! We didn't let it upset us though, and just made up for it at the bar. The bar prices were very good too. On the whole, and after reading these other reviews, i'm scared now to have the wedding here! As I now can't cancel it due to all my save the dates going out, i'm going to have to be very firm with the managment regarding rooms, meals etc. I'm glad I went, it was very nice, but there is no way I would pay anthing over £40 total for the room.
Value for money
I have read a couple of the adverse criticisms listed in this website and from my experience they are unfair. The hotel offered a very good value for money package for the mid- week breaks we have taken and unlike so many grand Victorian "palace" hotels in Scotland this place does not need a massive injection of capital.
I have been three times in the last two years and it is encouraging to note that standards are continually improving.
I have a choice, there are alternatives
My partner and I selected this hotel for a weekend break at the end of August 2004, principally on its appearance on their own website and knowing the area - the hotel looks fabulous in the picture(s) and the scenery in the area cannot be faulted.
On driving up the long driveway approach and seeing the hotel we both thought we had cracked it. However, the experience thereafter was not so encouraging.
On checking in, the receptionist was pleasant enough, but hardly enthused with her 'welcome' approach. We were allocated our reserved double (valley view) room and looked forward to seeing it, and the view, but that is where it began to go downhill.
The room itself was, on first appearances, decorated to a reasonable standard, but not for sometime, from the chipped and marked paintwork.
The 'double' contained an additional single bed which made an already average sized room tight. The duvet cover on the double bed was either torn or cigarette damaged in several places as well as exibiting a number of quite obvious stains. A chair in the corner of the room had several long blonde hairs on the seat together with evidence of a good measure of dandruff on the seat and over the back.
I went to use the toilet only to find the white plastic (out of place) seat was loose and fell off.
Hardly impressed, we decided to have a look at the remainder of the hotel - the (new)indoor leisure facilities were closed (opening restricted to two hours am and two hours pm). These certainly looked very good though.
The heated outdoor pool was open, if you were desperate for a dip - that is if you don't mind the twigs, leaves and other rubbish floating on the surface coupled with the hardly crystal clear water. The white plastic loungers were filthy and the entire public walking areas no better.
Time for a drink as a resident? no chance - bar closed between 2.15 and 5pm!!!! We did learn however that if you wish a snack late at night, you can make use of a vending machine. Impressive this was a four star, £90 per night per person db&b hotel after all!!! All facilities available normally associated with such an establishment?, clean room? leisure facilities of an acceptable standard? no, no,no !!
We decided to go for a walk into the village, and oh, yes a drink - only way to obtain one, I'm afraid at 3 pm!!!
We returned and decided we were not staying, but first of all spoke with the very understanding and pleasant Duty Manager who agreed entirely with our reasons for wishing to check out less than an hour after we had arrived. We did, however I have to say, decline his kind offer of another room.
He duly recorded our comments on a complaints form and assured us these would be progressed by a senior member of staff on Monday and we would be contacted. He did state, as a matter of fact, that the pool and surrounding area were cleaned daily - evidently not, several weeks would have been more accurate.
One month later, still no update. following an e-mail to the hotel we received a letter in the post from the General Manager stating that our comments were the first he had been aware of and the (then) duty manager had left. Despite his regret and apology as to the events, he concluded by stating ' I am at a loss to explain further'.
I would like to say that this experience was a one-off, but I suspect not. Such events clearly ought not to occur in the first instance, especially at an establishment of this well above average star rating.
Perhaps if there was the same emphasis placed on offering visitors consistancy in respect of cleanliness, service and facilities than promoting the hotel as a place to stay for elegance and location, such events would not take place.
The moral of the story is:
if you have a choice, there are alternatives!!!
Mediocrity - more like two star
This place looks like a palace from the outside but behaves like a seaside boarding house once you are in. Housekeeping standards were poor and it took five days before the sheets were changed, and then replaced with stained ones. The bath and basin plugs were off their chains, loo seat loose, no bathroom extractor, no heated towel rails, insufficient work surfaces, no internet access available for residents. Restaurant - the worst bit. Menu very repetitive, poor presentation, boring veg and little variation. Most dishes swimming in ghastly sauces with a dollop of booze or liqueur to disguise what is underneath. A lot of the food is obviously bought in already made - those were the better dishes!!! Weddings encroach greatly on the hotel guests and they made using the hotel bar and lounge very unpleasant - coffee service becomes self service in the lounge. These standards are geared to the group travel coach market (or should we say downmarket?) and the independent traveller is not really appreciated or looked after.
Fantastic Autumn Wedding
We got married at the Atholl Palace in November 2003. We had the most fantastic time, at a very reasonable cost. All our guests came up and stayed for at least 2 nights, several stayed longer. Alisa, the Events Manager, was very helpful, helping us to pull together a wedding long-distance (I was living in the States at the time). We had a relaxing run up to the wedding: walks through the countryside, reading newspapers in front of roaring log fires and evenings spent in the oak-panelled bar.
In general the staff were very helpful and friendly, although I do have to agree with another reviewer's comments on the standard of the food - very average in the restaurant, although our wedding breakfast was good. Also, our rooms were fine, but single guests did have rooms somewhat akin to box-rooms.
Building was still taking place on the new spa facilities when we were there. We are going back for our first anniversary, soon, so I will post an updated report when we return!
Loved the views
Top Hotel - managed to get in for one night of our week's stay in Pitlochry.
Then had 2 night's at B & B "Craigatin" & 3 nights at "Atholl Arms" Hotel, near to Blair Castle. A real "country Pub" with great ambience.
There is so much to do in & around Pitlochry, the prettiest little place in Perthshire !!
Looks great but still sloppy all around
I have been there three times on business conferences. I have never been crazy about this palace. However, it's spectacular when you see it. The place really looks like an estate and the views are majestic. The grounds are great for walking and you can walk into town in five minutes.Once inside the challenges begin. Front desk staff are less than enthusiastic and....careful they can be quite defensive. Be calm and polite and you may be able to charm them - if that's possible. The "lobby" area, bar and dining areas are also quite inspiring and well decorated. Great views from dining areas. Watch out for the wild Scot parties/weddings on Saturday nights.Rooms vary so much its almost bizarre. Some rooms are so small, I could not open my luggage in them. Others are like studio apts. They are all decorated tastefully and clean. BUT BRING YOUR OWN SOAPS. Their soaps are a throw backs from more depressed times - wafer thin. Expect to hear floors creaking in the hallways, above you and fire doors slamming shut too.Food. Worst part of this palace. Truly average UK food. Desserts look great, but after two days they run out of variety - cheesecake. Bar staff are much more fun and friendly than dining staff.I hear that the indoor pool maybe finished by summer. This could help things somewhat. Which reminds me that they are remodeling and you may hear construction on your floor during the day.From a business perspective, the staff kept forgetting to restock our conference area with water and often showed up during our meetings to do it. Bit late and disruptive.If you are in Pitlochry you must at least visit the Atholl Palace, but find somewhere else to stay that is quieter, the staff is warmer and the food is better.
TripAdvisor Reviews Atholl Palace Hotel Pitlochry
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