We booked to stay at the Royal Hotel in Thurso because we were making a surprise visit to my elderly aunt and uncle. We were familiar with the Hotel as we had visited Thurso several times and had had afternoon tea there, although we had never stayed overnight before. We actually arrived earlier than we planned and therefore needing a room for one extra night. The receptionist was very helpful and accommodating. We were directed to our room, we had requested one at the back. The hotel was like a maze, corridors, stairs, etc but we got there in the end. The room was clean but a little on the dark side. There was a peculiar smell which we couldn't find. We left the room and went down to the bar for something to eat. Unfortunately the menu was very limited and there were no more than 3 people in the bar, two of which were eating. It was very unwelcoming and lacking in atmosphere so we went into the town and ate there. On our return to the room, the smell was still prominent and my husband did investigate further and found the smell was from the toilet brush! He went to the reception and asked for another room, and we moved to the front of the Hotel to a lovely room. The room was part of the main original hotel and although it was at the front on the main road it was so much nicer than the previous one given to us. Breakfast was good, a typical Scottish breakfast but the dining room was dark and lacked atmosphere. The waitress was very stern looking but as we got talking to her she was very pleasant. The dining room looked out onto to the back of part of the hotel. There was a lot of rubbish, weeds and it was generally run down. A few flower pots and a bit of tidying up wouldn't go amiss!. The waitress told us that the hotel really depends on coach parties, in fact they were expecting a couple that very week. She also said the hotel closed down in October/November for the winter because of the lack of guests to that part of Scotland. It was a lovely building with plenty of large social rooms but it was apparent that they weren't in use. Its a shame because with a bit of cleaning and fresh paint, the Hotel would be lighter and more welcoming. My aunt and uncle were upset that we weren't staying with them. They told us that the Royal had gone down market due to the lack of tourists and the increase of bed and breakfast establishments. The receptionist was lovely and friendly and it turns out she knows my uncle as her granddad worked with him!
On the whole, the room was comfortable, and the breakfast was good. Although we were making our booking on the phone, the hotel did meet the internet price which was quite considerably lower than the walk in price. I am sure the hotel could again be popular if it had a refurbishment and tidy up!
- Also Known As:
- Royal Hotel, Caithness Hotel Thurso
- Royal Hotel, Caithness Hotel
- Royal Hotel Caithness
- Royal Hotel Thurso
- Royal Hotel, Caithness Thurso, Scotland
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the centre of Thurso, one of the most northerly towns in Mainland Scotland, the Royal Hotel provides a perfect place for business or leisure breaks. There are 103 en-suite rooms, all offering wireless Internet access, Freeview TV and tea and coffee-making facilities. The hotel is close to the beach and guests wishing to visit the exquisite scenery of Orkney can take a short ferry journey to this captivating island. Further sightseeing opportunities can be found at John O’Groats, the Castle of Mey or Old St Peter’s Church. Guests arriving for business purposes can make use of our business centre services and conference rooms, all with Wi-Fi access. ... more less
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