My parents, my husband and I stayed in the 400-402 Discovery (tier 1 Spirit) suites over Easter 2012 (5-9 April) for four nights. We had our two Chihuahuas with us.
We've stayed before and think a lot of the hotel. Service is mostly very good, and there are lots of facilities to keep everyone entertained.
It's in a beautiful location, around an hour from Edinburgh. We drove up, and the porters are very helpful at unloading the car and valet parking it.
We were assisted by James in the Reservations team to book the suite.
Unfortunately, things weren't always communicated correctly by him to us
(eg I'd requested a fruit bowl, and was told this was standard in the rooms - it wasn't; James told us the Gundog School lesson was booked for 10.15am, but the Gundog School said it was 10am and said we had arrived late).
We're having discussions again via email about our next booking, and I have an alternative agent - Morna - who seems very good.
We stayed in the Talisker Suite in August 11, and that was very 'olde worlde'.
This time, the Discovery Suite was modern with clean lines, and neutral colours.
The suite had two bedrooms, and a nicely sized lounge. One bedroom overlooked the roof of the hotel, which wasn't quite so nice given that they are advertised on the website as having good views (the tier 2 Spirit suites have better views apparently). One bedroom was a little smaller than the other but had better views - over the grassy front of the hotel.
As mentioned above, we weren't impressed by our reservation agent.
Iris deserves a special mention - she is dogged, determined and will do anything for 'her' guests.
For example, she requested a very lavish fruit bowl when I explained that we'd been told there would be one. When this didn't arrive after an hour, we called her and she kindly followed up for us. After another hour of waiting, I called her again and she was genuinely sorry and frustrated that the room service team hadn't delivered what they'd promised her - twice!
The food was good for the most part, but they seemed incapable of remembering a whole order...
Night 1 - room service dinner - they forgot the chips that come as standard with the chicken dish. They also said they'd send our desserts up, twenty minutes after the starter and mains arrived; after 1 hour of waiting, we called to chase their whereabouts.
They did take the chicken dish off the final bill.
Day 3 - Picnic - the order taken over the phone had not gone through the full list with us (ask to see this list and complete it yourself as it tells you what you should order)...
So... 2 rolls each with same or different fillings became 1 crustless sandwich each with chicken; sausage rolls (standard on the room service picnic menu) were not included; coffee for four was enough to fill just one cup (and that's not 1 cup each!); two pieces of fruit each became 1 apple each; soup for four and coffee for four only came with five paper cups (four for soup, and one for the coffee!); three of four bags of crisps were one and three months out of date.
The very helpful Merielle (?sp) kindly removed this from our end bill.
Day 4 - breakfast - only two of four porridges were sent.
The team at room service (Paul especially) sound very helpful on the phone, but this all seems to fall apart somewhere between the phone call, the kitchen and the delivery...
The Strathearn serves good food. Breakfast was a very harassed affair - one waiter was responsible for keeping all hot items topped up, slicing the jamon and smoked salmon and - apparently! - physically knocking me out of the way without so much as an apology! My husband was told off by him for helping himself to salmon (it's really not obvious that you're not supposed to, when aforementioned waiter isn't anywhere to be seen - my husband has spent 3 minutes beside the table just in case, before helping himself!).
Quality of food in the Strathearn is very high - waiters are friendly and attentive.
Andrew Fairlie Restaurant is absolutely exceptional. It is better than many, if not all, of the two stars in London - and several of the three stars in the UK as well!
They were great at dealing with dietary requirements - Ben, their restaurant manager, is a real asset to them.
Deseo serves lovely food both in the spa location and the large restaurant just outside the spa. It is great to be able to visit the counters and talk to the chefs - the fish chef was especially helpful in advising us what to go for.
It is pretty easy to eat healthily here.
We all had the two hour Optimal Release massage which we all thought was fabulous.
Sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy pool are also fantastic.
The changing rooms are clean and tidy.
The Club Fitness Area:
The changing rooms were not to our liking at all - they were not particularly clean, and smelt awful. One of the toilets had a dirty nappy just thrown on the floor in the corner. Perhaps they were busier than usual due to the Easter break, but I'm not sure this is a good excuse.
There are several different pools - one warm outdoor jacuzzi-style which is good fun; indoor jacuzzi; fun island-shaped pool which is deep enough to swim in but very, very shallow at one end, so perfect for little ones learning to swim; a pool designed for lane swimming (often in use by local schools and swimming coaches).
The gym has a superb selection of Technogym cardio and resistance equipment. It all feels very fresh and new. There is also a Power Plate.
Water and towels are readily available.
The Club Relaxation Area is nice to have. It has a sauna and steam room, and bucket and conventional showers. This was great for us, as the sauna and steam room in the spa are not unisex.
We had a taster lesson with Tarmigan, Max, Milly and another one of the boys - and Duncan, our instructor!
This was really good fun - the dogs have their own personalities which makes them really interesting to work with.
There are some great shops at Gleneagles. We didn't discover Country Style last time, and it was well worth a visit. It stocks all sorts of brands, including Dubarry and Barbour. It is situated in the equestrian / activities centre, rather than in the normal shopping parade within the hotel.
We love it there, just wish the room service could get it together a little more!
Already booked for the May 2012 bank holiday weekend.......!
- Also Known As:
- Gleneagles Hotel Auchterarder
- Gleneagles Resort Auchterarder
- Gleneagles Hotel Scotland
- Gleneagles Hotel Auchterarder, Scotland
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