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“Best Hotel in the World”
Review of Cally Palace Hotel

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Cally Palace Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
scotland
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Hotel in the World”
Reviewed 22 October 2013

Family of five, including dog, arrived at the Cally Palace on Friday afternoon for a three day break . Can't fault this, staff, surrounds, food, golf, swimming pool, sherry in the room, sauna, jacuzzi and everything else was fabulous. I can confirm there was no plastic on our dinner table at night, nor in the mornings for breakfast. Beautifully set tables on both occasions. Only down side for us was our dog wasn't allowed anywhere other than our room. Would have been nice to have had a place to sit at night for a drink for an hour or two with him after dinner. Would come back, but without the dog next time. Staff are all wonderful and all seemed to be from the local area. Special mention to James and Ryan for making our stay so enjoyable. Can't remember the young waitresses name at dinner but she will know who we are talking about as she brought out the birthday cake with the fire cracker, anyway she was lovely. Will be back in the spring.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank coyotebrox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (129)
Date | Rating
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Where to start....
Room
1970's decor which I guess had not been cleaned since. Particular highlights included the shabby carpet, dirty bathroom and the faded artwork.
Lunch
Stroppy barman eventually served us after we had the audacity to ask what was included in the cream tea provided in the package. Proceeded to order sandwiches which came after the cream tea was delivered.
Dress code
Waiter informed us that "gentlemen" must wear a jacket and tie for dinner. Reception could however lend me a tie and jacket. When I pointed out that at no point had this policy been communicated through the booking process the manager proudly showed me a box of 20 or so ties to choose from.
Dinner
Now suitably attired we proceeded to have the worst meal I have experienced in some time. Inedible starter, raw venison and dry pheasant. That said my newly acquired tie did complement the plastic tableware.

As someone who travels 100 plus nights a year this place must surely rank as the worst hotel in the country.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank AlanandVick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheMcMillanFamily, Owner at Cally Palace Hotel, responded to this review, 26 October 2013
As a family business, we really appreciate all the wonderful reviews for our hotels. Of course, we are always really disappointed to read the negative ones, but we try to take them on the chin and learn from them if we can. In this case we are at a bit of a loss to understand the vehemence of this gentleman’s bad feelings towards Cally Palace, and we feel the review is rather harsh, so we thought it better to respond.

Yes, our rooms may be considered a bit old fashioned, but we very rarely have anything but the most minor of housekeeping issues reported. We have checked this room and found it to have been very thoroughly cleaned to our usual high standard. No complaint was made by the couple at the time,

The gentleman enquired if sandwiches are included in our cream afternoon teas. He was advised that they aren’t, so he ordered them separately. He didn’t order them until well after he ordered the cream tea. They are made to order, hence their slightly later arrival.

We do have a dress code for our main dining room at Cally, but we also offer casual dining in our conservatory bar/restaurant. These guests were offered this option, but were keen to dine in the main dining room, so we offered the gentleman a tie and a jacket, which he seemed perfectly happy to accept. These guests booked online, and, as is often the case, they were sent a very standard confirmation by the booking site, which didn’t tell them much about Cally Palace. We are aware of this problem, so, for all of our hotels, we make a point of following online bookings with our own confirmation letters, to make sure that all of our guests know all they need to know about their reservation and our hotels before they arrive. These guests agreed that they had in fact received our letter, advising of the dress code, but that unfortunately they hadn’t read it.

As with all guests, this couple were asked once or twice during their meal if they were happy with everything. Their starters were never mentioned. The gentleman commented that his venison was pink, but went on to add that this was just how he liked it, and that it had great flavour. The lady said she felt that her pheasant was slightly dry at the edges, but she declined the offer of a replacement, or additional sauce.

Confession Time: Our elegant china tableware at Cally is complemented by silver cutlery, cruets and tea and coffee pots. Drinks are poured into crystal glasses. All as you would expect. There is however, one, (and only one) item of plastic tableware to be found. The water jugs. They are actually much more expensive than the usual glass ones, but they are clear and very ‘realistic’ and they don’t chip or smash so they are worth the extra cost. .

As far as we can tell, our staff looked after these guests really well, and the guests actually gave the impression of enjoying their stay. We are really sorry Cally wasn’t their ‘cup of tea’, but we think they have been unreasonable and unkind in their review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2013

Background:
I had often seen the Cally Palace Hotel advertised in Golf Magazines when waiting at the dentists and always thought it would be an interesting place to stay but never got round to doing anything about it.
This was rectified thanks to a deal from Hotel Connexions which offered two people for a nights stay for £120 which included bed breakfast and three course evening meal, cream tea on arrival and special deal on the (exclusive to the hotel) golf course for £10 per round.

Location:
The Cally Palace is located just outside Gatehouse of Fleet, if approaching from the M74 the village is located on the right side and the hotel grounds and entrance are set back from the road on the left just prior to entering the village. If approaching from Stranraer drive through the village and up the hill, just past the end of the 30 limit sign the hotel grounds entrance can be seen on the right. The reason for these detailed instructions was my sat nav was determined to take me into farmers fields, into dead end streets everywhere but where I wanted to go. The hotel receptionist said this had happened to quite a few people.
The location is fabulous, the grounds impressive and the hotel when you approach it looks like it has stepped out of a period drama.
The welcome was very friendly, the young porter who carried the bags was extremely pleasant and this set the tone for the whole weekend, the staff to a man (or woman) were invariably polite, friendly and efficient.
Our room was in a newer part of the hotel, and although the standard room was massive with a massive en suite bathroom as well. The decor was a bit on the tired side but everything was spotless and dust free. A nice touch was a small decanter of sherry in the room to give that luxury feel.
Our room faced north and overlooked the 1st tee and 13th & 15th Greens. The rooms at the south of the hotel seemed to come with balconies and overlooked the 18th green.

I did not use the pool and jacuzzi myself but my partner did and she reported that it was lovely but that the pool area could have benefited from some loungers to augment the plastic chairs and tables that were provided.

Food:& Drink:
The bar was located adjacent to the conservatory and provided Lager and Belhaven Best, I can't quite remember what other beers there were. The bar itself was quite small and certainly in the evening it could have done with at least one other bar person working behind it as people were queuing for pre-dinner drinks. Unusually for a hotel the drink prices were very reasonable. The menu was extensive and as my partner is vegetarian an extensive vegetarian menu was produced as well. The three course meal turned out to be in reality four courses with starter, soup, main and dessert included. The quality of the food, both meat and veggie, was extremely high as was the presentation and given that the dining room was packed it was a miracle that everything arrived hot, but it did. There was an extensive wine list and was priced at bottles from under £20 to much higher, our Chilean Merlot was delicious and came in at about £19. Breakfast the next day was standard full Scottish but did offer Kippers well as Smoked Haddock. My partner's request for poached eggs on fried bread with tomatos and mushrooms although not part of the menu per se was provided without a quibble.

The Golf Course:
The Friday I arrived, although the weather had seemed threatening the whole journey, turned into an unnaturally warm and sunny day for October. The course was wet underfoot due to the excessive rainfall the previous couple of days hence buggies were unavailable. Given the conditions the Greens were slow but I found them very true. The fairways were well kept although there was no real 1st cut 2nd cut to the rough, it was just there and again although not overly long, but probably due to the amount of rainfall longer than desirable, if your ball went into it the grass closed over the ball making it difficult to find. Although the course is there exclusively for the use of hotel guests a bit more could be done to exhort players to adopt a bit more course management regarding divot replacement etc. It would also be an idea to provide buckets of seed and sand at the tees to allow players to repair any divots taken. The 13th and 15th holes are especially challenging.

Overall:
Great place to stay and very good value for money

Room Tip: Some Rooms on the South have balconies, I was in north facing room and it was excellent
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ianxv1100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2013 via mobile

From the moment you enter through the twin gatehouses you know you are somewhere special. You drive through beautiful woods and into an opening with the somewhat imposing building before you. The front view is over a lovely golf course with glimpses of water. The entranceway and rooms are huge with high ceilings. Extremely good sound privacy between rooms. So welcome after cramped aeroplane travel and city sightseeing.
Bathrooms well appointed. The service by some staff in the dining room needs attention, not particularly friendly or polite. The clientele is mature. Overall a quiet, elegant retreat. Walking easy and tranquil.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Reikorangi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stamford
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2013

This was our second year at Cally Palace and we had a wonderful time. We had a deluxe room which was quite large, the standard rooms are spacious as well. Because the hotel is of an oldie variety it lacked air con which could be drawback in hot weather. The age of the hotel however gives it the character and the decor is fabulous and high celings, plasterwork, and paintings that make it feel somewhat special. Dumfries and Galloway in this area is rather special, unspoilt and terrific for walking and enjoying the coast line. We used the golf course three times in three days, and as it is only for residents, it is millionaires golf!. The course is well designed and although the greens are not that well prepared etc, the views and the different hole designs make it a pleasure and a enjoyable addition to our holiday.

Room Tip: Not sure the deluxe rooms are worth the extra as the standard rooms are very good.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PaulRStamford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2013

I spent 4 nights at the Cally Hotel with my brother, niece and their dog. We have stayed there many times before (since the 60s) and I thoroughly enjoyed the mini holiday. The staff were excellent and the food could not be faulted. A wonderful relaxing stay in a beautifully located hotel.
The dining room requires gentlemen to wear a jacket and tie but that just adds to the sense of occasion and is appropriate.
The rooms which we had were smart and well decorated - I was in a superior room on the first floor with a four poster bed and a great view down the first hole to the loch. The public rooms are grand and comfortably appointed.
The only quibble which I had was that the bar was not always staffed and occasionally I had to ask at reception.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PattiSmithfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kilmarnock, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
240 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2013

Spent two nights here with my wife for what was our third visit.

Staff as usual were excellent.

The rooms are large and clean but they could do with a lot of TLC (tender loving care) and some investment.

The views from the rooms are great and the grounds, including the 18 hole golf course, are extensive.

The facilities are really good and the public rooms bring a certain opulence.

The food was okay but the portion sizes were a bit on the small side, so much so that I was still a little hungry after 4 courses.

All in all, a reasonable stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bob T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cally Palace Hotel

Property: Cally Palace Hotel
Address: just outside Gatehouse of Fleet, Gatehouse of Fleet DG7 2DL, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Dumfries and Galloway > Gatehouse of Fleet
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Gatehouse of Fleet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Cally Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 56
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Also Known As:
Cally Hotel Palace
Hotel Cally Palace
Cally Palace Hotel Gatehouse Of Fleet, Scotland

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