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“location, location, sauna”

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Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa
Ranked #11 of 34 Hotels in Inverness
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“location, location, sauna”
Reviewed 4 November 2010

This is one of those 'difficult' hotels. At one time it was probably superb, but with age and complacency has come shabbiness and the odd shortcoming. Of the two rooms we reserved: one was boring, dark and dated, the other was grand and old-worldy. The posh one even offered the extravagant luxury of matching towels…the other, well, did not.

My parents originally took the ‘other’ room, not knowing what was available to them on the side of the hotel to which I was headed. But, being the astonishingly selfless daughter that I am, I rang them as soon as I reached my room and suggested we swap. All I wanted from a room was a place to do my nails after all. But, not to worry, I visited them in the evening to partake of wine and shortbread, and of course the stunning view.

That's one thing The Palace certainly has going for it: a very handy and pretty location. The three large bay windows of my parents' room afforded an enchanting view over the River Ness and Inverness castle beyond. Perched upon one of those windowsills in the evening and looking out over the illuminated scene, I really rather loved The Palace. That's the trick to this place: get a room in the original building and you're in love, get a room in the extension side and you're in a boredom-induced coma. And I'll tell you this for free (I'm billing you for the rest), the paper-thin walls add nothing to the charm of that side of the hotel.

But the very big plus of the modern extension is the pool and leisure area housed therein. In the evening and again in the morning I exercised and relaxed in equal parts – doing lengths, gliding around, and popping in and out of the spa and sauna. All of the equipment and facilities here are neat, tidy and well-maintained.

The quality of the breakfast was okay, but not extraordinary. For those who look for nothing more than a hearty meal to sustain them through the day, this would definitely do the trick – the buffet was always well-stocked. But all throughout my time in Scotland – a land rich in culinary delights – I looked upon any so-so dining experience as a dining experience ruddy well wasted. On the topic of deliciousness, the venison at Rocpool (a few doors along from the hotel) is a Highland masterpiece. Reserve a table well in advance though.

The Palace isn't a destination unto itself, although perhaps it could be with a little more attention to detail and professional pride. But as a slightly overpriced place to stay while exploring the wonders of the Scottish Highlands, it does what it says on the tin. Some advice though: try to get one of the posh rooms, you know, with matching towels.

Stayed October 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Agatha_Runcible
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Glasgow
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2010

Stayed here for 2 nights and got a really good deal. Great location in Inverness - 5 minute walk to shops. Right beside some of the nicer restaurants in Inverness also. Free car parking at the hotel which was fab. Reception staff were smiling and welcoming. The room was spacious and clean. The swimming pool area and gym were spotlessly clean and all included as part of your stay. Never ate there however it did look nice and the restaurant was busy each night.
Go and see Loch Ness on your visit to Inverness - it truly is SPECTACULAR! Absolutely stunning.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank LovetotravelGlasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 October 2010

The reception staff were very friendly and as we arrived well before check in they kindly stored our bags for us. The building itself is very impressive, sitting right by the river Ness. The interior has been modernised, but tastefully. Our room was par for the course really in such a hotel. A comfy bed and good shower. My only comment would be that, as we were at the back of the building some of the aroma from the breakfast kitchen seemed to find its way into the room.
The leisure facilities (pool, spa, sauna and gym) and staff are excellent. The breakfast was pretty good and there was certainly plenty of choice. One criticism is that the food was cleared away at the stroke of 9:30.
We also stayed in the Royal Highland whilst in Inverness. I would rate the Palace higher because of the leisure facilities and the location.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank goughie75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wakefield
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2010

We travelled from Edinburgh after 2 nights there in the Best Western Capital Hotel. So sticking with the same brand name we expected good things at £152.91 per night bed and breakfast (non refundable rate in advance). Inverness was to be our base for the 3 night stay.
On arrival we found, like previous reviews, no car parking. There is a small parking area at the side but members of the health club use it so no spaces. Definitely not good enough. When we asked at reception where else we could park, we were given a pass for the municipal car park next to the cathedral about 200 metres away.
We had booked a 'superior' room and had a large bay windowed upper room overlooking the river and the 'castle' which is now a court building. The room was large, plenty space, comfortable bed and clean. The walls are not that thick so heard the next room's occupant being sick one evening. The doors have no sound deadening fitted so if you want to lie in, forget it. You will hear every door slam on the corridor from 6am on.
We used the pool but the jacuzzi was broken. So was some of the equipment in the gym. As with other Best Western Hotels with health clubs/pools, we get the impression that hotel guests are tolerated but club members are more important.
We had breakfast in the dining room and no complaints. We ate in the bar area on 2 nights and again, no complaints. A previous reviewer recommends the Indian restaurant across the road. If he means the one over the bridge facing the hotel, we tried it. Very, very average, dirty plates and over priced.
Our biggest gripe was the unfriendliness of the main reception staff. They never smiled, never welcomed you as you came in, never offered advice (no mention of the car parking pass until I complained) and let down the efforts of the dining room and bar staff who were just the opposite. I suggest the owner/manager takes a run down to the Capital Hotel in Edinburgh to find out how reception should be run.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank WakefieldYorkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
W Yorkshire
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2010

I booked in via expedia.

I have a excellent room overlooking the river, twin beds rather than the double requested. But no real complaints other than that.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ZX6RRick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Level 6 Contributor
254 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2010

We stayed at this hotel for five days as part of a tour group.

The room that we were given had a good view over the river. It was large and had been refurbished at some stage. It was generally clean. The carpet was badly stained and there was some staining to the walls. The curtains needed cleaning. There were no net curtains. A standard lamp was broken and the light over the door did not work when we arrived but was fixed quickly. The bed was a large double and though perhaps on the hard side, was comfortable enough. Adequate tea and coffee making facilities were available and shortbread and water were provided. Wifi internet access was provided but speed was slow and connection not entirely reliable.

The bathroom was in need of modernisation. The shower functioned well, but the shower curtain was ineffective to prevent water cascading on to the floor. The toilet paper was placed in a locked green cabinet (!). The sink was very small. The extraction unit did not seem to work effectively. We were told that, for economy, this was on a timer. No tissues were provided so we bought our own, though, perhaps for this reason, a box appeared on the last night of our stay.

Overall, I would have not have said that the room and bathroom together justified the published rates given in reception.

The reception, bar and lounge areas were functional and comfortable enough, though rather brightly lit. We did not use the spa and pool.

Reception and some staff were efficient and some were friendly, however, too often customer service did not seem to be a first priority. For example, some staff in reception would continue with their current tasks until finished rather than deal with guests when they approached. At the bar, when we asked for a particular bottle of wine, the bar attendant indicated that he would have to leave the bar to get a bottle, body language and tone suggesting that he was unwilling to do so.

The attitude persisted in the restaurant. Food quality was mediocre, accompanied at dinner by strange, pretentious menu description (much use of words such as 'veiled' and 'enveloped' for example). At breakfast, the number of coach parties being catered for made the restaurant crowded (even though groups, including ours were allocated meal times that were expected to be strictly adhered to) and uncomfortable both in terms of space and temperature. Space at tables was so limited that eating was sometimes difficult. Simple things like brown toast and brown rolls were hard to obtain.

At dinner, requests for such as ice were met by some staff with a kind of pouting, put upon response that made some guests I saw feel so uncomfortable that they felt the need to apologise profusely for asking. I tried to speak to the restaurant manager about my concerns, but she turned her back on me and walked away without speaking. However, one staff member was helpful and seemed embarrassed at the quality of service being provided.

Overall, I think that this hotel has seen better days and seems now to be squarely in the coach party market. OK, so long as you know what to expect and aren't fooled into paying the room rates advertised.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank davidhchess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2010

Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa is conveniently and centrally located facing Inverness Castle. I was given a room with a view of the castle upon check-in. Hotel staff are very friendly. Although this is a Best Western, the hotel could belong to any of the luxury chains. Rooms adorned with high ceilings, incredible windows, new carpets, modern curtains and bed coverings. Furniture is a little old (bed was a little hard) and bathrooms need renovations, but if you're coming to Inverness to tour around, this is hardly an issue. Fantastic health club, complete with pool, dry AND steam sauna. Nice lobby, with bar and Starbucks coffee.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spgnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa

Property: Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa
Address: 8 Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5NG, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Inverness
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Romantic Hotel in Inverness
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 89
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover a warm and friendly welcome at the stylish 3 star Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa in the heart of Inverness. Located on the banks of the River Ness overlooking the Castle it is just a few minutes walk to the town centre. You'll enjoy a fresh and contemporary hotel with a choice of dining in Eight on the River or the Brasserie. You can sit back and relax with a Starbucks Coffee and surf the web for free. As well as a lovely selection of bedrooms from Classic rooms to period River View rooms with a lovely view towards the Castle. You will enjoy a relaxing break in stylish surroundings with extras including FREE Wifi, Free Car Parking and a superb upgraded Leisure Club with 50 foot swimming pool and Spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel And Spa
Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel Inverness
Inverness Best Western
Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa Scotland

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