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.
- 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