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Rocpool Reserve hotel & Chez Roux
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Reviews (672)
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Reviewed 21 August 2009

Our family took a trip to Scotland. We stayed in places based on reviews from the trip advisor community. This is one hotel where I don't agree with most reviews.

We stayed for 3 nights at the Rocpool Reserve. We had 2 rooms: a regular room and a room with a sitting room. The rooms themselves very nicely appointed, but the hotel is tiny. One of our rooms faced the street and the suite room faced a wall looking into someone else's yard. The suite room was next to the bar so it was a little noisy as people walked back and forth.

The hotel is in a very convenient location to the center of Inverness ( a 5-10 minute walk) and easy access by car to many of the Highland sights and activities. We had breakfast each morning at the hotel and the food was fine. We did not eat dinner there but it looked like it would be good.

The weirdest thing was the staff - they were nice enough to us but they all seemed really unhappy - and I must admit it rubbed off on us. We started wondering what was wrong with the place. Breakfast was especially odd as they served us with grim formality and not a great amount of competence.

I seem to be an outlier in the reviews of the Rocpool Reserve, but I felt it certainly wasn't worth the price.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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Thank woodzey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rocpool-Inverness, General Manager, Kerry Watson at Rocpool Reserve hotel & Chez Roux, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2009

At Rocpool Reserve and Chez Roux we take great care and time in training our staff and ensuring that the service we provide is the best possible. To us the most important factor in the hotel is the staff and our service and normally we provide all our guests with an excellent level of service. Therefore, I was greatly disappointed to read that you disagree with the majority of reviews and did not enjoy your time at Rocpool. I have certainly taken all your comments on board and have already spoken with the staff involved and as with myself they felt disappointed. They take great pride in the service they provide and regret that you and your family did not enjoy your time here. With regards to the size of the hotel and the views, I am afraid that we are a small city centre boutique hotel with 11 bedrooms and as with all city centre hotels of our size, views are not always available. Thank you for taking the time to let us know your thoughts about the hotel, we appreciate someone taking the time as we use all these comments for future training and development as a team. Kind regards, Kerry Watson, General Manager

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Reviewed 17 August 2009

We did not stay at Rocpool Reserve, but booked into its restaurant for a meal. It was a very pleasant experience. The staff were very attentive and helpful and it's obvious that effort has gone into training them. Had a drink in the cocktail bar while choosing from the menu. The decor is very swish and contemporary and a little different in each room. We were taken through to the restuarant and were quite surprised how busy it was on a Thursday evening. The menu was great and I really enjoyed both dishes I had - a crab souffle (I think it was crab, may not be remembering right) and haunch of lamb in a lovely rich winey, garlicy sauce. The souffle was not quite what I was expecting; it was quite runny and just crisp on the top, a bit like a creme brulee, but it was very good. The lamb was perfect and I was glad they resisted the temptation to do the British thing and bring you a plateful of insipid vegetables. The wine list was extensive and contained a good range of prices from the more or less reasonable to, well, as much as you like really. We had a new world Cabernet Sauvignon at about £22 and it was fine, but if you could afford it you could have some great fine French wines.

After these two relatively rich courses we could not manage a sweet and opted for the cheese board between us. This was the only part of the meal I would be a little critical of. The choice of cheeses was ok, but fairly predictable, but they were served with oatcakes, which personally I never think works that well unless you are having it as a snack in its own right. Anywhere I've ever been if France cheese has come with lovely French crusty bread and for me that works much better than oatcakes. I guess we could have asked for bread and no doubt they would have provided it. Had coffee, which was also excellent.

While I would not say this was the best meal I've ever had, it was of a very high standard, and it's certainly of the standard that we need a lot more of in Scotland. It's good to see a place like this in Inverness; it makes it feel like a proper city rather than the wee Scottish toon it was a few years ago. The price was fair, I thought, for the quality of food.

Just a tiny, minor criticism: while the staff were obviously well-trained and eager to please, I did not think they had the balance quite right. It's a little intrusive if there is a waiter hovering and rushing forward to top up your glass every time you take a sip of wine. They maybe need to hold back a little and allow people to enjoy each other's company. Similarly, some of the staff, I thought, were a little too conversational at times and just gave slightly too much information and comment. All in all though, they were effeicient and pleasant, so I think this is just an experience thing and hopefully with more experience and coaching they will get the balance right. Overalll however it would be churlish to be too critical. I am pleased to see the manager responds to comments in these reviews: hopefully this will be taken as a positive comment rather than a major cirticism.

I'd certainly go back again and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys good food.

Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank walkmanFife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rocpool-Inverness, General Manager, Kerry Watson at Rocpool Reserve hotel & Chez Roux, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2009

Can I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at Chez Roux. We appreciate all comments about the hotel and the restaurant as it is important for us to learn as a team and grow. Many people do not feel comfortable telling us their thoughts at the time, hence the reason I check sites like this. I am delighted that overall you enjoyed your meal and feel that our staff have been well trained. I have taken on board your comments about feeling the staff are a little intrusive at times. You are right that this is a fine line to judge and one of the hardest aspects of training in the restaurant as you need to read each guest individually as some love to sit and talk all day while others prefer to be left alone. I feel that this skill does develop with time and experience and appreciate you highlighting this. I have passed on your comments with regards to serving bread with the cheese, as you pointed out it would have been no trouble to serve you bread instead of the oatcakes if this is your preference. I know Chef Roux likes to offer the oatcakes as although he is creating a Classic French menu he is trying to use as many local products as possible. Again we appreciate all your comments and are certainly looking forward to your return visit to Chez Roux. Kind regards Kerry Watson

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Reviewed 23 July 2009

I did not stay thr night at the Rocpool Reserve, but I went to the restaurant of Chef Roux. Myself and four of my friends went out for a meal at Rocpool reserve as a treat from our employer at the Loch Ness Lodge Hotel.

I have never been so imprerssed, the greeting was superb I was meet at the door by a waitress, very welcoming and very friendly, she took my coat and took me through to the bar, the Bar had beautiful decor.The barman came over and took my order for drinks whilst I was waiting for my friends. Again very friendly! When my friends arrived we had another gentelman come over I think it was the manager and he took our order for food and then took us through to Chef Roux Restaurant.

Again the restaurant as beautiful in decor, what I found was quite daunting was the Chef Roux signature and face was on just about evrything, but it was a nice touch we thought in the end!

I ordered a three course meal which represented £27.00 which I found very resonalble for a 5 star hotel & restaurant.

I would just like to thank the staff again for an enjoyable evening and I shall return again in the near future.

I would recommend the restaurant for the meal anytime!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Thank DJPLochNess_Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rocpool-Inverness, General Manager, Kerry Watson at Rocpool Reserve hotel & Chez Roux, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2009

Thank you for writing your thoughts on TripAdvisor. It was a pleasure to read them and I have passed your kind words onto the staff. At Chez Roux we aim to make our guests feel comfortable and relaxed throughout their time with us, and it is great to see this was the case for yourself and your friends especially as it was a treat from your employer! When we introduced Chez Roux back in April we set out with the aim of creating excellent food but at a affordable price, especially with the times being as they are. It is good to see that you also felt that your meal was value for money as well as enjoyable. I look forward to welcoming you again to Chez Roux. Kind regards Kerry Watson

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Reviewed 10 June 2009

I stayed at the Rocpool last year with my husband just for one night and really enjoyed it so was looking forward to a longer stay. This time it was a family trip with my elderly mother who usually prefers a more traditional type of hotel but she absolutely loved it and said it was the best trip she's had in ages which is high praise indeed!

We had excellent service and the multi national staff were all very professional, you can really tell the difference when people are properly trained and want to make your stay enjoyable as it can make or break your experience. We ate in the restaurant both nights we stayed there, I actually preferred the food last year as I found some of the French dishes a bit heavy, but that's more down to personal taste. The breakfast though was great and all made to order.

Being a bit jet lagged, one of the best parts for me was the super comfy bed and fabulous bathroom. Certainly the rooms at the front enjoy the views and more sunshine, so would request one of them next time.

It is quite pricy, although I have stayed in more expensive places in Scotland which have been disappointing. I thought the restaurant prices were very reasonable given the standard, so it's well worth it for a splurge. We all left happy and relaxed and i would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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Thank park99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rocpool-Inverness, Kerry Watson General Manager at Rocpool Reserve hotel & Chez Roux, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2009

I am so pleased that your mother enjoyed her time at Rocpool Reserve, as I believe there is always a misconception with Boutique hotels that they are for the young professionals or couples. In reality we aim to attract all types of guests and simply ensure that their time here is the most enjoyable possible. I have passed on your comments to Chef Roux with regards to some of the dishes being too heavy for your taste. As this is a French Country Classic menu the dishes are more traditional in style. However, as the seasons move on the dishes do tend to become lighter in style due to the ingrediants available in the Spring and Summer. I have also passed on your comments to the staff. I am very lucky to have a dedicated team around me, who like you say try their upmost to ensure our guests have everything they need. Kind regards, Kerry Watson

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Reviewed 8 June 2009

Had originally booked into a hotel in Ullapool. But was really disappointed with our room, so we drove all the way back down to Inverness, and booked into Rocpool on a whim. What a treat! Greeted at the door by member of staff, and promptly given tour of selection of rooms available. Decided on rm 5. Absolutely beautiful. Everything we wanted and more! Staff, food and surroundings, is what you'd expect from a 5* hotel. We will be back, and will definitely recommend to all our friends. Well done everyone! What a place. :-)

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank HotelInspector14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rocpool-Inverness, Kerry Watson General Manager at Rocpool Reserve hotel & Chez Roux, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2009

Good to hear that your trip up to the Highlands was not wasted and you enjoyed yourself and the hotel. I have passed your comments onto Olga(the receptionist who greeted you and showed you the rooms available). She was delighted that this small thing improved your time here. At Rocpool Reserve we firmly believe that it is the attention to these small details that determines the experience the guest has at the hotel. I look forward to welcoming you and your friends! to Rocpool again. Kind regards, Kerry Watson, General Manager

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