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“short break away”

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Atholl Palace Hotel
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Pitlochry
Reviewed 13 November 2013 via mobile

attentive friendly staff.
excellent food from breakfast to dinner.
spotlessly clean, certain areas looking a little tired .
another couple in our company using the disabled facilities were very well looked after.
overall a relaxing few days in a beautiful part of the world.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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Thank sandyn n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSpaven, General Manager at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. I am happy to read you enjoyed your stay, and have passed your comments onto the rest of the team.
I hope to welcome you back to the Atholl Palace Hotel again soon.
With kind regards
Dougal Spaven

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1,204 - 1,210 of 1,912 reviews

Reviewed 10 November 2013

Apologies for the length of time it's taken me to send this, I thought I'd done it already!

Anyway, my husband and I had spent a lovely week in the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel, and left there to attend a works Christmas Party night at the Atholl Palace. During our weeks' holiday we had gone to the Atholl Palace to see if we could upgrade, as we had a standard double "Garden Room", and given our lovely suite at the Dunkeld Hilton, we wanted to finish our holiday in the same kind of room, however we were informed told that the hotel was full so they didn't have any other rooms we could have.
We drove the 20mins from Dunkeld, and arrived at the Atholl Palace 45min early, as check-in is 2pm, and as we expected our room wasn't quite ready, so we decided to go to the bar and have something to eat and drink while we waited. Firstly, there wasn't any staff in the bar, and I had to go searching for someone to serve us, and secondly, the bar looked as if there had been a party in there the night before, and housekeeping had forgotten to clean it! After we'd had our tea and scones, we went for a wander around the stunningly beautiful grounds, before returning to the reception desk at 215pm fully expecting to check in, only to be told that the room still wasn't ready for us. The receptionist explained that they where very busy as the hotel was full, so we were ushered into the lobby area and asked to take a seat and they'd come and get us when our room was ready. While sitting in the lobby, we saw our colleagues, who had come from Glasgow on the train in the time we had waited, and dozens of other guests checking in, getting their keys, and going off to their allocated rooms. At 315pm I again went to the reception desk to enquire about our room, and again was informed that it still wasn't ready! Seriously, I could have painted and decorated a room in that time! I was asked if I'd like something to drink, and was given a pot of coffee, which only served to concern me even more about the length of time I was expected to just sit there and wait. By 4pm the only thing that stopped my husband and I from walking out was the fact that we had by now, become so curious about our room, and the apparent length of time taken to make it ready, that we just had to see it! To cut a long story short, we were finally checked in and made our way to our room at 425pm, a ridiculous length of time to be kept waiting.
When we eventually got to our room, 86 I think it was, I couldn't believe that they had the cheek to refer to it as a "Garden Room". Firstly, it looked onto the back of the function suite and rubbish bin area, and was very dark and gloomy, with a very small and desperately in need of upgrading bathroom, and secondly, was actually in the upper basement level, and not overlooking the garden as the name might suggest. The one and only good thing about it was the Arran Aromatic Toiletries in the tiny bathroom. To say I was disappointed, especially given my wait, would be a serious understatement! To top it all off, suffocating would be an apt descriptor for this room, it was so ridiculously hot. I know it was a cold December, but is it really necessary to have the towel rail in the tiny bathroom so hot it burns you when you inevitably bump into it?
The Christmas Party Night itself I couldn't fault, and it was probably one of the best I've been to. These party nights are usually more or less the same, no matter where you go, however, I have to say that this was an excellent exercise in "how to do a Christmas Party Night " on a large scale, and the food was served up like a military exercise, very well organised. I would go as far as to say it's the first time I've actually had a hot edible meal at one of these nights. Actually saying it was merely edible is unfair because it was very good. They didn't try to serve everyone at once, and each table was seated at 15min intervals, so no mad rush. The tables, and the function room itself was tastefully decorated, and each guest had a lovely wee cracker shaped box of handmade chocolates, at their table setting. It's just a pity this same attention to detail wasn't evident throughout the rest of the hotel.
I know this hotel is popular for weddings, with the receptions taking place in this function suite, I've even been to one, so know that this is an area where this hotel does excel, and that's where they obviously make their money. However, I feel that this is at the expense of the hotel, and there is a juxtaposed position between the two! The function facility, and the functions themselves are excellent, with everything running like clockwork, efficient staff, and good food, however, when the party's over, the hotel and it's guests don't receive the same level of excellence, particularly when it comes to the basics like the accommodation, which I might add is seriously overpriced for what you get! I stay in many of the top hotels in Perthshire on a regular basis, and some of the rooms in the Atholl Palace are not favourable in comparison.
Whoever it is that manages the function side of things is obviously efficient, with an eye for detail and, this being the case could/should be more involved in the overall general hotel management. To have to go and search for someone to serve you in a bar that's open, allegedly, is hardly acceptable in any establishment, never mind one that sells itself as 4star, with prices to match!

To conclude, would I recommend this hotel to others? Yes and No.
Yes if it's location location location your'e after, because nobody could fault that, or the beautiful garden and grounds. The hotels' public areas still have the old fashioned grandeur, charm and ambience about it that I like, with plenty of comfy chairs and sofas dotted around, where you can sit and have coffee, read a book, or simply just people watch and relax. The food, from what I experienced was fairly good, and the breakfast was buffet style with both hot and cold options available, there was also plenty of it. The facilities are quite good, if a little in need of some TLC, with a pool and spa, tennis courts, small cinema, museum, and plenty of other things to do and see onsite to keep you occupied, and It's also within walking distance of the town with it's shops and tourist attractions.
No if you expect a certain standard of accommodation that comes with rooms at these prices, because in this hotel, all rooms are not equal, and it's a bit of a lottery as to what you get. The room I was in was on par with a Premier Inn, and given that I'd just left a 4 star establishment a mere 20 minutes away, only highlighted that fact. However there's no Premier Inn prices here, so be prepared to dig deep. Having said that, the bed was very comfortable but despite this I didn't sleep because the room was just so hot.
It's a shame that some of the rooms, and sometimes the service, doesn't live up to the initial expectations of this hotel, expectations so high because of the build up! You first see it from a distance as you drive along the A9 heading to Pitlochry, and it looks magical, and this continues as you drive past the gatehouse, and up the long driveway through the magnificent grounds until you reach the entrance. Even as you step inside to the reception and lobby, it's almost as expected, except perhaps a little more jaded than you might have first thought. The first obvious sign that all is not well is when you step inside your room………………..……in my case a major disappointment! Unfortunately, the disappointment of that room is what I'll remember most, it didn't come anywhere near what it should have done in terms of my expectations, and that's a shame, so I think the management/owners need to sort the rooms out ASAP otherwise they will lose out when like me, some people will be so disappointed that they'll just not go back again.

Room Tip: Do not book a Garden Room. My room was in the basement and NOT overlooking the garden, unless that i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSpaven, General Manager at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2013

Thank you for your review, we appreciate you taking the time out to give feedback. We are very sorry you felt let down by our service and that the room was not satisfactory for you. All your comments have been passed to our directors, in order to improve the experience we provide. I'm delighted you enjoyed the Party Night, and hope that you will give us a second chance in the future.
With kind regards
Dougal Spaven

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Reviewed 9 November 2013

To say Atholl Palace Hotel is a grand old building is an understatement, as you approach along its private drive this magnificent building appears and few would fail to be impressed by the anticipation of what is to come. The high ceiling public rooms are super large and traditionally furnished giving an almost imperial feeling to them - certainly that of a bygone age and yet it is this and the splendid outward appearance of the building that only serve to create unhappiness as your bedroom is reached. Perhaps we were just unlucky with our allocated room, it was decidedly small and made us glad that we were only staying a single night. Furnishings that had presumably at one time seemed de-lux now showed decided signs of wear, although on the plus side everything was clean and the bed comfortable. Our room was quiet and the plumbing worked with no problems. We chose not to have dinner in the hotel instead exploring Pitlochry. Breakfast was for us disappointing - yes it was large, but also the hot food seemed to have been cooked sometime before we arrived. I do not consider the price to represent very good value although the ambiance of the building in someway makes up for the poor room size and breakfast. I would not stay in this hotel again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSpaven, General Manager at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. I am sorry to hear you did not enjoy your stay, and all your comments have been passed across to our directors.
We hope you will try us again in the future.
With kind regards
Dougal Spaven

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Reviewed 8 November 2013

Stayed for two nights dinner, bed and breakfast, and found the hotel to be comfortable, quiet, friendly and relaxed.
Our room on the second floor could be considered compact, but was comfortable all the same.
A little more space for tea and coffee making would be helpful, and the TV reception was poor. Despite these minor disappointments, our stay was both relaxing and enjoyable.
The cleanliness of our room was fine, however, visitors should remember the hotel is mature and does exhibit some character. This should not be confused with neglect. Bathroom / Shower / Toilet were fine also.
We found the food to be excellent, and the waiting staff deserve great praise for being fantastic at their jobs. Well done each and everyone for making our trip what it was.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank piggieslane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSpaven, General Manager at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2013

Thank you so much for posting your review. Its great to hear you enjoyed your stay, and I will pass your comments onto the rest of the team.
We all look forward to welcoming you back to the Atholl Palace Hotel again soon.
With kind regards
Dougal Spaven

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Had a very nice stay for a long weekend. Welcoming friendly staff throughout the hotel and a comfortable room. Had a very nice huge afternoon tea which took over an hour to eat! Breakfast was all you could eat and evening meals were also very nice. Spa treatments were very relaxing and had a lovely afternoon relaxing round the pool. The hotel grounds are lovely to wander round especially out the back of the hotel into the woodland.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Janet W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSpaven, General Manager at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2013

Thank you for your review. I am delighted to hear you had an enjoyable and relaxing stay!
We look forward to seeing you again soon!
With best regards
Dougal Spaven

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

It took ages to pick a hotel in Perthshire! and the mixed reviews for Atholl did make me wary. We were travelling, 2 adults and 2 children (10 & 11) and we were on a a few days break to Scotland and wanted to see some of the Highlands. The scenery is stunning and so picturesque. The hotel itself did not disappoint me, I knew it wasn't a shiny modern hotel and warned the family it would be quaint and characterful so they were well prepared. We were in a family room - great size, but they could do with putting more toiletries in a room for 4! we were on the top floor which added to the ambience and view!
We ate that night in the restaurant, the food was as advertised, not haute cuisine but very acceptable and with great service and great value. Breakfast again was superb and set us up for the day, we enjoyed a walk on the grounds before leaving and would not hesitate to recommend this hotel - the staff at every service point were very helpful.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank LisaJIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSpaven, General Manager at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2013

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your kind review. I will pass your comments onto the rest of the team, and I very much hope to welcome you and your family back to the Atholl Palace Hotel again soon.
With best regards
Dougal Spaven

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Reviewed 5 November 2013

The Atholl Palace is impressive. It is early Victorian and was built on a grand scale. The public spaces are enormous, but comfortably furnished and of a good decorative standard. Some rooms are small, OK for short breaks, but storage could be an issue if on a longer stay, bear it in mind when booking. The restaurant has good views to the south and is a pleasant place to eat, the food is good without being memorable. The facilities are good with a pool (now indoors unlike 20 years ago when we first stayed), treatment rooms and a games room, outside, there is putting, pitch and putt, tennis courts plus extensive, well maintained grounds.
The opportunities to stay in such a grand hotel for everyday money do not present themselves very often, but that is exactly what you get with the Atholl Palace. There are more luxurious hotels with better food but you pay accordingly

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Martin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSpaven, General Manager at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2013

Thank you very much for such a lovely review. We are delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay, and I will pass your comments onto the rest of the team. I hope to welcome you back to the Atholl Palace Hotel again soon.
With best regards
Dougal Spaven

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Atholl Palace Hotel

Address: Perth Road, Pitlochry PH16 5LY, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Perth and Kinross > Pitlochry
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Pitlochry
#6 Luxury Hotel in Pitlochry
Price Range: £133 - £364 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Atholl Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 107
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Scottish Highlands, wild and rugged, have a timeless romantic quality. At their very heart, where the River Tummel flows to the Tay, sits the historic small town of Pitlochry. The Atholl Palace Hotel, the epitome of Scottish Baronial splendour, stands overlooking wooded parkland grounds and the town to the surrounding hills. Originally opened as the Athole Hydropathic in Victorian times, the hotel retains many features of the traditional large country house, with bedroom facilities and standards which often exceed expectations and complement spacious, relaxing public areas.With 107 bedrooms, self-catering lodges, apartments and 10 function suites we can cater for your needs whether it is leisure or business purposes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Atholl Palace Pitlochry
Hotel Atholl Palace
Atholl Palace Hotel Pitlochry, Scotland

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