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“Beautiful location and building, tired interior and mediocre food”

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Atholl Palace Hotel
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Pitlochry
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful location and building, tired interior and mediocre food”
Reviewed 15 June 2014

Hate to give this hotel less than 4 stars....but....

The location is perfect, not right in the heart of Pitlochry like the multitude of hotels and B&Bs on the high street but a short walk, expansive picturesque grounds and an amazing building (very grand). So much to do on the grounds: the spa, tennis, a little putting etc.

But, everything is just a little old and dated, well worn I suppose. I wouldnt say it was dirty as some of the harsher reviewers have suggested, everything seemed as clean as it could be when it is all so well worn. A few fixtures and fittings seemed a bit wobbly and in need of maintenance, yellowed grout in bathroom, sanitation that looks like it hasn't been updated for 20+ years. So if you are looking for something as shiny and fresh as I think the atholl palace website suggests, you might be a little disappointed.

I think the above would be tolerable in such a grand old building, if the things that could be so very easily modernised were. I'm thinking particularly of the menu. The food was just astonishingly mediocre. Not bad, or poorly cooked, but just really substandard in this day and age. It might have been fine dining 20 years ago but most of us cook on a par with this kind of food at home now and expect better when we eat out. Bascially various cuts of meat plus veg plus sauce and none too amazing or unusual. And I had the knickerbockerglory someone else mentioned -it is just jelly, tinned fruit and cream with a few random jelly babies. They forgot to light my sparkler!

The staff were generally pleasant and courteous. I was also really suprised to find that we were almost entirely unbothered by a wedding party here at the same time and presume that good organisation was the key to this.

I'd so like to leave a better review as we had a good weekend in a fine old building but we just weren't wowed. The food was probably the main reason for this -I actually felt quite embarrased as a Scot that the international visitors might think this is what passes for cuisine here. The irritating thing is that they have such a slick and modern looking website, you get the sense that they know what is needed to wow and get your booking, so the failure to deliver is less forgiveable.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Simplecreature
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
APManagement, Atholl Palace Management Team at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Dear Simple Creature,

We welcome all feedback to the hotel, good or bad but reviews such as this, which are completely fair and constructive are especially helpful.

As you may be aware,, this year marked a start in a major refurbishment of Atholl Palace. This includes all the public areas and the bedrooms. Our Stagshead bar was one of the first areas to be revamped and this has recently reopened with rave reviews from our guests. We are so lucky that we have all of the amenities on site that you have listed such as tennis, pitch 'n' putt etc and we were glad you made use of them.

Our Executive Head Chef particulary embraced your review of the food. A new seasonal menu has recently been introduced and admittidly we did have some adjustments to do to get things right. Little things (such as your sparkler failing to be lit) is really not good enough and all our Food and Beverage Team have undergone training to ensure that these little things are not forgotten about again.

We do hope that you will come and visit us again soon.

Warm regards,

Atholl Palace Management Team
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (414)
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English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 15 June 2014

My mum and I stayed on a one night spa break and enjoyed it very much. Hotel is in an amazing location with lovely views. The gardens are excellent and despite a bit of rain we enjoyed looking at the herb garden and walking to the Japanese garden. Rooms were comfortable although a little warm. We enjoyed afternoon tea and dinner - although the menu is a little limited - but the staff are very friendly and attentive. One disappointment was the cheese selection - it was uninspired and did not feature many Scottish cheeses - which is a shame that a Scottish hotel does not showcase and support our fine Scottish cheeses. Our spa treatment was very nice. There was a large wedding on the same day we were there but it was well organised and we did not feel in the way or ignored by staff as they were very busy looking after the guests which was nice.

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the front or right hand side overlooking gardens.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Louise B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
APManagement, Atholl Palace Management Team at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Dear Louise B,

Each morning the Management team meet and discuss the latest feedback....many thanks for writing such an honest and constructive review.

Our Estates team do such a wonderful job of keeping our grounds in such spectacular condition and our Japenese garden is absolutely glorious! Our Executive Head Chef really welcomed your comments regarding the lack of Scottish cheeses and this is something that he is currently sourcing and sampling.

Our Lavender Spa is such a peaceful spot and we are glad you managed to find time to relax and pamper yourself down there.

Thank you once again and we really hope to see you soon.

Warm regards,

Atholl Palace Management Team
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Dubai
Level Contributor
154 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2014

One of the best place we stayed on this trip, It is a palace.The property is huge and the town is just lovely.We were there for 3 nights but it was not enough.The people of the hotel are very helpful and they always guided us for sightseeing. We had breakfast and dinner here and both were just remarkable. Surely would love to come and stay again.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank HussainNalwala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
APManagement, Atholl Palace Management Team at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Dear Mr Nalwala,

Wow! What a wonderful review to read. We are extremely proud of our hotel and the team we have working here and it is always a delight to read when expectations are raised and indeed exceeded.

Many thanks for taking the time to review us and we hope to see you soon.

Kindest Regards,
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Livingston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

We were at a wedding which was brilliant, there was lots of 'spill out' space and the hotel is very grand with amazing gardens so it was all in a lovely setting. We were booked for 3 nights and asked if we could stay an extra night. We were given a great deal by the manager - thank you.
There are stunning walks within and around the grounds, great if you are keen photographer. We stayed B&B - there was a good choice at breakfast with a fabulous view over the valley from the whole dining area.
Our room was spacious & comfortable with uninterrupted view of the river and valley.
Reception were very accommodating and attentive, the hotel was huge and busy but the service felt very personal
I used the spa pool and had a massage - I would recommend both.(there was a small gym as well but we didn't use it)
Ensure you go to the basement - there is a great wee museum and a full size snooker table.
The walk into town is lovely as you walk down along well kept gardens, ponds and streams - the walk back - a bit steep - so be warned...

Room Tip: I think all rooms will have a great view as the gardens are spectacular - a real joy, we were at the...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sue B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
APManagement, Atholl Palace Management Team at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Dear Sue B,

What a lovely and honest review. Thank you so much. As an award winning wedding venue we are always delighted when people who have attended take the time to write on Trip Advisor regarding their stay and the day itself. Our breakfast was recently revamped and the feedback we have received has been very complimentary.

It was lovely to read that although the hotel was fully booked you still felt our Reception team gave a personal service. Customer service is our number one priority and they will be over the moon at such a personal compliment.

We very much hope to see you again soon.

Kindest Regards,

Atholl Palace Managment Team
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

My son Rik and Andrea were married in an open air ceremony in the grounds of the Atholl Palace Hotel. It was a perfect day thanks to the setting,the atmosphere and the help of the wonderful staff.Gillian and Diane were the organisers and there attention to detail was incredible,nothing was too much trouble for them. Barry was brilliant as the MC for the day and over the 3 days we stayed ensured we and other had the best of service.
I would recommend this as a wedding venue to anyone.
Its also just great for a getaway break.

Andy M.

Room Tip: Rooms with a view down the Tummel valley are stunning
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
APManagement, Atholl Palace Management Team at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Dear Andrew,

What a day! We loved Andrea and Riks wedding...it was beautiful and we were so pleased that the weather allowed for the ceremony outside!

Gillian, Diane and Barry were particulary pleased to get a special mention.

Many thanks for your review.

Kind Regards,

Atholl Palace Management Team
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Newtownards, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

The Location of this hotel is the star of the show, the grounds are large and well kept the view from the dining room is stunning. There is a pool and spa. Overall the accommodation has it's positives' and negatives'. The ground floor is large and nicely decorated with the feeling of a grand hotel. There is only one small life to service all the bedrooms so understandably there is a backlog at busy times. We were in a very large twin room separate bath and shower. My elderly companion was very impressed . Decor in the bedroom was a little tired and the floors creaked and groaned. However this place has space and charm and the staff are lovely. On a downside the evening menu was repetitive, and we ate out on four of our five nights. Breakfast is buffet style and very good

Room Tip: Rooms at front have spectacular views.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eilis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
APManagement, Atholl Palace Management Team at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Dear Eilis S,

Many thanks for taking the time to review our hotel. We are very proud of of our hotel and our Estates team do a marvellous job of keeping our resort and grounds in such magnificent condition. We were delighted to read that you were particularly impressed with the size of the room. We are currently going through a refurbishment of our guest bedrooms which includes the room you recently stayed in.

We very much hope to welcome you back soon.

Kindest Regards,

Atholl Palace Management Team
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

For the price we paid for the room, I wouldn't go back. The hotel is in a gorgeous setting, and the decor downstairs is lovely and you are greeted by friendly staff. However, the decor in the rooms is tired, and in need of upgrade. We stayed for dinner and the meal was awful. The salad I had for started (tomato and goats cheese salad) was just sliced up tomato with sliced up goats cheese on top - very bland. My husband had pate with burnt toast. His knickerbocker glory dessert was simply jelly with tinned fruit, cream, and a random squashed jelly baby! No ice-cream in sight. Really not worth the money.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank J C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
APManagement, Atholl Palace Management Team at Atholl Palace Hotel, responded to this review, 19 June 2014
Dear J C,

Many thanks for your review. We have recently started an extensive refurbishment of our hotel which includes all our public areas and bedrooms. We are sorry that you didn't enjoy your meal and this has been fed back to our Executive Head Chef. We have just launched our new menu and have had great feed back from our guests regarding this.

We would be delighted if you came back to experience our newly refurbished rooms and our new menu.

Kind Regards,

Atholl Palace Management Team
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Additional Information about Atholl Palace Hotel

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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