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“Don't let the bad reviews put you off!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Atholl Palace Hotel

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Atholl Palace Hotel
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Pitlochry
Cumbria
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Don't let the bad reviews put you off!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2009

After reading the mixed reviews about the Atholl Palace I was a little apprehensive about my stay. I booked into the hotel for a break 'away from it all' and as much relaxation as I could handle and I wasn't disappointed.

Yes the hotel isn't ultra modern but what can be expected from such a beautiful and old building? I would describe the decor as 'classic' but by no means horrendously out of date, just fitting with the surroundings. There is quite alot of work going on in the hotel of one type or another, but none of it majorly disruptive and it's nice to see the building being cared for and gently updated.

I wouldn't recommend the hotel for people who are into ultra moderm contempory surroundings because this building is never going to live up to that, but if you appreciate beauty and character in your surroundings then this is quite possibly the place for you. The video of the history of the Atholl Palace is well worth watching when you arrive and really helps to understand the history of the building.

The staff couldn't have been more pleasant or helpful and nothing was too much trouble. The girls in the Lavender Spa were equally as pleasant and the treatments I had were very nice.

I ordered my breakfast in bed one morning and like clockwork it arrived on time and completely correct. I asked for room service not to service my room (so I could have a lay in if I wanted) and again like clockwork they kindly left a pile of fresh towels and replacement coffee etc outside my door each morning.

It's been a long time since I stayed in a hotel where I could freely open the windows to let fresh air in when I got too hot and control the radiator when I got a little chilly so being able to do this was a refreshing change. Equally I don't ever remember being in a hotel where the towel radiator in the bathroom was actually working! So this was a real bonus for those relaxing baths.

It's worth saying that I stayed at the Atholl Palace alone for 4 nights and felt safe and secure at all times. I never felt uncomfortable being alone and really enjoyed the lounge areas where I could sit and read my book in front of the log fires for hours on end. One member of staff even asked if I'd like another log on the fire....ideal!

I guess the best way to sum up the Atholl Palace is that you'll like it if you like a historical, but comfortable environment, but will probably hate it if your looking for a brand new contempory accommodation.

Maybe I am easily pleased, but I stay in a variety of hotels throughout the country on business, and the Atholl Palace is by far the type of place I would prefer to spend my time.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CumbriaLindie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Edinburgh
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2009

This was a trip that my girlfriend and I had been looking forward to with excitement for some time! However, Atholl Palace did not live up to the billing! It was a big time dissapointment! Atholl Palce could be soooo much better, but at the moment, in out opinion, the hotel was not worthy of its 4 star status.

There were several massive letdowns, and the first one was when we arrived. We were given a terrible room on the second floor which was quite simply horrible! There were even spider webs in the corners and the lamps did not work. I was wary when I booked as I had several reviews here, so I asked the lady at reception when I phoned if we would get a nice room (I.E NOT WHAT WE GOT!). It was like something out of a horror film! After a discussion with the lady at reception (who was pleasant) we were given a room on the first floor. My word, what an improvement! The room was light, elegant and everything the first room was not (second floor!). However, this episode soured the begining of the 2 night break.

The restaurant is billed as a experience of fine dining, but this was certainly not the case. Our dinner was included both nights. The vegetarian options are terrible, and my girlfriend asked for a different dish to the daily veggie option. She was greeted in a very rude manner by the waitress, and was offered a cheese salad! 4 star hotel? It really was terrible, the salad was rubbish and I was gutted! The worrying thing is that the waitress thought this was acceptable! Yeah, maybe at Little Chef. BIG LETDOWN!

We did end up having a good laugh at the celidh, and we did have a good time over the 2 nights. This was in spite of the Hotel, mostly. The staff were just about all foreign, who chose to speak in their native tongue when they were in the vicinity. There appear to be hardly any local staff! Their attitude seemed to be that they weren't bothered and came accross as really rude. Im not sure if the fact that they seem to be doing mega long shifts has anything to do with it.

It wasn't all bad, as we visited the spa and both of us had hot stones therapy, which was amazing! We were well impressed with the spa and the attitude of the spa staff, they were great! I would reccomend the spa, they were a saving grace!

Of course, Pitlochry is beautiful and we had a great time exploring the town. We had a really nice time in the Moulin Inn, and enjoyed Killiecrankie and just exploring the town in general.

In the end we had £100 taken off the bill for our troubles, which did help. To be fair, the manageress we delt with seemed concerned and cared about the fact we were dissapointed, which was good. The way the place is being run is a letdown to the place, to be honest. The staff (there are a few exceptions) are generally rude, some of the rooms are a disgrace and the restaurant was, for us, a pretty terrible experience.

My advice is think long and hard about whether you really want to come here! Hey, who knows, they may have improved their act by now! To be honest though, in my experience-yes visit the spa-but no, don't stay at the Hotel!

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank EdinburghGatti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland, UK
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2009

We booked very last minute for a 2-night Spring offer which offered excellent value for money. We had a thoroughly enjoyable stay at Atholl Palace, especially as it was very quiet and we felt like we had the place to ourselves.

The hotel is a very impressive baronial building perched high above Pitlochry, with stunning views up and down the Glen. The grounds are beautifully kept and are an interesting mix of woodland and landscaped gardens, with water features and a Japanese Garden. You can't fail to be impressed as you drive past the Gatehouse lodge and up the sweeping driveway towards the hotel.

Check-in was welcoming and efficient, with a complimentary dram of a sweet whisky liqueur on arrival. Our rooms (Family room and a twin) were on the first floor with great views. Comfortably appointed they were perfect for our needs (If a little bit dusty!)- decent shower and comfy beds, plus a bit of extra space. One of the great things about the hotel is the character of the building - our rooms both had interesting features including a turretted window looking out over the Perthsire countryside.

The hotel staff were all friendly and accommodating - we were travelling with a 19 week old baby and the staff were helpful and kind. The lounge/lobby was undergoing refurbishment when we were there, but this was discreetly done overnight and mostly behind screening so did not pose a major probelm to us. There are plenty of comfortable sofas and cosy corners to relax in - we really enjoyed sitting by the various open log fires, soaking up the atmosphere of traditional hospitality.

The only thing we felt could really do with improvement would be the evening dinners. The food screamed 'bought-in' to me, and was generally fairly salty & stodgy. I think every savoury dish I had over the two nights was covered in a white-sauce based concoction, which varied only slightly in flavour depending on what it was poured over. The haggis that accompanied the first night's chicken reappeared the next night as a starter. There wasn't much in the way of fresh vegetables. That said, the food was hot and filling, and the service was good. The restaurant has great views, but would benefit from a freshening up of the decor - very strange carpet & curtain combinations! The constant 'Pan Pipe Easy Listening' Muzak also needs updated! Breakfasts were good with ample choice of hot & cold options available at the buffet.

We used the swimming pool both days and basically had it to ourselves - it was very clean and the hot tub was very relaxing! The sauna & steam room were also great. The pool is small, but was perfect for our needs. I would imagine it could get crowded during peak school holiday times.

All in all we had an excellent stay and were pleasantly surprised given the mixed reviews of the hotel. The special offer two night package offered exceptional value for money. We left feeling relaxed and very privileged having almost had the run of such a grand hotel for two nights. We will definitley return.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AGM78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stonehaven
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2009

Travelled to Pitlochry from Aberdeen last weekend with Mum and my 2 sisters to have a 2 night spa break at Atholl Palace, Pitlochry.
I checked trip advisor before travelling and was somewhat apprehensive about reviews - especially a lady from Edinburgh on a spa break not unlike our one.
I need not have worried.
On arrival we were greeted by name, offered a wee dram and given our rooms, where robes, slippers and a welcome gift were waiting for our first 2 of our included Spa treatments.
We were shown around the leisure facilites and spa rooms including the relaxation room which was a haven for chilling out between treatments enjoying a tea or refreshing water.
Ros, Alison and Erin treated us like friends we'd not seen in years and the treatments provided were second to none, with a truly personable, relaxed and unhurried experience.
I enjoyed a facial with bubbling mud spine relaxation treatment - WOW and a full body massage!
Dinner was delicious with plenty of choice and our package included a 3 course meal.
We enjoyed an early morning swim, sauna, steam room, plunge pool and jacuzzi, before a fantastic breakfast.
Then back on with the robes and back down for some more pampering at the spa ! Bliss.
I enjoyed a whole new experience of Hopi ear candling and felt on top of the world after despite a very bad throat infection, again the girls did everything to make your visit comfortable and enjoyable.
I then had a ocean glow scrub which left my skin glowing.
Afternoon tea in the Verhanda restuarant overlooking the fabulous view of Tummel Valley on a gloriously bright spring day, scones, salmon sandwiches and cakes galore.
Dinner was again fabulous with the staff attentive as ever.
Then a few drinks by the log fire in the bar.
I could not fault this hotel and we are already planning a return trip.

  • Stayed March 2009
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pops74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fife
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2009

My husband and I booked in for a weekend and stayed in the Edradour Suite - perfection, it was a home from home.
The restaurant manager was so attentive and nothing was too much trouble.
Spa - just the right size and not intimidatin and not full of 'posers' just ordinary folk relaxing.
Some desserts did seem shop bought and I felt they could have made more effort there also with breakfast as it was a little greasy.
Did not spoil our stay - I recommend you relax, have a drink in the bar in front of the fire or louge on the sofas and have afternoon tea. If you go, enjoy the old Victorian splendour.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Wallii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaverton, OR
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2009

A very lovely hotel. We came to this hotel for a wedding. The reception was warm and friendly. Our room was very comfortable, nice bed. I don't know if there is a lift. We didn't see one and had to lug our luggage up to the second floor, but that wasn't bad. They had internet but we had to be in the downstairs sitting area. Great bar with good coffee drinks. The buffet was lacking but our 20 something daughter and boyfriend didn't mind it. We passed and ate in the restaurant. We enjoyed the dinner in the restaurant very much. We were so busy with the wedding we did not get to check out the surrounding area. This was an expensive hotel and I don't know if we would have paid it if just visiting. I think we might have as the whole asthetics were lovely. There is a fascinating little museum on the history of this hotel on the lower floor. We were there two nights and wished we could have stayed a couple more.
The Smiths, Beaverton, OR USA

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Patty516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
edinburgh
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2009

Me and two friends went to Atholl Palace, mainly because it was quiet and had a spa... and we wanted a relaxing weekend away.
When you arrive your breath will be taken away, its beautiful!
BUT then you go inside. No-one greeted us when we walked in, so eventually we approached someone, who was not pleased by our disturbance... even though she was the receptionist!!!! Anyway, we checked in and were told the room number, however when we asked where this was she said the basement!! no views as you can imagine.. however very convenient for the spa.
With our weekend away we were given meals included, however this appeared more difficult then you would think.. you have to get dressed from the spa, and go upstairs and eat in the bar, however we were told to go the main restuarant which we did, but no sign of anyone.. eventually we found someone and she was so rude to us!!! she took us to the bar, where again no-one spoke to us, so I approached the bar staff to ask for the lunch we pre-ordered in the morning, and they brought out would i could only describe as packed lunch! When I didn't finish the sandwiches, I was asked what was wrong (The sandwiches were stale, but I really wasn't hungry at this point), I told her I wasn't hungry, when I didn't finish my fruit salad, she turned to me and said 'so were you not hungry... or is there something wrong' - however not in a genuinely interested way, more and accusing way. My friends and I were shocked!!!
The icing on the cake was the continous dirty looks from the staff, we were worried it was something to do with us, however, speaking to another large group of women in the spa the complained of the same treatment. Infact one of the women went to her room and found a used soap and cigarettes!!! she reported it to the reception, but they did nothing.
What is worse, is after writing a comments card, we phoned the hotel to complain, however even though she took my address for the manager, we have never heard of anything back from them.
I am seriously disappointed, and I cannot believe the rudeness of the staff. The spa needs updated, and as there is no separate place for kids, it means you will have kids running around and jumping about.

If you want to go for a spa weekend away, and your not too bothered by views, then go to Norton House Hotel.. it is beautiful, the staff are friendly and the facilities are clean. Plus if you are there for a spa break you stay in your gowns all day, and they bring you your lunch. Or go to Stobo... its not a lot difference of price, and that is truly a spa break.

If you have booked cancel it. If you are just looking... please look somewhere else!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vicsxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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