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“Great All Round - not to be missed!!!”

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Atholl Palace Hotel
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Pitlochry
Reviewed 11 January 2010

This was the second time my partner and I choose the Atholl Palace having first been here in September 2009 for a long weekend - that too was great!

We decided to treat ourselves and have Christmas somewhere romantic....we were not disappointed. We had never 'done' Christmas away before and the experience was one to remember. We arrived on the 23 Dec and left on the 27th Dec.

Our room had lovely views down the Tummel Valley. Our room (2nd Floor) altho' a bit on the small side to what we are normally used too was exceptionally clean and the bathroom was immaculate and of a generous size. Food was great considering the amount of people they were catering for and I challenge anyone to feel hungry!!! The Christmas Package was great value for money with the entertainment that was laid on and the amount of food that was on offer (breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention the afternoon tea with savouries and cakes!!).

I liked the casual buffet style breakfast and yes maybe the continental choice was limited but the Scottish Breakfast Selection was immense!!! And lets be real - most people while away go for the cooked breakfast as it's deemed as a treat!!

The whole atmosphere was one of faded granduar with just the right amount of attentivness from the excellent staff. We had snow, stunning scenery,log fires, beautiful music and even Father Christmas!!!! What more could you ask for?

I would hate this place to be sanitised by some interior designer, the whole charm of the place is the building and the orginal ceiling roses, cornices etc.

Great place to go either for something special i.e. Christmas or a long weekend.........

Yes, the bar wasn't always manned but within a couple of minutes someone always appeared - CCTV shows reception that someone is there.

The only thing to avoid and this has NOTHING to do with the hotel, if you happen to be there at Christmas and wish to attend the Christmas Eve Service at the local Church (the Hotel does provide transport there and back), please note that you sit in the DARK for the whole service!! Bizzare, I know, but apparently they have being doing this for some years - there is a power point screen with all the words for the Carols but if you are short in staure (like me) then take a torch!! You won't see the screen and may require the torch to read the carols from the hymm book!! Weirdest service where you sit in complete darkness - gave me and a few other guests a good laugh when we returned to the hotel - mulled wine and roasted chestnuts were served on our return, that cheered us all up!

Special mention must go to the staff who made our Holiday treat special - nothing was too much trouble and they even came out to help dig cars out of the snow on departure day.

Both my partner and I will return..............

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HonestlassAyrshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,663 - 1,669 of 1,912 reviews

Reviewed 8 January 2010

The people who built the hotel over a century ago did a grand job. The castle like structure is magnificent and the views fantastic. The people who run it today do a terrible job. They fail with the most important thing in a hotel – housekeeping. My room was not properly clean and the common areas were strewn with uncollected crockery. Everywhere one looked one could spot something that hadn’t been cleaned/was dirty, from coffee tables, to windows, to carpets. These are not four or even three star standards.

The pool/spa was so filthy that I left without using it. Again, the housekeeping was shockingly bad.

Turning to the food, this was also of an awful standard. The cooked breakfast in particular was set out in huge vats and swimming in grease. Ingredients appeared to be of cheap/low quality. Certainly, the sausages (always a good indicator of how much the kitchen spends on ingredients) where of the lowest, nastiest quality.

On the staff front, most are Eastern European and whilst a few were trying hard and were pleasant, many were rude and unprofessional. The manager was nowhere to be seen.

The refurbishment that took place a few years ago seems to have been done on an extremely low budget. Everything is cheap – especially the bedding and bathroom fittings. It is apparent that it was just papering over the cracks. This property needs to be gripped and some major cash invested. I would forgive some of the above (but never the poor cleanliness/housekeeping) if the price was corresponding. But it is not. They charge a 4 star plus price for something not even remotely good enough. In summary, this is a hotel badly in need of management that understands how to get the basics right and a full refurbishment. As it is, it’s a sad and dirty shambles and a tragic waste of what could once again be a great hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled solo
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3  Thank London-Zurich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2009

The website, name and exterior are all deceiving...this is anything but a palace. The rooms are outdated and in desperate need of a revamp...reminded me of my grandparents house. It could have done with a good clean aswell. There were no little extras. We forgot toothpaste and kindly asked reception who tried to charge us £1.50 for a tiny tube, never mind we'd spend well over £100 on the room. When we mentioned this fact, they were very rude and abrupt. The waiting staff were no better. We were attending a wedding and the meal during the reception was very rushed with waiting staff trying to whip away our plates at every opportunity. The so called buffet the night before the wedding cost £17 a head and you had a selection of only 4 very average dishes...there wasn't even enough to go around and the staff seemed very disgruntled when we asked them to refill the trays. I also know there were a few instances concerning the wedding reception..so my advice would be to choose another venue.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Edington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2009

I had booked one of the 2 turret rooms as a romantic break, the sitting room was nice but overall it was old fashioned in decor. Not sure it was worth the price tag, no little extras in the room.
We spent a relaxing afternoon in the spa on a rainy afternoon but they don't provide robes so take your own!
Dinner was the biggest disappointment, the most expensive starter I have probably ever purchased including all the michelin star restaurants I've eaten in, it was nearly £12 and was a piece of smoked salmon with some cheap, tiny supermarket prawns on top, served with a wedge of lemon, with a cherry tomato skewered to it with a retro 70's cocktail stick
No atmosphere or music in the restaurant, it felt like an old people's home. We then ordered salmon and instead of a quality fillet we were served a fatty, bony salmon steak, this time a throwback to the 80's. We were daft to order the cheese and biscuits but we were still hungry, the lump of cheddar was OK.
When we checked in the reception staff didn't tell us breakfast was only until 9.45am in the morning, when we came down it was long packed away so our B&B rate was a waste.
We were out of pocket to the tune of £500 having had a really rubbish stay. Never go back :-(

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank InvernessKlp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2009

We had a great weekend at the Atholl Palace, the staff could not be more helpful, when they found out it was our anniversary they up graded us to a suite. The hotel is large with plenty of seating areas where you can relax and chillout in front of a log fire. the suite we had was very spacious with a sitting room, it was also very clean with a spa bath. The food in the hotel restaurant was very nice with a set three course menu available. Would I go back certainly and I would also recommend it.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank DelbhoyGlasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2009

We had read some of the negative reviews before arriving for a wedding and were understandably a bit nervous about what we would find!

Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised. We were warmly greeted by the receptionist on arrival and offered a complimentary glass of whisky liquer. Our room was on the first floor and was very clean, albeit somewhat shabby chic. Breakfasts were good but I would echo other reviewers in as much as there was no pastries and the choice was not the widest. You also have to make your own toast which is not ideal.

Our experience as wedding guests was very good, the staff were attentive and the food was very pleasant. The grounds are lovely and we enjoyed a walk around in them.

The water in the hotel is yellowish in colour and this is apparently due to the peatyness of the area. This gave us a bit of a shock when we ran a bath but it is safe to wash in and drink.

The hotel is expensive and the prices for room service were laughingly prohibitive (12.50 for a sandwich + tray charge!!). However, the rooms were cosy and the public areas were warm, smelling of real fires and provided a relaxing experience.

Overall, I would say that the hotel is overpriced and you are paying over the odds for a beautiful building and grounds. Perhaps worth using as a 'treat' night as part of your trip rather than shelling out for any longer!!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank JJPie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2009

My partner and I have stayed at the Atholl Palace twice now, both times for a period of several days. Our first stay was in the spring of 2006, and the interior has had a bit of a facelift since then, but thankfully it retains the charm of faded gentility that we found so appealing on our first visit. Our experience has been of high standards of cleanliness and service; the rooms are comfortable and well furnished, the bathrooms are spotless, the breakfasts and dinners generous and beautifully cooked, and the public areas have a lived-in comfortableness that on our recent visit was heightened by the fragrance of pine logs burning on open fires. The grounds are extensive and beautiful, and the setting of the hotel would be difficult to surpass. We reccomend it wholeheartedly to all our friends and colleagues (the 'photo we took from our bedroom window is my 'wallpaper' on my PC at work) and look forward to our next visit. PLEASE keep the designers out - they wouldn't understand its appeal and would ruin this highland gem!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Barrow-Boys
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

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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