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“Fantastic from the first greeting to farewell”
Review of Fonab Castle Hotel

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Fonab Castle Hotel
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Pitlochry
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 July 2014

Setting a new benchmark for renovated castle hotel, Fonab was excellent from arrival to our departure. We stayed two separate times, both in the new wing of the hotel in the suite. On arrival, we were greeted at the car by very helpful porters who helped with umbrellas to escort us inside then they managed the luggage in the rain. The hotel has been extensively renovated, sympathetically in the original castle but everywhere else is uber modern...perhaps a bit over the top for some. My boys particularly liked the lift, with its mirrored walls and colour changing lights..."awesome" was used a lot. Otherwise, the rooms were tastefully decorated to a modern 5 star international standard. The hotel really sets a high bar compared with others of similar "repute" but far more reasonably and appropriately priced. The owners of other castle hotels like Kincraig Castle Hotel and Swinton Park should come and stay here and/or Fawsley Hall to get some ideas of standard of hotel versus price charged.

The other amazing thing about the hotel was the views from the restaurant and lounge above...most excellent views across the loch (lake) and forest /hills beyond and from the hotel you can take walks around the lake and into town if you wish. Although the hotel seems close to a major road..and it is...our room which was on the side of the main road had large sliding doors onto the balcony...but these were double glazed and I heard no traffic noise at all during day or night.

The room in the suite was perfect for us (adult, two children). Each room had its own bathroom with shower/toilet, the bedroom had an excellent king bed on par with Starwood Hotel Chain's "Heavenly Bed" fame. The children slept on a good quality sofa bed, which could probably cope with two kids under 12, but would probably be best for a single teenager/adult. The linen was of good quality and there was a proper Nespresso for a "decent" coffee in the room or Cadbury hot chocolate. They had thought about the design of the rooms, even down to colour matching the glasses int he bathroom (green) to other elements in the room( same green in the wallpaper and green cushions). Those kinds of touches really made this hotel stand out from others on our recent road trip through England.

Breakfast was of excellent quality and had Scottish style items on the menu, like scottish styles crumpets (quite different from english muffins) as well as continental and full scottish breakfast (including haggis...for breakfast, a bit much for me but others may be game!). For dinner, they were flexible and creative in making tailor made kids dinner beyonds the somewhat limited kids menu, which worked out great and showed that the chef was really considerate, which was most appreciated.

The staff were really very good all round and were always willing to help and had happy attitudes.

We only wished we had more time to spend at the hotel as well as Pitlochry and surrounds has much to offer.

Room Tip: The suites are well worth it for families and if you need more space, go and hang out in the lounge...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank SDCTH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,866 - 1,872 of 2,203 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2014

We stayed for 3 nights in a Castle Signature Room and really can't recommend this hotel enough, despite the 4/5 rating which I will explain my reasons for shortly. But first, the many positives...

The location of this hotel is just stunning. It was an absolute pleasure to sit out on the decking area and enjoy the beautiful views. Our room also had a loch view which was wonderful to wake up to each morning. The room itself was immaculate and contained everything we needed for a comfortable and luxurious stay. As previous reviewers have stated, the bed was the most comfortable hotel bed I have ever slept in and there was next to no noise from other guests.

We ate in the Brasserie each night. The food was delicious and always served very promptly and it was the same each morning at breakfast. I much preferred the a la carte option for breakfast - everything was beautifully cooked, extremely fresh and unlimited for those with very healthy appetites.

The staff at this hotel work extremely hard to make guests feel welcome and comfortable. The concierge service was excellent and for the restaurant and bar staff, nothing was too much. I agree with a previous reviewer that for this reason, it was easy to overlook the imperfections. Which brings me onto the reason for my less than perfect rating.

I would love to give Fonab a 5/5 rating - and indeed am already planning another visit with my whole family - but here are the very small niggles that I'm sure the management would wish to know about. Service was a little patchy in the brasserie from ordered items not turning up (fruit juice at breakfast) or being wrong (tap water instead of sparkling), to having to ask for the items we needed at breakfast (tea and coffee cups, butter). During one meal, we asked for nibbles before the starter yet it all arrived together. At check out, our bill was incorrect in our favour. I pointed this out and it was recalculated but I assume, amidst the confusion, the receptionist forgot to ask if we had enjoyed our stay.

These really are slight niggles - nothing that can't be easily fixed - but niggles nonetheless when staying in a 5* hotel.

My husband and I loved Fonab. We loved the room, the peaceful location and the attentive staff. We didn't want to leave and we're looking forward to returning with our family when the spa is complete. Just go - you'll love it too!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank PBMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014

We arrived at the hotel and were instantly overwhelmed by the scenery and setting. The hotel itself is beautiful and impeccably decorated. The welcome was warm and professional. The service from all staff was outstanding. We frequently visit gleneagles and the hotel is like a miniature version. The wine selection in the bar was vast and was complimented perfectly by the view. We really couldn't fault the hotel. We look forward to returning when the spa is completed.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Ashley O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

A fantastic overnight stay which fully lived up to all our expectations. We arrived in the midst of a small rain shower only to be met at the car by staff with umbrellas. Throughout our stay the team at Fonab were welcoming, professional and could not have been more helpful. Fonab Castle truly lives up to its claim to be a hotel with all the modern touches whilst ensuring a traditional experience. Our castle room was gorgeous - spacious, lots of luxury touches and I would completely agree with other reviews that this was the best bed I have ever spent the night in. Like wise the evening meal we enjoyed was delicious as was the breakfast in bed we tucked into the next day. Overall, a great visit, a little pricey but as a real treat it was worth every penny. We will definitely be going back.

Room Tip: Castle rooms with a Loch View - although all are/look lovely
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Natalie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

stayed one night in one of the rooms with a balcony with loch views which was great for sitting out with a glass of wine and watching the sun disappear. The welcoming committee that greeted us the minute we pulled into the car park was almost overwhelming but the room was outstanding with lots of little extras. Dinner in the bistro was fine and the food at breakfast was very good but the service was unfortunately very dis-jointed with us having to ask for tea and toast twice and our starter eventually being served with our full breakfast but overall a good experience

Room Tip: Rooms with a loch view are an essential
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Evelyn485
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

The highlight of my stay at the Fonab was the enthusiasm of the staff. It's difficult to describe, but I'll try! It's like they are trying really, really hard to ensure you have a great experience and when it's not perfect, you forgive them, as you can see how hard they are trying. There's a quirkiness and informality which I really enjoyed.

The rooms have all been recently furnished and are of a very high standard. They compare well with the best 5 star hotels Scotland has to offer. I thought the bed was the most comfortable I have ever slept in.

We had dinner in the brasserie which offered a wide variety of well cooked, good quality options. Food and wine came to around £50 each. There's also a gourmet menu in Sandeman's restaurant at £100 for food and wine which we did not try on this occasion.

Breakfast was gorgeous.

The hotel sits in a beautiful location beside the loch with stunning views. There are paths leading from the hotel that can take you into town or into the countryside.

Overall - a great experience that I can't recommend highly enough.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank Boondoggler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

have stayed here on two separate occasions since its opening. Both times we stayed in the suites with living room, balcony (two actually), bed room and two bath rooms. Think it was called a woodland suite, I might be wrong. Overall I think it is a very nice hotel and a welcome addition to Pitlochry. Felt like a secluded escape, close to the bustle (haha) of Pitlochry.

The grounds are wonderful and although it is just off the A9 it feels secluded. The views over the loch and the mountain are very nice and the hotels boast of the best view in pitlochry is a true one. I really liked the view from the main hotel bar and also from the restaurant. Its a shame the room I mentioned has views to the front as they are nice, but not as nice.

Service is friendly and attentive without feeling overbearing. We tried this place as an alternative to Cameron house at loch Lomond and found the service to be much superior here. It is a much smaller property and that perhaps helps keep the more personal touch. On our visits the spa was still being built, which was not a problem. I did get impression the place would be even better when finally finished.

Food was great. Had dinner in restaurant twice (steak both times- fantastic) and breakfast (once in room and once in restaurant) which were very tasty.

My only moan (if I have to find one) is its a bit strange having two bathrooms with showers in both and no bath. Im sure there is room and maybe hotel should have thought more about that one. A fridge in room would also be good. It was not overly warm on our visits, could not see any sign or air con which could be an issue if it was hot. I realise this does not happen often but for a 5 star hotel I would expect air con as standard.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank coconut-monkey09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fonab Castle Hotel

Address: Foss Road, Pitlochry PH16 5ND, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Perth and Kinross > Pitlochry
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Pitlochry
#4 Luxury Hotel in Pitlochry
Price Range: £168 - £337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fonab Castle Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fonab Castle is a wonderful and historic building on the banks of Loch Faskally, by Pitlochry. It has been transformed by the Clark family into a fabulous and glamorous new 5 Star hotel. The hotel offers 26 bedrooms including 4 suites and a luxurious Penthouse suite (a number with loch views). The hotel brasserie and lounge provide outstanding vistas of the loch itself and Sandemans our fine dining restaurant is a tranquil setting for experiencing exquisite cuisine and fine wines. The Spa at Fonab is our brand new Spa offering a host of pampering and relaxation experiences. With Thermal Suite, Jacuzzi, swimming pool, treatment rooms and nail bar and pedicure. We look forward to welcoming you to a unique experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fonab Castle Hotel Pitlochry, Scotland

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