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“Lovely hotel with superb views”
Review of Fonab Castle Hotel

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Fonab Castle Hotel
Ranked #4 of 18 Hotels in Pitlochry
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

We stayed one night at the Fonab Castle Hotel and really enjoyed our visit.
The location is excellent. Just off the main A9 road so easily reached, yet very secluded. Within walking distance of Pitlochry town centre, yet completely hidden from view. And with stunning views over lovely Loch Faskally.
We received an extremely warm welcome on arrival, and the checking in process was handled efficiently.
Rooms are modern and well appointed, and the decor throughout the hotel we found very appealing.
We dined on the terrace outside the Brasserie, as it was such a lovely evening, and enjoyed a three course meal with wine, followed by coffee and liqueurs in the lounge.
Service throughout was very friendly.
So, all in all a lovely experience.
However, this hotel is marketing itself as 5 star, and there were a couple of issues that we feel fall short of the standards you would expect in a truly 5 star establishment.
We had a ground floor room, which had a patio door that opened onto our own small patio and the hotel grounds. Nice, but the patio door was the only means of ventilation to the room, and as we could not leave a ground floor patio door open all night (and there was no air conditioning) the room was stiflingly hot. If you like a well ventilated bedroom, the ground floor rooms here are not for you.
The bathroom, whilst attractive in design, was quite small and cramped and contained only a shower. For five star, we would have expected a shower and a bath.
Service, whilst friendly, was at times slow and not really attuned to guests needs in the way 5 star hotels normally are. We waited half an hour for a pre dinner drink to be changed, having to finally chase the waitress and ask her to attend to us. Our breakfast was over half and hour in the waiting due to a 'mix up'.
We were there on a mid week special rate, but I think if we had paid the full rate, which is of 5 star proportions, then we would have been slightly less enamoured with our stay.

Stayed: July 2014
4  Thank Gordon Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,748 - 1,754 of 2,093 reviews

Reviewed 1 August 2014

This is a truly 5 star hotel. Check in, room, bar and restaurant, each experience was perfect. We chose to eat in the brasserie and the food and service were out of the top drawer. The staff are one of this hotel's many strengths. They are friendly, super efficient and make you feel special. On top of all that the views are superb. They are currently building leisure facilities which will provide extra amenity. For anyone looking for the best, this is it.

Room Tip: All good,but try to get one in the old building
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Mansonfw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We booked in for a night on our return from the Highlands. We had booked a suite but we were told on arrival that there was an issue with our accommodation and that we had been upgraded to the Penthouse Suite. The room was lovely but not well thought out. The shower is situated on one side of the suite and the bath, toilet and sink on the other. Towelling robes were hung by the shower with none in the main bathroom. Soap was provided but there was no place to leave it once unwrapped and used. The bin was left unlined and having dropped an earring, I found a bar of soap on the floor behind the bath. There were watermarks on the glasses in the bathroom too. We requested an ironing board and when it hadn't appeared 45 minutes later, we had to phone again. The bed was amazingly comfortable and the views spectacular. We booked dinner in the restaurant and the kitchen was really accommodating as I'm a vegetarian. My husband and I dine out regularly and we were expecting great things as we were promised fine dining. The Restaurant Manager was fantastic. He never stood still, however the timings between each course were all over; he only had one other pair of hands to assist in a busy and full restaurant on a Friday night and kept having to tell the kitchen what he needed as well as the bar. The food was an anti-climax. The duck my husband was served was lukewarm at best and my risotto was overcooked. My menu stated cheddar and I was given goats cheese. It's the little things that need addressing to make the Fonab truly spectacular.

Despite the lack of attention in the detail, which will probably come with time, we enjoyed our stay and would book again but with a more down to earth expectation.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Jo W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMFonab, General Manager at Fonab Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2014

Thank you very much for your review. I am so sorry that your stay at the hotel was not as you had wished it to be. I am extremely grateful to you for all of your comments and will be contacting you direct to discuss your experience further.

Thank you once again.
Kind regards

Johanne Falconer
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We did not stay here but enjoyed a beautiful evening meal in the Brasserie. We are definitely coming back for an overnight stay once the spa is open. We enjoyed a lovely walk over the suspension bridge by the dam and it took about 10 minutes to get up to the hotel.
This hotel has the wow factor. It is truly stunning and I loved the decor and ambience. The Brasserie certainly has the wow factor. (Like something from Grand Designs)! It is a very contemporary addition to the castle and it really works. The floor to ceiling windows provide fantastic views over the loch and woods - what a backdrop!
I could not find fault with anything. The service was professional and friendly, the food delicious. We enjoyed a 3 course dinner, 5 Bellinis and coffees for about £100. We enjoyed our coffees in the lounge and really enjoyed finding out about the hotel through our chat with the staff. They are very proud of their hotel and we were shown the dining room on our way out. The hotel kindly took us home in their courtesy car which was a nice touch.
The interior design could be described as contemporary tartan chic. I loved it. Modern, opulent and brings together the best of the old with the best of the new.
I absolutely loved the whole experience and can't wait to go back. Great for a romantic break or a relaxing break. There were children in the restaurant but I think this experience would be wasted on younger children! It definitely has more of a sophisticated,grown up feel to it and I will definitely be singing its praises to my friends and family. However, the selfish side of me would also like to keep it to myself!!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
2  Thank Stovies2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

I made the booking for a one night stay at Fonab as part of our wedding anniversary and it was a fantastic choice. The location is ideal - less than 2 hours from Glasgow and literally just off the A9 - very easy to find yet far enough away to get some tranquillity in amongst some stunning scenery. The hotel is made up of a traditional baronial castle and a new wooden cladded and glass adorned annexe. The hotel has been refurbished to within an inch of it's life and looks fantastic. A modern spin on an old building - keeping the feel of the old via wood panelled narrow corridors, and ushering in the new with beautifully fitted panoramic glass sliding doors that cocoon the brasserie restaurant and lounge bar.

The check in staff were bright and welcoming and our bags were carried by the porter who gave us a quick tour of the facilities.
Our room was a loch view option in the castle and it was large, airy, tastefully decorated and well appointed. the addition of a Smart TV and Ipod dock meant that all your music was but a few clicks away to set the tone to any occasion. The view of Faskaly Loch and the out door seating area was picturesque and a nice mixture of landscaped and wild.
The atmosphere of the hotel is one of youthful enthusiasm, helpfulness and style with non of the stuffiness and starch that can leave guests feeling rather detached from their surroundings. Here is a 5 star hotel that has set it's stall out and is proud of what it has to offer and is asking, "How can we help you enjoy your stay?". Refreshing.
We ate in the Brasserie and the food was very good - a nice choice of food and drink and at reasonable prices. Some lovely Asian options to choose from. The hotel room was just on the wrong side of expensive for a hotel which, at the time of writing, did not have spa or leisure facilities.

The outdoor seating area was a lovely place to while away the afternoon and the town of Pitlochery is a mere 15 minute walk, via the nearby dam, where you can stroll around and inevitably find somewhere else to have a drink.

The hotel was already building spa facilities and I have no doubt that this will add to it's appeal and will quickly establish itself as quality favourite for those looking for a laid back yet indulgent breakaway from the rat race. This is a hotel to watch and I would recommend getting in early before word spread too far!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Nmack75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Don't pass this hotel by! It was amazing from the moment we arrived. Stayed for special occasion and cannot recommend it highly enough.If we come back to Scotland we will definitely come back. All staff should be congratulated. When all the facilities planned are in place, I don't think you will ever visit anywhere better.

Room Tip: We stayed in a signature room - amazing! Ask for Loch view in main castle.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Smiths1480935
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

My husband and I have been visiting Pitlochry for a number of years and last summer we were told about Fonab Castle. We had afternoon tea on our first visit and were blown away by this amazing hotel and superb location.
A few weeks ago we took our friends for a mid week treat and the four of us enjoyed an excellent lunch and soaked up the wonderful view.
It's a very relaxing hotel and the fittings and fixtures are top notch. Staff on duty were extremely welcoming and helpful.
We have since contacted the hotel and have secured a reservation for an overnight stay in September, two Woodland rooms with balcony and have also booked to have dinner in the hotel. Will write another review following our stay, really looking forward to that experience.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank Mary O
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
#3 Luxury Hotel in Pitlochry
Price Range: £168 - £290 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fonab Castle Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 26
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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