I visited this hotel on three occasions while staying in the area - using the bar area with our party of four for drinks and a meal. We found the locally brewed beer fluctuated wildly in quality - from very good on our first visit to really awful on two subsequent visits - and this applied to more than one cask ale we tried.
But worse was to come. Our trip coincided with the final week of the WorId Cup and I decided to follow the advice of a big sign at the Atholl Arms that declared "Watch the World Cup Here!"
I watched the first semi final (safely drinking Guinness) without mishap as it ended in normal time.
The second semi between Holland and Argentina ended after extra time - but for me and two Dutch guys who were seated at the same table - it ended 15 minutes earlier.
Last orders at the bar were announced before 11pm so I stocked up with a pint to take me through extra time and penalties if necessary. Extra time began at 11ish and then, horror - a member of the bar staff told us to drink up because they were closing.
I pointed out that there was 15 minutes left of the match but he just muttered something about licensing laws and told us to leave. At 11.15 - half time in extra time - he switched off the set!
The two Dutch guys were speechless. I was infuriated - pointing out that they advertised the place as a location to watch the football and that I'd been there since 8.30pm for this reason.
My parting shot was a suggestion that if Scotland wanted to be independent it had better improve the way it dealt with tourists.
I can only assume that the bar staff had finished their shift and wanted to go home. Fair enough but surely a place of that size has a night porter or someone on the premises to look after the residents - several of whom were also in the bar and had to leave. At least they could have seen the rest of the match in their rooms.
Quite frankly this episode was pathetic on several levels. It's quite a nice place, if somewhat gloomy in the bar, but they've let themselves down badly in my opinion.
Whatever happened to customer service and common sense?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Atholl Arms offers guests comfortable highland grandeur, standing proudly at the northern end of the quiet highland village of Blair Atholl near Pitlochry. Traditional with a wonderful heritage, Atholl Arms is a perfect base for a short leisure break. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Atholl Arms
- Atholl Arms Pitlochry
- Atholl Arms Hotel Pitlochry, Scotland