My husband and I booked a night away from the children hoping to have a chilled, relaxing break in luxury as advertised on the hotel's website (most misleading website!!). Firstly, don't think you're coming to stay in a castle - they have rooms split between the castle and a new building across from it.
We arrived on Saturday, waited in a queue for about 15 minutes to check in as the system had crashed, got the key for our room on the first floor - we honestly had a chuckle to ourselves - surely this was a wind up? How they have the cheek to class the rooms as 4* is beyond me! The furnishings in the room, albeit clean, were extremely dated, tired and in dire need of replacement. The panelling around the door frame was scratched as if a dog had been at it with its paws, the carpet was just disgusting, curtains made us feel sick as they were filthy, one bedside table and the bathroom was absolutely hideous.
We took a walk back down to the reception to see if there was any possibility of upgrading to a room like we thought we were coming to stay in, waited for another 10 minutes or so in the queue whilst the young man with dark hair was taking abuse from guest's in front of us regarding the standards of their rooms (made us feel a little less awkward about complaining). We did get a little miffed while waiting in the queue right enough; on the rececption desk is an electronic photo frame which shows luxurious rooms and facilities - is this just an added bonus to rub our noses in it? By the time it got to our turn, I'm amazed the receptionist hadn't thrown in the towel and walked out, I certainly wouldn't like to work under the conditions he was! However he was extremely apologetic, offered us a room across in the castle as the only rooms they had left in the main building were twin rooms. So we took a stroll across to the castle thinking it would be spectacular inside - how wrong we were. Wallpaper hanging off the wall on the staircase and the room was even worse than the one we had first been given so we decided just to stay put and make the most of what was left of the evening.
We headed back to the reception, spoke to the man again (surprised he wasn't sick of us!) and said we would stay where we were. He couldn't have been more professional about the matter despite the day he must have had. Made our dinner reservation for the restaurant and went to check out the spa. With the rooms you get free use of the gym and swimming pool, both of which are very nice and clearly well maintained. The young man on the leisure desk was very helpful and informative about booking spa treatments and timings etc, gave us our towels (supplied for you) and we headed for a swim. Once you're down in the pool area you feel a million miles away from the main resort, so peaceful and just what we were wanting. When we left the spa we thought we'd walked into the middle of Princes Street - hotel was swarming with guests for the wedding that was on! We managed to manoeuvre through the crowd back to our room to get ready for dinner.
By the time we were headed to the restaurant everyone had descended into the ball room so it was a lot less chaotic. Our table was under the glass roof, a beautiful setting with the lights dimmed, music coming from the piano and so relaxing. Our waitress, Mahri, was absolutely brilliant, so pleasant and informative. My husband had a steak and I chicken - the food was delicious, meat cooked to perfection, compliments to the chef! Prices are just what you'd expect for a 4* restaurant. We sat and had some drinks at the bar before heading back to the 'prison cell' we had paid for. The entire dining experience was definitely a splendid end to a rather disappointing day.
Breakfast in the morning had a great variety - there's your standard cereals, but the buffet cooked food was delicious. The waiters seemed to be very streched considering the volume of guests in the hotel, but they didn't let it show; customer service skills couldn't be faultered. Checkout time for the rooms is 11am, we were going to raise the issue regarding the standard of the room as we were leaving as we didn't think it right that we should pay for substandard accommodation (it's not cheap to stay!) however the lady that was on herself was obviously struggling to cope so we just paid the bill and left as we just wanted to get back home.
Overall, I'd advise anyone to think twice before staying here - it's advertised as a 4* hotel, I'd definitely agree that the spa and restaurant are, however the rooms are more 2*!! The staff are an absolute asset to the hotel and for that I do commend them, they did take the rough edges off what had begun as an awful day. One more comment I'd like to add - they advertise tranquil breaks at the spa, yet it's not tranquil when there are wedding guests everywhere, drinking and rowdy as you're trying to sit and relax. Seeing as there are two buildings, would it not be more sensible to have the wedding guests all in one building? Just a thought...
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- Also Known As:
- Airth Castle Hotel Airth
- Airth Castle And Hotel
- Castle Airth
- Castle Hotel Airth
- Airth Castle & Hotel Scotland