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“Graet Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Atholl Palace Hotel

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Atholl Palace Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Perth Road, Pitlochry PH16 5LY, Scotland   |  
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Ranked #17 of 22 Hotels in Pitlochry
Market harborough
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Graet Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

This is the second time I have been here, and since my last visit, it has been completely refurbished, but it still has the lovely old fashined charm.

Views were fantastic from the windows, food was great, staff were superb, helpful and kind.

Well done, we will go back again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Edinburgh, Scotland
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

This is the second time I have stayed at the Atholl Palace in the last 18 months. It's a stunning building and I was looking forward to it. It's a favourite hotel of my elderly parents and this was a small family gathering for a couple of nights (dinner, bed and breakfast) over the weekend.

Outside you can't fault it. The gardens are beautiful with fountains and streams and red squirrels running about the trees. It's a grand old Victorian, Baronial building and it's in a magnificent hilltop setting.

The receptionist was fast, friendly and efficient but no welcome drink like last time. (we found out later that they still do it but you have to ask) You can smell the hotel's log fires burning as you enter the main hall. It's all very welcoming.

Our room was on the first floor at the rear of the hotel. They were still painting the first floor main hallway, and had still to wallpaper. The smell of the gloss paint as you exited the lift was quite overpowering but by the time we had walked round to our room in another corridor the smell had diminished.

The room was very spacious with one double bed, a single bed, two small sofas and a wardrobe. The ensuite was a fair size with a bath, sink, toilet and a large old fashioned heated towel rail. All looked very clean. However, the room was cold, despite the radiators being on. Ask for a heater at reception and they'll supply a small electric one which will sort the problem. My parents knew to do this and had one delivered before they arrived.

The things that you notice is the attention to detail. The toiletries were all from Arran Aromatics. Next to the tea and coffee was local hand made shortbread and chocolates. The towels were nicely laid out but then you notice there is no full length mirror in the room, but they have a trouser press. You notice that the flat screen TV is hanging at an angle off the wall for no good reason. However, the views from the room are stunning as you look down the valley over the hills. I don't know another hotel with views like this.

I looked down from our window and notice that they've filled in the outside swimming pool. It was old but it was heated to such an extent that you felt like you were in a jacuzzi. It's gone for good now and I was looking forward to it. You may also notice when you look out the window, a very small bird that arrives and hangs on to the side of the window for a second or two before flying off again. This surely can't be the same little bird that visited us last time, as we were in a different room. More on that later.

Dinner looks great on the menu but bear in mind that you can also order from the bar menu which is sometimes worth considering. I'll generalise with the food. It sounds great on the menu but it didn't quite reach the standard that I would have liked. Tastes were sometimes slightly bland but not a disaster. The service is superb and very fast but then you ask for a bottle of Chardonnay to be told they don't have any. Almost unbelievable but true, they hadn't run out, it's just not on their wine list. But on the other hand ask for a change to their menu and no matter how small, they will bend head over heals to give you what you want, except for a bottle of Chardonnay.

After dinner we all went through to the main hall to relax on the sofas and easy chairs, have a coffee and watch the world go by next to the open fire. It's then that I realise why my parents like this place so much. There is something about it, that just makes you relax and chill. It was quite busy on the Friday night but you never felt the place was overcrowded.

After a decent sleep we went down for breakfast. A table was already set for our party of 7 and again the views from the restaurant are just, picture postcard. Breakfast is buffet style but you can ask for anything. Orange juice was disappointing, as it was from a carton and not cold but they had all the usual, fruit, bread, pastries and croissants, The hot service was constantly topped up and there was a huge range including sausage, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, potato scones, beans, tomato and black pudding. However, you then get let down by something so basic. Tomato sauce which had so much vinegar in it, your eyes watered. The black pudding was cheap and cut so thick that you ended up not eating it. Why not use Heinz for the sauce and get a decent black pudding in. The sausages were great, possibly local and the bacon was cooked to perfection. I'm not expecting Stornoway black pudding, or Tropicana but surely it shouldn't cost that much more and it would vastly improve the breakfast. Service as always was perfect.

Remember that little bird that I talked about earlier. When we got back to our room after a walk up to Pitlochry, the first thing we noticed, was again how cold it was. However, this time the main reason was that the maid had opened one of the windows and left it. Probably to try and dry out the condensation. We closed it and didn't think anymore about it, until I met up with my sister at dinner. She started to tell us something very strange had happened in her room. She had noticed a very small bird had been flying up to the side of the window and hanging on to the edge before flying away. At this point my mother said that happens all the time at this hotel, as she always gets a small bird at her window. My sister said that when she got back to her room, the window had been left open by the maid and she noticed that the table in front of it, which had the tea and coffee facilities along with the shortbread and chocolates looked wrong. One of the chocolates was missing and the other looked like it had been nibbled. At this point she turned round to see the small bird in the room on the floor with the other chocolate which had been stripped of it's wrapper. My sister didn't know who got the biggest fright but it immediately flew out of the window, leaving what was left of the chocolate and wrapper on the floor.

So beware, and it's not just one bird. They know the windows get left open to air the room and the chocolates are always left on a small table at the window.

I quite like the hotel in general and the staff do put the effort in but few people use a trouser press but all women want a full length mirror and to be fair some rooms do have one. Some people will say the hotel looks tired but that's part of its charm. The upgrades are on going and they'll never fully finish doing it up as it's an ongoing project but I would ask the hotel to think carefully when making changes for example, one of the open fires has gone to be replaced with an open flame gas fire. Not a good idea. I fully understand the cost of heating and retaining the outside pool but it was a superb asset that was never fully exploited and it's gone for good now. Maybe it should have been upgraded and sold as an outdoor fully heated pool that you could swim in, on any day of the year. That would have been an almost unique feature in a UK hotel.

Room Tip: I think most of the rooms are good but they do have some special tower rooms on the top floor that l...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Visited this weekend for a family reunion and was a great surprise. First impressions dont disappoint and the grandure of the place is obvious as you start up the driveway. Fantastic view from the bedroom. Everything was I expected and could not find fault anywhere.

Food was also great, a good mix of choice on the menu with a few choices for the more adventurous to try the local dishes. The "wee beastie" starter was an excellent introduction to haggis.

Evenings entertainment - ceilidh was fantastic fun with a lot of help for those of us who would have been lost without it. Everyone there seemed to be having as good a time as we were.

In conclusion, if you have read this far, dont bother reading the other reviews, take my word for it and book it nooooooo.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

We'd booked this before ready Trip Advisor reviews, so I was a bit worried before we arrived - would this be a down-at-heel place trading on past glory?

No - it was great, although there were some things which could have been improved.

The pool is a good size (although the mirror in the changing room seems to be suffering from damp). Our rooms had the most stupendous views over autumn wooded hillsides and to the river beyond.

We enjoyed breakfast although it wasn't spectacular. Evening meal set-up is a bit annoying - highish prices for the one course option, which in our case would have included one daughter (recovering from illness) only having a rather grey-looking vegetable soup at £18 for one course...! But good sense prevailed and they let us have two multi-course meals which we shared between the four of us.

While we went off for walks during the day, the kids really enjoyed the huge comfortable sofas next to real log fires, where daughter #1 worked hard at her revision and daughter #2 convalesced.

Interesting 'green corner' with wildlife and environmental information.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Lothian
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Beautiful property and now completely upgraded. Ideal base for touring the area. All luxuries are provided. Menu was wide ranging but expensive. Bedrooms were very well decorated and comfortable. Building was cosy everywhere, corridors, lounges and dining areas. The Museum was of great
interest telling the story of the building, its uses and its staff.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a view although all have a reasonable view.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast Qld
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Enjoyed our 1 night stay here...mainly to take our. Grandson to the Enchanted Forest Show... Flow...Lovely Old Clean Hotel, although I don't think it's very family orientated. On our stay it was mainly elderly people(couples) maybe tour groups.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brit
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

A friend and I have just returned from a 2 night spa break at the Atholl Palace. Overall, I thought it good value for money. The 2 inclusive spa treatments were great and the the staff very friendly and welcoming. Room fine, view spectacular, overlooking the river and the woods so we got the full 'majesty' of the autumn leaves. Bar Ok, service patchy and wine only by the small bottle which limited choice somewhat. Restuarant of a good standard, food had a scottish twist and was overall tasty and well presented. Would have like to see porridge visibly available at breakfast though and also fresh fruit rather then tinned or dried. Didn't use gym but looked adequate instead I went walking in the woods and go to see the autumn leaves in all their glory. Overall, a great short break and I would go back again

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Perth and Kinross > Pitlochry
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Pitlochry
#4 Luxury Hotel in Pitlochry
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Atholl Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 106
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 so 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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