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“Try to stay away” 2 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 22 Hotels in Pitlochry
Lausanne, Switzerland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Try to stay away”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2007

When looking at the Atholl palace website, we thought we had found the perfect old Scottish castle we wanted to sleep in. But it was indeed far from perfect.
First, the reception people weren't nice at all and didn't even indicate us our room, just told us our room number. We took the very small elevator (we found only one for this huge hotel so expect to wait hours at the elevator) and managed to find our room. It was a small and cold room with no view. We ordered a small heater at the reception because the heat wasn't working but even with that, the room stayed cold during our entire 3 nights stay.
As an advice, you should stay far away from the food! It is certainly the worst I have ever tried in my life! Had you ever heard of an hotel serving fryed tripes for breakfast? Me neither! We also had dinner there, reserving a table in the afternoon and of course when we arrived at dinner the table wasn't booked for us (the hotel is so disorganised!). After having finally found a table, we ordered the menu and found out that the quality of the food (although presented in a very gastronomic way) was even lower than that of a low quality fast food. Other advice: if you make it for breakfast, respect carefully the schedule (which, by the way, seems to change everyday) because if you arrive only 5 mins late, they will strongly refuse you your breakfast but, of course, still charging it to you! Anyway, just think at what you missed and you'll realize it wasn't a big loss :-)
The only good thing was the swimming pool and the jacuzzi which are quite enjoyable when they aren't filled with kids or large groups. Don't expect the Sauna or Hamman to work!
Last thing: when we checked out, they didn't ask us to pay so I thought the money would be directly withdrawed from my credit card number I gave them when I booked... No: they called us two hours after we left the hotel and asked us to come back because they forgot to make us pay. I told them that there was no way we would go back there and to take the money from the credit card. It somehow took them 4 days and 6 phone calls to me on my mobile (at random hours) to figure out how to charge my card...
Atholl palace bears its name!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Food and service and room
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,013 reviews from our community

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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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Slough
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2007

We got married there on 16th July with 130 guests staying from England, Scotland and Ireland. Not one single complaint. What a fantastic location for a wedding. The staff were attentive, the food in the hotel and the wedding was amazing and the rooms were beautiful. The Hotel is old but hey, who wants modern in the Scottish Highlands. The spa is fantastic and the staff there were really friendly. I would definately recommend this hotel.

  • Liked — clean and friendly
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milngavie
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2007

The bedroom was comfortable with superb views, the staff were helpful and friendly but no senior staff to be seen. The location was very good indeed. The £25 table d'hote menu was pedestrian and the food dire. Two 3/4 full mains plates were removed without comment which says it all!. Escape to the a la carte with mains (including veg ) at £20+ to £30 range proved very disappointing for our friends who chose that route. Breakfast which was dreaded turned out to be ok if nothing special. All very sad ...it could be so different.

Stayed July 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Salem, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2007

I'd refer you to the review titled "What this could be" for a VERY accurate assessment and would echo those comments. Though, I will add
that the nice website and hotel brochures, whilst not blatantly deceptive, are more indicative of Atholl Palace's apparently excellent marketing department or firm than reality. We had booked a
"valley view" room which was not available, likely due to an RBS conference underway, despite arriving before 6PM and did receive a tariff reduction, but only 4 pounds per night which was correct- if brochure photos are to be believed, we'd have gladly paid for the nicer(?) room. Ours was large albeit very spartan and lacked AC- not that we needed cooling, but it might have been sorely missed during a
warmer period. We never ate supper at the hotel owing to a rather pricey menu which we suspect did not reflect superior offerings and found (for the plentiful, if unremarkable breakfast buffet) that, as in other areas of Scotland and NOT being racist!!, there was more than a little difficulty communicating with immigrant members of the wait staff resulting in the need to repeat requests plus some errors in response. Fee-based internet access was available, however the Wi-Fi (not their fault) was down most of the time so the desk person did let us check e-mail on the hotel system and that was appreciated.
We got a sense that functions are well supervised and those facilities were impressive but, sadly, I believe there are probably some better "bang for the buck" (or should I say "pop for the pound") alternatives than the Atholl Palace in and around the lovely town of Pitlochry for families and couples on holiday.

  • Liked — Location, grounds
  • Disliked — Dining, room and decorations therein
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Londoner in London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2007

You can certainly see why this used to be THE place to visit in the area. The building is magificent, the grounds beautiful and the location and surroundings are just majestic.

Sadly, time has not treated this grand old lady well. Although the public rooms are mangificently situated with awesome views over the town of Pitlochry and local countryside, their decor speaks of a bygone era and looks tired and jaded. Our room overlooked what must have been a new extension which, for reasons best known to the architect, was furnished with a tourquoise roof. Given that when we asked to change the room we had no less than 3 alternatives, it appeared that business wasn't as brisk as maybe it should be.

Breakfast is a slightly greasy affair but I'm maybe being harsh as it wasn't that bad and this is Scotland, coronary capital of the world after all.

This is all a real shame because there is a lot to be said for this place. If you like tennis then there are loads of well maintained courts to play on. The spa and sauna are pretty good if, like the rest of the hotel, they could do with some tlc. Like golf? There's a pitch and putt course in the grounds as well as there being any number of cracking courses within a reasonable drive. And the local scenery has few rivals anywhere in the world.

If only there was a fairy Godmother who could wave her wand and turn this place back into the magnificent fairy castle it must have been when it opened. Then they could charge what they wanted and they would still be turning people away.

  • Liked — Location. Stunning building
  • Disliked — Decor from 1970's. Nasty blue roof on extension
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2007

Stayed for two nights in the Atholl Palace Hotel (Friday 6th April - Sunday 8th April 2007). I was a bit concerned regarding the reception staff at the hotel going from previous reviews but can honestly say they were very pleasant. On arrival at the hotel we were welcomed by the staff and offered a Glayva whisky to welcome us to the hotel. Our room that we were offered wasn't too great as we had air conditioning units outside our window but I went to reception and was given two sets of keys to go and check out these rooms and pick what we wanted. These rooms were an upgrade from what we had booked and had fantastic views - we were not charged anything extra for this. My only complaint would be the food. We ate in the hotel on the first night and was very disappointed with the standard of food. Our breakfast on the other hand was lovely and had no complaints whatsoever about this. All the staff were very pleasant in the hotel and our room was well maintained. We were booked in for a meal on the second night at the Old Armoury Restaurant and the food was absolutely delicious and would recommend that. Once again I would like to say that we enjoyed our stay and would recommend it to others but would eat elsewhere.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayrshire
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2007

We stayed for a romantic weekend on 16th & 17th February 2007. On arrival we were amazed at the fantastic structure of this hotel, the drive up to the hotel is lined with trees and the view of the hotel from the driveway is wonderful, we even spotted a red squirrel!!

We were give a welcome drink on arrival and sat by the log fire and enjoyed before going up to our room. We had booked a special room and were given room 138. It had a four poster bed, corner bath and was beautifully decorated.

The pool and spa are very nice, don't forget your swimmies!

There was a wedding on Friday and Saturday and the atmosphere was wonderful.

We enjoyed the food very much, breakfast was a buffet, the views from the restaurant are to die for. Service at dinner was very good but not intrusive, James, the restaurant manager was very attentive.

After dinner we enjoyed ceilidh music which was in the lounge.

All in all we really enjoyed our stay, the location is beautiful, we will be back in the summer when I'm sure the grounds will look great.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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