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Carnoustie Golf Course Hotel
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Reviewed August 12, 2013

Myself, brother and 2 friends pushed the boat out and booked the Gary Player Suite for the weekend - wow what a room! Two large bedrooms connected by a large central lounge which had a large sofa, two chairs, dining table for 10, small kitchen area. The en suite had a crazy jacuzzi thing which we couldnt figure out but it looked good! The best of all was the view out the patio doors overlooking the 1st tee of the Championship course. The room did not come cheap but it was easily the best golf holiday experience we have had in the 8 years of doing this! Last year the service at breakfast was slow - this year we had no complaints - fast service and good food. We know the other rooms are needing upgraded so hopefully the owners (Oxford) will start to put some investment into the infrastructure

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gordon m, General Manager at Carnoustie Golf Course Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 19, 2013

Thank you for your review.
Delighted that you enjoyed your stay in the Gray PLayer suite.
Thanks again.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Stayed on 10th Aug as away overnighter and arrived at the same time as a wedding party. Check in was swift and functional with the reception area proving very welcoming. Sad to see however that a disabled parking space was occupied by a 4x4 vehicle not permitted to do so. This became two vehicles by next morning.

Negotiating our way to our room through many loudly squeaking fire doors it was clear that the décor in most part was tired with most doors scraped, scratched and generally mistreated. On stepping into our room were we met by debris on the floor. Furniture was practical if outdated with a small flat screen TV. Expecting a double bed we were met by two singles so perhaps worth checking as you book. Beds were comfy though and clean. Our room was facing on to the car park and as we closed the curtains at night it exposed a skirting that had clearly never been cleaned for many MONTHS. The voile across the window was torn and stained. En-suite was very tired indeed. Big enough but dreadfully stained grouting, paint flaking from the ceiling, which also had the oddest marks on it, and part of the fitments nearest to the shower had been water damaged. Unfortunately our room was directly by a fire door which only served to offer some very disturbed sleep due to the lack of a wee spray of WD40.

Hungry we visited Calders Bar at the same time as the wedding party was waiting there on the arrival of the VIP's and so it was pretty busy. The bar staff on duty, Laura and a young chap with a white shirt were incredibly efficient and offered fantastic customer service. The food we ordered arrived very quickly too, perhaps only 10 minutes or so to wait. The down side again is cleanliness. Some of those shelves in the bar have never saw a duster in way too long and all in an area where most footfall is expected. The message to me is that if don't clean the areas that are on show then how dirty are the area that are hidden from view? Good mixture of both practical and comfortable furniture but let down by a massive bracket protruding from the wall where a TV had been hung at some point.

The spa. I've noticed this with other hotels that when you offer staff an office away from the desk that customers visit then that's where they will always prefer to be, hidden in the office rather than ready to help. Same here. Complimentary towels, functional but similarly tired changing area with showers equally so. Very warm pool and a warmer Jacuzzi. Steam and sauna area poolside but the sauna door needs immediate attention. The handle is loose and the GLASS door drags badly on the tiled floor. A female swimmer informed us that the door works fine and we won't be trapped inside as 'it's been like that for months now'. What?!!

Food - Calders Bar, typical bar type food but perfectly good. Dalhousie Resaurant - excellent. Can't rave enough about this area. Staff (Sam, Matthew, Bruce and Tenz to name most of them, there were others) for being such a young team were outstanding. Attentive and engaging throughout they were polite and mannerly offering us the most efficient service and in such a charming and effective manner. Nothing was too much trouble. The food was fantastic. Without describing our dishes in detail suffice to say that all three courses were as tasty as we've had for a while. Fresh ingredients make such a difference. You might think the portions look small but take it from me, they are incredibly filling. Downside was a rather stuffy manager who, in view of customers, sought to ask too many questions and be particularly difficult with one young waitress when she asked if it was OK to go home. If indeed this was going to be an issue for him then he should have taken her aside to offer the challenges he did rather than allow us to look on. Highly unprofessional.

Breakfast - very busy due to a number of the wedding part staying over but very good too and, as with all dishes ordered throughout our stay, arrived very quickly. The food service here is very slick. Same staff largely with the same 'can do' approach but clearly under a lot more stress due to the numbers but coping admirably nevertheless.

Location - well as neither of us are golfists then frankly what might otherwise be a fantastic rolling vista is spoiled by men venting an apparent need to smash their balls with metal sticks. I'm thinking there are others who view this type of activity as highly sporting but to others it's just a good walk spoiled by overweight Pringle clad Ping enthusiasts.

If, like us, you stay when a function is in full swing and in a room overlooking the car park then you will have to endure all sorts of screeching and whaling from kids left largely unmanaged by their parents as they tear around the car park for kicks. By all means have your function but please consider that there are guests staying who wish peace and quiet. We felt that this establishment did not manage this issue at all particularly when it's clear to see and hear from reception.

Before leaving I took the time to speak to duty manager Colin and relayed all of the above points to him directly so none of this will come of any surprise and at the same time asked if he would ensure that our appreciation of just how great the staff were to us during our stay were accordingly relayed to them. I trust he will do this. And the 4x4 was still parked in a disabled bay when we left!

Room Tip: Do not take a room overlooking the car park.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Superwing27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gordon m, General Manager at Carnoustie Golf Course Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 19, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your most comprehensive review.
We note each of your points and have shared them all, positive and less so, with the operation teams.
Thanks again

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

We stayed there last weekend for a family gathering/reunion and had a fabulous time! The only hiccup we had was when we got to our room and there were no washcloths. However, we called to the front desk and they brought up three and left three for us each of the other nights of our stay. Our dinners were provided in the conference center and each dinner was filling and delicious. Breakfast each morning for our group was served out of the dining room but our gathering members ate in Calders Bar, which was set placed exactly like the dining room. Breakfast was delicious and a highlight of the trip, a very pleasant experience. Speaking of Calders Bar, it was a nice place to hang out and relax and I enjoyed watching golfers either start their round or end it from the patio. It was nice that we were allowed to walk along and through the golf course whenever we wished. The hotel did seem to miss a gift shop but plenty of items were available in the shop at the golf club. Our room was very large and comfortable. It was different having an actual key for the room rather than the key cards that are now so prevalent in hotels today. If I ever get back to Carnoustie I would love to stay there again.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank whodat2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gordon m, General Manager at Carnoustie Golf Course Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 19, 2013

Thank you for your positive review, delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay and hope to welcome you back in the future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2013

Met friends and walked along to the hotel and stayed for a lovely sandwich and a drink out on the open terrace area. Beautiful setting, food was lovely and staff very nice. Well done Carnoustie. We will definitely be back,views were stunning. Well worth a visit for a game of golf,or a walk along the beach.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank valheggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gordon m, General Manager at Carnoustie Golf Course Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2013

Thank you for posting your comments.
Delighted to learn that you enjoyed you visit to our terrace during this great spell of weather.
Hope to welcome you back soon.
Thanks again

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Booked this at the last minute and got a very good deal for a single night stay with breakfast. Lets start with a positive, it was great value for money. The hotel sits at the head of the great Championship golf course, and very close to the beach (2 mins). It truly is a wonderful setting.

The building itself appears to be modern but when you are up close its maybe 40's or 50's design. Apologies if I am wrong, but thats how it looks. Inside the decor is functional with a spacious reception area and the bar/restuarant just off the main reception (i will come back to these later)

Check in was speedy and with no fuss. Wasn't asked if I wanted a Paper or a wake-up call, or if I wanted to use any of the hotels other "paid for" facilities, so missed out on a Sales Opportunity right at the desk there. I assumed my rate was with breakfast, as this was not confirmed, but I guess I would have found out in the morning if I had not.

The room I was allocated was one of their basic ones (given the price I paid that was not a problem). It was overlooking the roof of the entrance foyer, and out onto the car park. I am guessing you will need to pay a wee bit extra to be facing the sea or the golf course. The carpet and the furniture in the room had really seen better days. It was also a disabled room, and had the additional aids to assist people.

Room Points

. Room very spacious.
. Stains on the furniture, and some trodden in gum or sticky substance on the carpet.
. The Bed was very clean and very comfy, and I had no problem relaxing in it.
. The TV was quite small for a room of that size. I would expect for the type of hotel here, a 42" would make a huge difference, rather than the small 20" Flat Screen.
. The Wooden furniture seemed to be out of place and a bit old fashioned for a Hotel of this type. I would have thought something a wee bit more plain/modern, but maybe that is just me.
. The bathroom, and specifically the bath/shower was a disappointment, as their was signs of staining in the grouting, and a shower curtain in a hotel of this size/stature should be a no no.
. Lastly the external doors on the rooms are very noisy when they close. I am sure at these Hotel expo's some smart inventor must have came up with a cheap muffling solution. An unbroken sleep means a happy customer.

Foyer Points -

Full of golf memorabilia as you would expect, and again, functional. I would have thought a more "old world" feel with a roaring fire is what the tourists would be expecting (even if it was a fake roaring fire). I didn't notice any signs to the Spa area of the hotel from the Foyer, so had to ask.

SPA Points -

Now I can only comment on what i used, so here goes. For what you are paying the SPA is an unexpected surprise, but again, it has seen better days. The showers in the changing rooms are very poor and need looked at, as do the stained grouting, which seems to be a recurring theme. This is a problem all SPAs have to deal with, and do so, so I would guess they could look at that. The Pool was fantastic and is at a great temperature. There are no lifeguards, so if you have kids, you will have to keep an eye on them. Nice temperature in the pool surroundings mean relaxing by the poolside on a lounger is a possibility.

The jacuzzi was very very warm indeed and you had to enter it in stages, which is no bad thing. It was very nice. Again, maintenance work needs carried out on broken glass bricks, and broken tiles, which seem to have been patched up.

Finally I used the steam room, and this was OK, but several of the mosaic tiles are missing and it also looks quite tired, and lacking proper upkeep.

BAR - Evening

In the evening I retired to the Bar Area which has normal tables/chairs alongside Sofas and Armchairs. Again the Sofas and Armchairs seem heavily used with some bearing rather awful looking stains. Simply by proper cleaning this could be avoided (Steam cleaners?). Papers were made available for you to read, and the setting alongside the 18th green is magnificent.
It seemed to have waitress service, but also seemed a tad understaffed so I went to the bar and ordered myself after waiting 5 mins.. Prices are quite reasonable, and comparable with a City centre Bar. I sat at a table with a Sofa and I am sad to say that the table was dirty and had not been cleaned. I noticed this was the same with most of the tables. When I say "not been cleaned", I mean wiped with a cloth. As the staff were clearing the tables, they lifted the glasses but didn;t clean the glass tables with a cloth each time meaning it got dirtier and dirtier with use.
A simple change of practice by cleaning with a cloth after each use, could make a big difference.

Resutarant - Breakfast

Credit where credit is due the breakfast options are great and the location on a bright and sunny morning is stunning. I could have had a full breakfast but opted for a couple of poached eggs and Toast. Coffee was good, and service prompt. Table spotless, crisp as was the rest of the restuarant.



So why did I go to such effort with this review? Well I feel this hotel can be so much more than it is, with a little investment of time and money. If we are to attract more tourists and give them the break they expect, then we have to leave them with positive memories. Negative memories are mostly tiny insignificant problems, and each of the issues I listed here could be seen as nit picking, but its these issues that people will remember.

To summarise this hotel is great value for what you get but don't expect the oppulance of Gleneagles or St Andrews just because its a a Golf Hotel.

I hope this is of help to future guests and to the staff and management.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank gazburns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gordon m, General Manager at Carnoustie Golf Course Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2013

Thank you for a very comprehensive review which is much appreciated.
We note and have shared each of your comments with our teams and will use your comments to help us improve the product & service we deliver to all our guests.
Thanks again

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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