Not sure why I've never reviewed this before - for nearly 10 years I organised an annual dinner dance here, and the last 2 years have had the pleasure of attending but not having to work!!
It's a beautiful hotel with fantastic views and an amazing variety of wildlife in the grounds. It must be a nightmare to keep, and each year I noticed changes for the better - it's good to see the Irish consortium of 3 (?) who own the hotel (and have recently bought the Fishers in the town) are happy to spend money on it. as has been said the rooms are under a permanemt cycle of decoration ,and from experience I know vary greatly - it's luck of draw almost what room you get unless you specifically ask (and pay for) a turret for example. This time we stayed in 1 of the 8 rooms in the newly refurbished manor house, which is accessible from the hotel via outside steps or you can drive on 2 private roads. Our room was lovely - immediate reaction was Wow at the size of the room, the tasteful furniture and the new bathroom. After settling tho I did begin to think it a little 'sterile' - there's none of the art in the main hotel, nor any what my husband calls 'clutter' (vases, ornaments etc). I did comment on this - will be interesting to see if it's picked up on. The hotel do listen to comments - a couple of years back we struggled with hot water - this was apparently traced to a sticking ballcock, which is now attached to an alarm in reception which if it goes off someone goes and hits it - seems fair to me!
I said at the start management was the key - Dougal the GM has been there since Day 1 I think and is often seen all over the place, just 'being present'. The restaurant manager runs a tight ship and has been there as long as I've been going, the former conference organiser is now spa manager and the current conference organiser is so good holding a party there is easy!!
Food is a matter of taste - sometimes I've been less than impressed other times ecstatic - I remember some truly delightful lamb 2 years ago!! Breakfast is always good I think and was one area I always had good feedback on when I ran the event. It's buffet, continually replenished even up to closing time, has a good variety and choice - yes the orange juice may not be very chilled but I can live with that - I'm more concerned with th efact any of the waiting staff will stop by as they pass and clear your used crockery and take orders for more tea or butter, rather than have allocated tables, than in the temperature of the juice - but that's just me!!
I love the Arran aromatics toiletries and Duncans shortbread, and the fact I don't just have 2 tea bags and 2 sachets of coffee, and the towels are big enuf for me too!!
They do have a lot of weddings - thats how they make their money!! - but it's poured back into the hotel with ongoing improvements and I've yet to find a hotel where a wedding party doesn't cause some 'inconvenience' to other guests.
- 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 is leisure or business purposes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Atholl Palace Pitlochry
- Hotel Atholl Palace
- Atholl Palace Hotel Pitlochry, Scotland