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“Fabulous Fonab”
Review of Fonab Castle Hotel

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Fonab Castle Hotel
Ranked #4 of 18 Hotels in Pitlochry
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 9, 2014

My husband & I spent 1 night at Fonab Castle to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The hotel is stunning and no expense has been spared. We stayed in a Woodland room with a balcony and enjoyed awesome views of the loch. Room was immaculate and had the most amazing comfy bed and pillows! On arrival we had Champagne Afternoon tea which was delightful. All the staff in the hotel are very friendly and a special mention to Marco who is a credit to Fonab! Dinner in the Brasserie was equally pleasurable added with a fantastic view of the loch and delicious food. Cocktails afterwards in the lounge is highly recommended. Breakfast was superb what a treat to be served unlike some hotels who have buffet service. We met the owners of the hotel who are very approachable and enthusiastic about their hotel. They were keen to know our "experience" which is very refreshing having been to many 1st class hotels. We had the pleasure of touring the rest of the hotel and rooms by the owner which impressed us even more. Fabulous hotel, wonderful experience which made our Anniversary even more special. We will return !!

Room Tip: Don't think you can go wrong with any room !!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,761 - 1,767 of 2,035 reviews

Reviewed May 9, 2014

Excellent and very impressive hotel, good reception and food in the restaurant was top notch. I would definitely go again and thought that the service and views in the restaurant were particularly good

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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3  Thank atkinhump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2014

My stay on Fonab Castle was very nice. We were a large party, 7 adults, 4 teenagers and three children, who celebrated my father in law-'s 70th birthday. The rooms were spacious, had very comfortable beds and were equipped with everything you need.The service was good and the staff were helpful and always with a smile. If you want to have breakfast with beautiful views in peace and harmony is Fonabs breakfast sheer paradise. We ate at their Brasserie and it we were satisfied both with the food, the service and the prices.

Room Tip: Make sure you get rooms with a view over the river
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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Thank larof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FonabCastleHotel, Manager at Fonab Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

Good morning!

Thank you for the lovely review. It was great to have your family here for a few nights and to meet you all. Its great to see that you enjoyed your visit and that your father in law enjoyed his birthday,

Please thank him for the amazing drawing he did of the castle, it was truly stunning.

We hope to see you all again on your next visit to Scotland.

Best regards,

Gary White
Deputy General Manager

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Reviewed May 4, 2014

There are so many fabulous points to rave about here...I feel almost guilty about being one of the few reviewers to have given this a 4/5...however throughout our 1 night stay, I had a few niggles and it's only fair to say that my own impression was as per my title - it's almost there.
I'll start with the positives - the location of the property is fantastic, views of the loch are to die for - perhaps helped by the time of year (early May) - the greenery is picture postcard perfect. It's obvious that a lot of money has been spent on the refurb here and the attention to detail is second to none. The décor is not going to be to everyone's taste but it was a subtle blend of traditional Scottish castle and ultra modern and it really worked. Testament to this was the diverse age range of the clientele - from couples in their twenties to the more mature guest (with us being in the middle!).
Staff are excellent, not at all stuffy, happy to chat if that's what you want. The concierges on duty - Mike and Alan were just lovely.
The rooms - on the positive we had a lovely big room (Castle Signature room) (104) with 4 big windows, décor immaculate, spotlessly clean, everything worked well and lovely bedding (as other reviewers have mentioned). There are only 4 bedrooms on each floor in the castle and seem really spread out so no issues with noise at all. Plenty sockets and near mirrors too (always a plus when you actually want to use the hairdryer provided!) Slightly disappointed in that the shower room was only that - no bath and quite small. On reading the room descriptions, it didn't really make it clear that some signature rooms were shower only. To be fair the shower was great, though was a kind if curvy fancy affair with a strange bar overhead - my husband is 6'1" and said this really bothered him, he felt really hemmed in. Other room negatives - and I appreciate I am splitting hairs here but the management seem keen to please and it is only fair to point these out - especially if as they say they are striving for official 5* status - the mattress was slightly soft - it had a great mattress topper on it but the mattress itself a little on the soft side for me. Memory foam mattresses are the way to go...
Main gripe though is that my husband booked our 1 night stay as a birthday treat - and had reserved a Signature room with a loch view if possible. We did get our loch view but only just, as it was a corner room and the other 3 windows were either facing the car park or the lounge - to be fair the lounge windows are blanked out and no one can see in but it was slightly odd, overlooking the modern extension, a few feet away. The upper rooms would have unobscured views but I think the hotel should make it clear that a) not all signature rooms have a view of the loch and b) some have obscured views. We mentioned this on check out (as we had been told the hotel was busy) and the receptionist did say that she was aware of that and they were looking at doing "something" with the windows. Well the only thing you could do would be to put up some sort of blind. No discount was offered and she did ask if everything had been ok with our stay! On looking online at the room prices, all signature rooms are the same price - they shouldn't be. And whilst you may get a better "deal" booking further ahead, my husband booked 5 or 6 weeks ago and I was astounded at what the room rate was. So whilst it was all "very nice", at the price it was for that room, it is going to attract comparisons to those 5* luxury hotels many of your guests will have stayed in - yet you say you are a luxury boutique hotel and cannot be compared to such long-standing institutions. Some of your prices need adjusting perhaps.
Also surprising was the fact that, although my husband had mentioned it was a special birthday, nothing was done in recognition. I note a previous reviewer mentioned a free glass of bubbly at the bar, that would have been a nice touch.
Finally - breakfast - it was very pleasant, a la carte however nothing wowed me and we had been advised by the concierge that the hotel had only in the last week or so won an award for the best hotel breakfast of the year (or something along those lines). So our expectations were high. It was nice but felt a little skimpy - the yogurt with the fruit was served in a tiny pot, the kind that a little serving of jam might come in and whilst it would not have been an issue to get more...indeed the brioche came with maple syrup served on it and no extra in a little jug. I was lucky enough to have breakfast at The Old Course, St Andrews last month and have to say, their breakfast was a notch above this one.
Overall, we had a fantastic stay and as I said at the very start of this review, I feel guilty having a few moans but nothing is ever perfect and the hotel is still in its early days, with the management being open to suggestion so I hope that this is taken as it is intended, as some helpful hints.

Room Tip: The more expensive rooms are only worth it if you get a loch facing room or are planning on spending...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank scotlass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FonabCastleHotel, Manager at Fonab Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

Good afternoon.

Thank you for your review and thoughts regarding your stay at Fonab, some of which we have taken on the chin and are striving to improve on the back of your review.

Regarding pricing, room 104 does have a loch view from the turret window. We are looking at developing the roof top into a garden as a visual feature for these bedrooms. The rate paid is for the room and we do not charge extra for a view. Not all rooms have baths and this is due to the hotel becoming environmentally friendly and following the trend of other international hotels who now are having showers only. unfortunately, we do not call ourselves as a Boutique hotel, as simply put we are not. This is the first time i have had a comment regarding the showers from a taller person, but we will look into this comment and see what we can do with it. There is a rainfall shower and a body spray shower in that room. We wouldn't have given as discount on the basis that there was nothing at all wrong with the room apart from your own personal views. The room descriptor lists everything that is in these Castle Signature rooms and there was nothing wrong with any of these. Regarding the mattresses, we have to choose a mattress that appeals to all, which means unfortunately we will never please 100% of the people who sleep on them. We won our award for Breakfast in a medium sized hotel - Old Course St Andrews is a large hotel. However personally i have been there and disagree, but again its all personal preference.

Your husband and yourself should have been given a wee glass of bubbly compliments of the hotel and for this i apologize. I have taken steps to ensure that this is the case with all special occasions,

I am pleased that the vast majority of your stay was positive and that you enjoyed the service from the staff, the food and other facilities.

We hope to see you again in the near future.

Best regards,

Gary White
Deputy General Manager

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Reviewed May 4, 2014

Stayed recently and thoroughly enjoyed our weekend. Room was wonderful, furnishings luxurious, food and service excellent especially the breakfast. Turn down service was a nice touch although it did not happen if you decide to dine outwith the hotel. Looking forward to return visit once the spa is open. We went to the lounge bar during our stay but it was very quite and not much atmosphere, however the cocktails were very enjoyable!

Room Tip: Loch view would be best although the room with turret was amazing
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank cosmogirlUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FonabCastleHotel, Manager at Fonab Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

Good afternoon.

Thank you for your review. I'm pleased to see that you have enjoyed your visit to Fonab Castle and the services provided - especially the cocktail list!!

I am sorry to hear that you did not receive turn down on the night you dined out. I will loo into this and make sure that this never happens again.

Once again thank you for the review.

Kindest regards,

Gary White
Deputy General Manager

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Reviewed May 2, 2014 via mobile

We came here at the very end of April for my boyfriends 40th birthday. It is absolutely beautiful. From the moment we arrived everyone was really friendly and helpful. As soon as we parked the car a lady was out to meet us and check us in. We had a woodland suite overlooking the grounds which was totally fine as the panoramic views from the bar and brasserie are out of this world so you can see the loch then. I think if we were staying another night we would ask for a loch view room but for one night the ground view room was perfect. The suites are extremely tastefully decorated with all mod cons expected from a luxury establishment. The toiletries are Thierry Mugler which I was excited about(my boyfriend less so!) brilliant showers, fluffy robes, slippers, towels, massive comfy beds you name it Fonab has it! We then went for a drink in the bar after we unpacked and proceeded to order a cocktail from the barman. He was a lovely guy very knowledgable and gave us the cocktails on the house as it was my boyfriends birthday. Really nice touch. We went for a walk and had a drink in a little pub along from salmon ladder then came back to get ready for dinner. The food was really very good quality. Had a great table and the barman was serving us again. He proceeded to tell is he was on a trial for Brasserie manager and he was extremely competent. (Go Matt!) After dinner we went and had drinks in the bar with another couple we had chatted to and were then joined by the owners Jed and Joanne. Really really nice people to talk too and was interesting to hear all about how they done the castle up and the plans they have for it.(can't wait for spa) Breakfast again really pleasant. A la carte style so no buffet(can't stand them for breakfast) check out easy and I cannot wait to come back! Hopefully for my birthday in June. I can't stop raving to all my friends and clients about how amazing a time we had. So book if your thinking you won't regret it!!!

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank pami196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FonabCastleHotel, Manager at Fonab Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

Good morning.

Thank you for your fantastic review of Fonab Castle. Its amazing to read all about your thoughts on the room, lounge, brasserie and service.

I'm particularly pleased that you enjoyed your cocktails and the food in the Brasserie.

We look forward to seeing you on your return.

Kind regards,

Gary White
Deputy General Manager

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Reviewed May 2, 2014

Pass this hotel regularly on my travels up and down the A9 and been curious to see what it was like. The answer - it's fantastic. The little balcony outside our window gave us the chance to fully appreciate the setting and the views. Sadly we were going out for dinner but had lunch and breakfast and both were excellent. The staff were all delightful and helpful. I don't tend to get very excited about hotel toiletries as I never use them, but they were so stylish they have to get a mention. They weren't just shampoo and shower gel containers - they were beautiful pieces of design.
The whole place was beautiful and they had managed to achieve a combination of traditional and modern which really worked which is very hard to do. Have been raving to people ever since about how good it is and already planning my next trip.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled on business
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Thank foodfan2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FonabCastleHotel, Manager at Fonab Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

Good morning.

Thank you for the excellent review.

The Thierry Mugler toiletries are amazing, so much so that i bought a case when we first opened for my own personal use!!

The staff are really great from Housekeeping, to Reception & Concierge, to Kitchen and our Food and Beverage team - all first class and i'm pleased that you enjoyed the service provided.

We look forward to seeing you again.

Best regards,

Gary White
Deputy General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fonab Castle Hotel

Address: Foss Road, Pitlochry PH16 5ND, Scotland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Perth and Kinross > Pitlochry
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Pitlochry
#3 Luxury Hotel in Pitlochry
Price Range: $241 - $456 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Fonab Castle Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fonab Castle is a wonderful and historic building on the banks of Loch Faskally, by Pitlochry. It has been transformed by the Clark family into a fabulous and glamorous new 5 Star hotel. The hotel offers 26 bedrooms including 4 suites and a luxurious Penthouse suite (a number with loch views). The hotel brasserie and lounge provide outstanding vistas of the loch itself and Sandemans our fine dining restaurant is a tranquil setting for experiencing exquisite cuisine and fine wines. The Spa at Fonab is our brand new Spa offering a host of pampering and relaxation experiences. With Thermal Suite, Jacuzzi, swimming pool, treatment rooms and nail bar and pedicure. We look forward to welcoming you to a unique experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fonab Castle Hotel Pitlochry, Scotland

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