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“Evening with US cousin on a coach tour of Scotland”

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Dunkeld House Hotel
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Dunkeld
Reviewed August 18, 2014

On Sunday 17th August 2014 my wife Diane and I planned to arrive around 5pm that date at the hotel as my cousin Carole was arriving at the hotel on a Globus coach tour of Scotland and they were to stay overnight at the hotel before the coach moved on to Scone Palace etc and Edinburgh on their last lap of their Scottish tour . We arrived just as the coach party was coming off the coach and in to the hotel . The Duty Manager was at the door welcoming everyone to the Hilton Dunkeld Hotel . My cousin and her friend from the US came off the coach and went to see their rooms and then met us downstairs . My wife and I told the Duty Manageress and her colleague who I think was Jim , the Restaurant Managers about our US relatives dining at 7pm and they thought it a good idea for us to sit together at one table as we had never met each other in our lives . A week previously I had telephoned the same hotel and spoke to a staff member Helen and she said that we would have to eat in the restaurant and my cousin and her friend from the USA would sit with the Coach party . Thankfully this did not happen and a nice gesture by the Duty Hotel Staff management to allow us to sit as a family on one table . We had our evening meal which was excellently presented and was excellent too . There were at least 2 coach parties as well as some non residents in the meal area of the hotel . We had our evening meal and we said our cheerio's as my cousin and her friend would be off the next morning reasonably early to go to Scone palace with the rest of their coach party . My cousin and her friend was very pleased to see that I wore the kilt for the occasion !
I had a look at the Leisure centre and the pool is a 17metres pool which is longer than many other hotels I've been at and they have the other facilities as mentioned on this and on their website . The view from the front of the hotel is lovely with the river passing in front of the hotel and surrounding trees etc. .
As I said the meal was excellent and the helpful and friendly management and staff in allowing us to be on one table was fabulous and very caring and an excellent gesture which we really appreciated . This is the first time we had met each other over many years of writing and emailing and really great to see the other Anderson family members in the USA .

Thank you to the Duty Manager (female) and her colleague for arranging the seating for us .

The date above the front door of the hotel is 1900 and we heard that the hotel is to have an upgrade shortly.

Thank you Duty manager (female ) and Manager ( Jim I think ) and staff for making us welcome and allowed to meet our US cousins that evening (17th Aug 2014)

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Letham45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SusanMacdonald, Guest Relations Manager at Dunkeld House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2014

Dear Letham45
We endeavour to meet our guests needs and are delighted Jim and Michelle were able to accommodate your family dinner for the evening they stayed in Hilton Dunkeld, your gratitude has been shared with all our team members and we do hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back to Hilton Dunkeld.
Kind Regards
Susan Macdonald

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,155 - 1,161 of 2,303 reviews

Reviewed August 18, 2014

It is difficult to "mark" the Hilton Dunkeld, for me it sits mid way between 3 and 4 stars on the Tripadvisor scale. This is a hotel with immense potential but which is currently going backwards due to a lack of investment by the owners.
The setting is absolutely stunning, sitting on the banks of the river Tay just north of Dunkeld, surrounded by mature woodland, with a shooting school and 4x4 driving academy on the estate.
My wife and I stayed for a romantic three night break to celebrate an important anniversary and although the room we were given was quite small the king size bed was the most comfortable we have ever had in a hotel, it really was that good. The room and the ensuite looked as though they had recently been done up and were very nice. Downside was that there was no drawer storage in the bedroom (do hotels think we all live out of a case?) and there was a lack of shelf space (and a lack of ANY towel rail) in the bathroom. However, big bath, power shower and plenty of hot water any time of the day or night.
The breakfast buffet was very good with all the traditional Scottish breakfast dishes seeming to be freshly prepared on all three mornings we were there. Dinner at night was also very good with starters and mains changing each night. Two small gripes: 1) had to wait to be seated which is fair enough but with only one "greeter" the wait could be a bit long when restaurant was busy, 2) the wait between starter and mains could be a bit long, 20-25 minutes.
Another let down in this grand baronial dining room is the seeming total lack of dress code; many guests made an effort and dressed "smart casual" or better for dinner but there was a sizeable minority who turned up in shorts, dirty old jeans, hoodies etc. Once upon a time you did not get past reception at this hotel after 6.30pm without a tie and jacket, I appreciate that those days may be long gone but if this hotel is going to trade on the traditional grand country house hotel mystique then they should ensure that this is what guests actually get.
The one real criticism of the restaurant is the state of the chairs - they are in a terrible condition and should all have been binned several years ago. This is symptimatic of the hotel as a whole; a fantastic building in a superb location but with owners / management who do not seem willing to give it the facelift it now so desparately needs.
The bar service also leaves a lot to be desired. On the day we arrived it was a lovely sunny afternoon so we sat on the terrace and when we saw a waitress bringing drinks to another couple we decided that we would have a bottle of something fizzy and just relax and watch the Tay flow by. Well, after 10 minutes of relaxing with no sign of any staff I had to go to the bar and ask the sole staff member there (busy polishing glasses) if we could have some service on the terrace. We asked if they had prosecco, the waiter said yes so we ordered a bottle. The bottle arrived in an ice bucket, was opened without us seeing and two glasses poured. When we started drinking my wife and I both thought it was a bit dry for prosecco and when we checked the bottle, sure enough we had a bottle of cava rather than the prosecco we asked for. When I checked the bill, surprise, surprise; I had been charged for the more expensive prosecco. Similarly, after we played tennis I headed back to our room while my wife headed to the bar to get a soft drink, 10 minutes later she arrived back at the room, still thirsty, having given up standing at a bar with no barman (this was at 6pm!).
One of the reasons we chose this hotel was the leisure facilities but again we ended up feeling somewhat let down. My wife called the on site spa two days before our visit but they were unable to offer her a single massage appointment during our three day stay. When we were at the hotel we went looking for the spa and after some searching found that it was hidden away in one corner of the "leisure club". If this hotel is going to advertise having a full service spa then that is what they should provide - a hotel spa unable to give guests an appointment five days in advance is just a joke.
As my wife and I are both keen tennis players another factor in choosing the Hilton Dunkeld was the fact that the website boasted of two all weather tennis courts. Oh dear! These old concrete courts should be condemned! The surface on both courts is starting to break up, the paint and the lines have almost completely worn away and the concrete slabs have partly dislodged, making for some crazy bounces and a potential trip hazard. The surrounding fence has been pulled up at ground level in several places so that tennis balls run straight through in to the woodland beyond. On the gate is a sign giving the "do's and dont's" for the courts, the last of which is "DO keep the court clear of leaves and moss" - unfortunately this is being completely ignored by the hotel management, leading to a potentially significant Health & Safety issue. Moss is spreading across both courts from the direction of the river and I actually slipped on one patch of moss and fell badly, grazing my leg and elbow and jarring my side, shoulder and both wrists. If the hotel is going to actively promote this facilty then they should keep it functional and safe.
The "putting green" is also a bit of a joke - 18 holes stuck in the lawn with grass longer than some of the rough on my local golf course.
One big leisure positive was the shooting club on the estate. We decided to try the Clay Pigeon shooting introduction and had a wonderful afternoon; just the two of us with our instructor Monty. Monty was great fun and made us both feel like Olympic shooters rather than a pair of old duffers! This is not the cheapest way to spend an hour or so but it was great fun and something my wife and I would definitely do again.
So, to sum up, The Hilton Dunkeld does not know what it is, is it a grand country house hotel trying to attract the well heeled for a relaxing break in the Scottish Highlands or is it a cheap and cheerful "travel lodge" looking to turnaround as many coach parties as possible for a minimum outlay? At the moment it is doing neither very well and I fear it will continue to go downhill until Hilton either spend some serious money on upgrading the facilities or they sell it to another hotel chain which is willing to invest in the property and restore its past glories.
My wife and I would happily stay at the Hilton Dunkeld again if the price was right, but we would be much wiser as to what we would actually be getting rather than what the website suggests you are going to get.
Fantastic location, nice room, great bed, decent food - everything else is currently just "hype".

Room Tip: River view rooms give the best views.
  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Golfmuppet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SusanMacdonald, Guest Relations Manager at Dunkeld House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2014

Dear Golfmuppet
Thanks for your review and we acknowledge there are points you have raised where we could have done better and have discussed your review with the relevant managers. There is no reason I can give you for the lack of focus from our bar team and this is uncharacteristic of our bar team who are usually very proactive looking after our guests and do hope you bill was amended according for the Cava. Our Spa is very busy due to the hotel running at full capacity at present and generally advise guests to book treatments at the time of their room reservation. The tennis courts have been cleaned in the last two weeks but we are looking at a longer term solution to enhance the area permanently. We thank you for the positive comments are appreciated and do hope we can welcome you back again.
Kind Regards
Susan Macdonald

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2014 via mobile

I cannot think of one thing to put here that is negative. We had a fantastic, relaxing and fun weekend.
I was lucky enough to be treated to a stay in the Atholl suite, which is as spectacular as it looks in the pictures.
The dinner options available on both nights were delicious and the buffet breakfast had something available for all tastes.
On Saturday we went clay pigeon shooting and had a taster session of archery and rifle shooting. This was great fun and our instructor was fantastic. In addition to this we took advantage of the spectacular grounds and the Living Well swimming pool.
The staff were attentive, welcoming and professional at all times and made our stay thoroughly enjoyable. I can only wish that we will be back here in the future!!
There was a wedding on Saturday and the celebrations went on until about 1am. This did mean there was a fair bit of noise, but I would like to think that on such a special occassion in such a fantastic setting, people would be a bit forgiving of the noise.

Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SusanMacdonald, Guest Relations Manager at Dunkeld House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2014

Dear Karen M
The five star review you have given us is wonderful and we are elated to read your stay was first class. It’s out endeavour to deliver high quality food and service to all our guests and they have holidays that are unforgettable, we look forward to seeing you again at Hilton Dunkeld.
Kind Regards
Susan Macdonald

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2014

Lovely hotel, nice food, nice location but if theres a wedding dont expect much sleep! This was my only gripe with the hotel and to be honest the staff werent really interested in the noise they did agree it was quite ridiculous if you were in General Wades accomodation and the wedding was in a marquee outside. Otherwise pool sauna etc are lovel. Restuarant was nice too.

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts
1  Thank LESALEE_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SusanMacdonald, Guest Relations Manager at Dunkeld House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2014

Dear Lesalee_12
Your feedback is important to us and apologise your sleep was disturbed, the noise levels from functions is monitored by our management team, entertainment finishing by 12 midnight, decibel readings are taken and feedback from guests taken on board. We are sincerely sorry you felt we were not interested in your comments please do not hesitate to contact myself in the future when you wish to return and I will advise you of any functions taking place in our hotel.
Kind Regards
Susan Macdonald

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2014 via mobile

I have been staying at the lodges here every summer since they were built 20 + years ago. This year we noticed that they have been nicely updated with new carpet, wallpaper, and curtains throughout. As a teen, I took tennis lessons here. Now that I am grown and married, my family was looking forward to playing tennis every day. It used to be that you were lucky to get a court without booking in advance. Now no one ever plays, and the reason is clear. I doubt the courts have been maintained since they were first built! I have never seen tennis courts in such abominable condition at a hotel. It is really a disgrace. The surface is uneven and moss, dirt, and litter are scattered across it. The surrounding fence is bent and broken in many places. It isn't like the courts are off in a hidden corner somewhere- they are in the center of the property. If I were checking out the property to stay or buy a timeshare, the state of the tennis courts would make me wonder what else has been neglected. One look, and I would pass.

Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
2  Thank Jennifer K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SusanMacdonald, Guest Relations Manager at Dunkeld House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2014

As a loyal customer to Hilton Dunkeld Lodges you will have seen many enhancements to the lodges over the years and they have been very tastefully decorated by Margret and her team. The tennis court conditions have been addressed by our Livingwell and Grounds team in recent weeks and we do hope you will see an improvement the next time you stay. Thank for your feedback and we will look forward to seeing you next time.
Kind Regards
Susan Macdonald

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2014

We spent four days at the Hilton Dunkeld and found it somewhat contradictory. One one hand it's an expensive Hilton, on the other it handles coach parties and noisy weddings. The staff are first class without exception, skilled, motivated and friendly. The food is excellent; the source ingredients are the highest quality and it is well prepared and presented. The location is simply superb, beside the Tay with wonderful views and walks. The rooms betray their low rent Stakis origins, the modern rooms retaining more than a hint of the penny-pinching Stakis specialised in; gloomy, bleak and institutional. The fabric of the hotel is shabby, grubby and long overdue the makeover required to justify the premium Hilton prices. It could be wonderful; the country house origins give space and character that are begging to be exploited. What charm there is is unfortunately damaged by noisy and rumbustious weddings; the building has no segregation, we had children running through the evening dinner service, were kept awake by a shatteringly noisy wedding disco in the marquee, and struggled to park owing to the guest intake. Forget getting a short notice appointment at the spa, either. So much right, so much wrong. We halved our stay in the end, a combination of the wedding disruption and the dreadful bed, utterly worn out and leaving us both with sore backs. Almost no water pressure in the shower, either. A final note is the rubbish internet service; the free one is about as fast as dialup and cuts out continuously. We paid the ripoff rate for better service and it wasn't much better, certainly faster but it cut out every thirty minutes, requiring a full log in each time to reconnect. As we had a business meeting during our visit the internet problem was seriously annoying. Not good enough in this day and age.

Room Tip: Phone first to find out is they have a wedding on. If they do, don't go. Pay the premium for a b...
  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank toomanybeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SusanMacdonald, Guest Relations Manager at Dunkeld House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2014

Dear Toomanybeds
We are so sorry you shorted your stay due to a number of issues you encountered and I am unable to determine which room you stayed in from your review. We are a very busy hotel with a mixture of leisure and business clientele with weddings taking place most weekends in July and August. We are always happy to advise our guests of which dates we have weddings on but this has obviously impacted your stay along with the uncomfortable bed which made you depart early. Your wonderful feedback with regards to the culinary delighted our kitchen team prepared has been passed on to Scott our Head Chef and the rest of the hotel team. If you would like to discuss your stay further please do not hesitate to contact myself.
Kind Regards
Susan Macdonald

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Reviewed August 13, 2014

This stay as all our previous stays at Dunkeld, was very restful. The hotel setting on the banks of the river Tay is beautiful, the staff are very attentive and the quality of food is good. We will definitely be returning for another visit.

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Thank Gordon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SusanMacdonald, Guest Relations Manager at Dunkeld House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2014

Dear Gordon S
Happy is what we aim for and delighted we delivered another perfect stay for you; see you next time at Hilton Dunkeld.
Kind Regards
Susan Macdonald

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dunkeld House Hotel

Address: Blairgowrie Road, Dunkeld PH8 0HX, Scotland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Perth and Kinross > Dunkeld
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Dunkeld
Price Range: $113 - $262 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Dunkeld House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 98
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dunkeld House is set in its own secluded 280-acre woodland estate, on the banks of the River Tay in the beautiful Perthshire countryside. There lots to do both within the resort and the local area, making this a memorable getaway whether you are visiting for business or pleasure. The newly refurbished hotel has 98 guest rooms, Health Club with 17m indoor pool and spa. On the Estate, try your hand at clay pigeon shooting, quadbking or just enjoy one of the many tranquil woodland walks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Dunkeld Perthshire Hotel Dunkeld
Hilton Dunkeld Hotel
Dunkeld House Hotel Scotland

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