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“I wanted to squeeze one more star out of it, but try as I might...”
Review of Dreadnought Hotel

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Dreadnought Hotel
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Callander
Reviewed June 11, 2013

If you look at our other reviews you will see we are not 'harsh markers' but our stay at the Dreadnought left me feeling very perplexed about awarding a rating based on the experience we had.
We stay all over Europe, and use Tripadvisor to give what we feel are balanced reviews, and having seen some of the reviews here that go for the Dreadnoughts jugular, we would like to put forward this review for you in the hope it can help you with your decision.
So....
Can we start with the good?
For the size hotel and it's location, it's good value - you will probably pay £49 ish per room including breakfast, that's less than £25 each, which is far cheaper than local B&B's, in what is one of the nicest little towns in Scotland.
And if you want to bring your pet to Callander to walk the hills (as we do), this is the only hotel in the area that is pet friendly.
It has 50+ rooms, and McNabs (the bar area) has been totally refurbished and is of a high standard compared to some other bars in the town.
The Dreadnought was once the flagship hotel in the Callendar area but it is obvious to any visitor that this hotel has been allowed to run down over the years without any investment by its previous owners, and to give credit where it is due, the Company that now own the Dreadnought have begun a refurbishment.
Unfortunately, this hotel is so big, it would take at least a six month closure, and some very serious money to do this all at once, and I'm guessing Bespoke hotels have chosen a 'one at a time' approach to room refurbs.
We stayed in room 229, with the corridor served by both stairs and a lift. Room 229 had yet to be refurbished, but I can bear witness to other rooms on the same corridor that had been modernised, and they looked quite nice (I snuck in to check out a couple whilst housekeeping were changing the bedding).
229 was large enough, with a desk, two chairs and double bed, wardrobe and shower room.
The bedding was clean (duvet and pillows with a spare blanket)... the room had just seen better days, and was obviously in the refurb queue. The shower room was just about adequate, with a Triton shower, toilet and sink, but unlike other reviewers we found the room clean and tidy.

The room gave a side view of the surrounding hills, but over the courtyard and kitchen area.
Our visit was not for sightseeing, but if it had been, we would have phoned the hotel and asked for a room with a view, and there are pleny of those, overlooking the river and adjacent hillsides.
The hotel provided basic shower gel and shampoo in the bathroom, and tea and coffee making facilities which were replaced daily by housekeeping.

We didn't have an evening meal in the very, very large dining room (must have been palatial once!), but breakfast comprised of cereals, grapefruit or orange segments and juices, as much toast as we wished for, plus a choice of various hot breakfast food from the menu, including waffles, porridge and a cooked breakfast comprising of the egg of your choice, bacon, sausage, haggis and a potato scone.
Adequate for us, and as an example, two Canadian ladies on the next table asked for just bacon, and they were brought generous portions.

Parking is to the rear of the hotel up the unmetalled lane to the left, or you can choose to leave your car on the municipal car park just behind that for £2.70 for a 24hr stay.
The hotel doesn't have wifi - but if the 'support better broadband for Callander" posters in every shop window are anything to go by, most of the town seem to be in the same boat.
The hotel staff try hard, and work hard, but it must be difficult maintaining any sort of staff morale when bad review after bad review hits them from TA.
The town itself is a real gem, hill walking with a plethora of paths up into the hills behind the hotel, a riverside walk that is very easy and with ample benches - plus the town has created a dead flat walking and cycling path to Strathyre along the path of the old railway.
Loads of shops to buy touristy stuff, takeaway food outlets and some quite nice bars (The Riverside inn, opposite the Dreadnought, is pet friendly, and allows you to sit out on the riverside terrace or bring pets inside if the weather is inclement).

So there we are, what we hope is a truly balanced review of the Dreadnought, without any ranting.
Yes, at the moment it's seen better days, but Bespoke are on to that, and we can see why people who have built themselves up for a Highland Holiday could feel a tad depressed when they walk into reception but for the money you pay it's fine - we've paid double the nightly rate for a lot worse, just don't expect the Ritz for Travel Lodge prices.
Please keep this in mind - it might have a lot of bad press here on TA, but we found it clean if a tad shabby at the moment, it costs you less than £25 pppn with breakfast included, in a truly lovely highland town, and Bespoke are aware of the amount of work they have to do to bring the Dreadnought back to its former glory.
Don't write the Dreadnought off, just lower your expectations and everything will be fine.
We hope this helped you with your choice of hotel.

Room Tip: Phone reception and ask for a refurbished room, or a room overlooking the river.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Jeffandlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ewenred, General Manager at Dreadnought Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2013

Firstly I would like to thank you for your review and it’s a shame you could not find your way to that extra star, but as our recent reviews would suggest we do seem to divide opinion. We have recently changed the breakfast menu to include Beans, mushrooms, Blackpudding, square sausage and there is also an option for Kippers or Smoked Salmon. If the surroundings of our large Restaurant are not to your liking your more than welcome to eat in Macnabs which was refurbished through out only a matter of months a go
Also many of our front rooms have been refurbished as well, and our aim is to always represent value for money. As we do take customers feed back very seriously, as here at the Dreadnought when we find that we haven’t met peoples expectations we do act up on it.Wi fi is due to be installed in Macnabs very soon and further improvements are planned.
Once again I would to thank you for your review and hope you might visit us again in the future.
Alex

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236 - 242 of 483 reviews

Reviewed June 3, 2013

We stayed for two night's on a Bed & Breakfast rating with our two dog's & had a fantastic weekend walking in the Trossach's. The room we stayed in was room 225 on the second floor. On our first night everything was fairly quiet, however a hen party on the second night broke the silence from 7pm till 8am partying in the next room (which was not the hotel's fault) & had there been a phone in our room I would have complained but felt I would be intimidated walking past the "Hen's" outside our door had I gone down to reception. The Hotel Manager could not have made us feel anymore welcome. I asked if the was anywhere we could go with the dog's at breakfast & although there wasn't he personally brought our breakfast up to our room. i will definately visit this Hotel again but would ask for a room at the far end, away from other guest's.
Across from the Hotel is a good Chinese & a Pub with a beer garden which allow dog's which was great for us. At the back of the Hotel is a huge car park which cost's £2.80 for the whole day. If parking there you can put you ticket on at night for the next day's parking (incase you sleep in past 8.45). Tesco's Express is on the same side of the road as the Hotel & is open till 11pm. This is a exellent choice for Pet loving walker's like us & is ideally located for "The Trossach's" & Loch's in a beautiful part of Scotland.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Julie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ewenred, General Manager at Dreadnought Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2013

Thank you for your comments and pleased to read you enjoyed your stay with us apart from the rather enthusiastic Hen Party we had in.We look forward to welcoming you back very soon
Many Thanks
Alex

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

Booked this for our anniversary and my husbands birthday. What a disaster. Room was filthy. Couldn't see out of the windows. Broken taps. Shower didn't work properly. NO shower curtains - when we complained we were told to put a pile of towels on the floor to catch the water. We were offered another room with a shower cubicle which was covered in black mould - not an alternative really. Couldn't bear to take my shoes off as I didn't want to put my feet on the carpet. We checked out quite quickly and complained that people shouldn't be put into rooms in that condition and were told that if that happened there would be no guests. Would NEVER recommend this hotel ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JaneArthur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ewenred, General Manager at Dreadnought Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2013

Obviously I am very disappointed and shocked to read your review and fully understand your disappointment as this is most definitely not the experience we want our customers to have. I am also disappointed you didn’t ask for me at the time as I would of personally dealt with your issues I would of rectified the issues if possible and if all else failed I would of compensated you, obviously none of that is possible now. But be assured I have taken on all your comments and they have been dealt with to make sure this never happens again
Very sorry
Alex

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Reviewed May 26, 2013

we have been going to this hotel for many years now and i cannot fault staff as they all half been great very heipful we have been unlucky room wise facing back court but just back today had great room on ground floor staff first class entertainment we r going to book up again for sept weekend hopr we can get same rooms we have been twice this year already i would recomnend this hotel you cannot beat it for money value

Room Tip: go for rooms facing the riverside inn pub
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank leslienicholls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ewenred, General Manager at Dreadnought Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 30, 2013

I am very pleased to read you enjoyed your stay with us and we do try our best to make sure we give our customers value for money. I would also like to suggest for those customers looking for a particular room, would be to phone the Hotel direct as we will do our best to accomodate you. look forward to seeing you again soon.
Alex

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Reviewed May 20, 2013

We're just back from another pleasant, relaxing stay at the Dreadnought Hotel and as usual were delighted with the welcome we received and the overall quality for the price we paid. The staff were courteous & friendly and even with a coach party in for dinner, very efficient and the food was hot and served on hot plates. The rooms are very comfortable and while not 5* (which they're not trying to be) perfectly acceptable & clean in what is a very old building.

Since we were last there, money has been spent re-carpeting the corridors - leading to a quieter night's sleep than in many hotels. The bar has been refurbished and the hotel now offers bar food all day. We tried a bar lunch and can thoroughly recommend it!!! The presentation was on a par with many high class restaurants and, yes, it tasted great.

An easy walk to the shops & the river area. I'd highly recommend this hotel for anyone looking for Scottish hospitality that doesn't cost the earth!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MargaretBerrie881
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ewenred, General Manager at Dreadnought Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

Thank you very much for your honest balanced review and I am sure like I the staff will very much appreciate it. We do have in place I new Kitchen Brigade which is producing some excellent food and we are also carrying on improving the product with our on going refurbishment programme. I look forward to seeing you next time you in Callander.
Alex

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Reviewed May 15, 2013

looked lovely when we walked in then we went to our room !
it was filthy is all I can say, dirt and dust everywhere the only clean thing was the bed and bedding the breakfast was supposed to be full scottish but it was one bit of bacon one hard egg a skinny sausage half a tomato only thing they were genourous with was the toast never again wish I could put pictures on here

  • Stayed: May 2013
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1  Thank suewostenholm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ewenred, General Manager at Dreadnought Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

Obviously I am very disappointed to read about your experience with us here at the Dreadnought. As the recently appointed Manager it is my responsibility to ensure that issues such as yours are a thing of the past. I can assure you that all your points have been acted up on and along with our on going refurbishment programme, we are also carrying out a more in depth training structure to ensure our standards are kept at a more than acceptable level .
Alex

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Reviewed May 11, 2013

The Dreadnought was recommended to me by my Great Aunt who had worked there when she a young women,

So, my partner and I decided to stay there over the weekend and found the hotel to be be a lot better than expected.

Its a lovely old building with what looks like a lot of original features, it looked like alot of the public areas have been recently refurbished and the bar had a lovely atmosphere.

We found the staff all very friendly and willing to go that extra mile to make our stay enjoyable, service was very good as were all the meals we had whilst there.

All in all, a very good value break and we would stay again if in the area

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank killyouridols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ewenred, General Manager at Dreadnought Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2013

Thank you for your comments I am pleased to read that you enjoyed your time with us and hope you visit again soon.

Alex

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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 Dreadnought Hotel

Address: Leny Road, Callander, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park FK17 8AN, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park > Callander
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Callander
Hotel Class:2 star — Dreadnought Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This place is temporarily closed. It will reopen in March 1, 2018 Originally built in the 17th Century by the Chieftain of the clan McNab as a hostelry for his fellow clasnmen travelling to the north, the Dreadnought has remained an important landmark as well as retaining a distinctive character of its own. From the wood panelled lounge bar to the architecturally listed stained glass windows, the Dreadnought has a very unique atmosphere. Centrally situated in the popular town of Callander, the 17th Century Dreadnought Hotel successfully combines the attractions of history with modern day comfort. Callander is the gateway to the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, making it an ideal destination for a Scottish break. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dreadnought Hotel Callander, Scotland

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