My wife and I stayed at the Murraypark on Friday and Saturday to celebrate a friends landmark birthday.
The Hotel is small but perfectly formed, situated on a quiet side road about a 10 minute slow walk from it's larger sister hotel the Crieff Hydro. Staying at the Murraypark gains access to the Hydro facilities.
We were greeted very warmly by Lynne who I think may be the hotel manager. All of the staff we met during our stay and using the restaurant were very friendly, keen to help and efficient with some major niggles I'll come to later. Close to the reception is a small lounge with newspapers and a large TV if you want to catch up on the news, the TV remote is to hand if you want peace and quiet with your daily read. Staff will bring tea/coffee drinks to you in the lounge. I'm not a coffee drinker but my friend and wife who both have serious coffee habits said there's were lovely.
I had requested a quiet room as I am a very light sleeper and was given room 20 on the top floor which met our needs perfectly. It was too warm for me initially, obviously warm air rising throughout the hotel but turning the radiator down and opening the window solved that. Horses for courses, someone else would probably love the extra warmth. The room was a good size with a comfortable double and single bed, a dressing table, a chest of drawers, a couple of armchairs and a decent sized wardrobe. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate making facilities were in the room. Our room only had a shower which was fine for us but of you prefer a bath ask specifically; I know nsome rooms have a bath as friends had one.
A brisk 10 minute walk (2 minute drive) down the hill takes you to Crieff High Street where you can buy a newspaper, visit a café, pub or restaurant. There's also a fair few traditional outfitters, so if a tweed jacket or Deerstalker hat take your fancy you are in luck. It's a pretty stiff walk back uphill but that helps get rid of the lunchtime excess.
The niggles I mentioned earlier all came at meal times. The menu is fine and there is probably something for everyone. The quality of the food is good, not outstanding but perfectly fine for what it is. The problem we had was waiting for our orders to arrive. By the way I do not blame the waiting staff who to a man (we were only waited on by men) were friendly, courteous and obliging. On Friday evening we had booked a table for four adults and two children (11 and 5 years old) for 7 O'Clock. By 7.10 our orders had been taken, drinks arrived promptly and then the wait; at 7.45 the mother of the kids asked that if nothing else could the children's starters be brought (they had both only asked for garlic bread) as it was seriously late for them to be dining, the starters all arrived within 5 minutes. By the way none of our starters were soufflés or anything of the sort that take a while to cook, it was goats cheese salads or similar. Then the wait happened again, after 40 minutes and with, by now, a very grumpy 5 year old boy I caved in and went to the kitchen to find out what was happening as we had been in the restaurant about 1 ½ hours with no sign of the main, again the food arrived within 5 minutes. The boy by now was too tired to eat. The night manager came and apologised, one of the waiters must have informed her and she duly waived our drinks bill, 2 bottles of apple juice for the kids and a bottle of wine for the ladies. I've worked in catering and said to my wife and friends that it was probably a chef calling in sick as there could not have been a full compliment of kitchen staff on. If that was the case it was the same the next night when as a a party of 12-14 we waited so long to be served the guest of honour went to find a manager to see what the problem was. It went from long waits at dinner to Fawlty Towers at breakfast on Sunday. We were not offered tea or coffee, the staff who were so diligent and cheery on Friday and Saturday seemed out on their feet, I don't blame them, they seemed to have long shifts. An elderly friend ordered a soft boiled egg which came 15 minutes and 3 cups of coffee later, not accompanied by the requested toast. My wife got her eggs and bacon which was nice but it was served before the porridge she had ordered to start. Give him his due the waiter did offer to take it away and keep it warm, my wife decided not to risk it. Her porridge turned up mid way through her cooked breakfast. My breakfast arrived without the toast but I was at last given a pot of tea, luckily there was a milk jug on an adjacent table as my tea didn't come with any. So I'm guessing it's down to budget and for a hotel which seemed to be fully booked the whole weekeend that is unnaceptable. The chefs obviously cannot cope with the covers so the management need to sort something out. Similarly a few of the waiters seemed to be just very, very tired.
That seemed like a fairly lengthy moan, it's not, it's a statement of what happened but I feel it needed explanation as the waiters were generally great and the food is okay.
I would recommend the Murraypark and it's staff wholeheartedly and we will definitely stay again. Apart from the restaurant delays we had a great time with a lovely room, in a smashing hotel. But eat there again? Probably not with the high street 10 minutes away.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A warm welcome awaits you at the Murraypark, a small friendly 3* hotel where personal service is assured. Guests staying at the Murraypark can enjoy full access to the Crieff Hydro's extensive Lagoon leisure facilities and daily entertainments programme, all within a five minute walk! In the Restaurant, the focus is on good food and wines served in comfortable surroundings. Children are welcome at the Murraypark with child care available at an additional supplement. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Murraypark Hotel Crieff, Scotland