Newest Review: ... communal areas. The Balmoral restaurant, with the discoloured carpeting and dated decor, serves a staple diet of food which appear to be m... more
Chill out at the Dunblane Hyrdo Hotel
Dunblane Hydro Hotel (Scotland)
Member Name: dbarcl10
Dunblane Hydro Hotel (Scotland)
Advantages: Relaxing, luxurious
Disadvantages: Can be expensive,
The Dunblane Hydro Hotel is a 4 star hotel, situated in the Perthshire countryside overlooking the historic city of Dunblane. Unfortunately Dunblane is perhaps best known now for the 1996 massacre of 16 young school children and their teacher in Dunblane Primary School, but the history of the town dated back to the around the late 6th century.
The hotel itself is situated on the top of a hill, surrounded by 10 acres of grounds, overlooking the historic town. The building was first opened as the Dunblane Hydropathic Establishment in 1878 to capitalise on the medicinal value of the local spring water. The original hotel contained a number of different types of baths, including Turkish, Russian, vapour, plunge, wave, electric and electro-magnetic baths. At one end of the main corridor was a large drawing room; while at the other end of the corridor was the dining room. The kitchen was on an upper floor, with food being lowered to the dining room by a service lift.
The Hydropathic Establishment did not prove as popular as expected and lasted only a few years. Since then, the hotel has gone through a number of changes, including being a Stakis hotel and a Hilton hotel. I believe that the hotel is rejoining the Hilton brand next year, being a Doubletree by Hilton brand.
Outside the hotel has plenty of parking spaces, including disabled spaces at the main entrance. The entrance to the hotel has a revolving door, with about 10 stairs leading up to the reception area, although there is a small lift that goes to the reception, but this isn't clearly signposted.
The reception is large but poorly staffed at times. The reception staff were friendly and efficient.
The original drawing room is now the Balmoral Restaurant, where delicious meals are served at breakfast, lunch and dinnertime. There is a wide variety of food available at the breakfast buffet, from a full English breakfast, to cereal, toast and fruit. The cooked breakfasts were not in the least bit greasy, and very tasty and fresh tasting.
The dinner menu also has a wide variety of meals available, from fillet steak, to salmon and vegetarian meals. A three course meal costs £22.95 per person, if not included in your room deal.
The original dining room is now a large open space, perfect for meetings and receptions. At the time of my visit, this space was not being used, and had a number of large comfy chairs situated around, and a large log fire burning bright.
Along the main corridor is a coffee shop and cocktail lounge, with a function suite beside the reception area. I believe that the hotel has regular entertainment at weekends, being a jazz band on the Friday night and a céilidh band on the Saturday night.
So, onto the bedroom. As it was a special occasion we upgraded to an Executive Suite. This was a larger room, consisting of a lounge, dining room, bathroom, bedroom with en suite and a dressing room. The suite was immaculate and was in great condition, and appeared to have been recently upgraded.
There was a TV in both the lounge and the bedroom, and the room included an iron and ironing board, and tea making facilities including tea, coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits and crisps. The room also came with a flower bouquet and chocolates.
For a pampering treat, the hotel has an indoor leisure centre just beside the main hotel, with a small pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, and for the more energetic, a gym. There are also a number of treatment rooms offering aromatherapy, reflexology, facials etc. I didn't make use of the treatment rooms, so can't review them, but the changing rooms were clean and spacious, and towels were provided at reception.
The pool was kept at a good temperature, and the sauna was very warm. The steam room was lovely, with a menthol scent. Outside the sauna and steam room were a number of showers.
The hotel has obviously recently been majorly upgraded, but there are a few areas that still need upgrading, mainly staircases and some corridors. The leisure centre could also do with some work, as despite it being clean, it does look a bit dated.
I especially liked the fact that all the hotel staff seem to be from the local area, which gave the hotel a nice Scottish, homely feel.
This is an expensive hotel to stay at, our room cost about £150 a night including dinner on both nights, and this was a special offer. Drinks within the hotel were also expensive, but if you're looking for somewhere to go for a relaxing weekend, I'd strongly recommend this hotel.
Summary: A perfect chill out hotel
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