“ Earl Grey Place, Dundee, Scotland DD1 4DE. „
What we were looking for...
When making plans for our wedding, we were looking for a venue that would fit into our tight budget. We did not want to go overboard with our wedding, and were cutting back everywhere we could - within reason. I visited the websites for all the local hotels among other venues, and thought I may as well fill in the form on the Hilton website - never imagining that it would ever fir in with our budget - how wrong I was. I very nearly didn't fill in the form - I'm so glad I did.
The Hiltons Reply...
A few days after filling in the form I received a phone call from one of the events organisers at the Hilton, who was lovely, and went through the details on the form to check she had got it right - the form is American and is a bit confusing. She sent out their wedding information pack for us to view and told us to come down for a visit.
The Information Pack...
This was well laid out, with information on prices, meals, drinks packages, evening buffets, and all the extras you could ask for. We were very impressed with the prices, being the cheapest hotel for meals, the meal packages started at £19.50 per head (very reasonable). There were also special deals available, for instance if you were looking for a Friday wedding and were having more than 50 day guests, you could get 20% discount on the meals, a Sunday wedding with over 20 guests would give you a 10% discount, both of these packages also included an overnight stay at the hotel for the bride and groom. They cater for wedding parties from just 4 -500 guests. Complimentary accommodation for the bride and groom are offered on all weddings with over 50 guests. So they can cater for all sorts of wedding, to suit all tastes.
The ceremony can also be held at the hotel for a fee of £100 (under 50 people) or £250 (over 50 guests).
Our First Visit..
I was very keen on this venue, it ticked all the right boxes from what I could gather from the information pack, so we organised a visit. My mum and I went and met with one of the events co-ordinators, and discussed our requirements over a lovely coffee and biscuit (complimentary). We were then shown round the Earl Grey Suite (where our wedding would be held), this is really quite ingenious - it is a very large room that has room dividers to allow it to be split into 4 sections. The far end has windows along one wall - this is where the ceremony would be held, it's lovely with lots of natural light. This would then be opened up to incorporate the next section of the suite for the reception. The whole suite (or 3 sections depending on numbers) could then be opened up for the evening reception.
We were also shown one of the rooms, over looking the Tay and newly refurbished, for an extra £100 we could upgrade to the MacDonald Suite.
It wasn't difficult, we were sold! The venue inside is lovely, there are beautiful views over the Tay where photos could be taken. We paid the £200 deposit (that was in October) and got planning the rest of the wedding.
They were fantastic, phone calls and emails were going back and forward regularly particularly towards the end, I also went back down to the hotel several times to discuss the fine details. I kept adding and changing details, but here was never a problem, they were very accommodating to all my needs. The set menu for the cheapest was not perfect for us, so we were given a list of options and were able to choose from this, it was then re-costed (although it stayed the same price for us). We were also able to choose from a lovely selection of children's meals for the kids that were coming to the wedding. We went for a menu tasting (free for the bride and groom and 50% discount for others (up to 10)), the meal was lovely!
The ceremony ran very smoothly and some of my senior girls that I teach dancing to had organised a guard of honour for us leaving the ceremony - lovely surprise. The senior co-ordinator and an assistant were on hand the whole day catering for all our needs. In addition to this she acted as toast master, and made a superb job of it. The venue was laid out exactly as I had specified with my balloon table decorations and confetti, it was perfect. The rooms were very quickly transformed at each stage of the day, the staff were all brilliant, and perfectly co-ordinated when serving the meals. The meals were fantastic, many of our guests commented on how nice the meals was.
Again, after the meal the room was once more quickly transformed into the evening venue and the ceilidh was ready to start, the buffet was wonderful (again it was the cheapest choice), and more guests commented on how nice it was. During the whole day the staff took care of all our gifts and cards, delivering them to our room which I found to be a lovely touch.
My new husband had booked the MacDonald Suite as a surprise for me, when we went up to the room all our gifts had been laid out, there were flowers and gifts all nicely placed in the room.
The suite had fantastic panoramic views across the Tay, The bedroom even had a telescope so you could get a really good view!! The bed was huge, and very comfortable, with lovely crisp white cotton bed linen. The bathroom had a huge corner bath, 2 sinks, bidet, and toilet (I think the bathroom was bigger than our sitting room at home!), there were lovely toiletries available and fresh white towels. The sitting room again had views across the river, TV, internet access, and playstation. In addition there was a full sized fridge, iron and ironing board (although there was no way I was going to make use of them!).
It was a buffet breakfast, a huge selection of cereals, fresh fruit, yoghurt, cheese, cold meats, rolls, fruit juice, coffee, tea, toast, cooked breakfast items including bacon, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, sausages, potato scones, tomatoes, beans, in fact most things you could want. We had several helpings, at one point while dishing up some of my breakfast I spoke to the chef, who was lovely (like all the staff) after sitting back down he came over and wished us luck on our future, our wedding co-ordinator was back in while we were at breakfast which was lovely.
We had a fantastic day, I know that many aspects of the day were definitely down to the work by the hotel staff, I really cannot thank them enough! The prices were fantastic for the wonderful meal, the only thing I would say about the prices - the bar prices were very high (like most hotels) and the bar staff unlike the waiting staff were not the best. I was impressed by the smooth running of the whole day, and would definitely recommend the Hilton for any event. :o)
(c) Catw0man 2008
I go to the University of Dundee and one weekend before Christmas my mum came to visit me. She didnt fancy staying in my cramped student flat so we decided to treat ourselves and book into the Hilton.
My mum arrived by train so the hotel was just within walking distance. Check in was smooth and we were impressed with the decor in our room. I think they had recently been decorated. We found the usual Hilton quality complimentary products in the bathroom....which were La Source i think! And the usual tea/coffee making facilities complete with biscuits
We only dined in the restaurant for breakfast...but i have to say breakfast was also of a very high standard, the usual Hilton fayre. The dining room over looks the beautiful river tay so it really is a spectacular view
The only problem we had was that the room was far too hot and there is no thermostat in the guest bedrooms so you can adjust the temperature
Dundee is a city which I have always driven though for years on my way to other places in the course of my work .. like Aberdeen, Forfar, Stonehaven etc. but I had never actually stayed or visited there. I was pregnant earlier this year and was looking for a short weekend break for my husband and I to somewhere within easy travelling distance from Glasgow. I called Hilton and asked for suggestions and availability for the dates I specified. Among the Hotels given for consideration was Hilton Dundee. I thought - why not - at the very worst it will be a good base for the north East of Scotland. We arrived at Dundee and found the Hilton Hotel with great ease (at main roundabout on way into city centre near train station) it is situated at Earl Grey Place in Dundee. The Hotel does not look very nice form the outside and reminded me of many of Dundee's City Council buildings - sixites concrete blocks - but was very very different from the inside. The staff at reception were most attentive and booked us in without any fuss. Our room was very tidy, clean and had all of the mod-cons one comes to expect with today's hotels (en-suite, TV) and a few you don't (playstyation games - online at an extra cost - but great to keep kids ammused on rainy days!) The hotel facilities are excellent. Guests have full access to the Livingwell Health Club facilities on site including a full gym, swimming pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. The club is clean and well maintained with towels provided for guests. There is even a small shop selling swimwear for those who have not packed their own! The Hilton Dundee restraunt is outstanding. The food is great (a nice selection of breakfasts available - Full Cooked Scottish Menu (Haggis, Fruit Pudding, Porridge), Cereals, Cold Buffet, Fruit and all the extras you could wish for. The outlook is accross the River Tay with the Tay bridge on the left hand side - even on a cold windy
night is is a nice picture to enjoy in the warmth of the pleasant surroundings. The staff are always attentive and seem to have customer service as a priority. The Hotel is situated a very short walk from the city centre with all of the shops and eateries within easy reach. Dundee is a very pleasant city for tourists (a visit to 'The Old Steeple' is must - a quick tour through Dundee's History in an interesting context)... There are many golf courses nearby and lots of interesting places to visit nearby (Forfar, Arbroath) I would cetainly visit again and would fully recommend Hilton Dundee as the place to be!