Crieff Hydro Hotel - A Jewel in Scotland Crown - Updated Jan 2017 - The Crown may be slipping cos little things mean a lot
January 29, 2015
Yvonne and I had a 4 night midweek break at the crieff hydro off season. As it was a birthday treat for me we booked an upgraded room and included freedom dining in our package.
What can I say,everything about the stay was superb. from the suprise bottle of malt Yvonne had arranged to be in the room on arrival, to the excellent customer service from every member of staff.
We tried the food in the bistro, the restaurant (sorry can't remeber the name) and the winter garden, all were excellent and the freedom dining facility really does give you the flexibility of choice. We also sampled the activities crieff has to offer and off season you can often enjoy a 2 for 1 deal on activities. We tried the quad biking and the air rifles. As it was off season we were in a group of 4 for the quads and it was just the two of us for air rifles, this led to a very relaxed and enjoyable session on each activity.
We also made use of the in house cinema at Crieff (yes I did say in house cinema) and its included in the rate.
Crieff has two swimming pools, 1 in the victorian spa which is included in some packages but a supplement for most guests. This spa is very relaxing with its roman pillars and wall murals although not ideal for serious swimmers more a chill out zone. The other pool is in the leisure centre open to all guests. The pool here is more traditional although it does have a small flume. The leisure centre also has sauna & steam room, a jacuzzi and a gym. All perfectly useable if a little dated in appearance.
All in all this was our best break of the year and I will definitely go back
Definitely a 9 out of 10 and maybe even a 10. Probably drop a point by virtue of the fact that the advertised robes were not in the room on arrival and the view from the room could have been better but these are very minor niggly details.
Yvonne and I returned to the Hydro for a 3 night midweek break and unfortunately this stay didn't match up to our previous experiences, and it was just little things that cause the crown to slip however little things do mean a lot. Because of the January sale/black Friday we booked 3 nights as 3 separate 1 night bookings. The booking system wouldn't let us book all 3 night in one booking.
We subsequently contacted the hotel to upgrade to an executive room with dinner and a bottle of proscecco for a £50 per night upgrade fee. Because it was 3 separate bookings we contacted the hotel the week before arrival to ensure the bookings would be linked and we would be allocated the same room each night. On arrival at check in we were informed as it was 3 bookings we would need to check out each morning and check back in again. I asked whether they could just link the bookings on the system to avoid the need for check out , apparently they couldn't so each morning we checked out and back in again, re swiped my credit card and got replacement door cards and recharge cards.
Bizarrely they were able to transfer extras from one account to the other so my card didn't need to be charged each day, although it did need to be reauthorized each morning. Now maybe it's just me but this whole scenario is a complete farce and one that it should be easy to remedy on their booking system.
The executive room although nice, cam e with nice touches of bottled water, sweets and of course the chilled proscecco. Unfortunately this wasn't repeated automatically on days two or three until we pointed out we had paid the full daily upgrade rate and in fact had checked out and back in again. That done the trick as far as the Proscecco went but didn't unlock any sweets or water for day 2 or 3. The room itself as I said was nice but there was significant black mould around the bath sealant, highly visible and very off putting. if anyone from the hotel reads this perhaps they could address this in room 106, not what you would expect from an executive room.
The hotel itself was once again very good with good food in both restaurants, good cinema facility, victorian spa and live music in the bar, although the victorian spa is starting to look like it needs a clean up. We also on this occasion visited the sister hotel Murray Park and had a pleasant and very welcoming couple of hours in the cosy lounge bar area.
On this occasion i would only give the Crieff hydro a 6 or 7 out of 10 and at £450 for the 3 nights including the activities and extras it's not cheap so little things really do matter, this kind of price range provides quite a choice of good 4 or even 5 star hotels across the country to choose from.