My husband Demetrius and I spent two nights on half board at Crieff Hydro Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland in late June 2011, on a complimentary basis. The hotel is located in its own grounds, all 900 acres of them, on the slopes of the Knock hill in Crieff.
The lobby has recently been refurbished and was looking attractive.
Crieff Hydro lobby
Our accommodation was in a Leigh signature room, in what was originally the home of the founder of Crieff Hydro, a building located a couple of hundred yards from the hotel entrance. We had an allocated parking space. The room was gorgeous, with different hues of greens, creams and browns. The bed was very comfortable. The thick curtains did work as blackouts, keeping it dark in the morning.
There was a settee and a large armchair in the room. I couldn’t understand why the fridge was in such a prominent position sitting up on the desk, I think it would have been less obtrusive in a corner at ground level. There’s wired internet in the room, which costs £12 extra per day. Guests can get free wifi for 30 minutes a day in the lobby.
Seating area in our Leigh signature room
The bathroom was enormous with a deep roll top bath, walk-in shower and two wash basins. I loved the tiling in the bathroom. Demetrius had problems adjusting the thermostat of the walk in shower; he wanted to have a lukewarm shower and the water kept running hot. He also had a nasty surprise when he noticed that the bath towel he was using to dry himself with was badly stained. It’s a basic requirement of a hotel to give you clean towels. We had another issue with housekeeping, as our tea and coffee making supplies were not replenished when the room was cleaned. It is a pity that housekeeping issues marred our overall impression of the room.
Roll top bath in Leigh signature room
Crieff Hydro is ideal for families as room rates include six hours free child care for kids aged 2 – 12 years. There are over 60 on site activities on offer, including quad biking, segwaying, archery, horse riding, table tennis, golfing, swimming and rifle shooting. However, it wasn’t very clear how much the various activities cost. I’d have liked to see a booklet in the room giving the prices and opening hours of every activity. For example, on the daily programme sheet there was an entry describing the crazy golf with a phone number for booking, but no price or operating times given.
Me playing table tennis at Crieff Hydro
The three course set menu dinner was excellent in terms of choice and quality of dishes. The smoked salmon and prawn filo starters were delicious. Main course options included tender beef, smoked haddock and sea bass. The desserts were beautifully presented and the raspberry yoghurt cake was divine. The coffee served with dessert was full of flavour without being too strong. The restaurant staff were all very attentive, efficient and pleasant. The breakfast buffet had a good selection of hot and cold dishes, but breakfast was only served until 10am. I thought that it would be more relaxing for guests if this were extended until 11am. It wasn’t ideal to have a note at the bottom of the dinner menu suggesting that guests come for breakfast between 7.30am – 8.30am to avoid the 9am – 10am peak period.
Raspberry yoghurt cake
In summary, Crieff Hydro is in a wonderful location in beautiful gardens and countryside. The standard of fittings and furnishings in the Leigh signature room was very high but let down by poor standards of housekeeping. The food, especially at dinner, was really good. However, I think extending breakfast serving hours until 11am would allow guests to have a more leisurely morning. The inclusive childcare for kids aged 2 – 12 years makes Crieff Hydro very attractive for families.
Click here to see all our Crieff Hydro photos on Flickr.