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£392-a-night luxury Perthshire hotel rating drops to 2* due to ‘unfriendly’ staff

An inspector also claimed her eggs benedict took more than 40 minutes to arrive. 

Dunkeld House Hotel.
Dunkeld House Hotel. Image: Google Street View

A luxury hotel in Perthshire has had its rating cut due to “unfriendly” staff.

The owner of Dunkeld House Hotel asked Visit Scotland – the brand name of the Scottish Tourist Board – to inspect its premises for a second time in the hope it could improve on its existing three-star rating.

Instead, an inspector reduced it further to two stars due to low standards in hospitality, friendliness, service and efficiency.

Visit Scotland has criticised Dunkeld House Hotel.

“I found my bedroom and bathroom and the public areas, cleanliness, and food to be of an excellent standard and meeting 4 Star Hotel expectation levels,” they reported.

But it was the service she received on her October 18 visit that dragged down the ranking.

Gripes included a lack of friendly chat, long waits for food and indiscreet staff.

Prices for a one-person single-night stay at the hotel range from £159 to £392.

Check-in – ‘dinner and breakfast requests not met’

At check-in, the inspector reported being told she was booked in for dinner at 6.15pm, “which was not my requested time slot.”

They were also allocated breakfast at 8.15am, “which was also not the time I had requested. Only alternative to this time offered was 9.45am,” the inspector said.

“There was no indication of when my room would be ready, nor an offer to store my luggage or a suggestion of where I could wait.

“Guests should be welcomed warmly, and conversation initiated by the reception team.”

Bar service – ‘sloppy gin and fingers in glass’

The inspector went on to criticise the bar service, claiming the “gin was poured very sloppily”.

They added: “I was asked if I wished a slice of grapefruit which he [the bar counter] then proceeded to add with his fingers into my glass!”

The inspector also slammed a member of staff for “loudly repeating” her room number “for all to hear”.

Inside a suite in the Dunkeld House Hotel.
Inside a suite in the Dunkeld House Hotel. Image: Dunkeld House Hotel

In the restaurant they reported waiting 21 minutes for her order to be taken.

“A gentleman sitting at the table opposite me – who arrived sometime after me – had his order taken before mine,” they reported.

After further delays, they noted: “It was just short of two hours after arriving in the restaurant that my dessert was delivered.”

The report continued: “I was not the only one – the tables around me were experiencing similar long delays.

“No goodbyes from any of the staff on departure but the young lady manning the desk did say good night.”

Breakfast – ‘long wait for eggs benedict and cold tea’

At breakfast time there was “no friendly chat,” the inspector wrote.

Their eggs benedict arrived more than 40 minutes after ordering, they continued.

The inspector reported a long wait for eggs benedict. Image: Wikimedia/Matt@PEK

“Eventually my breakfast arrived – my tea was cold, but I gave up trying to get a fresh pot delivered,” the report added.

“A family sitting next to me noticed me waiting for my food and informed me that they had been waiting over an hour for a pancake order.”

On checking out, the inspector informed staff of some of the issues they had encountered.

This was “very similar to the other guests complaining loudly at reception and demanding to see the manager,” they noted.

“Both receptionists apologised but informed me that I was not alone in my experiences and that several complaints had been received that morning.”

Dunkeld House Hotel given rating reprieve

The inspector concluded that Dunkeld House Hotel should be given a two-star rating.

But they felt the hotel should be given an ‘awaiting grading’ status on condition that it applies for another inspection visit.

River Tay at Dunkeld House Hotel.
The hotel has a picturesque spot overlooking the Tay. Image: Constance Boddice

However, they stressed: “I would however suggest that a third visit does not take place until your new team of staff are in place, they have undergone thorough training, and you are satisfied that excellent standards of professionalism and hospitality are in place.”

Dunkeld House Hotel is owned by Blantyre Capital Limited and Fairtree Alternative Real Estate, which earlier this year completed an £800,000 refurbishment to make it a 100-bed venue.

A spokesperson for the hotel said: “The service was poor so it did get a two-star rating but we are looking to get a new report done so we can get back to being a four-star hotel.”