Over priced for what we got and an unbearably hot room
13/10/2017 hfulton32, Paisley, United Kingdom
The Inverness Palace is something of an enigma: it ought to be a 4 star, especially given the price (we paid £560 for 3 nights B&B in an ordinary double), but unless you upgrade to a large double with... more
The Inverness Palace is something of an enigma: it ought to be a 4 star, especially given the price (we paid £560 for 3 nights B&B in an ordinary double), but unless you upgrade to a large double with river view (which would have taken the price to £710 for 3 nights!) it definitely isn't. We travel all over the UK, Europ and world destinations and found this hotel puzzling as it is just not good value.
There are a lot of positive things about the hotel: the location is great, on the river and a short walk from the city and all its facilities. Also there is a fab Italian restaurant almost next door! It looks good - Scottish Baronial Style - and the foyer is now very smart if you can ignore the strong smell of chlorine from the pool. There's also a handy Starbucks coffee bar. The chlorine smell is a give away that it does have a pool/spa facilities, which is another plus if this will add to your pleasure. Also the staff were nice and helpful/responsive. I loved the fact they accept people buy their own drinks for their rooms, and they will bring you tumblers/wine glasses/ice/lemon at no cost!
The two things that burst the balloon however are the rooms in the new extension building and the hot breakfast. In the guest guide it advises there is no air con as it is an old building: This IS true of course of the old building, but it's a complete mystery as to why air con wasn't put into the newer extension, which is clearly purpose built. Our stay was spoiled as we couldn't relax in the room which was very hot. We don't know why: It was mid October and cool enough outside. We had the window open to its fullest extent the whole time and a fan on when in the room/all night. I suppose it didn't help that the bathroom was so small and airless, and no air extractor came on with the light as is usual in other hotels. There was a comic element to being sweatier AFTER your shower than before, but it wasn't really funny to actually live it. All I can think is that it was built in a way to conserve heat/money: Great for the economy of the hotel, but torture for the innocent guest!!
The room doors are also on a very tight and powerful spring mechanism so unless a guest is intelligent enough to keep hold of the handle, they slam loudly shut every time someone enters or leaves their room. This was maddening as all the guests but ourselves just let them slam. Several times we literally jumped out of our skins at the loud bangs. I would dearly like to spend a few minutes with the man or woman who designed this delightful extra treat . . .
The other let down is the hot breakfast. The continental selection, cereals and fruits are fine, but the hot breakfast was OK in parts, grim in others - and always lukewarm to cold. This hotel caters for coachloads of people too, so go to breakfast latish if you can! This is the reason I guess this also explains why the hot breakfast is so lacklustre as it is churned out for the mob: the fried eggs were indescribable, tiny overcooked bullets, and the scrambled eggs tasteless and soggy. The tomatoes were never cooked through and the bacon horribly flabby (I can only presume microwaved??) The other items were OK. Toast is brought to you, and the wheaten is the nicest.
I would recommend avoiding the cooked items unless you just want say sausage and beans, and you can breakfast better on porridge and or all the cold options.
It's quite sad to have to criticise, as the staff clearly want to please. If you do want to stay here, go for an upgrade and you may be OK - that though will be a pretty expensive option and you'd still get the lacklustre breakfast unless maybe you ask for it brought to your room? If the heat in the newer building were sorted and the hot breakfast well cooked and kept hot, this would be a really good place to stay. As it is, we can't stay again as it's bonkers to masochistic to pay so much to be uncomfortable: We've checked Trip Advisor more carefully and we will try one of the 5 star smaller hotels in the city next time we stay. We notice how many people in the reviews of the Palace complain of the heat, but clearly nothing can be done as it doesn't change. And as long as the coaches keep rolling in and out, I guess there's no huge motivation even to try. less
Della E, Operations Support Manager at Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, responded to this review
Thank you for taking the time to post your review and I'm sorry you have left disappointed.
I am sorry too that you were not happy with the value of your experience and especially the temperature of the room and the quality of the breakfast items.
We have 110 rooms in total, whenever we can we will change our guests room to one more suitable. I am sorry we could not offer you the complementary upgrade as requested, whenever we can we always will.
Breakfast should always be delicious, fresh and well cooked. I am sorry that this is not the experience you had and I have let our Head Chef know.
It's great that there were aspects of the hotel you enjoyed, I'm sure we could allocate you a room that would be more appropriate on your next visit to Inverness should you give the us another opportunity to look after you.
Thanks again for your review and kind regards, Della.