My stay at this hotel was part of a coach tour. The main part of the Hotel faces the river Ness; there is another block at the rear, which connects to the main area by a corridor that passes the leisure centre. Access to reception is via a flight of steps, but for those not able to manage them an easier access via the car park, Use the door by the leisure centre, turn right and follow the corridor. The City centre is very close, from the front of the Hotel turn left, at the bridge (about 100 yards) turn right, across the bridge is the City centre. In the evening the bridge is illuminated, as are some of the trees along the river. Down river beyond the bridge some work on flood defences is being carried out leading to some road closures. There has also been a severe fire in the City leading to further road closures. I found the City to be virtually litter free. Along the road to the right of the Hotel are the Cathedral, Theatre/cinema and a very pleasant walk down to Ness Islands, which you can cross to by several bridges and return on the opposite riverbank.
As you enter the Hotel reception is situated in front of you. To the right are the stairs and lift to the bedrooms in this part of the Hotel. To the extreme right is the restaurant room. The lounge, lounge bar and a small eating area extend to the remaining space. The large windows give great views over the river. It appears that a considerable sum has been spent of updating and decorating this part of the Hotel. To the left of reception is a door that leads to the toilets and the corridor to the leisure centre, the car park and remaining bedrooms. The leisure centre contains all the facilities normally associated with hotel leisure centres. You will need £1 (refundable) to operate the lockers – but if you forget tokens are available at the desk as are free towels. The Jacuzzi is on a timer and when it switches off you have to vacate it until the switch shows green.
My bedroom was in the block at the back and similar to the front was accessed via a lift or stairs. The bedroom itself had been recently updated and decorated. It was quite large and had a table and 2 chairs, TV on a drawer unit, writing table with 2 drawers, 2 bedside cabinets, wardrobe, tea & coffee with a kettle. The bed was very large and I don’t recall being in a hotel bedroom bigger than this or with so many power sockets. The bathroom had also been updated and would probably rival some 4 or 5 star hotels (once a “snagging” has been done). The shower was situated over the bath though I understand some rooms have walk in showers. Towels could be changed daily or when required. The information book was very comprehensive covering all facilities provided by the Hotel. There is a car park and if all spaces have been taken a valet parking is offered.
Being part of a party our meal times were fixed. Other guests had a greater time span to eat their meal. Breakfast is advertised as being 54 different items. I can believe it. Juices, cold items, cereals and the hot full English with haggis was on a self-service basis. The waiters delivered toast, teas and coffee. Plenty to eat and well prepared. As part of our package a lunch was included which consisted of very nice soup and sandwiches. Likewise, dinner was also included. Again afternoon tea was included in our package, which consisted of cake (or delicious scones topped with cream and strawberries. Each evening there was a choice of 4 starters, main meals, and desserts. All were generous portions and very well prepared. Tea and coffee were available in the lounge (such a nice change from those hotels that these days tend to offer only wine at the main meal).
All staff were friendly and efficient, especially the restaurant staff.
The Wi Fi worked at an acceptable speed in the bedroom and was free.
From home to the Hotel was a distance of approximately 450 miles. For the views alone it would have been worth it, add the Hotel and I have to say it has been many a year since a break has been so enjoyable. I hope I can one day return to the Palace less