After asking for feedback from you lovely folk last year about what you would like to see more of on my blog, I discovered quality accommodation recommendations were high on your list. This is definitely something I plan to do more of and I'm delighted to share my first hotel review of the year with you.
Earlier this month I was invited to check out the recently refurbished Murrayshall House Hotel in Perthshire. I must emphasise that I get quite a few offers to review accommodation and carry out lots of prior research before deciding if a place sounds like somewhere I could potentially recommend - I always decline invitations if I suspect the accommodation isn't up to scratch. I feel it is important to share this with so you can be assured that only the best places to stay in Scotland, based on my personal research and experience, make it to my blog.
After reading glowing public reviews about Murrayshall House, I was keen to find out what all the fuss was about and I'm glad to say it easily surpassed my high standards.
Murrayshall House Hotel is situated in Scone which is in the Perth and Kinross region of Scotland. It has a peaceful feel as it is surrounded by 365 acres of countryside which also incorporates two 18 hole golf courses and a driving range.
However, it is also only just over 4 miles from Scone Palace, the crowning place of Scottish kings, and just over 3 miles from the city of Perth, making it an ideal base for exploring this part of the country although you would really need a car if you were staying here as it is a bit off the main road.
Check out my Perthshire travel blogs for more local inspiration
Murrayshall House has an interesting history, dating back to 1664 when it was initially owned by Sir Andrew Murray whose descendants, the Earls of Mansfield, still occupy nearby Scone Palace. It remained in the same family for 260 years, with modernisation carried out in the 18th and 19th century. In 1927 it left the family and was bought by local businessman Francis Norrie-Millar, the founder of General Accident. In 1973 it was sold again and developed into a hotel. The hotel has recently undergone a major refurbishment, combining tasteful contemporary Scottish decor with retained historical features.
If golf is your thing you might be interested to know that the golf course was designed by Hamilton J. Stutt who was involved with the building or improvement of many famous courses including Turnberry and St Mellion Old Course.
There are 40 bedrooms and suites offering a choice of accommodation and from checking the website rates, the prices are pretty standard for this level of four star quality, ranging from £170 to £250 per night at the time of writing. It is worth noting that these are the maximum rates and the hotel does seem to offer much better deals on their website which are really good value so be sure to check them out.
I stayed in room 2 which I believe is going to be renamed The Millar Suite and it was amazing! On entering I was super excited to see the carved four poster bed and immediately felt like a proper pampered princess. The suite itself was huge with a comfy sitting area, a separate dressing room and an extra big bathroom. I did a little tour of my suite on my Instagram stories and got quite a few 'Ooohs' and 'Aaahs' and admiring comments which is always a good sign.
The decor had just the right hint of traditional Scottish with a contemporary twist and I loved the giant period feature windows with views towards the Strathmore Valley and Grampian Mountains. Of course having been recently refurbished it also had the modern extras you might expect like a giant TV and plenty of sockets. The only extra I would add is some fluffy dressing gowns and slippers to complete the luxury experience.
Between the bedroom area and bathroom is a separate dressing room with plenty of storage space and a pretty dressing table.
The bathroom is extra spacious with a large walk in shower and a choice of rainfall or flexible shower head, because different moods require different shower heads, am I right?!
I was also delighted to see a supply of Scottish toiletries in the bathroom, a bit like serving local produce in the restaurant, this always earns bonus points from me.
Sadly I didn't have time for a bath but it looked extra deep and comfy.
Dinner and breakfast is served in the Lynedoch Brasserie which has been decorated to a really great standard. I loved the colour scheme and the eclectic Scottish wall art which gives it a modern yet cosy feel. I have to say I was really impressed with all the decor in the public areas, it looks like a lot of money has been spent and the Scottish touches are fun and tasteful rather than tacky. I have stayed in many old-fashioned Scottish hotels that could do with looking to Murrayshall House for inspiration on how to bring their establishment into the 21st century without losing touch with their heritage.
Local produce is featured heavily on the menu and although some dishes listed the origin of the produce (e.g Loch Etive Trout or Gartmorn Chicken), I personally would have liked some more information included about the provenance of other ingredients (e.g Crispy Pork or Scottish Cheeseboard).
Overall the food was very nice although I wouldn't say it was outstanding. My west coast crab, avocado and tomato salad starter had very little crab and a scallop seemed to take centre stage on the plate instead. It tasted nice but wasn't really what I was expecting from the menu description.
Other than that I had no complaints and Mr Adventures Around Scotland was very happy with his choices. Although our food was provided as part of the review, our dinner bill would have been just over £80 for 3 courses each and 2 drinks to give you an idea of what you could expect to pay.
The service was excellent and the waiting staff very attentive even when the restaurant started to get busier so no complaints there either.
As I previously mentioned the public areas have been refurbished to a really high standard. The lounge and bar area is cosy and a comfy seat by the roaring fire was the perfect place to relax with a dram on a snowy Scottish evening.
If your idea of relaxation is cosying up with a good book, the library makes a great wee hideaway. It felt particularly snug with all the crisp white snow covering the gardens outside the window.
Breakfast was a pretty standard affair with a cold buffet selection and hot cooked dishes from the breakfast menu. Disappointingly they didn't have the Smoked Scottish Salmon listed on the menu which is usually my go to breakfast choice along with scrambled eggs. Instead I opted for the peat smoked haddock which came with a poached egg and crispy bacon and Mr Adventures Around Scotland rather predictably ordered a Full Scottish, both of which were cooked nicely.
Again, a special mention to the waiting staff who were obviously very busy yet still very attentive and nothing seemed too much trouble.
I visited Murrayshall House Hotel on a particularly wintry weekend and it was a complete haven from the elements. On the morning we were due to leave I would have preferred to spend the rest of the day gazing out at the stunning snowy view from our luxurious bedroom than heading back out into the freezing temperatures but sadly all good things must come to an end!
I'm happy to say that Murrayshall House Hotel exceeded my expectations and based on my own experience I am delighted to recommend it as a quality place to stay in Scotland. Be sure to visit the hotel website and book direct for
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Disclaimer - As stated, my accommodation and food was provided for the purposes of a review and my opinions are based on my own experience. However, I always carry out additional independent research to ensure my own experience matches up with that of other guests. This way I feel I can confidently recommend featured accommodation to my readers.
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