Pros: Lots to see and do, fantastic kids club, picturesque scenery, some good room deals to had
Cons: Hotel is a bit worn and dated, food is unremarkable.
Crieff Hydro is set within the Perthshire countryside approximately an hour’s drive from both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports. We flew into Edinburgh and picked up a hire car. The directions supplied by the hotel were extensive, but it still didn’t stop us from getting lost along the way.
When we arrived the front of the hotel was subject to extensive building works, so it wasn’t the grand entrance we were expecting. However, the staff were friendly and helpful, and we were quickly given our keys and directed to our room, which was located up a narrow flight of stairs. There were lifts, but these were quite small and slow and as a result, could get rather cramped.
There were no disappointments with our room, which was one of the best layouts for a family with kids we have seen. Guests entered into a small corridor, with a shower room and separate bathroom straight ahead. To the left was the main bedroom, with a good sized double bed. To the right was the kid’s bedroom, which boasted a single bed and bunk beds. There was just enough space for a travel cot as well, so it was perfect for large families. The décor itself looked a little tired, but it was clean and very functional, and it offered us a little space from the kids, which both holidaydaddy and I welcomed.
The children’s club, Big Country, was fantastic. It’s available for 2-12 year olds, and two 3 hour sessions per day are included in the price of the room. The large club room is in a separate section of the hotel, and is organized by age group. It even has it’s own soft play unit next door. We felt more than happy to leave our two children there to undertake craft projects, and from what we could see the sessions were very well structured.
Children’s tea was held in the brasserie, and there was always a good range of food available, to cater for even the fussiest of little eaters. We booked a babysitter through the hotel (one of the girls who worked in the kids club), who was very good, and we felt very comfortable with her.
The hotel has two options for dinner – the Miekle restaurant (which is included in the half board room price), or the Brasserie (which you get a supplement towards). We ate in the Miekle restaurants most nights, and unfortunately we found the dated menu a little disappointing. On our last night in the hotel we ate in the Brasserie, which was good. We wish that we had eaten there every night!
The hotel has great facilities including a riding stable, 18-hole golf course, full-on activity centre for adrenaline junkies, a family pool and a small children’s pool which was perfect for our little ones. I had a lovely massage at the spa, and from what we could tell the treatments were varied and well priced. We didn’t get around to trying the Victorian Adult Spa as there was so much else going on, but it looked fabulous.
If all that’s not enough then you can take a leisurely stroll and take in the breathtaking scenery around the 900 acre estate.
The Crieff Hydro is definitely a hotel we would revisit. It provided us with the break we needed with excellent childcare and a room that worked well for us. It needs a lick of paint in places and we recommend you stick to the Brassiere restaurant , however other than that we would recommend a trip to this Perthshire getaway.
Holidaymummy rating: 4/5