Cromlix Hotel (SLH), Dunblane Scotland

Old Aug 20, 2020, 9:40 am
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Cromlix Hotel (SLH), Dunblane Scotland

Cromlix

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Cromlix

Kinbuck Dunblane, GB FK15 9JT

Cromlix Hotel (SLH), Dunblane Scotland (33 Photos)

Cromlix

After staying at Inverlochy Castle, a few days later during our Scottish road trip we stayed at another castle-style Small Luxury Hotel property, this time Cromlix House near Stirling.  While there are several similarities between the two hotels (which are under common management), Cromlix is not as opulent or impressive as Inverlochy in the common areas, but our room was significantly better for a far lower price tag so in my opinion Cromlix was easily the better value for the money. 

Location

Cromlix is located besides a vast farm land full of sheep in the countryside, about a 20-minute drive from Stirling.  It is also 45-50 minutes from either Edinburgh or Glasgow so accessible from two major airports.  Because there are major urban centers not too far, the hotel had a fair number of dining guests visiting the property for afternoon tea or dinner only, which made the hotel a bit busier than Inverlochy Castle which does not have large towns nearby and provided a far more exclusive and private experience. 

The Cromlix building looked great from the outside and had manicured grounds all around and several walking paths in the wooded areas nearby. 

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Room

Because I could not find the same room type available for all our nights there, I made a split booking between the “small double” and “double” room types.  This property only has 15 rooms so it can get fully booked easily which was the case during our stay so I did not expect an upgrade and suspected we would have to change room in the middle of our stay.  To my surprise we received a generous upgrade to a suite which is in part why the value for the money as SLH Indulged guest was better than at Inverlochy Castle where elite benefits were virtually non-existent. 

The 67 square meter suite was set up similar to a one-bedroom apartment, minus a kitchen.  In front of the entrance there was a long hallway with separate bedroom and living room on one side, and bathroom and toilet on the other side.  At the end of the hallway there was a door which could not be opened so most likely in the past the toilet was shared by a few rooms in the hotel.  Also near the entrance of the bathroom there was another door which was probably used years ago, but it was blocked by a storage cabinet with drawers.  There was an old-style phone in the hallway giving a special touch to this historical property.

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The bathroom was renovated recently and was much better quality than the one we had at Inverlochy Castle.  First of all there was a frosted ceiling glass making the room very bright, there was lots of counter space in a space within the wall, there was a dual vanity with regular faucets unlike Inverlochy which had a single vanity and the old-style two faucet system, one for hot water and one for cold water, which is always very inconvenient because you are at risk of getting burnt when using hot water.  Also the shower was much more modern at Cromlix with a rain shower with cascade water option, unlike Inverlochy which had a cheap shower with brittle door. 

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The living room was spacious as the rest of the room and included a sofa bed.  The TV was similar to the one found at Inverlochy: it was a framed mirror when the TV was off, blending nicely with the room décor.  The one weakness of the room was similar to Inverlochy: there was no air conditioning, which is mostly not necessary in Scotland but in August our room felt hot.  The breeze was coming from the other side of the hotel so even when opening the windows of our bedroom we did not get much fresh air inside.  Also soundproofing was not very good and we could hear people in the hallways outside our room, but thankfully given the small size of the hotel there was only a modest number of people around.

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Dining

The restaurant was very bright thanks to its greenhouse type roof and tables were set in full view of the kitchen where staff was preparing our orders.  There was no buffet and everything was a la carte.  This restaurant was not as luxurious as the restaurant at Inverlochy which used to have a Michelin star; the choices for breakfast were fine at Cromlix but not as impressive as at Inverlochy, that said I did enjoy the porridge brûlée with whisky for breakfast. 

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Common Areas

Like at Inverlochy Castle, Cromlix had many games available for guests during a rainy day, including a full-size snooker table.  There were many other board games available and a large chess board in the yard outside the hotel as well.  Not surprisingly since the owner of the hotel is now Andy Murray who grew up close by in Dunblane, the hotel also had a couple of tennis courts.  There was even a chapel near reception.

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Wifi

Wifi had ok download speed of about 15 Mbps but upload left to desired at 3 Mbps.  Also there were occasional outages which required to disconnect and reconnect. 

Overall

Overall I felt value for the money was much better at Cromlix than at Inverlochy, the state of the room was superior and with the upgrade on top then there was no comparison possible.  Inverlochy has a price premium probably due to the more remote location and exclusive feeling with grandiose common areas, but it’s not like Cromlix was boring, massive and impersonal hotel either.  I was pleased with our stay and if someone had to choose one of the two SLH properties I would recommend Cromlix ahead of Inverlochy if price is an issue. 

Cromlix Hotel (SLH), Dunblane Scotland

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escape4 is offline  
Old Aug 20, 2020, 2:20 pm
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Great review! Thanks!
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Old Aug 21, 2020, 6:04 am
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Great review! Thanks very much!

@moderators - should be moved to the SLH sub-forum: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smal...otels-slh-772/
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Old Aug 21, 2020, 7:16 am
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Great review, thank you. My father and I stopped in this area last year on our way from Edinburgh to Glasgow, when we stopped at Stirling Castle. I had actually looked at staying at the Doubletree south of this hotel, but we ended up just staying 3 nights at the Sheraton Edinburgh to avoid hopping around. Wish I had've known about this hotel though, I must have not have checked SLH. Thanks for posting.
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Old Aug 21, 2020, 11:20 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by 59Impala
Great review! Thanks very much!

@moderators - should be moved to the SLH sub-forum: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smal...otels-slh-772/
Same for the review I posted about Inverlochy: they belong in SLH. The problem is there is no "hotel review" button in the SLH sub-forum so reviews cannot be posted there, and mods must not have seen my request to get this fixed.
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