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Hetland Hall Hotel (Dumfries)

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1 Review

Address: Carrutherstown / Dumfries / Scotland / DG1 4JX

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      28.04.2009 20:40
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      In need of modernisation.

      The Hetland Hall Hotel is located in Dumfries and Galloway in the south west of Scotland, just off the A75 route. It is situated within 18 acres of land and boasts fantastic views. On leaving the A75 you drive up the private drive access to the hotel and follow the clear signposting to the car parking at the rear of the hotel. There are several spaces at the front of the hotel but these tended to be just for unloading and disabled residents. We were staying in Hetland Hall hotel for a wedding and on first impressions it looked like a lovely stately home type hotel with nice surroundings and ideal for a wedding, however my good impression of the hotel stayed outside upon entering.

      Price - The hotel is part of the Best Western group of chains and the average cost to stay here on there website is about £125 B & B per double room with full occupancy. The hotel itself though does have its own website separate from the Best Western website and it is this website where you will find the best prices. Im unsure of the actual url address but if you just type Hetland Hall Hotel into a search engine im sure it will come back as a result.
      We booked through the hotels own website and ended up paying £75 per night for 2 adults on a bed and breakfast basis. The cost of using the hotels facilities is included in this so there is no extra charge for using the pool, sauna or gym equipment.

      Arrival - The greeting from reception was friendly, though is located right by the front door which made it feel very cold. The tiled floor and dated look probably made it feel slightly colder than what it actually was. There are a selection of leaflets and brochures located by the front door to provide you with information on local attractions. The majoriy of attractions are historic sights or country parks with long walks but even these are a fair drive away and probably werent suitable to be visited at the beginning of February which was when we were there due to how unbelievably cold it was.
      On check in we were told that we were in the newer part of the hotel and given clear instructions how to get to the room. There were no lifts so it did mean having to carry our suitcases up several flights of stairs. It is also worth mentioning that dogs are permitted to stay at this hotel which, being dog lovers and having two labradors ourselves , we didnt mind. However I can understand how this may put some people off.

      On our way to the room the newer part of the hotel didnt feel new at all, it actually reminded me of my school with poor wooden staircases and cold tile floor throughout, large cheap looking windows stale smell and large hall. It felt about 200 years old and also seemed very spooky. In fairness the receptionist had said 'newer' part not new so given that the building is very old my estimate of 200 years probably isnt far out! Anyway we found our room easily and entered.
      Rooms - The rooms was of a reasonable size though appeared very dated. There was no modern decor at all or a vast amount of amenities. There was a television and a large dressing table area which was ideal for getting ready for the wedding but this was about as far as went where amenities were concerned.

      There was a lovely view from the room over the countryside which really was fantastic to be fair.
      The bathroom again was very dated though had been kept clean. It was very small and they had just about managed to squeeze a bath, sink and toilet in there. As we were only staying for two nights though it was adequate.

      There is no minibar or fridge facilities, but we were aware of this beforehand so had taken a portable fridge and some drinks with us, as there was not much choice in the hotel and the nearest shop is miles away.
      We did experience several problems whilst staying in the room such as knocking on walls and the television switching itself on and off when we had definitely pressed the power off button on the tv. We reported this to the reception and were told it was probably the ghosts!! Not at all what I was expecting to hear and from that moment on I would not stay in the room on my own as we kept noticing other little things then which probably werent anything to do with ghosts, but once the idea gets planted your imagination has a habit of playing tricks on you.

      My inlaws and the bride of the party had two rooms in the old part of the hotel which were part of the original building. These rooms were huge and much nicer than our room. They again boasted fantastic views and appeared of a much higher quality, and were more representable of the nightly charge we were paying.
      Facilities - The hetland hall hotel offers a health suite situated in a swiss chalet style lodge on the other side of the rear car park. You need to go to reception first to get a key and sign a register to say thats where you are in the event of a fire, and again sign out when you return the key.

      There is a gym with plenty of equipment although much of it is very old and I wouldn't really trust its reliability. There are several running machings, rowers, weight benches and excercise cycles. Some of the equipment was broken and some items were in need of maintenance but on the whole it did its job and there was enough working equipment to keep you going. There is also a vending machine within the gym offering water and energy drinks which was a good extra.
      Adjoined to the gym on the other side of the chalet is the swimming pool and sauna. There is a seating area for those not wishing to swim and the pool is of a good size and the water is kept nice and warm. There are showering facilities and a sauna by the swimming pool also, however I did not use swimming pool facilities but my husband said they were very good and enjoyed his time in there.

      It did mention on their website that there is also a pitch and putt and childrens play area however we did not notice these during our stay.
      Food - The hotel does offer a nice menu and we had a lovely meal the night before the wedding. The prices are reasonable and you can expect to pay around £22 for a 3 course meal. The service is fast and efficient and the staff are professional. They offer food for all tastes and it is presented in large portions.

      The wedding evening buffet was a different story though and guests were presented with nothing more than a sample of stale sandwiches. The high standard that had been maintained throughout our previous evening meal and the wedding breakfast was no longer being displayed and it merely looked as if a child had thrown it together. Needless to say the groom did complain and an hour after it had first been presented their was a new fresh buffet provided.
      The bar area is quite small with not a lot of seating. There is a wide range of bottle drinks offered but very little on draught. It was mainly bitter and lager needed to be purchased as a bottle which did work out to be quite expensive.

      Overall - I would not recommend this hotel to families as there is nothing nearby to keep you entertained. If you are looking for a quiet retreat for no longer than a couple of days then this may suit you as long as you can live without your modern conveniences. I dont feel that the hotel represent the price tag that its attached to unless you stay in the old part of the hotel where the rooms are a lot nicer and better maintained. I will not be staying in this hotel again.

      This review is my own and also featured on another review website.

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