The Dunkeld House Hotel: Luxury Hideaway in the Heart of Perthshire

by Keith Savage · 1 comment

Antler chandelier at the Dunkeld House Hotel, Dunkeld, Scotland

It’s no secret that Dunkeld is one of my favorite towns in Scotland. The stone-built village hugs the River Tay and hides a ruined cathedral among Perthshire’s big trees. It just feels right. For the longest time, however, I struggled to find a solid accommodation in town. Greater Perthshire overflows with excellent choices, many you can read about here on Traveling Savage, but Dunkeld proved to be a challenge.

That challenge may be a thing of the past.

The Dunkeld House Hotel looks to fill that gap, and I had the opportunity to visit during my trip last November.

It was a long and eventful day I spent with Morag of the Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust seeing the highlights at the heart of Perthshire, places like The Queen’s View, The Pass of Killiecrankie, and The Hermitage, and we divvied up that day with lunch at The Dunkeld House Hotel. The hotel was undergoing extensive renovations during my visit — it was a Hilton property previously — and it was originally built at the end of the 19th century for the 7th Duke of Atholl to be a winter residence in 280 acres of secluded, beautiful highland wilderness.

We arrived to the large and impeccable dining room on the early side of lunch, but the room filled up with eager diners in short order. The bright space overlooks beautiful gardens and the River Tay such that you feel like you’re in Dunkeld and not just another restaurant. We had a chilly day of mixed weather so I decided on something warming: Porcini and ricotta ravioli with truffle cream. My companions Morag and Tom, Morag’s colleague and a sage on all things trees, went with the burger and soup, respectively. The food arrived quickly and piping hot, and the ravioli were so good I could’ve taken down another plate or two. The other dishes were of equal presentation and quality, and I’m looking forward to trying more of their chef’s work in the future.

After lunch I had the opportunity to tour a few of the hotel’s newly refurbished rooms. As you can see from the photos, Dunkeld House Hotel is sparing no expense to deliver a luxury experience to traveler’s with the good taste to stay in Dunkeld. I particularly liked the color scheme, modernism, and deer motif — it’s common to see herds of roe deer wandering the Dunkeld House Estate.

While I didn’t have a chance to stay at the Dunkeld House Hotel on this trip, rest assured that it is high on my list for when I return to Perthshire. Before continuing on to more Perthshire sights we popped into a couple gorgeously appointed rooms perfect for events like small weddings and team outings. You’d be hard-pressed to find a bad view from any room in the Dunkeld House Hotel and these rooms are no exception. Check out that antler chandelier!

The Dunkeld House Estate is full of gardens and ancient trees, and there’s a great path along the River Tay called the Dunkeld Tree Trail. This path leads from Dunkeld town to the Dunkeld House Hotel, taking in the ruined cathedral, several follies, gorgeous trees, and many informational panels explaining the history of the estate and the greater region. There are so many great places to visit nearby, from the Birnam Oak to St. Colme’s Well to an Iron Age fort, even.

Dunkeld, somehow, continues to rise in my esteem, and with the Dunkeld House Hotel’s fully operational status this year there’s even an ideal base in town. Miss the food at your own peril.

Disclosure: Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust helped organize my visit to Perthshire last November. The Dunkeld House Hotel provided a complimentary lunch. All thoughts and opinions expressed here, as always, are my own.

Alison WilkinsonNo Gravatar May 3, 2017 at 10:04 PM

Thanks Keith well noted for our journey 😊
I like the sound of the river walk to and from town

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