The AA and STB 4 Star Parklands Hotel stands in a superb location on the southern edge of the centre of Perth. The bus and railway stations are both within a two hundred yard walk, and yet the main frontage of the hotel looks out over a terrace and a beautiful garden that descends to the edge of the South Inch, the open parkland that defines the edge of the city centre. The views from the public rooms and front facing guest rooms are remarkably rural, and extend over the parkland and the (not visible) River Tay beyond it to Kinnoull Hill. We've heard The Parklands Hotel described as "a country house hotel in the city": and that is a pretty fair description of this idyllic place. You can read our dining review for The Parklands Hotel here.
The origins of Parklands appears to be as one of the fine stone houses that line the north and west sides of the South Inch, built by the better off merchants of Perth to accommodate their families and staff. It has since grown to incorporate its neighbour to the north. With just 15 bedrooms, The Parklands is categorised as a small hotel, and everything retains a domestic scale which contributes much to its charm.
The core of the hotel is the entrance hall with the welcoming reception area off to one side. From the reception you can walk through to one of the hotel's two restaurants, No.1 the Bank Bistro, part of which is housed in an attractive conservatory extension. Beyond this is the intimate bar area. Head the other way from the entrance hall and you find yourself in the comfortably furnished guest lounge, while beyond this is 63@Parklands restaurant, the hotel's slightly more formal fine dining restaurant. This extends forwards into a second conservatory, and also occupies the area behind the guest lounge. In summer months the terrace outside the front of the hotel is used for dining and allows guests to enjoy the gardens at close quarters. The final public room is the boardroom, a function or meeting space off the entrance hall.
No two of the 15 en suite guest rooms are exactly alike, as you might expect in an old building which has grown organically. Each comes with a double or twin beds, and the rooms can be let as singles, standard twins or doubles, superior twins or doubles, a king double room, a room with a four poster, or a triple. The superior rooms are larger than the standards, and enjoy the front facing views over the hotel's gardens and the South Inch. Rear facing rooms have an outlook over the south-west side of Perth towards the railway station.
The rooms have an attractive boutique edge: just enough to add a real sense of style and flair without detracting from their comfort or usability. We found our bed to be especially comfortable. The rooms are also exceptionally well-equipped. Free WiFi is availabile in all guest rooms (and throughout the rest of the hotel), and each also has a large wall-mounted smart TV. Particularly nice and still relatively uncommon features are USB charging points for smartphones (three in the room we stayed in) and a digital radio that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. The bathrooms are nicely modern and fresh in feel.
The remarkable location and setting mean that The Parklands Hotel is a popular venue for weddings. It is licensed to conduct civil wedding ceremonies, and can seat up 42 guests, with exclusive use available as an option. The Parklands is a popular hotel during the week with those saying on business in Perth, and it is no surprise to find that with Perth's very central location on a road map of Scotland and its own car parking the hotel regularly hosts business meetings and other function drawing in participants from across the country.
As a traditional and domestic-scaled building, the scope for fully opening up disabled access at The Parklands Hotel has been limited. Ramp access is available, however, and access is level throughout the hotel's public areas. There are four guest rooms on the ground floor which the hotel notes are particularly welcomed by those with walking difficulties.
We visited The Parklands Hotel with expectations driven by its 4 Star awards from the AA and VisitScotland, and its 2 AA Rosettes for dining, and were not disappointed. The public areas are in keeping with the character of the building, and the guest rooms are a beautiful blend of comfort, design and levels of equipment. The service from an enthusiastic small team is excellent, and the standard of the dining, both for dinner and breakfast, is very good indeed. You can read our dining review for The Parklands Hotel here.