Your beloved four-legged friend gets the chance to become king or queen of the castle during a stay at Knock Castle Hotel and Spa.
Nestled on the outskirts of Crieff, Perthshire, the dog-friendly hotel offers a taste of luxury for you and your canine companion.
We enjoyed a two-night summer stay with our yellow Labrador, Sandy. And from the moment we arrived, Sandy was made to feel extremely welcome – as were we.
The hotel is split into two sections – the original, older castle building, and a more modern annexe attached to the back. A separate building, located down steps at the top of the terraced grounds, houses a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.
We stayed in the Glenalmond Suite. Located in the corner of the hotel, our room featured several mini turrets and a massive walk-up-to bath in the en suite bathroom.
The main entrance to the hotel is equally impressive with a grand winding staircase. And while some parts of the hotel aren’t in keeping with the traditional decor of our room and in need of an upgrade, it had a cosy and welcoming feeling throughout.
On our first night we enjoyed an a la carte meal in the upstairs dining room, which offers impressive views of the surrounding Perthshire countryside.
The food was exceptional and the staff were very attentive and helpful. For starters I had smoked breast of local pigeon with sweet potato fondant and a wild mushroom and blueberry fricassee, and my fiance had west-coast hand-dived scallops on a creamy white chocolate and herb risotto.
We then opted for the pan-fried Aberdeen-Angus fillet steak, served with rosemary mash, wild mushrooms and spinach, carrot and cardamom fondants, and red wine jus.
As a farmer, my other half is particularly picky about beef. However, this didn’t disappoint and he said it was one of the best steaks he had ever eaten. I was equally impressed – the main course was a delicious fine-dining take on a traditional steak course.
For dessert, we opted for the cheese board and the chocolate trio. Both were really tasty.
We sampled the lounge menu on our second night, which was equally impressive. Served in the downstairs dining room, in the older part of the hotel, it’s the perfect place for a meal with your four-legged friend. Sandy was welcomed with open arms.
We had breakfast in the bar area outside the main restaurant on both days, along with Sandy, who was treated to a sausage breakfast by a kind waitress.
The hotel also features an in-house spa, on the lower ground floor, and I enjoyed a very relaxing aromatherapy massage. I fell asleep – need I say more?
When venturing out from the hotel, the list of things to do and see is endless.
Crieff itself has plenty to offer and a wee wander around the shops is a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon. We visited the Crieff Food Company, which features a dog-friendly outdoor seating area, and Sandy enjoyed a special dog-friendly cupcake.
We have previously enjoyed a visit to the Famous Grouse Experience in the town’s Glenturret Distillery – a must-visit for whisky lovers.
Venturing away from the town, we spent an enjoyable morning, with the dog, at the Cultybraggan Camp. Now run by the community, this former prisoner of war camp offers an insight into the area’s historical war links.
Other attractions include the Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre, while Comrie Croft and its on-site cafe and mountain-bike track is also worth a visit. Although not adventurous enough to go for a cycle, we enjoyed a lunch at the croft’s cafe, which features a huge array of fresh cakes, pastries, pies and salads made on-site.
In all, the hotel is a perfect base for a trip to Perthshire and all it has to offer, and the evening meals were delicious.
One fellow guest remarked to me that it was the most dog-friendly hotel she has ever been to. And if like me, your four-legged friend is also your best friend, this counts for a lot.
We will be back.
Knock Castle Hotel and Spa, Drummond Terrace, Crieff, Perthshire PH7 4AN
Call 01764 650088
Standard doubles: B&B rates from £129 (weekdays) and from £149 (weekends)
Castle Deluxe rooms: B&B rates from £179 (weekdays) and from £199 (weekends)
Castle Suites: B&B rates from £239 (weekdays) and from £259 (weekends)
Rates vary depending on season, availability or specific dates