Salutation Hotel

A long-established hostelry in the centre of Perth, the Salutation Hotel is located on the south side of South Street. Although it is not, a prominent brass plaque claims this is the oldest hotel in Scotland, which is known to have served as a coaching inn from 1699. It was built on the site of Greyfriars Monastery, and may have developed from its guesthouse. It was probably occupied as a town house by the Murray family (Viscounts Stormont of Scone Palace) during the 17th century. The present distinctive building is rather obviously of two parts; the west side dates from the 18th Century, extended in the early 19th C. to the east in the Neo-Classical style. Its painted ashlar facade is said to be the work of Robert Reid (1774 - 1856), with colour and a roofline balustrade attempting to unite the two sections. The most notable features of this facade are the grand arched window and niches which contain large brightly-painted statues of an Officer and a Pipe Major of the Black Watch. A stone in the courtyard to the rear is dated 1619 and bears the arms of the Earl of Moray.

Notable guests have included Bonnie Prince Charlie, who met with his commanders here in 1745, having demanded £500 from the citizens of Perth. Room 20, which he used, is now known as the Stuart Room and contains a stone fireplace dated 1699. Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus (1797 - 1886) stayed in August 1846 and writes in her book 'The Highland Lady in Ireland': "We reached Perth before nine, very tired, and put up at an admirably kept hotel - the Salutation, very large, very reasonable, a Bible in every room and the civil landlord quite tipsy. After an excellent night and a comfortable breakfast we took leave." Perth Golfing Society was formed at a meeting in the hotel in 1824.

Previously owned by Jarvis Hotels, the Salutation has been part of the small Strathmore Hotels group since 1991. Redevelopment took place in 1997, with the number of rooms extended. Today, the hotel has 84 rooms, with Reid's Bar (after the architect) and the Adam Restaurant, named in honour of another architect Robert Adam (1728-92), whose Neo-Classical style it follows. The remains of ovens or kilns still lie below Reid's Bar, while the Adam Restaurant features an unusual barrel-vaulted ceiling and magnificent 24-pane Classical window. The Salutation Ballroom (or Moncrieffe Suite) proved popular as a dancing and concert venue in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. The building has been B-listed since 1965.

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