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“Wedding Venue” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Certificate of Excellence
Huddersfield
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wedding Venue”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2013

Our son was married in the castle, Sept 13, a perfect venue. On arrival the entrance was not what you would expect, hidden round the back and painted 'pinkish' A nice touch was the bowl of apples from which you could help yourself as you entered. We up graded our room, to be honest the only difference we could see from a normal one, was the heavy draped curtains over the bed/windows Don't waste your money. Thank goodness they took my suitcase to the room as there are many steps & corners to get round that it is very easy to get lost. Thought that 'tagging' guests could be an idea so they could find lost guests quickly. They supplied dressing gowns & slippers but made it quite clear that you must not take them with you. Do they have a market for second hand slippers ??? The carpet in the room was stained and needed a good clean. Best rooms would seem to be the ones at the lodge which had a nice conservatory to sit in, and a lot cheaper than rooms in the castle.
The wedding ceremony in the chapel was very good, great location not far to walk, 5 yards. The owl bringing the wedding rings was a very nice touch. The meal was good but not spectacular.
Breakfast in the Orangery was average, glad the weather kept fine otherwise the views across the grounds would have been cold. Staff were very good.
Biggest disappointment was the 'Bar' hidden in the library, we were only a small party, a larger one would not have been able to seat everyone. Only had bottle bear, after two cold ones they had run out ! The grumpy barmen did find one other but was not chilled. A castle that size with out a bar selling draught beer is not acceptable, don't they know what happens after a wedding ? The fridge in the 'bar' could at most hold 40 bottles, what they do after the first hour I am not sure.They forced us to go out to the local pub, whilst there we had a meal. What a missed opportunity. Still as other people have said the meals are expensive and only average. Had two curries for £10 in the pub, it was a no 'brainer where to have a meal.
On the Thursday evening Peter took about 20 of us on a ghost tour of the castle. Started at 10pm so we really got the atmosphere, even the children found it very interesting, yes the following morning someone had been visited by the ghost.
Great wedding venue but the finer points need addressing, been to better castles at a better price.

Room Tip: Book a room at the lodge. Only a 4 minute walk away and about £40 cheaper.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,279 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (296)
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English first
Level Contributor
143 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2013

Stayed on business recently and was impressed by the location and the appearance, great looking building, my room was good size well appointed , service was ok had to ask for my drink at dinner twice before it arrived, to say there was a fine dining restaurant in the hotel the food in the second restaurant (the Orangery) was quite ordinary, the belly pork I had was dry and chewy, breakfast was ok but again bacon and sausage was plain tasting and only available form 7.30 am. Place was filled with American accents, and I'm sure it would have been a great experience for tourists as the building is particularly impressive.

Wi-Fi was understandably patchy because of the thick stone walls. Good for holidaymakers but not really set up for a business trip

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Earmas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2013

We only visited Dalhousie for lunch in the Orangery. We found the view lovely and relaxing. Service was also attentive and friendly. However, the menu is very restricted from a selection perspective and the environment is very old fashioned. Room set up is too formal and also formal staff uniforms all add up to a slightly stuffy feel. Has immense opportunity if efforts can be made to make the environment less formal and family orientated. We will go back.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dufis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plainfield, IL
Level Contributor
66 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2013

We spent the afternoon at this lovely castle. It is also a hotel and spa. We had a lovely lunch in “The Orangery” overlooking the picturesque lands of the castle. We had high tea in the library later in the afternoon which was a true delight. The feature we came for was the falconry. We reserved a spot for “the ultimate falconry experience”. What an incredible experience we had! We started off meeting all the birds – they have around 25 or so various species. “Tom” the falconer brought out a falcon and we followed him to the nearby grounds to fly him. We flew a falcon, owl, kestrel, hawk and an eagle (needed a very heavy duty leather glove for this bird). To “fly” them meant you were given a heavy glove and the falconer would put a piece of food on your glove and the bird would fly right to you from the perch, and in the hawk’s case, the nearby tree. We were able to experience that several times with each bird. We had a beautiful day, the birds, a castle in the background, lovely grounds, great company, etc. A fantastic experience that everyone should experience!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travnutz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2013

We stayed at this castle for one night and ate dinner in the Dungeon Restaurant and breakfast in the atrium, and had cocktails in the library. Everyone was very clean and tidy. We slept quite well. We liked the food a lot. The service was very good. It's expensive,but average for staying in a real castle, and we felt is was worth it for the experience of staying in a 13th century castle. Also, the grounds are beautiful...it's rural, and there seems to be ample parking. There are some signs of wear on carpets and wallpaper, but that didn't dampen our stay, if anything it added to the feel of an OLD castle. It felt like we were in the middle of an Agatha Christie novel or something! We stayed in Room #4, the round tower, burgundy painted room. It was very, very spacious with a hallway that led down to the very nice bathroom. Like I said, I only noticed a bit of wear to carpets and normal wear to wall corners, etc. We would've loved to stay at least another night or two, but couldn't.

Room Tip: I can't speak for the other rooms, but Room #4 in the tower was very spacious, and they added an...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LuluBelle1201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baden-Baden, Germany
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2013

I think there is quite a lot of small things this castle hotel could work on, which if attended to would make it wildly successful. There is a new owner, we heard, who is making changes so hopefully it's only a matter of time before the below us addressed. The staff was generally very nice but not particularly attentive. Probably more due to lack of training and knowledge than anything else. The rooms were nice but slight run down, Wallpaper in bath had holes in it, a light didn't work. No one checked to see if we were well settled or had any questions. You typically wouldn't expect that from a large city hotel but from a small castle hotel with not that much to do, you should. Especially since they say they are five stars. You never really get over the feeling they are trying to charge you for everything but without the commiserate level of service to warrant it. For example, "would you like a paper delivered to your room?" If you say yes, then they'll charge you for the trouble. At the prices they are charging for a room, inexcusable. This might all have been overlooked, but the dining experience was really awful. I actually couldn't even eat the main course in the Dungeon restaurant (which by the way is really cool!). The continental breakfast also looked like they grabbed as many pre-packaged groceries they could and put it on the table. There was some nice fresh fruit. However, for a spa hotel- there was no healthy, spa menuto speak of. Also food was expensive - especially in light of really fantastic restaurant food we had enjoyed in Edinburgh from top rated restaurants. At half the price! Also my husband is gluten free and there was little he could eat on the lunch menu. He ate a hamburger without the roll, but again you would expect a few nice salads on the menu.

Spa was nice and service friendly. The masseuses were very nice but not sure if they understood pressure points or the rationale behind the massage techniques. Again with a little training a good experience could have been great and worth the expense.

Lastly, since there is nothing to do, there could be more information on walks in the area - the one on the grounds takes about a half hour. We actually found another one by accident which was quite nice. In addition to archery and falconry, there could be croquet or other lawn and board games. Some books to read instead of decorate the library would also be nice.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jensfoodreviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

We wanted a Castle Hotel experience while in Scotland and picked Dalhousie in Bonnyrigg after reading the Trip Advisor reviews on-line and viewing the pictures. We took a bus from Central Edinburgh to the last stop in Bonnyrigg; After asking a gentleman who got off at the same stop and because there were no suggestions on-line re the distance between Bonnyrigg and the hotel, we decided to try to walk to the hotel. The distance and lack of sidewalk for a good part of the walk is not advisable from our experience. Take a cab from Bonnyrigg for sure if you're taking the bus from Edinburgh. Dalhousie Castle itself is fine - not luxurious, but its a Castle afterall. Our room was clean and tidy and had all the amenities that one would need while travelling. But, the Service at Dalhousie leaves ALOT to be desired....especially in the Library/Bar Room. They should definitely step up their level of service which would make the Dalhousie experience more pleasurable...especially in the Library/Bar area and at Reception. . Also, we were locked out of our room the morning of our departure and it took ages before somebody finally came up to look at it. Then when they couldn't open the door, they had to get the Manager. Luckily for us, she was able to get in through an old service stairway which went up to our room, but she gave us no apology and didn't even offer to compensate us in anyway for 'their' problem. It had been suggested by the first person who looked at it, that they'd had a previously problem with this lock, but obviously had done nothing about it. The grounds were beautiful and the different walks they suggested on a map, were good...even though we were there only one night, so could not do all three walks. The Dungeon Diningroom was a fun experience and the food served was okay, but not worth the price they charge. The Orangery Diningroom for Breakfast/Lunch is excellent and the Servers very personable. We enjoyed our Dalhousie Castle Hotel experience, but were glad we'd only booked for one night.

Room Tip: We were in the Cromwell Room because we needed a room for 'three'. I would choose a Themed...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank disco_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dalhousie Castle

Property: Dalhousie Castle
Address: Dalhousie Castle grounds, Bonnyrigg EH19 3JB, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Midlothian > Bonnyrigg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Dalhousie Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dalhousie Castle Hotel and Aqueous Spa is a magnificent 13th century fortress set within acres of wooded parkland on the picturesque banks of the River Esk. From the moment you arrive at Dalhousie Castle a warm Scottish welcome awaits. Whether relaxing in the the Spa, gathering in the library next to the open fire, dining in the vaulted 2 Rosette winning dungeon restaurant, or retiring to your chambers, you will always feel as welcome as the 'Laird'. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dalhousie Castle Bonnyrigg, Scotland
Dalhousie Castle Hotel Bonnyrigg
Castle Dalhousie

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