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“New Year Package”
Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“New Year Package”
Reviewed 3 January 2009

We had a meal at the hotel on a previous visit to Scotland and decided that it would be the ideal place to sample a real Scottish Hogmanay. So (pre credit crunch) splashed out the £2,000 required for a three day "all inclusive" break.
Half the money was required as a deposit 6 months in advance and despite requests we never had even the courtesy of an acknowledgment.
Overall the organisation of the three days was excellent, with superb food and entertainment. The Gala dinners, ceiledh night and Murder Mystery evening all first class.
Now for the down side! Our "themed" room (James VI) was small and extremely shabby. Scratched old furniture, that our local charity shop wouldn't have accepted. Worn carpets, torn curtains and scratched dark green wallpaper, making the room very dark. The lighting was totally inadequate.The bath had mildew all around the edge. They obviously have ignored the advice given by a previous reviewer!
The staff were generally helpful and attentive, in particular the Restaurant manageress.
Would we repeat the experience? Not at the price and we would need to know that the rooms had a very much needed upgrade.

Stayed January 2009
3 Thank teddymWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2008

I paid £350 for a one night spa break which included spa time. When we checked in I was told there were no slots left and the spa was a different company from the castle. No-one cared that I had paid £200 over the rack rate for a spa package. They eventually offered me a time well after we would have been due to check out which would have meant missing a family get together. The falconry mews was closed already even though it was meant to be open for another hour. The spa was closing at 6 instead of 8. Which meant we had 6.5 hours of nothing! until dinner. So much for activities.

Went to the bar, the waiter was downright hostile and got to the point of ignoring me even when I stood in front of him and asked politely for a menu. Then we tried to book time with the birds the following day early only to be told that they were a separate company too.

At this point we realised we were stuck in this dark, aging and very worn (James VI room) hotel, there was nothing at all to do (everything was closing earlier than advertised) and not even the spa treatment - I cried, we left. £350, sigh.

Not the best Boxing Day - and not even a refund offer from the hotel manager. Avoid at all costs, the so called activities for this private country hotel appear to be all separate companies so there is no guarantee you will get the services you pay for in the packages.

UPDATE: Manager offered me b+b for one night at some point in January - not acceptable considering b+b is 1/2the cost I paid. Not a pleasant experience, I feel like I've been robbed.

  • Liked — The website
  • Disliked — The real thing
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
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5 Thank JULSHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cincinnati, ohio
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2008

Dalhousie Castle is fabulous! Located just outside of Edinburgh, it is a fairy tale venue. Anyone that enjoys history, will be pleased with a stay at Dalhousie. I believe that the castle was built in the 13th century....however, the interior is up to the moment. Upon entering the castle, you will find a split staircase, covered in a wonderful tartan plaid. The bellman was decked in highland regalia and full of bonny stories. The bedroom was just superb, as the drapes and bed cover were all done in a silk highland plaid. I had a sitting room with TV as well. There are two dining areas. one is in the Orangery, which is quite casual. The other dining room is called The Dungeon" and it is truly situated in the old dungeon of the castle. If interested, a famous spa is available for ones use. The staff was superior and the experience was tons of fun. The Scots are such wonderful hosts.

  • Liked — The entire package!
  • Disliked — Not a thing!
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank ukpassion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent, UK
Level 6 Contributor
404 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 272 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2008

We were attending a family wedding and so stayed two nights in room 14 at a cost of £250 per night.

We found the reception staff to be friendly and helpful and were grateful for the porter's insistance on taking our luggage as the two flights of stairs takes it's toll with lots of baggage.

The room was spacious with a comfortable four poster bed, separate entrance area with large wardrobe, separate little 'study' with desk / dressing table and pleasant bathroom. It had a lovely view over the surrounding open fields & countryside. The decor was old country hotel style with some 'trying to be a castle' touches like wallpaper that looks like big old bricks. The bathroom was modern and spacious but could have been a little more 'special' given the price.

The meal in the dungeon restaurant was reasonable but some dishes or parts of dishes were really quite bad. EG Starter of tomato water canelloni was really quite horrid, lovely chocolate mousse was spoiled by raspberry jelly and another dessert spoiled by some mulled wine sorbet which tasted quite horrible. Service was mostly good but some pretty bad errors with some starters arriving much later than others around our large table and bread plates were on the wrong side of each diner and wine glasses were sometimes slow to be refilled. Could have been better, but we had a good evening anyway as we had great company.

The wedding (from a guest's perspective) seemed to be very well organised and the chapel inside the castle is very sweet. The wedding meal was better than the food in the dungeon restaurant and the library bar was a great place for residents to retreat to at the end of the evening.

The breakfast in the Orangery was good but again I would expect better quality at this price-point. Overall I would say it's a nice place, good venue wedding with everyting in one place, but I think they are perhaps resting on their laurels a bit in the sense that wedding guests will pay the price to stay so I guess they don't rely upon return visitors, because if I was staying at this price range in the area I would choose somewhere else.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
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3 Thank PennyPurples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2008

We stayed for 2 nights and although our stay was good there are things that could have been better. Our room, the Victoria, was nicely appointed and clean, but the wallpaper in the bathroom was ugly and peeling off the wall. Having said that, the water pressure was awesome and very much needed after long, cold days sightseeing. Our first night we planned to dine in the hotel's Dungeon restaurant. The food was excellent as was the service. The Orangery, where we had breakfast each day was good and overlooked the grounds. Our second night was not as fortunate. Having eaten out earlier in the day we thought we would order a late night snack from the room service menu. We were informed that the kitchen was closed even though the menu said 24 HOUR ROOM SERVICE. The overall decor of the was not bad but certainly needed updating in the hallways (bright yellow wallpaper with blue carpeting). The grounds were lovely and the falconry experience was excellent. This is a separate expenditure but well worth the money. We spent 2.5 hours flying/feeding an eagle owl, falcon, and barn owl. We also spent some time holding a Steppe eagle. Overall, I'd say this is a nice place to stay but it is not as grand as the photos lead you to believe.

Stayed November 2008
2 Thank piacone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 December 2008

My daughter was married at Dalhousie Castle on 22 November and had an absolutely perfect day. I must admit I had one or two doubts after reading some negative comments on trip advisor but they were totally unfounded.

We arrived on Friday to a lovely spacious themed room. In the afternoon I spent time in the spa with my two daughters and we all had a relaxing treatment which was most enjoyable. The Spa staff were great. Drinks in the Library and dinner with friends in the Orangery followed in the evening.

The wedding day was fab! Breakfast with plenty of choice, followed by a walk in the stunning grounds. The ceremony was at 3pm and all our guests loved the venue. The wedding breakfast was excellent and all in all we had the most perfect day which we will always remember.

The staff could not do enough for us, particularly Liz the Banqueting Manager who was an absolute star and worked so hard to make sure everything went to plan. The piper was great as were Angus and Peter. We were made to feel so very welcome - I am just sorry the weekend went so so quickly.

  • Liked — Lovely spacious room with good views
  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
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1 Thank RozillaYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucester, MA
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2008

My husband and I stayed here one night of our belated honeymoon trip to Scotland.

The exterior of the castle and the grounds are beautiful. There is a falconry on site with falcons, hawks and owls. You can pay extra to have a personal experience, or you can just walk down and see the birds and talk to the friendly and knowleable staff, which we did. The birds are beautiful.

The inside is really more hotel than castle, although there are some parts that are still quite authentic.

We were upgraded to a themed room - Victoria - and it was very nice. The room was large, the bed was comfortable and the bathroom was clean and had nice amenities. We had a nice view of the grounds.

We had dinner in the Dungeonry, which was EXCELLENT. The decor/theming is very nice, the staff is excellent and the food was incredible. It's a prix fixe menu, but you have several choices. My only complaint is that the hotel tells you the price of the dinner, and then says "join us in the library for a drink prior to dinner, where we will take your order". Well, the drink wasn't very good, although it was accompanied by some nice snacks, and they charged us separately for it. In addition, they also charged us for water on the table. At the price we paid for diiner, which was already 6 pounds more than we had been quoted, these things perhaps could have been included.

Breakfast was average.

  • Liked — Spacious, confortable, clean room. Oh, and Angus the porter was great.
  • Disliked — Charges for every last little thing without being told
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank teryn
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
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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