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“Overrated”
Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Reviewed 26 February 2009

I've stayed a lot of luxury hotels and this is beautiful but truly needs to be updated. The rooms are very drab and the bathroom tiles had a lot of mold. Totally unacceptable for the prices they are charging. Lovely staff and food was amazing though. Would recommend maybe a night or two but save some money and stay in the lodge as there really isn't anything special about the castle rooms. Even the theme room my family was staying in had mold.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank USA_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,257 - 1,263 of 1,458 reviews

Reviewed 25 February 2009

A wonderful experience - superb location, atmosphere and food. Some of the rooms are a little jaded but this is of little importance when compared with the sheer grandeur of this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Scottishcastles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2009

My boyfriend and I stayed at this hotel for one night on our way out of Scotland. He had really wanted to stay in a castle and this was the closest "real" castle I could find near Edinburgh.

The castle was only recently taken over by a new firm (according to our taxi driver) and you can tell they are trying to make improvements. The building itself of course is very old. There are no elevators so be prepared to walk up several flights of stairs. Thankfully there are porters to assit with bags.

The bathrooms are small but all new and well appointed with neccesities. The room we stayed in was themed and had a very cool bed with 4 posts and a canopy top. The carpeting in draperies could use an update but they were not horrible by any means.
The foyers and reception could also use some sprucing up but they were also fine.

We visited the spa which was small but nice - there is a small steamroom, sauna and small whirlpool tub. They also have a spa menu which we didn't have time to do.

We had a nice meal at the Orangery - an a la carte restaurant in the hotel. The restaurant area seemed new or recently renovated and was nice. The service was good and so was the food. Lighter and more to our liking than typical Scottish fare.

We did not want to deal with driving and parking in Edinburgh so we hired a taxi from the hotel which was quick and easy through the reception desk. They charge a flat rate of $18 each way and you can call to get the same taxi back. We figured we would lose both time getting lost and money trying to park ourselves. Our taxi driver was wonderful and acted as a tour guide on our way into town. The ride takes about 15-20 minutes depending on traffic.

There are many golf courses right near the hotel so if you are looking to golf this is probably a good central spot.

We also had drinks by the fire in the Library which we would strongly suggest as well.

My boyfriend and I tend to "spook" easily and both felt the castle could potentially be haunted. We had no major issues just some "hair-raising" moments. Don't let it scare you off though - it was probably just all in our head...

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SunSeekerMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2009

Style: historic Scottish charm with a modern twist in spa and some rooms. Expect creaky floors, stone walls, wrought iron and tartan!

We went here for a wedding and I thought it was a stunning castle with birds of prey on the drive up to the castle. On arrival we managed to get a free upgrade. We thought our room-complete with fluffy robes, slippers, Arran Aromatic goodies and the best home made cookies in a handmade ceramic pot (Room 15) was quite dated though and when we saw some of the other guests rooms-(ie James Cromwell room)-modern, 4-poster style, very large with separate childs bed area- we wish we had made more enquiries! Also the modern-room couple booked late availability and got B+B for less than our dated room! The goodies in our room did help make up for it though. I made sure I had a good wander round the facilities. The guests bar-aka The Library room was fantastic after the wedding finished-real log fire and a 'secret' bar lies behind a door of books which was a nice touch! The spa is small and there is no pool or jacuzzi. Its a 'hydro pool' and its small but it suited our short stay. We had breakfast in the Orangey which was light and airy-perfect for breakfast. From other rewiews the pre-dinner canapes before dinner in Library Room then dinner in the stunning Dungeon Restaurant sounds great and I would definatley go back to try that out! I will be asking for the Cromwell room though and take note on the spa bookings as per the other reviews. Worth trying to late availability though if you visit on a whim.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank LousArchive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2009

This stunning scottish castle was a wonderful setting for a weekend away. The castle suites vary from modern to old traditional interiors. The food was excellent with canapes in the library before continuing to the astompheric dungeon restaurant. The spa offered a good range of treatments and an optic light lit steam room, a shower with different modes e.g rainforest and a jacuzzi, note: there is not a pool as such. Edinburgh is within easy reach by car and the grounds have birds of prey on site.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank DentalPR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank JULSHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £76 - £232 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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