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“Speechless -- bar only excited squeals of joy” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Speechless -- bar only excited squeals of joy”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2010

My husband had said he was going to take me out to a nice restaurant, a pleasant surprise in the first place, and was a little sad when he said it was out of town a ways as that meant he wouldn't be able to have any wine with the meal, but as he pulled up the castle my jaw dropped. When I realised he had booked a room I was absolutely speechless. The building is very impressive on the drive up, the front door huge, and the reception professional and calm. The porter showed us to our room, the Sir Walter Scott on the first floor, up past grand staircases, historical wall decorations, and period furniture. Amazing. And then our room!

Upon entering, the four poster bed dominated the room, the two chairs in front of it lending an air of civilisation, and a beautiful period desk with the requisite wear and tear that age would give it. And the view! Though the window wasn't wide, being a castle with 3ft thick walls, that's forgiveable. And the view! Even though it's only a short drive from the city, I felt like I'd stepped into another world, or time even. A beautiful view of the grounds below.

We explored what areas of the castle we could, and walked a bit about the grounds before going to the library for our pre-dinner drinks. Sad the waiter didn't do cocktails, as a little frilly drink with an umbrella would have really made the scene, and the ale choice was poor, but it was a nice setting. The books weren't too old, mostly 1920-1970, I'd guess. And heavily dominated by business management, not much in the way of literature, poetry, philosophy or other interesting genres. The board games in the corner did catch my eye though.

And dinner. We were led down to the dungeon by our very friendly waiter, sat in a nice quiet corner of the main room under a SUIT OF ARMOR! My husband sampled the wine, and we were served our delightful 5-course meal. He's a vegetarian, but being in Scotland, we were lucky they had anything for him. The musrooms on his main dish were extraordinary. Mine was likewise excellent. I shan't go into the details too much, but exquisite does not begin to describe it. The range of tastes, textures, and look was fantastic.

We didn't do the spa, and just had an early night. I did notice the bathtub had a bit of a stained ring on it. You know how bleach leaves little runs through the dirt? Like that. And our room was really warm. Fortuntely the bed was uber comfy, so kicking off some of the covers and opening the window worked. The TV could use some instructions.

The next morning we got up early and went for a walk around the grounds. I was really happy I had brought sensible shoes, because I'm really glad I didn't miss the walk! We went down to breakfast -- warm sun next to a window, fine service, good food... no complaints there as I sat there slowly enjoying my food with my morning paper.

Afterwards we booked me into the Falconry thing and then went for another walk as my time wasn't until noon. Again, some nice walks around there. Why go to a spa when you can walk all over the countryside? And the Falconry was great. How can you spend the night in a castle without doing the Falconry? Would have loved more time, or perhaps just not sharing the experience with the others, but no matter, it was still good.

All in all, a very satisfying day. I would recommend this to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Beekysky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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English first
Dartmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
109 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2010

On driving up to the castle you greeted with two enormous recycle bins (why cant they hide these behind a wall). My husband suprised me with this trip for our anniversary and I was very excited at the thought of staying in a real scottish castle. However, I have to be totaly honest and say this hotel is in dire need of changes. The room was ok, apart from tea stains up the walls, and only two teabags to be had for drink making. The bathroom had terrible damp patches on the ceiling around the shower, the bath taps were broken and fell apart in our hands, the bathrobes and towels were rock hard. One sanitary bag was in the rack and no more replaced when the room was 'cleaned', !!! the hairdryer was broken as was the toilet roll holder, and our empty bath salts etc were just left in the bath and on the side. Now for the staff, some were friendly, but one short waiter in the library was the most miserable we have ever witnessed and obviously hates his job and waiting on people. He got our drinks wrong and we felt we were putting him out to ask for them to be changed. The breakfast was good, though limited on the buffet. The evening meal in the dungeon was absolutely awful, sorry to be blunt, but for the money you pay you expect more than a 50p size piece of chicken and a spring onion with a jug of watery soup and a pea. If this is nouvea cuisine you can keep it. we were expecting 5 courses of hearty food and got 5 tiny pieces of food no bigger than a crisp that would not keep an ant alive. The staff forgot our drinks for over half an hour and we had to remind them, we were very hungry after the 'meal' but thankfully I had some chocolate in our room! The spa was over rated and the turkish steam room never worked, ok so we will chill out in the chill zone, well there was no tea or coffee and cold drinks were given in childrens plastic beakers. It was really off putting, and the magazines were old trashy ones like reveal and chat. Why not a bit of glamour. All in all you get what you pay for and that is why Im writing this review to be honest as it was very expensive and we did not get value for money. I have honestly seen better housekeeping in a Premier Lodge. The whole place needs some real TLC and staff that are really interested in the castle and their guests. I feel they are just limping along and getting away with it.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jentol57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Landquart
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2010

The last night of our 15 day trip to Scotland should be a splendid final in a cosy castle room.
Our room was on ground floor with no view anywhere and no special amenities - too poor for a price of GBP 190.- the night. The spa is weak compared to Swiss standard (1 turkish sauna, a steam bath - both for free - and a tiny hydropool for GBP 20.- extra!
Unfortunately, there was a wedding party going on at that night - the ballroom just above our room .... music and noise guaranteed until after midnight.
One good thing to say: the outstanding breakfast menue.
Overall we missed the spirit and atmosphere of the Middle Age and high service for a Hotel in this price class.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 1 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?
1 Thank batigol68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Purcellville, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2010

I would love to stay here a month!

From the moment we arrived around 8 a.m., they treated us as treasured guests. They found us one of 2 rooms immediately, moved the luggage to it, and sent us into the Orangery (less formal of two dining areas) for a relaxed breakfast. The staff was attentive, friendly, and had time for chatting with us between visits to other tables.

The grounds are wonderful for a stroll. The falconer loves his birds and was proud to tell us about them.

We stayed in standard castle rooms, not the theme rooms. The rooms were cozy and had nice closet space, plus a tea pot, iron, and heated towel racks.

The spa facilities are nice, with several treatments available. The women that work there are friendly.

The dinner in The Dungeon was lovely. We placed our order upstairs in the Library Bar, while having a before-dinner drink. We were summoned to dinner when it was ready, a nice touch. The food was excellent, as was the service.

All of the people who worked there are friendly and capable. I wish every hotel had such excellent staff.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PubPeople
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2010

While the price may turn some people away, we enjoyed our stay as it was a once only experience. We chose the Robert the Bruce room and were very impressed with the room and its ambience. We wandered the grounds in the afternoon saw the falconry and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Then we ventured to the library for a pre dinner drink before having an amazing dinner experience in the dungeon. Our breakfast the next morning was plentiful and very tasty.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank FrewFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
newcastle
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2010

The hotel looks beautiful from the outside with lovely grounds. The drive up to the hotel is dreadful, not what you would exepct for what you are paying. The staff were attentive, the room was nice. the bath robes were worn and bathroom had mould around the side. The food was ok, but not wowed by it all. Breakfast they forgot to add the black pdding, and continental selection was poor. By the time my scrambled eggs cames out my coffee and toast were cold. The wine was expensive, and pay around £47 pp for 3 course meal in resturant. this stay in May was better than our last stay in August 2009, but i still wouldnt go back. we were dissapointed with the spa, it sounds much grander than what it actually is. it only has a hydro pool (which you pay extra for), a foot bath, a steam room, sauna and day room to sit. last time we stayed the tea in the library was stale water and expensive for what it was. they remembered our booking for evening meal this time, but hadnt recorded it last time so we had to wait until late.
i thought for the money it lacked the wow factor, and was over priced.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cat_ot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, UK
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2010

This place was amazing. The rooms are large and really neat - we stayed in a room for our family for 3 adults and two small children. One of the beds was up on a little loft type thing to you could see out the window - it was really neat! (Room 23, in case you want it). It had two twins and a super-king bed. Really economical, especially when you figure that the spa facilities are included in the room rate. My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful couples massage and time in the spa. Breakfast was lovely and giant - pretty well whatever you wanted. It was outstanding :D

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank catherine1004
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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