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“A great experience if a little pricey”
Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Reviewed 14 September 2010

As an experience to stay in a castle in a great location then this hotel fits the bill. We stayed in a themed room, it was large with a comfortable four poster bed and good views of the countryside. The bathroom was also large, spotless and of a good quality.

The food at the hotel is also very good, we ate dinner in the Orangery which is also where breakfast with served, It's a pleasant space with good views, although the service
was a little slow at times.

My girlfriend had a massage at the Spa which was extra but not overpriced and she was suitably impressed afterwards!

We stayed during the Edinburgh festival (the hotel is within 10 mins of the Edinbrugh ring road and a park & ride site) so we paid the standard rate making the night rather expensive. Would definitely go back but would look to go at a less popular time and get a deal through one of the travel websites.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jh85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,182 - 1,188 of 1,438 reviews

Reviewed 6 September 2010

Had a one night stay here to celebrate an anniversary, and can honestly say that it is the best hotel I have ever slept in. We were attracted by the talk of ghosts there, which we didn't see although one of the staff was kind enough to give us a talk and tour of the more supernatural areas of the hotel.

Despite our failing ghostbusting it was an exceptional place, incredibly friendly/helpful staff, lovely rooms and food etc-very highly recommended and we can't wait to return. We were even upgraded to a castle themed room free of charge upon our arrival.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Earl_1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2010

Stayed one night at Dalhousie castle whilst attending a wedding. The castle has some interesting history (I guess American's who have seen Braveheart like the connection) however the standard of accommodation is exceptionally poor value for money.

Dalhousie castle bills its accommodation on its website as being luxurious, displays some nice photographs of rooms, & charges guests £200+ a night for the privilege of a stay. If you were getting what you were lead to believe what you were getting you might think that this represented fair value for money. However, let me advise you that the rooms are shabby & kitsch (think stone wall wallpaper etc) & do not look in reality as they are represented on the website.

When we were checked in I asked to be shown to the room. Initially we were offered a lower ground room with wallpaper peeling off the wall & a smell of damp. Fair value for this room would have been £45 a night not £205 a night! When I complained we were offered our choice of two theme rooms at no additional cost. This was appreciated however these did not represent fair value for £205 a night (albeit a significant improvement over what we offered originally).

At friend of mine booked his room through late rooms & got it for £125 a night vs. my rate of £205 directly through the hotel. So if you have to stay at this hotel at least try to check online for better rates.

In summary when a hotel advertises itself as luxury, represents its accommodation photographically as luxury & then asks for £205 a night (you can stay in the Hilton on Parklane for this) you expect something special. This hotel is not special, it is a complete rip off & I advise anyone considering booking a stay to reconsider.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank fussy_bear2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2010

Stayed one night in the Mary Queen of Scots Suite.
Lovely suite with living area and separate office in the turret.
The 4 poster bed is very impressive and the furniture and fttings all very authentic but it did look shabby. The bathroom is big with a huge bath and seperate shower which was very clean and modern but the peeling wallpaper let it down!
The mattress on the bed was extremely lumpy and I did wonder half way through the night if Mary Queen of Scots was still in it, but once you had manouvered yourself into the grooves it wasn't too bad.
We ate in the dungeon and the food was splendid, breaffast in the orangery was very good, the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs were wonderful.
As a one off special treat it was excellent but i do wonder how they justify the prices

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RossGounie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2010

Travelling from the US I wanted to surprise the wife with a Scottish castle experience. I would say it was OK but not great considering the high prices.
Like many British hotels that are overpriced the Dalhousie needs a kick up the a*rse to justify its high prices. Or make them more reasonable - the value for money is underwhelming.
PROS: The staff were pleasant and helpful . The Castle is interesting. And the Falconry Experience is unique.
CONS: Their on-line booking confirmation process needs work. If you are used to booking American hotels you know they just have the booking and confirmation done well. Why do they send a confirmation without also including a full address and details on how to find it - duh? When I called the receptionist for the address so I could use a GPS I thought she had given me an erroneous Post Code to find the hotel but her cute Scottish accent mislead me. Her E sounded like an A (Note: spell it out "E for Echo = A for Alpha" etc.). We stayed in the lodge not the main castle, room was fair except for stained bedspread, carpets somewhat shabby, and the mattress was lumpy and uncomfortable. Sorry Vonessen hotels, even the cheap hotels in the US have excellent mattresses, that's what we're used to. That mattress gave my wife a poor night's sleep.
We had dinner in the Dungeon - great ambience but the experience leaves you somewhat disappointed as the menu suffers from the pretentious idea of tiny portions at exorbitant prices. The food was Ok to good but the chef has weird French ideas. I had a celery consomme with a frozen ball of sorbet dumped in the middle of the dish. The consomme was good but what was the chef thinking with the sorbet? It was frozen so hard you couldn't eat it easily. The sorbet resisted any attempt to slice into it with a spoon or even a knife. So you had to bear down on it hard and then it would break up and give way with an undignified "ding" resounding from the plate. The chef should know better at these prices not to present diners with such a mechanical challenge or confronting obstacle to eating a dish. And someone had the cute idea of printing menus and wine lists in an "olde worlde" script with a tiny and compressed font that in the dim light of the dungeon made it impossible to read. Again what were they thinking!
Summary: Stay if you have mad money and can put up with bad mattresses and overpriced restaurant. Then there is the $20 a day for wifi - come off it guys that's a ripoff! We're used to getting it for free at Hotels. The Spa facilities are also overpriced and they nickel and dime you if you want to use the pool. But if you do stay I highly recommend the Falconry Experience with Denise. We worked with a Peregrine Falcon, a Kestrel, an Owl and a Hawk. Truly memorable.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Soccerb0y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2010

Booked a four day stay for a special birthday celebration. After previously staying at Thornbury Castle had been really looking forward to our stay in a Castle in Scotland, something I had always wanted to do since a child.
I have to say that I was bitterly disappointed and for what we paid, the rooms were disgraceful, there was mould in our bathroom, a cracked floor and silver fish! They were very small and the bed was a normal double. The office was right above and it was very noisy. A few of the staff would benefit from a few classes at charm school but most of them were very friendly and helpful.
There was a horrendous smell of sewage in one part of the dungeon restaurant and we had to ask to be moved on the first night, we complained and refused to sit in that area again, although the person on duty at reception that evening looked quite shocked and said he would get the maintenance team to investigate, I never saw anything happen and when speaking to other staff we were told that it has been a problem for quite some time and they can't find the reason!!! Surely as this is used as a restaurant it should be shut down until the problem is sorted?
I must say that the food was glorious but the menu is changed every Friday and as we ate there from Monday to Thursday we didn't need to look at the menu from Tuesday!
My comment would be that unless you are getting married or only staying overnight, don't waste your money.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank rer1802
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2010

Having lived in Edinburgh for many years, I always admired the castle and the surroundings. after moving away my parter decided to book the castle for one night away as a treat! We booked 'the lodge' thinking it would be a secluded home from home! Wrong! Its a neglected dirty and very unappealing house that has been hastily turned onto many bedroom.... fawlty towers sprang to mind!! Dirty bedding, old carpet and not enough room to swing a cat!! disgusting! we didnt even stay 5 min! The retreat castle hotel 5 mins up the road offered us good food, quirky accomodation and nice staff for half the price.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank kjc6686
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: £82 - £230 (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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