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“Dreadful”
Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Certificate of Excellence
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Dreadful”
Reviewed 13 January 2011

To say that we were disappointed is a gross understatement…

Errors in reservations, dreadful state of the themed rooms – I cannot begin to explain the shocking state of the bathrooms (mildew on ceilings and around bath, peeling wallpaper etc.) not to mention the fact that appliances did not work. For £260 per room night, I expected FAR more.

It must however be said that the duty manager did what she could to correct the reservation error. Furthermore, dinner in the Dungeon was indeed superb.

Overall the experience was deplorable – I fail to see how this hotel got the rating it has…

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Brenin74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (311)
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English first
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2011

We stayed at Dalhousie Castle as part of their Hogmanay package. It was a special occasion (a birthday as well as being New Year) and we booked it well in advance. I was slightly concerned that it would not live up to expectations, but I could not have been more wrong. The whole experience, and it was an experience and not just a break in a hotel, surpassed expectations! The castle itself is a wonderful building and our room was spacious, clean, well furnished and had a huge four poster bed. The staff made us feel very welcome and were very knowledgeable about the history of the castle, the food was excellent as were the activities that were laid on. I would recommend a room with a four poster bed, booking to eat in the Dungeon restaurant and gentlemen wearing a kilt instead of black tie on New Years Eve - if you have ever fancied it, this is the time to do it! On leaving, we felt as though we had been invited to someone's much loved home to spend the New Year with them. Thank you for a lovely time - we have taken away some amazing memories of Hogmanay in a Scottish castle!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travellers31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2011

The first sight of the castle was good but its driveway is a poor advert. Badly potholed particularly after recent very cold weather. At least it is not very long. Take the last exit off the little roundabout for parking in front of the hotel. Its a nice level crunchy gravel area near the main entrance. There are extensive grounds and woods to be explored later & photographed including great exterior views of the castle. The main entrance is via a nice old large door with big old stone masonry walls leading into the reception area. Its all really cosy and full of quaint features including plenty of nooks & crannies, historic pictures, lovely antique furniture, numerous wooden, stone, & carpeted stairways, quirky passageways, heavy old doors, ornate ceilings, the family tree wall hanging, and impromptu guided tours to secret areas if you ask the staff nicely.
We had several themed rooms in the oldest part of the castle, all amazing with different styles. The De Ramseia room was the best. Large (reception, hall, bathroom, sitting room, bedroom), & more quirky features!
The wedding was superb and was run as smooth as silk. The piper was fantastic, so helpful, & many wise words, as was the registraar. The chapel room suited the ceremony perfectly. The piping in was excellent. After the ceremony the Library & its bar was a cosy complement to the Dalwolsey sitting room atmosphere. Service was always helpfully on hand to serve a wide variety of drinks at castle prices of course but what a setting.
The wedding "break fast" was held in the Dungeon restaurant and again the piper & staff played their parts perfectly. The Menu 2 starter was heavenly, but I have to admit the mains were somewhat ordinary, particularly for £43pp, but nevertheless, this special event was very special indeed. Slightly on the negative side, nothing against the assistant staff serving but these days it seems every business wants to penny pick by using cheaper labour from who knows where whether they are conversant in the native tongue or not. Ce la vie!
Breakfast at the castle however restored our faith in quality cuisine. The porridge was one of the best ever sampled, and the full scottish was delectable particularly the black pudding.
All in all a wonderful unforgettable wedding experience.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Holidayholic54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
blackwood
Level Contributor
89 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2010

Fantastic castle for that special romantic getaway. Took husband as suprise for his birthday. Really friendly place. Rooms are stunning. Got to see a Scottish wedding complete with bagpipes, really beatiful. Went into Bonyrigg to a pub called Laird and Dog, a fab country pub, food out of this world, best prawns in Tempura batter ever tasted!! Stayed for 4 nights. Resturant in castle very expensive for what you get. Ask for a whisky, biggest supply I've ever seen, hidden in a secret library . Fantastic place to take that special loved one ( oh and by that I don't mean family pet! LOL x)

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank amandajen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
40 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2010

This stay was terrible - not in the main hotel but their 'annex' called the Lodge. This is a lovely hotel - I have stayed before but this time I was not given a room in the main hotel but was pushed off into the Annex (Lodge). It is 100 yrds away down a dank, dark potholed track. It was so dark I walked into the diabled ramp rail. The room was bad - extract fan busted. Curtains hanging off the rail, wall paper hanging off wall. Lumpy and very musty smelling bed. Worn and basic shower. There are good lounge and few other facilaties if you did, perhaps, talke over the full building as a group. But as a sole traveller it is a muddy walk in the dark and rain back up to the hotel to use the Spa, library or resteraunt. The room is worn and did not feel clean. There is no Wi Fi in the Annex so I did not email work either.

Just to make matters worse - some outward bound type of training was on and they blocked the road with vehicles. After I asked, in the rain, for them to move they did - but immediately blocked the track again so that I could not drive back down to my room and had to leave immediately after breakfast - not being able to use the Spa or my room after 8am!

My advice - stay in the hotel. It is lovely. But NEVER agree to a room in the Lodge.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gunnerside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2010

If you are looking for a castle experience, this is ideal. If you are looking for a modern hotel with all the amenities, this is not the place for you. It is a bit expensive, but for us Canadians, was worth it just to say we stayed in a castle. The rooms was really something, unlike any hotel room I have ever stayed in. The castle is several stories high, and has no elevators. Upon check in we were greated with a porter who carried out bags up the 3 flights of stairs to our room, which was much appreciated. The grounds of the castle are very nice, there is even a falconry area where you can see owls. The Orangery restaurant was not great and abit expensive, but nothing really to complain about. The library area is a very nice place for a pre or post dinner drink with a varried drink menue.

Unfortauntely our room did have one negative aspect, the heat continually turned on and off throughout the night and was quite loud when on, thus making sleeping tough.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Brewcee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2010

We took my parents for their 45th wedding anniversary. We were down looking around Dalhousie Castle last year and The Orangery looked really nice, as did the menu so we thought we were in for a treat.

Where should I start?

My soup spoon had a narrowed and very sharp lip, and it actually cut the side of my mouth as I ate my soup! My partners starter had a sauce which had been sitting out and formed a lovely thick skin. My dad chose the same starter as my partner but his potatoes were cold and he had hardly any sauce at all, his bread was also stale. When our main courses came, my potatoes were not cooked and like the starters, my mum's sauce had a skin on it.

The menu choice was poor overall.

The waitress was terribly unprofessional and untrained. Our wine cooler came with water in it, but no cloth or towel to dry the bottle and she dribbled water on the table as she poured it. My dad was still eating his main course when she came up to ask if she could bring up the desserts. The cutlery was not replaced after we'd eaten our starters and we had to wait while she got cutlery before we could start our main courses. When the waiter brought more drinks, I asked if he had a cloth or a napkin we could dry the bottle with and he said they were running low and that the delivery hadn't arrived.....I had to ask him to take one from another table where no-one was sitting, there were plenty as it was very quiet so I'm still not sure why it would have been a problem.

Honestly, it was terrible, I could write more!

I complained to the duty manager and she took our complaint very seriously and was v ery nice. We were told we would not be charged for our meal. She was not going to charge us for our drinks either, but we wanted to pay for those. She took my parents contact details to write to them and invite them to come back so the hotel can make up for the bad meal they had. However, we will not be going with them if my mum dedides to take them up on their offer.

We were really looking foward to a nice meal in a lovely setting and we did no get it, it was such a disappointment and I really felt as if we had let down my parents as it was our idea to take them there. With hindsight, we should have gone to the Dungeon but the Orangery setting looked so nice, and having seen the menu before, we thought it would be ideal. We were considering this as a possible wedding venu, but it's been crossed off our list for sure!

  • Stayed September 2010
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 30somethingreviewer
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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