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“Amazing place in a nice quiet town”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
63 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Amazing place in a nice quiet town”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2011

My fiancee and I spent 2 nights in this hotel and had a wonderful time. Our room wasn't ready when we got here (arrived about 4 hours early) so we stored our bags and went for a walk around the grounds. They have some nice trails around the back of the hotel and we were able to visit the falcons and owls that are kept on the property.

When we got to our room it was very clean and nicely decorated, we had a private balcony looking over the back of the castle which was nice to sit out on and eat breakfast that was delivered to our room in the mornings.

One night we ate in the Dungeon restaurant and had a great time. We both though that the food was wonderful and they were able to accommodate my fiancee who is a vegetarian. While each of the 5 courses of the meal were a little smaller than most places we both thought their sizes were perfect as we both left dinner satisfied. It was one of the best meals we had during our 10 day trip to the UK.

The reception ladies seemed a bit overwhelmed with so many people checking in/out (a wedding had just taken place at the castle) but this can happen any place.

If you want to go into Edinburgh there is a convenient park-n-ride that's not too far away that was very convenient to catch a bus from as we didn't want to deal with driving into town and trying to find some place to park.

We both look forward to staying here again

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RichieUT
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
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

I booked one night DBB at the hotel to celebrate my parners birthday - this was on a special offer price of £210. Having read some very mixed reviews on Trip Advisor I was a bit aprehensive about whether I had made the right choice or not. The road up to the hotel is in a poor state of repair but given the recent winter weather not entirely unexpected. On arrival you can't help but be impressed by the exterior - this is a genuine Scottish castle. The hotel reception is charming rather than slick or glitzy and the check in staff were efficient and pleasant enough but perhaps could smile a bit more. We were shown to our room which was absolutly amazing. I'd booked a regular double but were put into the Oliver Cromwell Suite which is in the old part of the castle. The room is huge with a four poster bed and second double bed in a separate area. It has a well done out en suite bathroom, robes, slippers, flat screen TV, fridge etc etc. The room and facilities couldn't be faulted. Within 15 mins of arriving, housekeeping staff called to see if we required any additional tea/coffee/milk etc which was a really nice touch. We used the spa before dinner and my partner had a massage which he said was really good. The spa itself is very small and could do with being extended or updated. When it first opened I'm sure it was quite unusual and impressive, but having been a member of One Spa at the Sheraton in Edinburgh expected a bit more. The hydrospa here is similar but on a much smaller and less well maintained scale. Before dinner, drinks are served in the library bar where dinner orders are taken. This is a lovely room with roaring log fire, pannelled walls, etc etc. Staff escort you down to the Dungeon Restaurant which is very atmospheric. The table settings, glasses etc are high quality and the staff well trained and not over fussy. The food was absolutely amazing - 5 courses of well constructed and executed quality cuisine matched with a great, not too pricey wine list. Again the quality of food couldn't be faulted. The rural location of the hotel makes for a very peacful nights sleep. We had to leave quite early for work the next morning but not before sampling a tasty cooked breakfast. Based on my stay I'd highly recommend the hotel for a romantic break not far from Edinburgh.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank scotmark2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
coatbridge
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2011

Stayed at the hotel with friends for a retirement 'do'. My room number 27 was cold unwelcoming and in dire need redecoration. Spa facitlies were poor and you will need a loan to pay for refreshments, we were charged £15.88 for a carafe of water that we had not asked for but was placed on the table giving the impression it was free gratis. Reception appeared disorganised and we got lost trying to find our rooms laden down with luggage, no help was offered.
Prior to dinner and following dinner we were shown to a large reception room that was freezing cold. When I complained a small fan heater was put into the room which was not fit for purpose, this room was also shabby and tired.
Service at dinner was slow and the fine dinning potions were so small we had to order a tray of sandwiches which cost a further £40.
To top it off they tried to over charge the party by a considerable amount. As it was we had spent over £2000. Despite this we had good time unfortunately the hotel experience was memorable for the wrong reasons. Take a tip and go else where!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank CoatbridgeVal123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrogate, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2011

The castle is spelllboundingly gorgeous from the outside. Lit up at night and daylight it is a building of magnificance.

Inside the castle is in need of some serious interior design help to give the luxurious feel that you'd expect. Infact some parts are unbelievably poor............

Lowlights being:-

The recepetion area back room is always open to see and looks hideous and when you arrive you are already wondering if this is going to be a mixed experience

The bedroom heating has a motion sensor which turns on and off the heating. It makes a terrible noise and everytime I turned in my bed it set it off which meant I got little sleep. Since the thermostat button was missing I couldnt chnage the temperature and despite it coming on it never really got the room warm.

The bathroom was old and more inkeeping with what you might find in your mothers house. In fairness it was clean.

The staircase down to the spa and restaurants was truly ugly and really brought your mood down before reaching the restaurants. Hotel needs to invest a little here and make a big difference.

The orangery restaurant presented us with an average meal, and certainly would not be a destination restaurant for people looking to have a real treat.

The spa hasnt been working for a while so a plunge pool was the spa experience. The steam room was cold and steamless and the hot room was colder than the passageway you step in from!!!

Highlights. The outside of the castle is as I have said fantastic. They have a birds of prey section which is a delight also to see.

I am amazed that this is a Von Esson hotel. It makes me look at the spelling of Von Esson just to check that it is spelt exactly the same!

Overall not worth the money. Dissappoints while the building has such promise to deliver a fairytale stay.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank HIDA2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2011

Ive been twice and I'll possibly be going again this year as my g'friend and I like to go on her birthday. We always go for a day in Edinburgh and retreat to the castle which is a nice distance outside the city. The caslte looks great although the driveway is badly run down but then where isnt in Scotland after the winters of late. We try to get the four poster themed room and dinner in the dungeon that evening. Dinner is always great and well cooked and the staff are excellent. However, although we enjoy it I can fully understand how people end up having a bad experience here. The main thing to note is its not cheap for a nights stay and its pot luck on which themed four poster you get. Some are amazing, most average (which we have had both times) and some a big let down as noted by others. Its a lot to pay to be dissappointed and it always feels like a gamble. We have been lucky to date. The spa facilities are as per the webpage so there shouldnt be any surprises when you see the size of the pool or the facilities. However, they are usually quiet and can mostly be enjoyed by two people (although room for many more).

We will be back but I guess it only takes one of our visits to be poor for us to consider it no longer worth the effort at £350+ a day. So far it hasnt happened but I always hold my breath when I walk into the room offered.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 1r1sh1ad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2011

my husband booked this hotel for me as a special treat, he booked it as a "spa treat" and what a treat!!!!!!
I think I was first aware it might not be all it was craked up to be when traveling down a poorly maintained drive, we drove past the bins. this is not what you expect. The castle itself was an impressive building but that was the only high point. the Orangery resturant needs a good clean. the rest of the interior of the hotel is a let down, it could be so amazing but torn wallpaper, threadbare carpets, badly repaired items and not to menton the duck tape used to repair carpets, and keep wires in place.

our room was a four poster feature room. and it was at first sight impressive but it soon dissapointed. the room was cold the bed sheets smelt a bit damp, and the furniture was on its last legs. the bathroom was very dated and not at all what you expect for the price paid.

now on to my treat the "spa" dear god it was horrendous, a pool that was no bigger than a plunge pool that was at best luke warm.... a steam room that was cold... and then to warm up we went to the sun room... thankfully it was just my husband and I as frankly there was not room for anybody else in there. if you are looking for a spa then this is not it.....

drinks in the liabray were good and it was a nice room to relax in except the odd christamas vase decorations that are still in the room... we were then given the menus for the dungeon resturant and it looked promising. which in all fairness it was, the food was good, but not for the price.... also the dungeon was a little smelly but i supose it is a dungeon and so there is bound to be a bit of a damp smell... the evening staff however were very plesent and very attentive not hard as I think there were only three couples staying and only one of those were eating here.

the staff were plesent enough and friendly and the evening staff exceled...
the castle needs a lot of tlc and investment... but some things could be done very easily, move the resturant to one of the rooms near the liabray these are lovely rooms and should be used.... put some more games in the liabary (connect 4 and chess are not enough) air the rooms.... clean mirrors and tidy away the christmas decorations. put the bins behind a wall or fence, sort the decor out in the orangery. and when your guests leave send them off with a fond farewell.
we left without one member of staff saying goodbye....

I can say that my husband and I laughed a great deal during our one night stay, but this was more because it was like being in a cross between a bording school and run down B and B

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank tinycampbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2011

We spent one night at the Dalhousie Castle relaxing at the end of a Business Trip. The castle is lovely, wide staircases, suits of armour - all authentic. Staff were very friendly and helpful and our room had been upgraded to one with a "four-poster" bed and balcony overlooking the grounds. Room was lovely, large and comfortable - I spent my time wisely - a wonderfully relaxing mud-wrap in the Aqueous Spa and a spell in the pool (a big bubbly hot-tub!) We had booked a dinner, bed and breakfast package - and following drinks in a lovely old library - filled with books dating back to the 1850's and a big open fire, our dinner was served in the Dungeon restaurant where we were sternly watched over by 2 suits of armour !! The food was quite delicious - a lot of time and effort had been put into the preparation and service and the result was excellent.
This trip had been booked as a late Xmas present - it was thoroughly enjoyed (if a little pricey !) Would be quite wonderful for a wedding or a party.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank aeolus-chris
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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