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“Old hotel, but very nice”
Review of Dornoch Hotel

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Dornoch Hotel
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Dornoch
Reviewed 28 August 2013

Went through Shearings and the hotel was fine, very comfy beds and we did get a shower over the bath. Food was standard Shearings but a good choice every evening and the waiting staff were very polite and cheerful. Dornoch was OK to visit as we were taken out on trips but it is not somewhere I would want to stay for any length of time, it's in the middle of nowhere. We also had Tom as a relief driver for 2 days and he was brilliant, I just hope his employers realise what a font of knowledge he is and what a great asset to to the company.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jeanl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JamesMoutrie, General Manager at Dornoch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2013

Dear Jeanl

Thank you very much for your reveiw of your recent stay with us. We are pleased that you found all aspects of your stay enjoyable. Although Dornoch may of been a little quiet for you that for some adds to Dornoch's beauty.
I have passed on your comments to Tom who I am sure will be delighted with your words of praise for him.

I hope we can welcome you back to Dornoch in the future

Regards

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342 - 348 of 487 reviews

Reviewed 26 August 2013

Like the last few reviewers we also stayed at Dornoch 17th - 24th August and we thought it was reasonably good value for money. We flew up from Bristol to Inverness flight time 1 hour 10 mins and cost about £200 each extra which was better than having a 2 day coach trip each way - transfer to and from airport was good. Staff at Dornoch very helpful and polite. We had asked for light airy rooms and that is what we got - yes the rooms were looking a bit tired but for what we had paid and given that it included meals and trips out we felt it was ok. Bed was a bit uncomfortable but we just turned the mattress round and it was fine. Yes, there was some noise (we were in room on front corner of Hotel) but people are going to have to depart early and arrive late given the fact that it's Scotland and many have to travel a long way - fortunately we were not in a room where we could hear any night time cleaning going on like one of the other guests reports in her review and if we had been we would definitely have gone to reception and asked to be moved. We were worried about having to organise trips out ourselves on days when there were no included trips but we had a pleasant surprise because Shearings offered 2 optional trips £14 and £19 both of which were very good value for money so we saw a lot more of the Highlands than we had expected to (£19 trip scenery exceptional). Also went to Glenmorangie Distillery using local bus service timetable available from Tourist Information and that was well worth doing. There is a Scottish Pipe Band in square every Saturday evening but unfortunately when we were there they were away at a Pipe Band Competition. When we arrived we were a bit disappointed we did not have a shower in our room but soon changed our minds - we'd forgotten what bliss it was to have a nice leisurely soak in the bath before going down to breakfast and after getting back from one of the trips and we will definitely be going back to taking more baths rather than showers, bath fills quickly lots of hot water and good water pressure. Regarding trips we were also on the minibus round Orkneys and it was a shame that those in minibus were not transferred on to the coach and the folk on the coach moved to the minibus - we were ok as we sat at the front but the people in the back complained of not having much room to move - we really enjoyed our trip and learnt a lot about the Orkneys. Trips around Scotland wonderful - we had George, John and Tom driving and they were all first class - brilliant driving (3 out of the 4 of us drive minibuses and coaches and we were well impressed especially by Tom on single track roads with narrow bridges). They gave us so much information about the places we visited and the people - it was fascinating. Tom we will never forget you............ we loved your Victor Meldrew moments and all the little ditties you recited really kept us entertained. I hope Shearings value all the effort the three of you put into doing your jobs you are all brilliant. Food at Dornoch was ok, would have liked the breakfast rolls to have been warm and not burnt as they were a couple of mornings although we do realise that they need to be cooked a bit ahead of time but on the whole food was fine. The ham and eggs was particularly nice as were the kippers. Evening meals were also fine given what we had paid - soups always tasted home made, haggis was lovely but check with waiter as it comes as a chef's special (there may have been a board with chef's special on each day but we never saw one so asked the waiter each time). The braised steak was lovely and the fish crumble was the best I have ever tasted. Entertainment: make sure you take your dancing shoes - unfortunately not many people danced but music was really good especially Bob and Maggie and there was the opportunity every night to have a dance. Only night no entertainment was Wednesday but we did have bingo that night and on one other night too (and one of us won the £50...). This was only our second holiday with Shearings - booked before we took our first holiday with them in Torquay and there the hotel left a lot to be desired and the Dornoch is certainly much better than that hotel. We did contact Shearings after our first holiday expressing our concerns but that hotel is under new management so we did not put in a review as they need to be given the chance to improve. Had we not already booked the Dornoch holiday we would probably have gone with another company but we are glad we didn't as we had a good holiday. Thanks to all the staff at the Dornoch and to Tom, John and George.

Room Tip: We were in 109 and that was fine.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank SomersetClan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JamesMoutrie, General Manager at Dornoch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2013

Dear SomersetClan

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us. It is particularly pleasing to see the title of your review replicates one of our company core values of giving Value for money. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay and have taken the points highlighted on board as we strive to improve at all times. It is nice to see we managed to convert you back to having bath - it makes a nice change!!!
All the drivers thnak you for your kind comments and we all look forward to welcoming you back to Dornoch in the future.
Regards

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Reviewed 26 August 2013

8 day trip, just returned. Hotel extremely dated. Decor beyond the beautiful staircase is awful. Curtains in rooms and dining area need a good clean, think we all know now this hotel cannot guarantee showers. You can request one but not forced to get one. So if elderly or have mobility problems this hotel is not for you. I rang shearings after making the booking. I explained my friend unable to get in and out of bath due to knee replacement and they were most helpful. Rang me next day to say they have room with shower. Which we did have on arrival. Shearings best course of action for th once beautiful hotel is to either close it for a certain lenght of time and give it a complete revamp or close it all together. Because of the bad comments you are getting, if this is a customers first holiday with Shearings it will put them off for good. My friend and I went on the 8day Scotland Mystery trip. We can say for what we paid it was good value. But so many had paid a more. The excursions ok. The trip to the Orkneys was a disaster. Really long day with only 50 min. In Kirkwell. 10 min. At Italian church. Rest of the time spent on a crowed coach with little or no view and a a disinterested driver giving us little or no information. We have only started going with Shearings this year. Went to scarborough and Morcambe with them this year. No Problems.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank Kim958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JamesMoutrie, General Manager at Dornoch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2013

Dear Kim958

Thank you for your review and it is good to see that the request procedure I have commented on in the past has been used and that you got the shower you requested. We are continuing to install showers and by the start of next year it is planned that the majority of rooms will have showers. I was surprised to read your comments regarding the excursion to The Orkneys as comments from previous guests have always been favourable and that it gives a small taste of island life.

Regards

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Reviewed 25 August 2013

Just returned from a week at the Dornoch hotel and not impressed. Had to pay a single supplement and room didn't have a shower (for which I had asked), the mattress was absolutely filthy and the corridor reeked of smoke, which permeated my room. I asked to be moved and room two had a blood stained blanket (no shower) and I was unable to sleep as the staff did the cleaning throughout the night in the public rooms and stairs below with horrendous banging and crashing and scraping off furniture and banging the hoover down the stairs. I had one decent nights sleep, which ruined my days as I was so tired. Food was mediocre, either undercooked or overcooked and the toast, cheap white bread, was burnt every morning. The coach and the drivers were excellent, apart from the Orkneys trip where we had an island bus driver who gave us only 50 minutes in Kirkwall and very little information about the island. He also loaded far too many of us onto a mini bus and put 15 people onto a normal coach. The older members of the party were very uncomfortable and we could see very little in the couple of hours we were shown around. I enjoyed my holiday as I made some good friends and had a laugh but I certainly will never return to that hotel again and will be very dubious about booking another with Shearings. They have very little regard for single travellers and their needs, especially if they are elderly and infirm. I had terrible trouble washing my hair with the enormous jug they provided and don't know how I would have managed if I had been older and less able. On returning to Normanton I also bumped into two other single ladies who had travelled alone to Oban and Paignton and both were complaining bitterly about the standard of the rooms they were given, which made mine seem like a luxury!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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4  Thank Carole W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JamesMoutrie, General Manager at Dornoch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2013

Dear Carole W.

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay and I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay. I have checked your booking and there was no request for shower. There is an onus on the customer to check their confirmation to ensure that requests are on the booking. I believe that you requested a room change and the only available room was a room directly over the entertainment area - this you were warned of prior to moving room. When you highlighted the issue with cleaning going on at night - we did instruct the night porter to carry out this cleaning as soon as possible and I believe you actually commented to my Head Receptionist that it had been much better. I do not agree with your comments about lack of caring for the single traveller - as a company we carry thousands of satisfied single travellers every year.

Regards

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Reviewed 24 August 2013

I expected the best from Shearings on past reputation but very disappointed. Late pick up to travel from Newcastle to Dornoch and taken south to Washington to travel north! Two hours after leaving house I was passing where I set off from. Dinner at 9.00 p.m.. Too late!! Seat changed from booking, extra stop as driver was smoker, Yorkshire Rose coach instead of Shearings and most uncomfortable. Food not very good and had to spend full day at hotel as no excursion planned. Not enough to do in place like Dornoch. Enjoyed excursion to Ullapool but not enough time in resort, Inverness was just smaller version of Newcastle. Up at 5.30a.m. to come home and on road by 6.45. Far too early on holidays and not necessary!
Arrived back at Washington services,having gone through Newcastle and Gateshead (where I needed to be dropped off) which is a long way round. Knew it was pointless asking to be dropped off so want south again to come north and then feeder coach (a much more comfortable Shearings coach) went past Gateshead into Newcastle before coming back to Gateshead for drop off. Come on Shearings, get the transport right. All other holidays I have been on have picked me up, perhaps one or two more pick ups and then on our way. Never again. You have lost a new customer.

Room Tip: Not shower in every room so ask in advance for any requirements. Do not take anything for granted.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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4  Thank Joyce A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JamesMoutrie, General Manager at Dornoch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Dear Joyce A

I am sorry to read that you were not happy with your holiday with us - I have passed your comments onto the traffic department as we constantly strive to improve our holidays. Unfortunately to get people back to the interchange the early start is necessary otherwise the feeder system is delayed causing disruption to 100's of peoples holidays.

Regards

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Reviewed 22 August 2013

We have just returned from an 8 day Shearings Coach trip to Dornoch.
We booked through Wallace Arnold Travel Shop Bradford.
We chose seat (7) where we had a good all round view.
We embarked at Normanton Interchange.
1 The brochure page 6 shows a Shearings Luxury Coach as we booked.
The coach was not a Shearings it was a Yorkshire Rose Coaches with toilet at the Rear no right hand view.
The coach seats were not comfortable for a long trip, we had a trip out to Durness on a Shearings coach which was very comfortable this is what we expected to travel on not a school bus!
2 The hotel room, 210, was very dated, wallpaper needed attention, the wall in the bathroom and roof in the bedroom were cracked, the wash basin was not fixed properly and it was cracked and the hot tap needed adjustment.
There was no shower which made bathing difficult for us.
There was no Wi-Fi which is a must in modern hotels.
3 The food was of the best quality the 2 waiters we had (Barbara and Ben) were very good always smiling and helpful as were all the staff.
4 The trips out were very informative the three drivers (Graham, Tom and young man on Orkneys) very helpful and very well informed.
We were very disappointed with the travel arrangements and do not feel we could recommend this Shearings Holiday to family and friends.

Come on Shearings you have great staff why should they get the brunt of complaints.
Your hotel needs “HELP!”

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Yorkshirelad78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JamesMoutrie, General Manager at Dornoch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Dear Yorkshirelad78
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent holiday. I was extremely disappointed to read you did not enjoy your holiday. I have forwarded on your comments to the traffic department regarding the coaches. I would encourage you to contact reception if you are not happy with your room as we will endeavour to accomodate any requests that we can. As you can see from my responses to other posts we are installing more showers all the time and also are installing WIFI in the public areas in all of our hotels. Unfortunately this installation does take time but we are hoping it will be completed by October this year.
Barbara and Ben are really pleased that you felt they deserved a special mention and thank you for your comments.

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Reviewed 19 August 2013

Having read some reviews we were very worried about our 4 day 3 night break. I will try and be as open as to our experience at this hotel good n bad so here goes ... Booking in very easy staff very helpfull no problems here we had requested a refurbished room with shower. Well we had room 159 no view so to speak but we just slept in room so no problem here.
The room was like staying at your grandmothers a bit dated but clean we had a good mattress which helped and a shower.
Now don't go and get all excited as we did as the pressure for this was just about none and was not worth the effort of fitting
One.
The room was clean and basic with kettle coffee & tea hair dryer too.

The meals breakfast help yourself to juice cereal and your cooked breakfast with toast n coffee n tea brought to you even a vegetarian option.evening meal is starter main course and desert with me being a vegetarian I was a bit worried but they allways had something which was worth having I never went hungry.

The staff tried to help as much as they could and they allways looked happy even though they probably are on min wage ?.

Final points to consider this hotel is not brand new it probably was 1930 so don't expect holiday inn / ramada / Marriott standards it has history behind it we found it clean comfortable and the food good enough they still need to sort out the Showers for rooms as this is the 21 century if you put a shower in make sure it has enough pressure or its just a waste of time don't get the local handyman to do them get a proper company to do them.

For what we paid we were pleasantly surprised.

Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Saddlerkevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JamesMoutrie, General Manager at Dornoch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2013

Dear Saddlerkevin,

Thank you for reviewing your recent stay with us. It is a shame that you didn't inform us of the issue with your shower as normally the pressure of water is suitable in this room. I have contacted the plumber who installed them and the matter has been rectified with a quick adjustment.
I am glad to see that you enjoyed all your meals.

Kind regards

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Additional Information about Dornoch Hotel

Address: Grange Road, Dornoch IV25 3LF, Scotland (Formerly Bay Dornoch Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Caithness and Sutherland > Dornoch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Dornoch
Price Range: £58 - £117 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Dornoch Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in its own grounds overlooking the Royal Dornoch Golf Course and the beautiful sandy beaches of the Dornoch Firth this is a truly grand and impressive building. The exterior of the hotel has recently undergone tasteful redecoration and on the inside you will be greeted by a fine sweeping staircase and a warm Highland welcome. From the relaxing Sun Lounge you can admire the superb views and watch the world go by or enjoy a drink in the wood-panelled Links Lounge Bar. For the more energetic, there is a (seasonal) pitch and putt golf course in the hotel grounds where you can enjoy a round to build up your appetite for dinner. The Four Seasons and Links Restaurants within the hotel offer great dining options. This is an excellent base to visit the remote scenery of the area and to explore the lochs, moorland terrain and charm of Scotland’s far north. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dornoch Hotel Scotland

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