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Dornoch Castle Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dornoch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 September 2011

This is a review for the Garden Restaurant, we didn't actually stay at the hotel. I found it a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping it would have more of a rustic atmosphere like the front pub area, but instead it's a sunny and bright restaurant in the back of the hotel overlooking a courtyard garden. This isn't bad in of itself, but not what I was expecting. The service was good and the front bartender was very nice and knew his whiskies. They were also very conscientious about my son's nut allergy as well and let us know what he could eat and could not eat. I had the mussels for starters which were fine, although the sauce was overly rich, but good. My lamb entree wasn't bad, but I felt self conscious about ordering it well done, and they talked me out of it and ordering it medium and when I got it, it was too rare for me - thus I really couldn't enjoy it. The sticky pudding dessert was pretty good though, but overall, I though it was a miss. Pricey too. I wouldn't return based on the food and ambiance of the restaurant itself. I think the pub would be good for lunch.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
1  Thank ktleyed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2011

Many thanks for your comments, we are all very glad you enjoyed coming to the Castle, all the staff work very hard to ensure that every guest has an enjoyable and memorable experience with us.
We really pride ourselves in the local and fresh produce that we use and the presentation of our food, unfortunately local and fresh produce comes at a price. A three course meal is priced at £30 per person which we really do not regard as pricey. With food of this quality, you would be looking at paying a lot more in a city for this, especially in a restaurant with an AA Rosette for its food.
We do hope that you are able to visit us again the future.
Warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel

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Reviewed 3 September 2011

We stayed here for 2 nights at the end of August 2011. Check in was fine, we were shown to the room by one of the members of staff. The first impressions of the hotel is great, beautiful stairs and lovely iron staircase and wooden floors. Our room was in the castle with a view on to the Firth and the hotel garden. Room was clean, furniture didn't match but understand they were trying to keep with the castle.
The breakfast was fine the two younger Waitresses were full of enthusiasm for a morning.
There was nothing wrong with our stay, probably the decor was just not to our taste, given the website and the prices I had pretty high expectations of the venue and it didn't quite match my expectations.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank hsqos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2011

Thank you for your lovely comments.
We are all really happy that you had a lovely stay, all the staff work very had to ensure that our guests have a lovely time.
I am sorry to hear that our decoration was not to your taste, unfortunately it is very hard to cater to every guests taste, however, with any hotel, we are always updating and improving as we go along.
We hope that you are able to visit us again in the future.
Warmest wishes
All the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel

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Reviewed 1 September 2011

Dornoch is a lovely little historic town set in the middle of th e wonder that is the Scottish highlands.

The Castle itself is lovely with that old rustic atmosphere set amongst the warm homely feel of a family-run hotel.

The Dinner bed and breakfast basis is definitely value for money, considering we stayed in August 2011. The barman Scotty is most considerate when it comes to information on specific Whiskys to try.

The waiting staff at Breakfast and Dinner are certainly worth their weight in gold, excellent service and the food is worth the AA rosette for a consecutive year!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ian4077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2011

Thank you so much for your lovely comments.
All the staff are delighted that you had such a wonderful stay, it is what we work really hard to achieve.
We hope that you are able to visit us again in future.
Warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel.

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Reviewed 1 September 2011

We did enjoy our time at the Dornoch Castle Hotel (not to be confused with an actual castle) and the room was lovely but we had ordered the VIP package with robes/slippers/choccies/sherry etc and this never materialised. There was also supposed to be a bottle of wine in the room upon arrival and this was missing - we did, however get a voucher to collect from the bar - a ruse i assume so they can try and get you to eat in the resturant! Many times were we asked if we wanted to book a table as they were 'filling up fast' but from previous postings I ventured elsewhere for food. We did have breakfast on the first morning of our 2 night stay and this was mediocre - the service poor and chaos ensued as there were no clean tables, no orange juice and eventually after waiting for 10 mins for toast there was a hair stuck to one of the slices.
So the question being would I recommend or stay again... Well Yes I would these were insignificant issues that may not affect others and the area is lovely and the staff were fantastic in the bar/reception area and you do get free wifi in communal areas which was a nice touch.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
1  Thank RingOandCrystaL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2011

Many thanks for your comments, all the staff work very hard to leave guests with a lasting, memorable experience and I am very sorry to learn of these things that have marred your experience.
Any issues could have and would have been rectified straight away if we had been told about them at the time, i.e. the VIP package, if brought to our attention straight away, would have been easily fixed within minutes, I can only accept my apologies that this had been missed in the first place.
With regards to the wine, we offer the voucher now instead of putting the wine in the room so that guests have the option, if they wanted, to put the voucher towards a different bottle of wine if preferred, which a lot of guests have done previously.
I am also very sorry that you felt pressed to eat at the hotel, this is not the impression we want to give, it just seems on this occasion that all staff have asked at the same time which is unfortunate.
We do hope that despite the above, you are able to visit us again in the future.
Warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel

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Reviewed 24 August 2011

The "castle" hotel just feels like a big brick building smack in the centre of town. Bad food & unprofessional service in the restaurant, the suite was charming (but not worth the money). All in all I cannot recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank susanned
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2011

We are very sorry that you did not enjoy your stay, every care and attention is taken to ensure our guests have an enjoyable and memorable stay.
Any problems during your stay, should have been raised at the time and any issues could have been rectified straight away.
We do hope that you will be able to visit us again the future and leave with a more memorable experience.
Warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel.

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Reviewed 19 August 2011

This hotel goes from strength to strength. The welcome is extremely friendly from the family who run it and who always add a personal touch, and the food is excellent, though the dining room can be a little chilly in the winter. The bedrooms vary in size, so it's worth asking about them if you're fussy. You can get free wi-fi in the residents' lounge and in the bar. The only real criticism is that the front door is automatic, and in the winter it lets in the cold air too often! But if you're staying in Dorncoh, this is the place to come. The off season rates are superb value - more expensive in the summer, as Dornoch is a popular holiday resort, with one of Britain's best golf courses and a magnificent sandy beach.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank ericmyra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2011

Many thanks for your lovely comments, all the staff are delighted that your stay was memorable.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Warmst wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel

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Reviewed 17 August 2011

This hotel is in a beautiful old castle in the most perfect location in the centre of Dornoch. There are bedrooms in the old castle and also in a newer extension. We had a room in the castle itself - a nice room with lots of character and a comfy bed. Under the top quilt was a really ancient duvet cover!! It was once patterned but now so faded and extremely old and should be replaced with nice crisp white ones. There were lots of nice tolietries in the bathroom and a really good hospitality tray in the room. On arrival I was surprised and disapointed at the cheap looking plastic signs (think Blackpool B&B) at the entrance to the hotel - they are not in keeping with the lovely stonework of the castle. The reception staff are very welcoming and friendly - I felt the rest of the staff could do with some customer service training. The bar/reception area is a really lovely room in the old part of the castle with lots of comfy seat and candles - just what you expect a castle bar area to be like. The dining room is in an extension/sunroom and in need of serious updating - It had a sort of care-home feeling to it. The out-dated dark red tablecloths do nothing for the tables - they should be crisp and white !! The pictures on the walls are all faded - it would be nice to see pictures of the beautiful areas surrounding Dornoch. We had breakfast in the hotel - it was very average - the main thing we didn't like was the cheap brown and white bread they used to make the toast. We had one dinner in the hotel and found it very disapointing - the service was so slow - it took an hour for the starters to arrive!! We had to constantly remind the serving staff that we had not received items (water/bread/drinks) etc. If we stay there again we would not have dinner in the hotel. The garden area is lovely and a really nice place to sit and have a drink/snack. This hotel has the potential to be a really great hotel but at the moment think of it as a b&b in a castle!

Room Tip: ask for a room in the old castle not he extension
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sunhshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2011

Thank you for your comments, all the staff are delighted that you had a lovely stay.
I am very sorry however that some of the points during your stay have let us down.
All the staff work very hard to give each guest an enjoyable and memorable stay during your time here and we just hope that you are able to visit us again in the future.
Warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel

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Additional Information about Dornoch Castle Hotel

Address: Castle Street, Dornoch IV25 3SD, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Caithness and Sutherland > Dornoch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dornoch
Price Range: £127 - £187 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Dornoch Castle Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Castle is located in the historic town of Dornoch across from the stunning 13th century Cathedral, boasting stunning views of the town. The central position of the hotel makes it ideal for exploring Dornoch, home to the world famous Royal Dornoch Golf Course, which overlooks the breath taking golden sand beach. Dornoch is also well situated for those looking to explore more of what the Highlands have to offer. The historic Castle is built on the site of the original Bishop’s Palace of St Gilbert, who founded the Cathedral in the early 13th century. The building eventually sold on and in 1947 became a hotel after some extensive work, which maintain much of the character of the Castle as a stately, historic and comfortable home. The Castle boasts a total of 22 en-suite bedrooms situated both within the original castle and the modern garden extension. There is a variety of room types available including; standard, superior, deluxe and our award winning Old Courtroom. Due to the castle’s layout each bedroom has its own special ambiance, great care has been taking in creating a distinctive character in each bedroom. The Castle's restaurant has retained an AA rosette standard, through the exceptional work from the chefs. The malt whisky selection is second to none and can be enjoyed in the cosy stone-lined whisky bar with the roaring fire to protect you from the Scottish winds, in the summer the walled garden is the perfect setting to relax during the long summer nights. Coming Summer 2016: The Dornoch Distillery will be opening soon on the grounds of the Dornoch Castle Hotel producing 'Old Style' Whisky and Hand Crafted Organic Gin from scratch. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dornoch Castle Hotel Scotland

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