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“Best part of our honeymoon”

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Dornoch Castle Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dornoch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 May 2013

We stayed there in Sept/Oct 2010 when we were in Scotland for our honeymoon. We stayed for two nights and as this was our "treat" for our honeymoon we went all out and got the deluxe "Old Courtroom" room. Both my husband and I loved it. This is the room to get if you actually want the "feel" of being in a castle. The tub and shower and bathroom were very modern though and tucked away. Fireplace and four poster bed. Complimentary sherry. The place had lovely gardens and the food at the restaurant was great for both dinners and our lunch. The only complaint was that the mattress itself wasn't the greatest quality/the best, but it also wasn't the worst I've slep on, so totally worth it, especially if you can grab a deal/package. I believe they also cut us a bit of a deal when I mentioned that we were on our honeymoon but on a tight budget...either they gave us a bit of a discount or extended a deal that would have expired by the time we got there...something like that. It's also across the street from Dornoch Cathedral and walking distance to the beach, which I'm sure would be fantastic in the summer, but was still nice to walk along in the fall.

Room Tip: If you're looking for an authentic castle feel to the place, just be careful which room you get...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Danielle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Front Office Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2013

Hello Danielle D,

Thank you for leaving a review of your stay in the Old Courtroom.

We are all very pleased that you were able to experience the real Castle experience in our Deluxe room and are delighted that you enjoyed it!

We are also glad that you were able to dine with us during your stay and enjoy our chefs cuisine - they have a rosette that they are all very proud.

We do apologise that you felt the mattress was not the best and we will use this for our future refurbishment/updates.

Thank you once again for a gleaming review and we hope to see you back at the Dornoch Castle Hotel in the future.

Kind Regards
All of the staff at the Castle.

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454 - 460 of 806 reviews

Reviewed 26 May 2013

Had a very pleasant stay here this weekend. The hotel tries very hard and exceeds it's three star status. However having stayed in a deluxe room for the weekend I have to say the bed was so uncomfortable ! The wc area smelled funny ,maybe due to all the ivy outside on the wall and the birds who nest inside this and chirp incessantly !!!

The food was fine I'd love to know how they manage to cook a steak and have it look grey !? Are they boil in the bag?

Overall its lovely bunch of people who want to please but if they continue to send away chance coffee and cake customers at twenty to ten in the morning by saying they don't start that service
till ten o'clock they will not please many !

Room Tip: Certainly deluxe no less !
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ladytainsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2013 via mobile

We stayed overnight for one night in the old courtroom. Absolutely fantastic

Amazing room, great staff and good food

The whole time we were there from checkin to checkout the staff were friendly and helpful. The room was clean, everything functional and great views of cathedral and high at

We enjoyed a drink on the terrace in the evening sun (recommended by staff) then and amazing dinner of incredible food and great service in the restaurant. Finished the evening with a drink in the bar

Breakfast service speedy and friendly and food again top notch

We are already planning a return visit next year

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank PeteGreensmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Front Office Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2013

Hello PeteGreensmith,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a lovely review.

We are pleased that all aspects of your stay with us were enjoyable! The staff do there best to ensure good service and to make you feel welcome.

We really appreciate your kind comments and hope to see you again in the near future.

Best Wishes,
Dornoch Castle hotel.

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Reviewed 14 May 2013

Me and the family went for Sunday lunch. We had a 3 course meal, Starter was generous and tasty. Two of us had lamb and the other two had pork, the portions were not very big at all, 3 small slices or meat, 2 potatoes and not much else. The yorkshire pudding was cold and the pork was inedible, we had to send it back, it was like eating rubber gloves. Onto the pudding, two had sticky toffee pudding and the other two Berry meringue. The sticky toffee pudding good size portion and tasty. The Berry meringue, very small, finished in two mouth fulls, 3 tiny berries. Not what the name said. We complained about the pudding and when the table's next to us meringue's came out they were twice as big, with a range of berries. When we asked about it they were not prepared to take any amount of our puddings - 'as we had eaten them'. We tried to talk to the manager but he was not interested. All the staff but one were not very switched on and didnt seem to care in anyway, utterly unacceptable meak!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Cameron_W96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Front Office Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2013

Dear Cameron_W96,

Thank you for taking the time to review your meal at the Dornoch Castle Hotel. We were disappointed to read that you did not enjoy all aspects of your meal with us.

Most of our customers who come in for Sunday lunch find the portions to be of a generous size. It is unfortunate that you did not raise the issue of the berry meringues being too small with a member of staff when you were first served them; another dessert could have been offered in place of these but it is hard for us to rectify a problem with any aspect of the meal if the problem is not raised before the food has been eaten. Having spoken with the kitchen I can assure you that all of the meringues were the same size as they were cut with the same cutter and the other table that you refer to would definitely not have had one that was twice as big.

With regards to the staff not being ‘switched on’ and ‘didn’t seem to care in anyway’ I can only apologise; our staff do care about our customers and work hard to ensure that every customer enjoys their meal experience with us. It is a shame that you felt that this was not the case.

Regards,
All of the staff at Dornoch Castle Hotel

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Reviewed 14 May 2013

"Castle" implies up certain images and initially this hotel was a huge disappointment. We were in Room 23, a dog-tolerant room, and boy did it make me feel like a second rate citizen. Room was horrible: last furnished in the 80s with furniture from the pine discount warehouse; the shower curtain was grubby as was the grouting, in the windowless little bathroom; the view of the garden was actually a patch of scrub round from the carpark; our backdoor entrance choked us with smoke from the boiler room (now eco-biomass-fired) every time we stepped out; the walls were scuffed. A huge, bitter disappointment and I was quite angry at first. Perhaps the other rooms in the castle are better? But the decor in the upstairs sitting room (mustard brown velvet sofas from your Nan's post war bungalow), dining room (old red tableclothes from Berni Inn 20 years ago) and bar (mismatched chairs from DFS) suggest otherwise.
The lovely staff and amazing food turned it all around. We had a drink in the bar and the barman really knew his stuff talking about the gins (loved The Botanist, great suggestion) and beers. And the food was simply brilliant. Loved the canapes (nice, upmarket touch). I had a beautiful linguine clam starter, perfectly presented in a snug bowl/plate, with a light sauce and amazingly al dente pasta; followed by an incredible piece of tender beef on top an intensely flavoursome gravy with veg; and good solid sticky toffee pudding. Good quality ingredients, cooked perfectly. Well done chef, you saved this hotel's bacon for me. Reasonable wine list. Followed up with a decent breakfast just to show the cooking wasn't a one-off. Again, all staff very welcoming, relaxed but still professional.
For the hotel, it's a 1-star, for the food it's a 5-star!

Room Tip: Demand a proper castle room and avoid Room 23!
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BoatLadyUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Front Office Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2013

Dear BoatLadyUK,

Thank you for your review of the Dornoch Castle Hotel.

Firstly I am disappointed that you felt like ‘a second rate citizen’. We have certain rooms allocated for those who wish to take their dog with them to stay at the hotel. These rooms are certainly not second rate. Those who do wish to take their dog with them are only able to stay in the ground floor Standard Garden rooms but these rooms are no different to our other Standard Garden rooms. We offer a number of different types of rooms from Deluxe and Superior Castle rooms to Superior Garden rooms and Standard Garden rooms. Room 23 is due to be repainted over the winter months and I will definitely pass on your comments about the other aspects of the room.

I am delighted that you found the food and service to be of a high standard. If you were to come and stay with us again and were able to arrange for someone else to look after your dog then I would highly recommend that you opt for a deluxe or superior castle room as this offers the full castle experience that I feel you were looking for.

We hope to welcome you back to the Dornoch Castle Hotel in the future.

Kind regards,
All of the staff at Dornoch Castle Hotel

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Reviewed 11 May 2013

Had a lovely 2 night break in early May this year. Room was extremely comfortable, food delicious (we had dinner, bed and breakfast) and service excellent. We particularly enjoyed chatting to the 2 brothers that ran the hotel about the massive range of whiskies they have in the bar, and enjoyed sampling some of the malts even more! The brothers were very wiling to share their enormous experience on whisky with us. The ambiance of the hotel is very relaxing, we would loved to have stayed longer. We were also impressed that they clearly understand they are an important part of a small community as well. We wouldn't hesitate to go back.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank jacqui_halliwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Front Office Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2013

Dear Jacqui_Halliwell,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at the Dornoch Castle Hotel.

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay. The hotel always tries to create a relaxing atmosphere that helps guests to unwind and enjoy themselves whilst on holiday. Our staff work hard to ensure that all of our guests and customers receive excellent food and service and we are very pleased to hear that you found this to be the case.

The two brothers, Simon and Phil, have an extensive knowledge of whisky and all things related to it. They are able to recommend a whisky for anyone’s palette. The hotel has a large selection of whiskies including local, old, rare and unusual whiskies.
We hope to welcome you back to the Dornoch Castle Hotel soon.

Kind regards,
All of the staff at Dornoch Castle Hotel

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Reviewed 9 May 2013

We live locally so can't comment on the sleeping accommodation. However we have the occasional lunch and drink as the ambience is pleasant. Portions are never excessive and can be a bit too much 'nouveau cuisine' in presentation, but always the quality and flavour are excellent (even the house burger!) What we like best are the splendid guest beers they have in, one or two at a time, especially the Happy Chappie bitter from Cromarty Brewery.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank scouser99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dornochcastle, Front Office Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2013

Dear Scouser69,
Thank you for taking the time to review your experience of the Dornoch Castle Hotel.

It is lovely to hear that you return to the hotel for lunch and drinks every so often. Presentation is an important aspect of our dishes and we always aim to make sure that our dishes look as good as they taste! In the summer months we aim to have two guest ales on and these vary on a regular basis. We pride ourselves on being able to offer our guests draft real ale as this is not something that is available in many places in the area.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Dornoch Castle Hotel in the near future.

Kind regards,
All of the staff 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 - £188 (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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