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Dornoch Castle Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dornoch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Just spent a week at the hotel and had a fantastic time. The room we had overlooked the garden and we had a view of the firth.The bar was atmospheric and everyone was most friendly. The food was excellent. All the staff were extremely helpful but the lady on breakfast was great .When I had kipper for breakfast she suggested having a tomato with it as a previous guest had told her it kept the after affects at bay. It wa a delight to be served by her as her smile and infectious humour was a great start to the day. We will be back.

Room Tip: Castle room have great views
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank 427golfmad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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333 - 339 of 817 reviews

Reviewed 24 August 2014 via mobile

I stay in Dornoch twice a year I normally stay with bay hotels dornoch hotel but thought I'd try the castle I love Dornoch but I was shocked with the older waitress in this hotel. Very annoyed if you asked for extra items at breakfast. The hotel is nice but needs decorating and bathroom referb.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
4  Thank oaponabudget
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2014

This is the third time we have stayed here since 2008. I think that now is the time to refresh parts of the hotel as it is beginning to look tired. The reception area is not really practical being in the Bar. We had a Superior Double Room no7 which is on the 1st floor of the Castle. The room was large and had a very comfy bed. We had to go through a Lounge Room to gain access to our room and this is one room which is very dated and tired. We were told that we had the only room that had wifi. We were situated above the reception/Lounge Bar.

We had no complaints with our Bedroom and we had easy access to the Balcony where some tables and chairs are situated. This is a nice area to relax but again the Pillars on the balcony were cracked and secured with plastic ties. The Garden could be a real asset but there is Chalet Accommodation on one side and this detracts the setting.

We had booked a Dinner B&B package and dinner was excellent. I did feel that extra charges for Vegetables/Chips/Potatoes was not required and should be as standard. The Staff at Dinner were excellent and very polite.

I had read previous reviews re Breakfast and was interested to see how we fared. I think the negative reviews have had some effect as the Staff were very polite and attentive. The breakfast was plentiful and fresh. I saw some other guests had the Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon and the portions were plentiful of each.

Overall we had a relaxing stay and enjoyed our meals. The Staff were also very good and this is why we have graded it as very good. I do feel that the hotels requires attention. It has not changed in the 6 years that we first visited. I do appreciate that the Castle is an old building however the tariff charged should reflect a certain standard.

Room Tip: Room 7 in the Castle 1st Floor for wifi access
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Corran9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

The room we had was in the main old building, narrow corridors and low ceilings lots of character!
Actually just old and worn. The room itself, the carpet could have done with being vacuumed. The bathroom very dated and very small. The bed was so uncomfortable I think I managed two hours sleep. Hard and uncomfortable. Breakfast the lady that served us was curt and grumpy and at one point when my partner pointed out the tiny amount of smoked salmon cooked in with the eggs was not what he was expecting when she went back to the kitchen through down the menu. She did bring some more salmon but to be honest the damage was done and it was not with a smile. Just not a very nice experience.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank Aj2509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

This was our 4th stay at the Dornoch castle hotel.
My husband adores this place and whenever we are in the very north of Scotland he makes a huge detour so he can stay here.
We have stayed in an ordinary room, the cathedral room, the old courthouse room in the tower and this time the top tower suite.
It was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Words fail me. In fact if it had not been for the horrible breakfast (I will come to that later) this would have scored 100 /100 % which is a pretty good rating in this day and age of castles and boutique hotels.
The huge deep 4 poster was fantastic, and in our 14 night tour of the north of Scotland, in 14 hotels this was the best room by far. The very best room.
The 3 pillows each (oh heaven) were fantastic. The log burner was romantic and wonderful. The furnishings were quant Scottish yet with a modern twist mixed with antiques (believe me it worked) and the bathroom was a dream.
A huge en suite with window seats over looking the town, huge bath, 2 showers, a bath that lit up and a Jacuzzi. Oh take me back there now.
There was a decanter of sherry and a large array of filter coffees, unusual teas, biscuits, sweets and a huge flat screen tv.
The views were excellent and everything about it was well worth the £240 price tag per night. (paid more had worse).
The receptionist was a lovely cheery soul, very chatty as was the bar man.
No complaints at all................................until breakfast. The worst in 14 nights.
Tables were all messy and uncleared. We had to pinch cutlery from the next table. There was a very poor choice of fruits or honeys or jams or cereals or yogurts but the main problem was the older waitress and her attitude. Now remember this was hotel 12 on our tour, so we were pretty au fait with Highland breakfasts. My husband likes porridge. He likes it and had it everywhere else without exception even at a couple of £60 a night pubs. He also likes either a haddock with a poached egg or a kipper with a poached egg. OH NO not here. At £240 a room you were not allowed to chop and change the menu. Seriously.
The waitress was so rude we were stunned. It cost £2.50 to have any extras ie I wanted scrambled eggs smoked salmon and I asked for mushrooms. I got such a dressing down I nearly walked out. This lady clearly needs to address her people skills. In the end she said ''chef creates a dish and we cannot change that''. Sorry my grandson who is 5 creates scrambled eggs in his cookery class at primary school and I am sure he could have thrown a few mushrooms in and managed. She also said ''it was her discretion if I could have mushrooms or not''. Well really. I mean well really ???? If she likes you , you get them, if she doesn't you don't.
So my poor husband got no porridge and had to kowtow for a poached egg with his fish. He was too terrified to ask for a tomato. This was the only place in Scotland we have ever stayed in 20 years with that attitude. Usually it is Highland hospitality overflowing. Not here.
Dream ruined.
I will never forget the phrase ''chef creates a dish and it cannot be changed''. What an insult. Anyway it did not end there, I got my scrambled eggs and smoked salmon and it was the smallest meanest portion I had been served in 2 weeks. The amount of smoked salmon was so small it was a joke. They must have been running out in the kitchen and thought oh no we only have a enough left for a few more tables so we will give them a scrap.. The eggs were like rubber so we did not think chef created anything much at all.
On the menu is printed ''A £2.50 charge is made for any extras at breakfast''.....Oh please lets have a collection.
That ruined our stay.
We have been big spenders at this hotel in the past, 2 x 1 week stays, 1 week end stay and this our one night. I tell you what, if this had been our one week stay that cost £890 and we had been asked for £2.50 for mushrooms or porridge we would have walked out.
So, next, at booking out, there she was the same rude waitress. I think she may have thought on reflection she had been a bit rude to us as she went out of her way to ask us if we had a nice stay, did we like our room, we we comfortable etc (but did not ask us about breakfast)
I was very shocked when this lady in her late 60's offered to run up 3 flights of stairs and get our bags and carry them down to the car. I nearly forgave her !!
So Dornoch Castle we still love you but I don't know if we will be back............................ breakfast...........thumbs down.

Room Tip: Stay in the tower either in the old courthouse or the top tower suite. Wonderful.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank Travel_Teddybears
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Really enjoyed lunch at this hotel, very good restaurant and a great whisky bar. The service was very good, as was the menu. The prices were reasonable. We went on a sunday and the restaurant soon filled so a reservation may be wise

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank alistairbarnwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

As travellers we were looking for unusual places to stop by for lunch. The Dornoch Castle restaurant was a perfect solution. A quaint village and where better to enjoy a good meal than a beautifully renovated castle. The ambience was superb and the waitress was an amazing lady with a whacky sense of humour. The place was kids friendly and I relished the best Cullen Skink I have had!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Sumangala M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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: £124 - £184 (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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