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“What an experience! If you want to stay in a castle, try here.”
Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Certificate of Excellence
Falkirk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“What an experience! If you want to stay in a castle, try here.”
Reviewed 20 February 2012

The rooms looked good on here, and we really fancied a night at a castle, well . . . we thoroughly enjoyed our night. We got a themed room deal on hotels.com for £99 via Trip Adviser, although learned from a couple of other guests they got a better deal (but that's just the roll of the dice). We decided to treat ourselves to the £45 3 course dinner as it was Andy's birthday, and we weren't disappointed!! It was so delicious and well presented, and some added aspects compliments of the chef, that I even took note of his name (which isn't something you do every day is it!). Everything had so much flavour, was the type of meal you crave when really in the mood for something special. We sat in the library before the meal, and you couldn't help but study the ceiling and the detail of the bookcases and just wonder of lives past. We didn't visit the Spa, but we did go to the Falconry before leaving, and although the ladies were just getting set up, they were so friendly and I was just totally amazed at the raven called Jake - brilliant!
So, yes - definitely recommend it for the experience - oh, and I slept like a baby :)

Room Tip: Go for a themed double. Queen Victoria room doesn't have a 4-poster (if you don't like a clo...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Caroline W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Kirkby Lonsdale, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2012

Dalhouise Castle is a small, but perfectly formed castle around 20 minutes south of Edinburgh. I enjoyed a 2 night stay here in January, a suprise 30th birthday present from my partner.

The castle is set in approximately 20-30 acres of grounds and woodland, on the edge of the river Esk. There are several very pleasant walks to take around the estate, not to mention the opportunity to take part in a falconry experience at the mews in the grounds.

The interior of the castle is best described as 'shabby chic', if its a boutique hotel experience you are looking for then this probably isn't the place, but it is very comfortable with a lot of character. The library where guests assemble for pre-dinner drinks is very 'Downton Abbey' with its book lined walls, large leather sofas and huge roaring fire. We had a late lunch in here a couple of times overlooking the lawns and river.

We stayed in the 'William Wallace' room at the very top of the castle - the only room with access to the roof & battlements. Our room was very spacious, with a selection of antique furniture and an enormous four poster bed. The room had a very cosy/romantic feel at night when the table & wall lights were lit. The bathroom was a bit shabby and ready for a bit of TLC but it wasn't a major issue.

Dining in the dungeon restaurant is a must, the food was excellent and if I'm honest I was quite suprised by just how good it was. I had foie gras to start and lamb for main both of which I would recommend.

The spa was small but very pleasant (and quiet), I had a massage which was very relaxing and we spent several hours dosing in the conservatory in our robe & slippers!

The staff were very friendly and accomodating, and genuinely seemed to take an interest in us and took the time to chat.

In summary I would definitely recommend this hotel but as I said earlier, this is a very old place and if you're after a 'Gleneagles' style break then this isn't the place. But if you want a very comfortable and relaxing break surrounded by history then is for you.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Taittinger21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2012

This castle is stunning ... The grounds are beautiful the chapel is perfect, the dungeon is amazing, the library is fabulous - our room was nice it had been refurbished at some point a modern old style the bathroom was very modern but the tv in the bath did not work. Disappointing. The spa and the partitions made it feel like a travel lodge and did not do the castle justice ... However the staff we met were all so helpful, the food was lovely and my husband had a 1 hour massage & thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank JamiesonsScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2012

Staff organisation : bad
Room : very good
The castle itself : lovely But looking slightly tired
Spa facility's : excellent
Dungeon resturant : excellent
Falconry : excellent

Hotel would be perfect with a better communication and more motivated staff and the main areas of the hotel need abit of a re-decoration.

  • Stayed January 2012
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Helpful?
Thank Rachelcmorris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
53 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2012

I expected a stay at a Scottish castle to be a fabled experience so to speak, but Dalhousie was a little less than extraordinary I'm afraid to say. The interior of the castle is nicely decorated with furniture and objects from various periods. Their library is a quintessential one, complete with a giant fireplace, and it was my favorite part of the castle. Our room was done in the Georgian style, and while it lacked in opulence, it was sweet and had everything we needed. I didn't visit the spa during my stay, but I saw that the partition that they built to separate the spa area from the rest of the castle, as well as other newer additions, was made using very ordinary materials commonly found in suburban homes with no style and which did not even try to match the rest of the decor, I had called to ask about falconry and was told that they would email me back regarding availability but I never heard back. When I arrived, I went over to the falconry and was surprised to find that they were not fully booked at the time for which I had asked, and consequently, I was not too happy about not having gotten a reply, since that is one of their main attractions. And now onto the food: we were disappointed. I expected dinner to be fabulous, and while the presentation was good, the menu did not have enough options, the food was lacking in flavor, the salmon was overcooked, and overall we felt it was a poor attempt at fine dining. Breakfast was even worse-I have gotten better breakfasts at 2 star hotels back home. They put no effort and no creativity into it, and the portions were tiny. Their cereal/yogurt/fruit selection was appalling. And no scones!!! How does a traditional Scottish establishment not have scones!!?? I was very upset. Dalhousie castle is a good spot to stay for one night only and avoid the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh. And then you go off searching for grander castles across the rest of the country.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BelPot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2012

We stayed for a long weekend in January, this being our second visit we already knew what to expect but our experience surpassed even our high expectations. Both the interior and exterior of the building are stunning and the rooms are of the quality and character that are in keeping with this gorgeous building. The dining experience in the Dungeon restaurant is the best I have had and in the most fantastic setting.

I feel that the reviews on here are disgraceful and unjustified, yes the road has a few potholes yes the building is a bit draughty and yes some fixtures and fittings are a bit dated but remember this is a 17th century castle!!! If you want smooth roads, modern decor, the ease of modern doors and windows to open and ok food then go to a travellodge. However if you want to experience a genuine luxury medieval castle visit Dalhousie. Superb!!!!!
And I speak from experience of being a senior figure at Cameron House Hotel over the last few years so I do know what I'm talking about!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedfordshire
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

I stay in loads of hotels due to my job. They are booked on my behalf so I have no control over where I stay, and, to be honest, I was a bit dubious when I read the reviews about this hotel. I can only assume that the owners of the hotel have made some improvements since those reviews were written, because many of the negative comments are simply not true.
The driveway IS poor-rather like Teheran airport after a bombing raid, so watch your wheels and suspension. However, the car park(s) are OK, and if you are lucky you can get a space on the top one near the reception entrance.
The reception staff were polite and efficient, although the morning newspapers that I ordered never materialised. I wasn't charged for them, so no big deal.
I was in room 21, a smallish room right at the top of the building. I only wanted to sleep in it, not go ballroom dancing, so the size didn't bother me. It was clean, and, unusually for a british hotel, nice and warm, with heating that I could control myself, not controlled centrally by the hotel. The internet connection was very good - and free - very commendable when you have to work in the room as I did. There are no lifts in this hotel (I couldn't find one anyway) so be prepared for some climbing as there are lots of stairs, and they are steep in places.
The room had a bath and shower, the bath water splendidly hot, so I enjoyed a relaxing bath before ordering a room service evening meal, which was a bit pricey, but fine. I wasn't charged the tray charge of £3.50 (other hotels take note!), so this meant the price was more acceptable.
Breakfast meant a bit of a hike to "The Orangery", but again, the food was good, particularly as it was included in the room charge. Unfortunately there was some twit in there that insisted on yapping into his phone all the time, so we had to put up with bleeps and other silly noises from his phone and listen to him cooing to his wife/family whilst trying to enjoy a peaceful breakfast. This wasn't the hotel's fault obviously. Maybe hotels should ban phone's from public areas-sorry, just a personal gripe of mine.
On the second day, after a very early start, I returned to the hotel at about 2pm hoping to catch up on some sleep. Unfortunately there was a British Telecom crew drilling through the exterior wall below my window. The racket made my fillings fall out, so that scuppered that idea. So another hot bath and another room service dinner. It was Burn's night, but luckily there were no lairy drunks or pipers in evidence. In fact, the rooms are pretty quiet - the noisest thing is the staircase which creaks and groans with every footfall.

Don't be put off by the negative reviews posted here. This hotel isn't the Ritz, but it's warm, clean, serves good food and is excellent value for money.

Room Tip: If you cannot manage steep stairs, you will need a room on one of the lower floors.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank digitalphoto
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
Dalhousie Castle Hotel Bonnyrigg
Castle Dalhousie
Dalhousie Castle Scotland/Bonnyrigg, UK

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