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“Great time, great fun” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dornoch Castle Hotel

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Dornoch Castle Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Castle Street, Dornoch IV25 3SD , Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Dornoch
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Montreal
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great time, great fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2009

4 golfers, stayed at the Castle for a night. The staff were very friendly and willing to have a laugh, Phil was more than willing to talk about his wine and whiskey selections. Superior room was very comfortable and what you'd expect in an old setting. Food was very good, well prepared and presented, a night in the bar with other traveling golfers telling stories rounded off a great stay, we would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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521 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Glasgow
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2009

Inside and outside, the hotel itself has a very traditional Scottish castle feel to it. The bar has a very pleasant ambience with a log fire to help you unwind. The restaurant overlooks the gardens where traditional Scottish food is served under candle light in the evenings. Adjoining the hotel is a fantastic contemporary gift shop well worth a visit.

Within Dornoch Castle, the food was second to none. Rarely do I find myself being so adventurous when it comes to seafood but such was the quality.

And the service... the staff are to be highly commended, making you feel so welcome. Their knowledge of the food & wine and indeed Dornoch and the surrounding area was impressive.

We stayed in one of the castle rooms overlooking the gardens. Paid a little extra for a 3 day package, including dinner bed & breakfast and champagne on arrival, but this was very good value for money.

The room was spacious, well furnished and kept spotlessly clean at all times.

Dornoch itself is a beautiful, clean and active little village which gives you access to loads of other scenic villages in Sutherland and is only an hour or so from Inverness. The beach is magnificant and if you like going for nice walks, you will love Dornoch. Recommend you visit Dunrobin castle and see the falconry.

If like me you enjoy Golf, there is in my opinion one of the nicest courses in Scotland only a stones throw from Dornoch Castle - Royal Dornoch. You pay a wee bit more than usual but you will rarely get a chance to play on such a fantastic course so book well in advance.

It surprises me to see any negative comments for this hotel. Each to their own as they say - I say give it a go.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fife, Scotland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2009

My wife and I stayed at the hotel for our joint 30th birthdays for a long weekend. We desperately wanted a quiet getaway where we could relax, enjoy beatiful surroundings, eat good food and generally just recharge our batteries.

The hotel exceeded our expectations - amazing food, friendly staff, warm & welcoming atmosphere. Then there was our room - The Old Courtroom. We cannot possibly describe just how great it was in one review - you really just have to experience it to fully appreciate it !

There were also lots of "little things" that we really enjoyed like the small decanter of spirits topped up in our room every day (free of charge), the fresh fire that was built for us ready on our return to our room so that all we had to do was light it, and that you could sit be the open fire in the bar downstairs without being pestered to buy drinks (we recommend the fruit scones !).

The town is not exactly the liveliest, but that was exactly what we were looking for on a relaxing break.

We will definitely be back - hoping to make it an annual event !!!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordshire
Top Contributor
214 reviews 214 reviews
129 hotel reviews
Reviews in 142 cities Reviews in 142 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2009

We had a wonderful New Year in The Dornoch Castle Hotel which is situated within a beautiful village which is very unusual for Scotland with it's light coloured stone buildings. We were superbly looked after throughout and the staff were exceptional. We stayed in the old part of the hotel and had a lovely room, which was charming and well equipped. The food was stunning and we thoroughly enjoyed the wine list!!! Dornoch is a lovely place to stay at new year as all the locals turn out to the street party, which includes the local piper at the top of the castle piping the new year in and there was then an excellent firework display. There are lovely walks including a fantastic beach and the scenery in this part of Scotland is very underated. A superb place to stay with welcolming fires and very friendly staff. We have stayed here before and will return as soon as we can.

  • Liked — The Charm & Character
  • Disliked — It's too far from home!!!!
  • Stayed December 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Lancashire
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2009

We have just had a wonderful Hogmanay break at the Dornoch Castle Hotel - and what a way to start the New Year!!
We arrived on Dec 30th and stayed until Jan 2nd, and from the moment we set foot in the castle until the sad moment we had to leave, we were thoroughly spoiled!!
The hotel is magnificent . The old building has been superbly renovated, and all the rooms and public areas including the restaurant and bar areas are of a very high standard and tastefully decorated and spotlessly clean. The staff are friendly and polite, helpful and hard working, and it is extremely well run and managed by the owners Ros and Col and their sons Simon and Phil.
The food in the restaurant was amazing and throughout our break we were given super choices with an extensive wine list to select from.
We loved walking out from the hotel straight into the little town of Dornoch and exploring the shops and streets, especially the Jail shop -an experience not to be missed.
Opposite the hotel is the old cathedral and only 5 minutes walk away is the golf course and the wide sandy beach which was a wonderful place to walk off the calories!!!!
We also had lovely short drives out , and explored the quiet areas around, including the Harrods of the North at the Falls of Shin, the Black Isle and the towns of Inverness, Ullapool and Dingwall.
The Castle Hotel has got us hooked, and we have booked again for February this year - we can't wait to return, and we have already reserved a room for next New Year.
We just loved everything about the hotel and location.

  • Liked — It was all wonderful
  • Disliked — Nothing bad
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Eastbourne
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2008

As a group of 4 people celebrating a 50th birthday, we would like to express how we thoroughly enjoyed this winter break. The staff were extremely helpful, accommodating and friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The restaurant menu was superb and we felt the whole experience was wonderful We would love to return some time in the future and to reacquaint ourselves to this endearing, charming and nostalgic place. Thank you very much to all including Charlie the cat.

  • Liked — Very cosy and intimate for romantics
  • Disliked — Plug in sink was broken - only needed minor attention Not a complaint
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Epsom Surrey
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2008

Dornoch is a small community with little choice of good hotels. This hotel would attract more customers if improvements were made. Staff come from the local community and seem to lack any international experience. A good food menu but lacking in what i would call local dishes which would be interesting to foreign visitors. All in all a bit overated.

  • Liked — well stocked bar
  • Disliked — My room was damp and right under the smokers area
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Location: 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 #3 of 7 Hotels in Dornoch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Dornoch Castle Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Castle is almost certainly on the site of the original Bishop's Palace of St Gilbert, who founded the Cathedral in the early 13th Century, but it is not known when the oldest surviving part of the present building was put up. In 1557 the Palace was given to the Earl of Sutherland by his brother in law, Bishop Robert Stewart. It is clear that the building was erected before that date and may well be of the late 15th Century. The earliest surviving documentary evidence of the Palace is the Charter of 1557 by which the Bishop Robert appointed the Earl of Sutherland and his heirs to be hereditary Constables for Dornoch "situated in the Irish (Gaelic speaking) Country among the wild, unbridled, untamed and savage Scots". The appointment was made by the Bishop who was alarmed by the progress of the Lutheran doctrines and wished to safeguard the property of the Church by putting it temporarily in the care of his relations. He cannot have visualised that the Church would never own its property again. When the building passed into private hands in 1922 it was considerably modernised. Further extensive work was carried out after it became a hotel in 1947. Great care has been taken, however, to maintain the character of the Castle as a stately, historic and comfortable residence. This work continues now with the new owners who took over in June of 2000. They have gone some way to restore some of the former glory to this magnificent and fascinating historic building. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dornoch Castle Hotel Scotland

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