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“OK - but could be much better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Dryburgh Abbey Hotel

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Dryburgh Abbey Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   St. Boswells, St. Boswells TD6 0RQ, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in St. Boswells
Fife, Scotland
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“OK - but could be much better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

The hotel sits in a wonderful location, next to the River Tweed and adjacent to the ruin of Dryburgh Abbey. The first impression is of an impressive red sandstone country house but the interior is in a rather tired and faded condition. Although comfortable, it really needs a siginificant facelift. We booked dinner in advance - first night in the bistro, second night in the restaurant. The menu was very appropriate to a bistro, the food was good and reasonably priced. However, we were astonished to be presented with the same menu in the restaurant the next night. Apparently, 'fine dining' was discontinued some time ago. Again, the food was good but not what we anticipated in the restaurant of a hotel of Dryburgh Abbey's apparent standing. The cooked breakfasts were very good but the 'buffet' was very poor - an extremely limited selection (i.e. no fresh fruit salad) and not replenished sufficiently often. While there was a reasonable selection of wines at moderate prices, there was no premium lager on offer - an option which is generally expected these days. Also too little of the white/rose/sparking wine seemed to be kept chilled so that it was frequently presented at room temperature with a bucket of ice, which is far from ideal. The hotel seems to specialise in wedding receptions; there was one taking place during our visit. I would strongly recommend that you ask for a room away from the main entrance as wedding guests were noisily leaving until 2.30am! On the positive side, the hotel is in a beautiful setting, it is comfortable, generally the staff are very friendy and efficient. However, there are a number of issues that really need to be dealt with to ensure that a stay at Dryburgh Abbey Hotel is better than just 'Average'.

Room Tip: Away from the main entrance, especially if there's a function taking place. Departing guests ca...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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442 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
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kilmarnock
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

stayed 1 night, staff friendly and helpful, room a bit tired in need of an upgrade but you very rarely get the best with a pet in tow.
the breakfast was well cooked but thought the bistro food was overpriced and very small portions

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

Beautiful old building in fabulous setting. However it is very tired and needs some TLC before its too late. Stained seats in public areas (on landings) are never a good advert.
Food in the Bistro was excellent - but breakfast left a lot to be desired. How anyone can get bacon so wrong - in a place where there are so many local produce farms etc.
Free wifi in every room is a great touch - but its very slow.
We didn't use the phone - but if you do be aware the charge sheet advises they charge 50pence a minute for using FREEPHONE NUMBERS.

Love it - but please update it.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Prestwick, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

I have just today returned from a short break at Dryburgh Abbey Hotel. My elderly mother and I had a 4 night break there. We had a lovely time, it was extremely peaceful and relaxing. The staff were outstanding, nothIng was too much trouble. The hotel is a bit 'tired' in places and could do with sprucing up, but for us it added to its charm.

My mother had a ground floor room, as requested on booking, it was a large, bright room. Unfortunately my mother was unable to use the shower as it was over the bath and she is unable to climb over the bath side. My mother had a 'good wash' instead!

We ate in the Bistro every evening (4 evenings in total), the food was very good and the staff were extremely good and attentive, but not too much! We did feel that we had just about exhausted the menu after 4 nights, but there was a 'special' every evening which was good. Breakfast was good, we had a cooked breakfast a couple of times and found it to be delicious. The buffet isn't extensive but what there is is perfectly adequate and fresh.

My room was on the 2nd floor, it didn't matter that we weren't near each other but the receptionist did apologise on our arrival. Although it wasn't as big as my mother's, it was a reasonable sized room with a charming chair placed in the turret area of the room. The views out towards the Abbey were lovely. The bathroom could do with modernising but it was OK.I found the bed to be comfortable but the room was very hot despite having the window wide open all of the time...the temperature went up to 27°C during the day!...there was no draught at all, but that is no fault of the hotel!

All of the staff were lovely but for us two were exceptional. Unfortunately we didn't get their names. The Bistro manageress(?) who was from Newcastle originally was lovely, as was the barman/waiter in the Bistro who went to Glasgow uni and graduated about 18 months ago.

All in all we had a very enjoyable stay at Dryburgh Abbey Hotel and we would be more than happy to return. I booked the hotel before I read the reviews on trip advisor and I'm glad I did! I think I would have been put off booking had I read some of the reviews. I would have been saddened to have missed out on a very enjoyable experience that my mother and I thouroughly enjoyed.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
190 reviews 190 reviews
136 hotel reviews
Reviews in 137 cities Reviews in 137 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

In all probability, the main section of this hotel was once a private country house and all of it was probably in perfect condition 10 - 15 years ago. Located right next to the splendid Dryburgh Abbey and with views of the Tweed, it could be a perfect place to spend several nights exploring the area. Now it is dated and creaky.
Our room (#105) came with the most illumination (6 lights) of any room in out 18 days in Scotland. But, the curtain did not keep out the 4:30 am daylight; the hair dryer, which took some time to even find, was fastened to the wall to the right of the window and as far from the bathroom as possible. (I surmised that one was supposed to sit on the stool in front of a vanity desk by the window, but with wet hair, this did not seem too practical or inviting.) The TV had only 1 channel and the remote did not work. The "free" internet works only if you can provide a cell phone number to which a code will be sent so you can agree to all sorts of stuff, provide an email address, and then use the code to log in. (As we have a UK cell phone for our overseas travel, this scheme worked including using a bogus email so we aren't hassled later. Otherwise, I am not sure what one would do to get wifi.)
The room was a decent size and included a pants press, wardrobe, easy chairs, desk/vanity desk,and small round table. The bathroom had a tub with shower, tissues, bar soap, and shampoo, and warm towel rack. The doors need some WD-40 as do the doors in the hall. Between the squeaking doors, the light coming through the curtains during the long Scottish days and nights, and hearing upstairs guests walking on the wood floors, it was a bit difficult to get a good rest.
There are two restaurants in the hotel, both serving the same menu, which is basically bar food and not memorable. The Lamb Mint Burger was thoroughly overdone in spite of asking for rare (which is Medium Rare in Scotland if you can get it). Breakfast was quite limited and the most parsimonious we had in frugal Scotland. On Saturday morning, there was no salmon, in spite of Salmon with Scrambled Eggs being on the menu, no fruit salad, no jams for the toast, croissants take 20 minutes to prepare, etc. By the time the eggs came out, the toast was stone cold.
In short, this hotel gets its 4 Stars due to location and not to its rooms, restaurant, food or services. A disappointment. Go see the Abbey and find another place to stay.

Room Tip: Don't stay here unless you can manage the disadvantages and like old, creaking hotels/inns.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

We stayed at the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel on two seperate nights during June whilst walking the St Cuthberts Way. The location is beautiful and makes the place worth a visit. Whilst we didn't eat there in the evening the Breakfasts were very nice. On the second evening in June there was an abundance of Dogs in the Hotel (I believe due to a local dog show). I'm not a great dog lover but they were at least well behaved!

Room Tip: Front facing rooms look out to Abbey
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

We booked one of the top rooms, wishing to enjoy a romantic break on our way home from a Scottish holiday. The hotel looks beautiful and is in lovely grounds by the river and next door to a ruined abbey. The interior is lovely, slightly faded olde worlde and exactly how one would picture a country house 4*. The room was also lovely, situated on the top floor, well appointed and with a huge, super-comfortable bed. Finished off with lovely views over the river and grounds. Sounds great?
On arrival the car park was absolutely full and we were parked outside the old abbey, a good walk with cases, thankfully not raining. The room was directly adjacent to the VERY loud fans from the kitchens, so even with windows closed was noisy.
The restaurant was poor. 20 mins after being shown to the table before a waitress approached us, food sent back, obviously pre-frozen, not good enough. Complaints resulted in the bill for dinner being cancelled.
However, the staff were excellent, they ealt with the complaint well and despite all the above we enjoyed the hotel.
Breakfast was excellent.

Room Tip: Ask about the fans before booking. We also overheard others complaining about noisy rooms over break...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dryburgh Abbey Hotel

Address: St. Boswells, St. Boswells TD6 0RQ, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Borders > St. Boswells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in St. Boswells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dryburgh Abbey Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dryburgh Abbey Hotel sits on the banks of the River Tweed in the breathtaking Borders countryside. Next to the historic ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, Sir Walter Scott's last resting place, it offers a fabulous location for fishing, cycling, walking, or simply enjoying a relaxing leisure break. Quality local produce is served in the tranquil setting of the Tweed resataurant by friendly and attentive staff. The proximity of the hotel to the Abbey also makes it an ideal venue for that special wedding day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dryburgh Abbey Melrose
Hotel Dryburgh Abbey
Dryburgh Abbey Hotel St. Boswells, Scotland

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