From the outside this castle really does have the wow factor, and if you were heading there purely to dine in the Dungeon restaurant then this would be a five star trip, but what lets the whole experience down is the rest of the hotel.
We were upgraded to a 'themed' room upon arrival and was quick surprised at how small the upgraded double room was; fine it had a four poster bed, but the it was a cheap mattress and therefore defeated the whole point of having a decent bed, the carpet looked tired and the bathroom could do with a good clean.
We had lunch in the Orangery, the service was slow, the restaurant was cold, the food was ok but nothing more than that, where was the theatre and the passion in this place?
We both had some treatments in the spa in the afternoon which were 'ok', I opted for a sports massage which was meant to involve 'deep tissue' work, but it was more like an oily rub. The spa area was cold, the steam room was tepid, more like a moisture room.
The best part of our stay was the evening meal in the Dungeon restaurant, pre-dinner canapes in the library and then escorted through the hotel and down into the dungeon; this is where the hotel shines, this level of attention to detail in the service made this part of the trip unique, but why is the rest of the hotel failing?
The food at our dinner was superb, modern contemporary, could not pass fault on any part of this, only high praise for the chef and his team.
I'll remember this hotel for the evening meal in the Dungeon, this is the 5 star part of the hotel, the rest of the it, the spa, the room and the other restaurant is a 3 star experience and therefore expensive for what it is.
- 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