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“Amazing Castle Stay”
Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Our family of four stayed here for one night on our first stop in Scotland. It will be tough to beat Dalhousie, but we hope to find many great places during our trip. The castle is beautiful and the rooms are neat and clean. We had a family room in the castle and it worked well four our family of four with two teens. Before dinner, we walked the grounds, which are immaculate. We enjoyed a drink and snacks in the library and then had a great dinner in the dungeon. The meal was expensive, but worth the investment given how good the food, service, and atmosphere were. The next day, we tried the falconry. Our two boys loved the falconry experience. Dalhousie Castle is a must if you are in the Edinburgh area.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
Thank plazb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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911 - 917 of 1,429 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2013

We stayed here in May as part of a week long trip to celebrate my 50th birthday. The staff were very welcoming on arrival and made us feel very welcome. We had booked one of the themed bedrooms and were not disappointed, even though the room was on the 4th floor and there were no lifts (had approx 80 steps to climb). The hotel porter who was a real character carried our bags up to the room, giving us a quick introduction to the castle on the way.
The room was very comfortable and well appointed with a great view out over the grounds looking towards the falconry and archery range. The Dungeon restaurant was superb, complete with suits of Armour and clay-mores hanging on the walls. Food was excellent. Both of us had the fillet of beef which just melted in your mouth.
The spa was good even though it lacked a swimming pool, but the sauna and steam rooms where good.
If you fancy a walk, there are plenty of routes you can take around the extensive grounds. We took time to visit the falconry and watch as the birds of prey were put through their paces. Even if you don't get to see them in action, it is still worth a visit to see these magnificent birds close up. For a reasonable fee you can also try your hand at Archery, you get 15 minutes of training from the professional and then have the rest of the hour to practice and hone your skills.
The night porter is a real character, he runs a late night tour of the castle (mainly for the benefit of the american tourists) during which you are taken through all the nook and crannies of the Castle and learn about the many ghosts that inhabit the building. All good fun and very tongue in cheek, but definitely not to be missed.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Going to Edinburgh? Then you owe it to yourself to spend at least one night in Dalhousie Castle. Remember, this is a real castle, so if you have any disabilities then call ahead to make sure you can be accommodated. The castle and its’ grounds are likely nothing that you have ever experienced before. It even has a falconry, an ability to shoot arrows or stroll through the woods and, if you are there at the right time of year (early to mid June) see the forest carpeted in flowers. Yes, it even has a dungeon, but more on that later. The castle gets a four star rating, but in terms of fun I give it five.

The building itself has many interesting architectural details inside and out. Now to the nitty gritty:

Reception Area: The area is very small and barely has enough room for your luggage. Overall, I found the staff to be helpful, but not particularly efficient. It may take a little time to get checked in or out. If you go up a flight of stairs there is a larger meeting area to meet with friends. We were told that many weddings take place there and there are some terrific picture taking spots near the lobby. You will go up or down stairs no matter what you do.

Room: As it was just my wife and I went for a “themed” room. I am unsure what a room without a theme looked like, but I was underwhelmed, however it was clean. The bed I think is queen sized, but was comfortable. There is a separate sitting area where you also can have your coffee or tea. The lighting was okay, but could be better, but since in the summer the sun is up very early and goes down very late, just push aside the curtains. The view included the grounds and was very private (as in no one could look into your room through the windows without binoculars). There is not really a usable work area and if you need more than one outlet at the desk, bring an extension cord and don’t forget an adapter if you are coming from the U.S. The bed itself was so-so, but I found that it was comfortable and I slept well. A safe is provided and closet and drawer space was adequate. Coffee in the room freeze dried, which is typical for Europe. The room was exceptionally quiet. The bathroom was sufficient, but nothing special.

See food and dining listed below.

Location: The location is 20 minutes away by taxi to downtown Edinburgh. There is also a bus that will take you into town for a lot less money. The seclusion in the countryside is what makes it special. It is what you expect from an estate with a castle. There are at least two must dos: A stroll through the woods (it’s a loop, so you won’t get lost, but watch your footing in the grassy area on the way back); and dinner in the dungeon (see below).
My overall experience here was great, and I would recommend this hotel to my friends. Below is additional checklist information for those that are interested:

Check in
My reservation record was accurate.
The check-in process was timely but a little inefficient.
The check-in staff was courteous.

Guest Room
My room was clean and comfortable.
My room was furnished appropriately.
My bed and bedding were comfortable.

Guest Staff
The guest staff was prompt, reliable, and friendly.
The guest staff was knowledgeable and fully answered my questions about the area.
Housekeeping staff was friendly and reliable.
Management was available to solve problems.

Food and Dining

Make a reservation in advance to at in the dungeon. It does not seat many, but is worth the experience. You start off your meal in a sitting area where you actually select what you are going to eat and can have a drink. Don’t rush it. They will tell you when you can go to the dungeon. Once in the dungeon there are three intimate rooms decorated with lances and other medieval items. It was tastefully done. The food and dining staff was courteous. The food was very good. Your experience should last at least 2 hours or so.
The food quality was just fair in the sun-room where you are served breakfast, but the staff is nice.

I did not use room service.

Amenities
No amenities were used during the trip.

Check out
The check-out process was a little slow but more than satisfactory.
I received a complete and accurate bill.

Room Tip: There are themed rooms that you might like to inquire about. Ask for a room facing the forest.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Stacey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

My last valentines holiday was spent in this hotel and I couldnt find anything to complain about (excpet for the cold :P). Food is great for a British country, views and surrounding alone are worth the whole trip and the staff is really nice. Rooms clean and well equipped. A must visit I assure you. Not to mention that Scotland is an lovely coutry.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Muserfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

We paid £240 for one night in a double room with a 5 course dinner and breakfast included.

On arrival, the building looked very impressive, but the staff left us waiting to check in for some time. We were shown to our room by an eccentric but knowledgeable porter. The room was quite small but light and clean with views of the gardens. It came with tea, coffee, shortbread and fluffy bathrobes. We had a huge afternoon tea in the Orangery before heading to the spa. We had the spa to ourselves and enjoyed the sauna/steam room and the plunge pool with its various exciting buttons for different effects. Dinner was in the Dungeon Restaurant which was an amazing setting - suits of armour and medieval weapons on the walls. The food combined elements of gastronomy with traditional cooking to produce unique and challenging dishes. After dinner we waited a long time to sign for our food but there were no waiting staff around and nobody at reception either.

Points to note: little finishing touches such as scrappy paper signs, and lack of staff, let this hotel down. If these matters were improved the hotel would score a perfect 5.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RoryA2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Fantastic setting, and our room was huge and spacious at the top of the castle, with fantastic countryside views. BUT, the hotel is very tired and need of maintenance. The bathtub was severely flaking paint, the wallpaper was sagging, and it wasn't so much shabby chic as shabby. Reception staff were not particularly helpful, and the concierge clearly was not impressed by having to help us lug our bags to the top of the castle (no lift). The restaurant in the dungeon was nice and worth a meal. The spa was once lovely, but again in need of maintenance. The highlight was the falconry visit, where we flew a hawk and owl.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank FormeSpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

What a great stay my husband and I had in the Alexander room at Dalhousie Castle! The room was very large with beautiful period furniture and a great view of the grounds from the window. We had a delicious gourmet dinner in the Dungeon and breakfast in the Orangerie. Friendly and helpful staff. Wish we could have stayed more than one night but rooms weren't available. Book early. Well worth the money for a wonderful castle stay.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank opiecarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dalhousie Castle

Address: Dalhousie Castle grounds, Bonnyrigg EH19 3JB, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Midlothian > Bonnyrigg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center 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: $97 - $294 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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

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