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Review of Dalhousie Castle

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Dalhousie Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bonnyrigg
Nevada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Find another place that you won't regret!”
Reviewed June 25, 2008

We were married at Dalhousie Castle in June of this year. For what was supposed to be (and mainly WAS) our fairy tale wedding, it was not without some serious stress. The supposed wedding coordinator was a joke... she didn't handle a thing correctly, and although the rest of the staff supposedly were cross-trained on each event, (since the coordinator was on VACATION upon our arrival!!!) it was still a mess. I would definitely not recommend getting married there... find another venue if you don't want to cry on your wedding day!

  • Liked — Honeymoon Suite
  • Disliked — Non-existent, incompetent wedding coordinator
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pwncess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Edinburgh
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2008

I surprised my partner for their birthday with a one night stay in Dalhousie Castle and we loved every minute of it.

On arrival the Receptionist was very friendly and professional and the gentleman who carried our luggage to our room was just as nice.

Our room was gorgeous, spacious, very clean, had a lovely view and had a very comfortable four poster bed.

We had dinner in the Dungeon Restaurant where the food was probably the best I have ever had and the service was very personable and friendly, the staff really went out their way to help us and ensure that we were having a pleasant evening.

We went to the Library after our dinner for a drink where a member of staff told us he was going to conduct a ghost tour which we decided to go on. The tour was very entertaining and all of us on it had a good time and loved all of his stories!

I would definitely stay at Dalhousie Castle again!

  • Liked — The venue, the food and the staff!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sazzel7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaelmor
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2008

I am planning my wedding for the summer of 2009- as I am originally from Scotland, I chose the country of my birth as the place where I would like to marry the man of my dreams. This will NOT be in Dalhousie!

I was originally attracted by the outside view- it looked spectacular. As we have guests who will be flying in from many parts of the globe, we are looking for an exclusive use country house/castle, and at least on paper, Dalhousie seemed to fit the bill.

However, when we turned up for our booked appointment to look around the venue, the lack of professionalism started almost immediately. Firstly, they had double booked our appointment- the wedding coordinator for the hotel was already showing around another couple, so the tour fell to the duty manager. I can't blame her for the poor showing as this wasn't really her job, but still, if you can't handle a simple appointment when we're preparing to drop a significant amount of money, that's not exactly starting on the right foot.

The decor was pathetic. It was as if a Californian in 1962 had decided that they were going to build a castle and fill it with tacky tourist and historical accessories. The third rate mural, the lack of any attempt at interior decoration since 1978, the half hearted attempt at even looking at the rooms or spa, not to mention the poor general upkeep of the place, including but not limited to dirty carpets, broken mirrors, tacky thrones ala Posh and Becks for the bridal couple, the fake painted bricks on the walls of the chapel... it was all just a little sad.

The Dungeon, the location of their "fine dining" restaurant, was simply not up to the task- about 40 people would fit in there, and only if they were divided into three groups. Plus, quite frankly, it smelled as if someone had died down there. For all I know, someone had, but it's been a few hundred years, so shall we try to get a fan down there?

The next bit was a little strange- the duty manager/ substitute then asked me which room I would be staying in when I came. One, I'm planning on booking out the entire place, so I'll figure that out at a later date. Two, I've never been to your castle before, so how in the world will I know which room I plan on staying in? If I wanted themed suites, I'd be marrying in Vegas, not Scotland.

I know that I wanted fireworks- but no dice at Dalhousie. Apparently, it'll worry the sheep. And the birds in the aviary at the entrance to the Castle. Not very nuptual.

Now we come to the staff. I know that she was not supposed to be the person showing me around the property, but the duty manager started the press me about the booking. I mean really pushing. It took all my power not to snap at her that her hotel was not adequate. Sales and customer service are obviously not this place's forte.

The rest of the staff (except for the real wedding coordinator) seemed to have been only recently out of school, and utterly clueless. Seriously, there were only two members of staff whom I saw who were above the legal drinking age in America (21 for those wondering).

For those who cannot live without their Harry Potter/owls flying their rings down the aisle moment for their wedding (a speciality of Dalhousie), I'm sure there are other arrangements you can make at a far better venue. This place simply isn't worth it. The food looked and smelled nasty. The staff was unprofessional. The smell was impressive, and not in a good way. The decor was wonderful for a wedding- my parents wedding in 1968.

For me, after I made my excuses not wanting to waste any more of this poor woman's time, I was happy to the see Dalhousie in my rear view mirror. If you're planning a wedding in Scotland, you can do a lot better.

  • Liked — The sight of Dalhousie in my rear view mirror
  • Disliked — Everything other than above.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gaelmor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne
2 reviews
Reviewed May 24, 2008

We like to get away and stay in a hotel with real atmosphere - Having wanted to stay in Edinbugh for some while, we decided on Dalhousie - We were not dissapointed.
The room was comfortable and well set out without being spectacular. The Restaurant was great - A realy good meal and the service was spot on - breakfast was even better - We enjoyed exploring Edinburgh - then back to the Castle for an afternoon tea - a very pleasant stay

  • Liked — Being In A Castle
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank cannybloke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2008

We booked direct with the hotel by phone. There are a number of unique rooms and the the staff were not particularly helpful in helping u choose a room over the phone. We chose the Robert the bruce room in the end.

the room itself was pretty impressive. an amazing bed with an true grandeur feeling about it. It is a room i would recommend.

To get to the castle you probably need to rent a car really. I dont think public transport is an option.

We paid 250 pounds plus for this room so had a reasonable amount of expectation. Which was partially met.

The dinner at the dungeon was not great. The crab salad had a few shells in, the monkfish was raw and had to be sent back,. They brought us the wrong wine and while staff were friendly, seemed clueless.

At night we had a false fire alarm where all the guest had to congregate outside in the cold at 2am while the firebrigade had to come and clear the scene. Apparently it was due to an over sensitive fire alarm. I accept the hotel had our safety at interest but i didnt feel they were particularly applogetic about the inconvienience. Overall the whole event seemed poorly managed.

The reason why people come here is for the castle theme. My wife and I loved the atmosphere that comes with it, but for the price we were hoping for a better service.

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank anotherjason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 21, 2008

I was looking for a location in which we could celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, after checking out 5 or 6 properties I came across Dalhousie Castle.

It is a beautiful old building set in the heart of the Midlothian countryside near to attractions such as Roslyn Chapel (of DaVinci Code fame) - which costs £7 per adult to visit. The Dungeon restaurant complete with suits of armour is around 800 years old, whilst the main building is around 300 years old.

The room we stayed in was called Oliver Cromwell, which whilst on the small side was well kitted out with all the normal facilities.

Without wanting to fault the hotel, I believe the cost charged was excessively expensive and to be frank not entirely worth it. This should not take away from the whole experience, however, I equally know better and or similar hotels are available in other parts of Scotland (at a lower cost).

Unfortunately the hotel has fallen into the trap of many tourist destinations in Scotland, ie that the customer will always come back due to the outstanding beauty of the country. As a result the quality of customer service is often felt to be not that important. Whilst the majority of staff were excellent, there was the usual minority who obviously didn't care that much.

However, all in all it was a great weekend. Would I be back? probably not as I know I could get the same standard closer to home.

  • Liked — The building and location
  • Disliked — The price
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Makobleiu
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2008

We thought it might be fun to spend a night at a restored castle while in the UK, so after some research, we settled on Dalhousie Castle in Bonnyrigg, near Edinburgh. And I warn thee - STAY AWAY! Although the outside of the castle is quite majestic, the inside lobby looks like a cheap small-scale attempt at Disneyworld, and the 1960's-era wallpaper which adorns the hallways and bedrooms completely destroys any remaining castle-like ambiance. The staff was cold and unfriendly, and treated our arrival as an inconvenience, showing us to our rooms only with unhelpful indifference.

Now, for the worst part...

WATCH OUT FOR THE CREEPY EMPLOYEE WHO OFFERS 'GHOST TOURS' LATE AT NIGHT!

After having checked in, my family and I went for a walk around the castle. Around 11pm, a man dressed as a castle employee came up to us and said that he would be giving a "Ghost Tour" of the castle in a few minutes, and that if we would like to go, we should meet him in the library. It sounded like fun, so we made our way to the library, where we found several other guests awaiting the 'ghost tour' as well.

What ensued was the most thinly-disguised and completely creepy attempt at this man being able to get his hands on some of the younger female members of the group that we have ever witnessed. He zoned in on two young girls, and had them enact 'fantasy poses', wherein he would dress them in hemuts and armor, and have them 'pose' - for no apparent reason - while he stared at them. As a part of the tour, he brought the group to the 'honeymoon suite', and showed us a room which had not yet been made up from the previous guests who'd stayed there, and should not have been a part of the tour in any way. He locked us in various rooms turned out the lights until we banged on the door, enjoying the power that he had over the group in a manaical, serial-killer-type way.

If you are looking for a fun night staying in a castle, I suggest that you AVOID Dalhousie Castle at all costs. It's far from worth the 250 pounds that they charge per night for mediocre service and mentally ill employees.

We were so weirded out by this guy, that we put a chair up against out room door before going to bed that night.
Seriously.....stay away.

  • Liked — The outside of the castle is very impressive.
  • Disliked — THE WEIRD EMPLOYEE WHO OFFERS TO GIVE MIDNIGHT 'GHOST TOURS'!!! (I wonder if the hotel even knows that he's doing this...)
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Makobleiu
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
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 (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

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