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“SO MUCH potential.....”

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Friars Carse Country House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Auldgirth
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 13, 2012

This hotel is in the most wonderful location and a great stepping out point to enjoy the delights of Dumfries and Galloway. Despite some refurbishment of some of the rooms the fabric of the building is tired and in need of a facelift. The food was lovely but the dining room is drab and very dated. This hotel has so much potential and could so easily become 5* without doubt.

Room Tip: We had The Willow room which was large and refurbished but sadly the bathroom had been neglected. W...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Lilybeth1925
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 13, 2012

As the guest book at the hotel clearly shows you could not ask for more- lovely old country house, fabulous views and location, lovely staff who went out of their way to provide excellent service, great food- We found the whole experience really relaxing and look forward to the next time.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank gerryoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

A one off visit is not enough for a hotel like the Friars' Carse. We returned for an overnight stay on our way south and it proved to be the ideal way to set the tone and unwind for a holiday.

Our room was clean and aired, a good supply of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate was supplied and useful literature about the hotel and local attractions was available.

The manager and staff were extremely helpful, indulging our interest in the history of Friars' Carse, the Hermitage, Ellisland Farm, etc. We discovered the fascinating 9th century Laugh Moor burial cross on the old putting lawn and enjoyed the sight of the rabbit hoards - damaging as they are! The hotel has a full size snooker table - another pleasure we had not noticed before.

A walk beside the River Nith allows one to soak in the picturesque setting and we will never tire of the magnificent and ancient trees, especially the oaks.

We returned very late from a visit to Dumfries and this was kindly catered for. The breakfast was delicious and clearly enjoyed by all the other guests who were going back for seconds! The coffee could be a bit warmer to suit our wishes, however the provision of a surprise complimentary coffee a few hours later, more than made up for that - we were reluctant to leave and had decided on elevens's before departure.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the parkland.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Rossergruffydd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

We enjoyed our stay at Friars Carse. Beautiful lobby with fireplace. Had a little difficulty finding the hotel as our GPS kept taking us to a back country road miles from the hotel. With help from a postman we arrived in no time. The corner room at the back was large and overlooked acres of land without another building in sight. We watch a dozen rabbits running in the field. Very comfortable bed. We stayed one night at just under $90 dollars which included breakfast and thought it a bargain. The breakfast was very good. Out front of the hotel there is a river and more vacant land. There are a couple of cottages for rent as well. The hotel is popular for weddings and that tells you how very nice the location is. Calm and peaceful and if we had th etime would have stayed another day or two just to relax.

Major tip. If you are travelng in Ireland or Scotland a GPS is a must. We live in Florida, bought the 2012 europe map off amazon.com and took our Garmin GPS with us. Just had to push in the tiny memory card into the slot on the side of the GPS and set it up for europe and we were on our way with turn by turn directions. It saved us from getting lost dozens of times as there are hundreds of round-abouts with numerous exits off each. Signage is lacking in both countries and no sign will tell you how far you are from where it is you are going. In addition, there are dozens of speed camera signs in Scotland which don't indicate the speed and often times we would see a speed camera but no speed limit sign for miles and miles. The GPS told us the speed limit which probably saved us a ticket or two. They police just notify the car rental company who adds the fine to your bill.

A second tip is to check your rental car throughly and take your time. Make them mark each and every scratch on it on the card and make sure your copy shows all the marks he made. If you have a time date stamp on your camera take pictures of the car and especially the sidewall of the tires to include any damage to the rims. They really look for that stuff upon rental return and gave us a hard time about a little tiny rub on the sidewall of one tire. Charged us $200.00 for a new tire which I managed to get reversed when the manager couldn't see the "rub". But it took over an hour and a lot of aggravation. So if there are any marks on the rubber make them mark it down BEFORE you leave the lot. I never thought to check the sidewalls for any rubs or marks on the scuffs on the rims.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank marci477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012

We came to Friars Carse in mid June for a friend's wedding and loved every second of our stay.
Right from the second we arrived, we were made to feel very welcome.
Food in the restaurant was lovely on the first night and we loved the way they'd put out pots of tea and coffee in the lounge - we just helped ourselves!
Our room was very cosy (we had Hawthorn - if you get this one, don't dress with the curtains open as it overlooks the car park).
On the day of the wedding we had a perfectly edible breakfast - you have to eat haggis for breakfast when you're in Scotland, don't you, I'm sure there's some kind of law that says it's mandatory - then we went for a walk by the river.
The permanent marquee was just the ticket for the reception, with the main ceremony being held in the lounge (although they had to ferry chairs between one and the other it was all managed perfectly). Even the "luxury" portaloos lived up to their name.
The wedding breakfast (even more haggis) was gorgeous and we managed to get the recipe for the whisky cream sauce. I also loved the extra touch of the bacon and sausage rolls in the evening - ideal for soaking up the booze.
We partied until after midnight, collapsed into our beds and slept like logs.
The following morning, after a breakfast of yet more haggis and another wander, we settled up and headed off with heavy hearts. in fact, we all paused at the top of the drive and said "Do we have to go home?"
Don't be put off by the fact that things are perhaps slightly faded and patchy in places - it all adds to the atmosphere of the place.
Be careful of the painting of the spooky girl in the lounge - I swear she was watching me wherever I went.
I love Friars Carse. What more can I say?
PS: They welcome dogs. If you're travelling with pooches, this is the perfect place for them - all those grounds and the river, they will LOVE it. Ditto children, but I prefer dogs.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Msfingerpaint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

This may have been a nice old place at one time but is now down on its heels. It just strikes one as tired, with rooms and corridors particularly needing renovation. Old carpets, furniture, awkward layout, creaky floors. The public lounge is a nice cozy area, dining room is just OK. Staff are generally nice, but know that they are working for a tired hotel, with management too tired to pull it out of the mire with a make-over.
It could be so much more, but can't be pulling in enough money to make ends meet, never mind renovate.
Restaurant food was very good in the evening, if pricy. Breakfast buffet was spartan, cooked food was good however.
Nice grounds, and you can walk the banks of the Nith River where Robbie Burns trod while he composed poems and songs. Hermitage on property is an interesting visit to see where Burns sometimes stayed.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mikemniki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2012

I have stayed here with my elderly father on several occasions over the last few years. My first experiences were far from positive - I was left to carry all our luggage upstairs - two cases to a first floor room for father and one to the second floor for me. No offer of help from the staff - the subsequent addition of the lift is most welcome! The windows were all jammed shut and the central heating was on full blast - the heat was overpowering, but when I went to reception to ask why the heating was on in the middle of July, the response from the man on duty was that he didn't know where the boiler was, so he couldn't help.The food was absolutely lousy and when I invited friends who live in Dumfries to join us for dinner, their reaction was a resounding "you must be joking".
However, earlier this month we returned to find the rooms beautifully redecorated and the food delicious (change of chef) with an imaginative varied menu. It is a delight to relax in the beautiful grounds or the luxurious reception area and the staff are now friendly and attentive. I would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel now that it is so greatly improved.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Quaereverum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Friars Carse Country House Hotel

Address: Friars Carse Friars Carse, Auldgirth, Dumfries DG2 0SA, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Dumfries and Galloway > Dumfries > Auldgirth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Auldgirth
Price Range: $86 - $135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Friars Carse Country House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 21
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Also Known As:
Friars Carse Country Hotel
Friars Carse Country Auldgirth

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