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“A review by someone who has had their wedding here”
Review of Auchen Castle

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Auchen Castle
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Beattock
Certificate of Excellence
Drumnadrochit, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A review by someone who has had their wedding here”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

My husband and I ended up booking Auchen Castle without actually seeing it first. This came about as the place we had initially booked closed down and we didn't have time to visit the castle before the booking. Obviously we were nervous about booking our wedding day somewhere we had not seen but we did a lot of research and the reviews under the new management all seemed positive.
Now, I can fully understand where others are coming from when they have commented on the owners 'Unique' manner. On our first visit to the castle we were indeed rushed around and did feel like an inconvenience, this left us feeling quite apprehensive about our big day to say the least. Also, the castle did not look like it was either clean or well finished (the builders were there at the time doing maintenance work) and this added to our feelings of trepidation. However, our second visit to the castle could not have been different. As it was mid-wedding season the castle was clean and free of builders(!) and the owner (unique manner withstanding) was actually extremely helpful and accommodating. We felt after this meeting that things were going to be ok.
The day before the wedding our guests and us arrived to a warm and friendly welcome by Lindsey the manager (I believe) and she did her utmost to ensure we were all settled and had everything we needed. She also explained how the following day would run and allayed any fears we had about timings and general day before stresses! She then introduced us to John (night manager) who was equally as accommodating. I must say at this point the staff were available when needed but were not overbearing and ever present - this really did make everyone feel at home and comfortable.
Now, I see other reviewers points about the furniture being a little bit tired in places, but this is a business which is being built back up and I don't see how a scratch on a wardrobe would affect anyone's happiness and delight at marrying the person of their dreams. It certainly had no bearing on my enjoyment of our day. The dining room and bar areas are tastefully furnished and this is in keeping with the feel of the castle. The four poster rooms are again furnished in keeping and the newer lake view rooms are modern and well equipped. The beds are wonderfully comfortable - this is something all the guests remarked on, and some of our guests have orthopaedic conditions which means a comfy bed for them is rarely found away from home, so this was a triumph. The place was also immaculately clean; this is coming from someone who has been known to leave a hotel if their housekeeping is not up to scratch.
The day of the wedding was extremely well managed by Lindsey and Gavin (manager of their other hotel) and everything went exactly as we wanted it to. This wasn't by luck - the team obviously know what they are doing and are very well oiled. Nothing was too much bother for them and at no point did we feel like it was just their job - they made us feel as though our day mattered to them. The meal was delicious and the servings were very generous - we might not have ordered the evening buffet had we known everyone would still be full.
The day after all our decor and belongings had been carefully collected together by John which made the task of packing up that much easier. There was another wedding party due into the castle that day but again, we did not feel rushed out of the door and were given time to enjoy breakfast and say goodbye to our guests.
All in all, what at first seemed like a venue we would not have chosen had we visited before booking ended up as a perfect choice. It was thoroughly enjoyable with lots of lovely special touches thrown in. All our guests loved the owl ring delivery and the sword to cut the cake made for some lovely photos. The grounds are lovely - not formal as such, but very in keeping with a Scottish castle. We did not notice the traffic noise from the motorway, I suppose it depends on which way the wind is blowing, but its far enough away to not be a problem and it certainly wouldn't be audible inside the stone walls of the building.
Please, please don't dismiss this wonderful venue because of the owners manner. It would be such a shame for others not to enjoy the place as we did just because of that.

Room Tip: We were in room 28 which was a large four poster room. Not the best views but large enough for bride...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PolitelyQueing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
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English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

I looooved staying at Auchen Castle! Just driving up to the castle is fun, you feel as if you are going into a fairytale! We arrived on the Sunday for my sisters wedding and received such a friendly welcome at reception and had our luggage taken to our room. On the Sunday we stayed in one of the lake view rooms, which was lovely, very spacious and clean. Although we did not eat in the hotel that night, they were most helpful in organising us a taxi into Moffat which is only a couple of miles away. On the Monday I had booked a castle room (it had not been available on the Sunday evening), and it was was well worth it! The marriage room my sister had her ceremony in is just so beautiful, and Reverend Strachen's ceremony was lovely, I cried through the whole thing! On the Monday night we had the reception in the castles main dining room, and I must say it was one of the best meals that both my partner and I have ever had. I have a gluten free diet and the chef made me a dessert that was simply perfect. This isn't a stuffy or snobby place but instead a relaxed and welcoming place to stay. Bring a camera because it's very picturesque and decorated beautifully. Rooms are amazing and the beds are very comfy. I cannot fault anything, thanks for an amazing stay!

Room Tip: The lake view rooms are just that. So beautiful!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Charlotte M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dumfries, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2012

We visited this hotel as a potential wedding venue. I had not read any reviews before we went but it looked like just what we wanted from the photographs and brochures. When we phoned to book an appointment the girl we spoke to was very pleasant. I felt we had found our venue! We were greeted by the owner, an older gentleman. From the start we did not take to him. Every question was a problem to him. It was either take what he was offering or goodbye. This is the bride's one and only day and it has to be what SHE wants - not what HE deigns to give her. He was patronising and very casual, as if our business did not matter to him. When I phoned the girl told me we could have what we wanted including which photographer we wanted. He said we had to use his photographer and was very reluctant to give us his name. Why should we have a photographer we did not like foisted on to us! I asked if we could pick and choose what we wanted from the packages and he became quite irritated. He said in that case we would have to chose the 'ceremony only' package and then add things back and it would cost a lot more. He also told us we would have to book out all the rooms in the Castle and pay for them even if we did not use them. This was contrary to what it said in the brochure as it said we only needed to book 10 rooms at the time we wanted the wedding. I mentioned this to him and he said they were thinking of changing that. I have to say that the main function rooms downstairs were lovely and well displayed. Some of the bedrooms that we saw were ok but some were very 'tired' looking. The furniture suited the rooms but also looked badly maintained with scratches - why not fix them? In one of the 4 poster bedrooms with a lovely view there was black round the windows and round the tiles in the bathroom. I didn't look close enough to see if it was mould but it wouldn't cost much to clean that up. Some of the bedroom doors looked as if they had been stripped but not cleaned up and repainted or stained so very scruffy. It all looked as if it was not cared for. Also outside in the grounds the beds were full of weeds. The gentleman needs to spend a little bit of money on finishing these things even if he has only been in there for a short time. One more point. We would have liked to have the wedding outside if the weather was nice and he said that would be no problem. However, when we went for a look round outside, apart from the badly maintained grounds, the noise of the nearby motorway meant that no-one would be able to hear the words of the service. We did not notice that in the house but perhaps that was because the owner had the music playing so loudly - perhaps to mask the noise. I recommend that the manager show people round rather than the gentleman we say. We definitely will NOT be going there for the wedding.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank B R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2012

I went to Auchen Castle as a potential venue for my wedding. It looked very nice on the website and also in the brochure that was sent out. When we turned up the grounds were very picturesque and inside the castle was very nice. Judging from previous reviews the place has been improved greatly in the last 18 months.

However, what let the place down was the owner. I can't be entirely sure of his name as he didn't actually introduce himself when we arrived. We were shown around the facility by the nameless owner and what sticks out in my mind was that he seemed to be in a great hurry. He didn't give us any time to actually view the venue or the rooms before sitting us down to see if we had any questions.

During the very brief question and answer session he made bizarre statements such as 'she'd like to be the only bride on the day but like it or not...she's not going to be!' with reference to an up coming wedding. We were well aware that there was the possibility that there may be another wedding on the same day so this question wasn't even asked. He also referenced other brides and grooms by name, told us some of their very reasonable requests and in a very smug manner said, 'The first thing that springs to mind is 'Tough.'' Meaning he wasn't prepared to even try to deal with a simple request. I believe it was at this stage that I decided wholly that this place would not be our wedding venue. I didn't like the idea that he would then sit down with other wedding parties and complain about very simple wishes from myself or my fiancee.

However, it went on! After another story about booking rooms in the hotel, he eventually told us that he wasn't prepared to provide a basic booking service for the rooms as the vast majority of wedding venues do. It was left up to us to pay a deposit for every room in the hotel and on top of trying to organise a wedding, organise exactly what room every guest was going to stay in and also collect their payments before handing it over to him.

This was the stage at which my Fiancee had a bit of a cough. He simply stared until she was finished. Not so much as offering a glass of water. In fact, very little hospitality in that respect, at no point were any of us offered so much as a cup of tea.

I would also describe him as very patronising. In the middle of a very long disjointed story, he turned around to my mother and asked, 'Are you following me Dear?'

The final thing I will mention about the poor service, although this certainly isn't an exhaustive list, is our question about guests arriving the day before the wedding and eating at the hotel. You would be forgiven for thinking that there was a restaurant there as the main sign at the entrance says 'Hotel Restaurant.' However, he also informed us that we would have to organise for the guests to be taken out for dinner as they no longer had a restaurant. Given that he has now owned this venue for at least 18 months, and replacing the sign would be such a simple job, you might think that this would have been changed.

I found the owner's arrogant, conceited and patronising attitude very offensive and if this behaviour is a sign of how the wedding is to be coordinated, needless to say, we won't be handing over thousands of pounds to book our wedding at this venue.

Adam K

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Adam K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dumfries, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

After having our daughters wedding at Auchen Castle on Friday 19th October 2011 I would llike to thank Glen and all his staff for a fantastic day. Everthing run so smoothly and the meal was fantastic, the potions were so big that no one could eat the buffet at night. Nothing was too much trouble, the rooms were lovely clean great views great size and comfy beds and the breakfast had everything you could possibly want .If you are lucky enough to have a nice day the gardens are very impressive and a lovely background for great photos. So if you want a great location for your wedding I would highly recomend this venue.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rose57_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012

I attended a family wedding at the hotel last week- it was absolutely fantastic! The hotel itself is beautiful and extremely impressive from the outside, the room we stayed in was modern, clean and very comfortable with a great view (over the lake). All the staff were fantastic, very welcoming and friendly, and the main rooms were nicely decorated. The food was also great, the wedding breakfast was awesome. I was also extremely impressed that they supplied a sword to cut the wedding cake! Very cool and will be a difficult wedding to beat in my books!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gemma D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rugeley, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 24, 2012

There is only one word we can use to describe our wedding on the 11th august 2012,AMAZING!!!!!!!.The whole weekend was out of this world,Glen and all the staff were so helpful and professional in every way which in due course meant the wedding was like a fairy tale.The castle and surroundings are so beautiful,and the food is to die for,Glen made sure there were no hiccups before,during and after the wedding,and was a very calming influence on me as i was panicking during the run up to the wedding,Any problems were sorted out there and then and having a wedding group of nearly sixty that was appreciated.
From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for a truly amazing day which will never be forgotten by our family ,friends and most importantly US.


Sam&Jayne

Room Tip: just go there and be amazed
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Auchen Castle

Property: Auchen Castle
Address: 74 Junction 15 of the M, Beattock DG10 9SH, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Dumfries and Galloway > Beattock
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Beattock
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Auchen Castle 3.5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jewel of the Scottish Borders, in the heart of Robert Burns country, this beautiful 5 Star Castle boasts magnificent italian gardens, 26 beautiful boutique bedrooms and a breathtaking private lake. We're very proud to be one of Scotland's most sought after wedding destinations, only a short drive from world famous Gretna Green. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Auchen Castle Beattock, Scotland
Hotel Auchen Castle
Auchen Castle Hotel

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