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“week end heaven”

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Dornoch Castle Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dornoch
Certificate of Excellence
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“week end heaven”
Reviewed November 8, 2011

An exellent Hotel for a romantic break! The staff, (especially the local barman, who's knowledge of whiskey was 2nd to none) and the food were all exellent! The resteraunt across the streets food was a tad cheaper but on a par with the hotels. With the beautiful beach, golf course and not forgetting the Cathedral across the road, there was plenty to do.

It's also a great starting point to dicover the North Highlands (Dunrobin Castle), whisky and wild life. An absolute dream location, especially for 3 stars. Definately be back!

Room Tip: The back rooms were a lot bigger
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jormsby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this review, November 19, 2011
Thank you Jormsby for your lovely comments.

All the staff at Dornoch Castle are delighted to receive such great comments.

We hope that you will be able to return again soon.

Warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2011

This was our second visit to the Dornoch Castle Hotel and it was as good as the first time we were there which was in 2009. Everything was excellent and we would (and have) recommend it to anyone we know. The staff are friendly, helpful and quick with a joke, the room we had was clean, warm and had had the comfiest bed ever ! We ate in the restaurant both nights and the food was superb - maybe a little dearer than your average 'pub grub' right enough! - but as far as we were concerned more than worth it !
Ticked all our boxes - go see for youselves !

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank JulieMci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this review, November 19, 2011
Good afteroon JulieMci,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments, it is really lovely when we see people returning and receiving such lovely compliments.

As per our previous replies, we really pride ourselves on our food, and as you say, is a little dearer than your normal pub grub food, but then again the food that we supply is not your average pub grub and is all local sourced, fresh and cooked and served by a great team and delighted when guests take the time to emphasise how much they enjoyed it.

We hope to see you again soon.

With warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel
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Berkshire UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2011

This was my third visit to this hotel but the first time with children. The staff were friendly and the children welcomed, they loved playing games in the Residents Lounge while we were in the bar downstairs. We stayed in Brora (room name) which is very peaceful as at the end of a corridor and on the top floor. To us the hotel is very charming but some people may find the querkiness to to their taste. We will definately be going back here, we all love it.
Dornoch itself is also lovely, the beach is beautiful (tip if you have children walk the short way signposted 'golf club' as it cuts about 5 mins off the walking time) The Cathedral is also worth a visit.
There is a great Fish & Chip shop in Golspie called the Trawler which has a varied menu and is very good value for money, the food at The Dornoch Castle is also lovely but we found we didn't have as much time to enjoy it with the children!

Room Tip: The rooms in the older part of the hotel have the most charm.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SJD1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this review, November 19, 2011
Good afternoon SJD1968,

All the staff really appreciate and strive to receive lovely comments like yours, it goes to show that we have the right team and surroundings in place that create's a warm and welcoming environment.

We look forward to seeing you again soon and the children.

Warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2011

I was very excited about our trip to Dornoch as I have never stayed in a castle before. Dornoch village is very quaint & initial impression of the castle was great very medieval. You walk into a reception/bar area with a lovely big stone fire place, the area is modern & cosy along with the staircase leading to the rooms. Receptionist was welcoming & friendly.

Then the disappointment kicked in the bedroom had a very strong odour of stale cigarettes, I did wonder whether it used to be a bedroom you could smoke in and as the decor is dated it has held onto that smell. It was clean but very dated. I did inform the hotel staff of the odour & they advised nobody had smoked in the room. They did come to the room and agreed it did have a strong smell of smoke which they felt maybe coming from the kitchen area (which was under our window). They were unable to offer us an alternative room as they were full we did receive a complimentary drink. The room was noisy at times due to the kitchen and the TV was very poorly placed at the side of the bed - you had to crane your neck to watch it - they could put a bracket on so guests can angle it.

We did eat in the restaurant the food was very pricey and was ok definitely not worth the top prices they are charging. On email I was informed we would get a 10% discount when we booked a table at the restaurant and on arrival got presented with an envelope containing a voucher that could have a 10, 20, 50 or even a 100% discount. We could not open this until the end of the meal. What a surprise we got 10% (as did all the others in the restaurant that eveing) which we knew we would anyway, it all seemed like a hoax as if they are going to give out a free meal in this day and age of recession. The waitress was very abrupt and almost threw the food onto the table. Breakfast was ok nothing to write home about.

Dornoch village itself is well worth a visit beautiful coastline, great walks and nice cafe's. Would definitely recommend a visit. The ladies in the tourist info shop were very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank joanne c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this review, November 4, 2011
Dear Joanne c,

Thank you for you comments, I am delighted to hear that your first impression of Dornoch Castle Hotel was a good one.

However, I must clear up a couple of points you have made in your review;

Firstly, when you arrived, you mentioned your disappointment with the smell in the bedroom. I can confirm that the smoky smell was coming from our Biomass Boiler which is housed in our garden. Most of our visitors like this faint smoky smell which is around on windy days and it’s a reminder to us and all guests that we are one of the greenest hotels in the highlands.

May I suggest that your half smoked, rolled up cigarette, sitting on the window ledge in your bedroom contributed to the stale cigarette smell…?!
I would like to remind you that as a gesture of goodwill I waivered the £50 penalty issued to all guests who decide to smoke in our bedrooms.

Regarding the voucher we had emailed to you with 10%, 20%, 50% or 100% discount, I am sorry that you felt this was a hoax. This discount incentive has worked extremely well for us over the past season with 4 visitors receiving 100% discount, 11 dinner bills reduced by 50%, numerous guests leaving Dornoch Castle 20% better off and the balance of diners benefiting from the 10% reduction. Of course there are more 10% discounts than any other, but that’s the idea – it’s a lottery…

Kind Regards
Ashley Fraser
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perth
Level Contributor
129 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2011

Styed with my wife on 16th and 17th oct... wondferful room, like something out of a period film! Oak panels' huge open fireplace with wood burner, huge 4 poster (real not flatpacked) even a spiral staircase down into it! Bathroom very modern, underfloor heating robes and slippers provided the word sumptuous comes to mind! We had the tower room overlooking the Cathedral and Dornoch centre.. beautiful place, close to beach and great golf course.
Food amazing all locally sourced and the taste!! wow.. staff very attentive and knowledgable on food provenance! Modern cuisine. The bar is wonderful Belhaven Best and many malts so i was happy! Overall id say a complete professional package and staff who were obviously proud to work there!

Room Tip: The tower room is worth the walk up the stairs takes your breath away.. but there are stunning roo...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 12121874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this review, November 19, 2011
Thank you so much for your lovely comments.

The Tower Room is a very special room, just like the Old Courtroom. And like you say, is worth the climb to the top of the Castle.

This room was completed at the end of December 2010 and is fast becoming just as popular as the Old Courtroom.

Again, as with our previous replies, we really pride ourselves on the quality and presentation of our food, the chefs strive to ensure that our ingredients are locally sourced so ensure maximum flavour and freshness.

We hope that you are able to visit us again the future.

With warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2011

We had a fantastic two night deal. Having booked it 5 or 6 months in advance at the time we chanced our luck asking for an upgrade to which we were very kindly granted free of charge & given our booking ref & an email confirmation saying we had a free upgrade.

Fantastic we thought, on arrival we presented out confirmation to the receptionist & were then shown to our room.

The upgraded room was not available & out email confirmation was void with no way of accomadating us other than to the standard room we originally booked. According to the 'manager' they were fully booked.

We found the hotel a mixed bag so to speak. The room we stayed in was clean n tidy the only downside to the room was it was a bit dated. I knw it is a castle & this old theme is the idea but still the bathroom for example could be brought up to date a bit. From the room you can hear everything from out with the walls it was very echoey.

The bar area n court room are both fantastically kept & very cosy with both areas having a coal fire. The restruant, we avoided as the menu was first of all £30 for three courses per person & for a very limited menu we didn't fancy it. Out with the hotel there are a few nice pub/restruants that serve lovely food reasonably priced.

The town itself is lovely, deff worth a wee visit in its self.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank scuba12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this review, October 23, 2011
Dear Scuba12345,

Many thanks for your comments.

Firstly I must refer to our telephone conversation before your arrival, where I explained that the room reserved for you was not a four poster, but was one of our finest rooms in the original castle which overlooks the garden and the Dornoch Firth. The upgrade was honoured, as the room you were allocated is not normally sold to customers on the £99 KGB Deal – if you were to pay the normal rate for this room your bill would have increased by over 70%.

You did call down to reception and mentioned to my colleague that you had been allocated the incorrect room, thankfully I was there to remind you of the telephone conversation we had, less than 24 hours prior.

With regards to our dinner menus, we do indeed offer a Table D’hote which has four courses for £30. In addition we have an a la carte menu with individually priced dishes which allows guests to have something lighter if they wish. We offer many incentives in our restaurant, two of which were emailed to you directly prior to your arrival and they were; a one off voucher which would entitle you to 10%, 20%, 50% or 100% off your full bill or book both nights in advance to receive 10% discount. I would remind you that you did not take advantage of either offer.

We are very proud of our trained, award winning chefs and excellent service staff who produce and serve fantastic dishes using locally sourced ingredients. We feel that the prices on our menus are modest for the quality we offer and this is reflected by our popularity with both our residential and local clientele. However if you prefer eating cheaper meals elsewhere, served by minimum wage staff, then that’s your choice.

Kindest Regards

Ashley Fraser
Reception Manager
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scotland
Level Contributor
171 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2011

My husband and I have just returned from a 2 day break today 18/10/11. It was splendid from start to finish. The staff are incredible and the food yum..yum. The mussels in white wine and cream were the best I have ever tasted and believe me I have tasted them all over the world. As we were leaving a party from Virginia USA were over booking a wedding next year, Was not in the least surprised. The hotel staff, the food , the accommodation and especially Heather in the Dining room would want me to book my wedding there.....only thing....... is I have been married for 30 years!!!!!
Well done and warmest regards from Pauline and Jim Hodge

Room Tip: All would be great .
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank scottiewanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dornochcastle, Manager at Dornoch Castle Hotel, responded to this review, November 19, 2011
Many thanks for your very lovely comments Pauline and Jim.

As per previous replies, we really pride ourselves on our food and this goes to show when we receive wonderful compliments such as your's and other guests that have stayed with us.

We really hope that you will be able to come back and visit us again in the future.

Warmest wishes from all the team at Dornoch Castle Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dornoch Castle Hotel

Property: Dornoch Castle Hotel
Address: Castle Street, Dornoch IV25 3SD, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Caithness and Sutherland > Dornoch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dornoch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Dornoch Castle Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Castle is located in the historic town of Dornoch across from the stunning 13th century Cathedral, boasting stunning views of the town. The central position of the hotel makes it ideal for exploring Dornoch, home to the world famous Royal Dornoch Golf Course, which overlooks the breath taking golden sand beach. Dornoch is also well situated for those looking to explore more of what the Highlands have to offer. The historic Castle is built on the site of the original Bishop’s Palace of St Gilbert, who founded the Cathedral in the early 13th century. The building eventually sold on and in 1947 became a hotel after some extensive work, which maintain much of the character of the Castle as a stately, historic and comfortable home. The Castle boasts a total of 22 en-suite bedrooms situated both within the original castle and the modern garden extension. There is a variety of room types available including; standard, superior, deluxe and our award winning Old Courtroom. Due to the castle’s layout each bedroom has its own special ambiance, great care has been taking in creating a distinctive character in each bedroom. The Castle's restaurant has retained an AA rosette standard, through the exceptional work from the chefs. The malt whisky selection is second to none and can be enjoyed in the cosy stone-lined whisky bar with the roaring fire to protect you from the Scottish winds, in the summer the walled garden is the perfect setting to relax during the long summer nights. Coming Summer 2016: The Dornoch Distillery will be opening soon on the grounds of the Dornoch Castle Hotel producing 'Old Style' Whisky and Hand Crafted Organic Gin from scratch. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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