We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Never again...!”
Review of Melville Castle

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 13 more sites!
Melville Castle
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Dalkeith
Reviewed March 18, 2014

I bought three vouchers for afternoon tea and bed and breakfast for six people through Itison in January. I booked the accommodation and afternoon tea shortly after purchasing and stated at that time that one of our party required gluten-free catering. When we checked in last weekend, I again mentioned that one of our party required gluten-free catering and the Receptionist confirmed that they already had a note of that. Thirty minutes later, we went through to the area where afternoon teas were being served, three rooms in total. There was nobody to greet us and we wandered from room to room because there were no tables for six available. In the last room there was one table for four and another table at the far end for two. The waiter told us there were no tables for six available and asked if we wanted to go down to the The Brasserie in the basement for our afternoon tea, which we declined. Eventually, another waitress suggested that the two empty tables be put together to accommodate six.

Once we were seated, we had to wait 30 minutes for our "champagne" (I would use the term loosely as we saw bottles of Prosecco and one of the members of staff mentioned the word Prosecco). We then waited another 10 minutes and we asked where our afternoon tea was and, again, mentioned that we required one gluten-free selection. Ten minutes later - 50 minutes after we had arrived - one of the staff came back and said that there was no gluten-free bread, but that they could provide gluten-free cakes. These consisted of two chocolate brownies and two almond slices! At that point customers at another table (possibly the lady who has already written a review about gluten-free bread not being available) told us that they had stayed in the hotel the night before and there was no gluten-free bread available for them the previous evening or for afternoon tea, despite requesting it in advance. Anyway, back to the afternoon tea: the "homemade selection of cakes, pastries and mini desserts" which were supposed to be part of the offer, were quite definitely not homemade. In fact, I had seen the same selection in the freezer section at Costco! The tea to accompany the sandwiches and cakes, arrived 20 minutes after the food. The waiter initially brought us two one cup teapots for six people and when we stated that we didn't have enough tea for six, he brought us another small teapot, which still only provided enough tea for three people!!! I might also add that the crockery on our table didn't match, there were no teaspoons set out and not enough knives for everyone. I also noticed that some of the teapots had chips on the spout - not very appealing to the eye. The whole afternoon tea experience was dismal, to say the least.

On to dinner now. We had pre-dinner drinks in the Library and two of the drinks we ordered were not available. We booked into the Brasserie Restaurant and we ate from the A la Carte menu. Two of the starters were supposed to have king prawns, but in fact consisted of four to five smallish prawns - at £8.95 per head, this was not value for money. Most of the main dishes we ordered were around £18 per head, and although nice enough, were nothing special. We also ordered a bottle of wine on the wine list, but surprise, surprise, this was not available either! After dinner, we went back up to the Library to have a nightcap and yet again, no Amaretto, Grand Marnier.

Now to the bedrooms. Although the rooms that the three couples had were nice enough, our bed was so hard because the mattress in our room was thin and hard. During the night we were kept awake by a buzzing from the electricity box located above the bathroom door, a problem which affected all three bedrooms.

I would say that all members of staff were extremely nice and helpful, but it was quite obvious that not enough staff are employed to give good customer service in the restaurants and public areas used for afternoon tea. The staff were running around like headless chickens because they were so busy and it didn't make for a relaxed atmosphere. I must also say that the building and grounds look a little shabby. The public rooms were nicely decorated, but there is a tired look about the place.

Melville Castle need to get their act together if they want to get people back through the door!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Allyson M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager M, General Manager at Melville Castle, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

We would like to thank the reviewer for their comments and we hope that our direct reply to them was satisfactory.
We would also like to highlight a few points from the detailed review for the benefit of potential visitors
Afternoon Tea is served in several different areas of the Hotel. Especially when we are very busy, we utilize all areas, including the lounges, private rooms and the Brasserie.

The Brasserie (in the basement) is the advertised location as specified on the voucher. As the tables in the Brasserie are larger than the lounge and bar tables, we tend to keep them for larger parties of 5 or more.

We understand the reviewer’s party did not like the Brasserie and insisted on the lounges, which was quickly resolved by joining tables.

Everyone has a different idea on what the ideal location for afternoon tea is, and many people insist in taking it in the Brasserie others insist in taking it in the lounges. We can assure potential visitors that, given availability of tables, we will always try to accommodate everyone as requested.

The same is true of special diets and requests. We always keep items in stock which are suitable to cater for the most common dietary requirements, and indeed we encourage guests to advise us in advance of any special request.

As explained by the team to the reviewer on the day, we had an unusually large number of special dietary requests, both pre booked and unannounced and we were temporarily unable to cater for the dietary requirement of a small number of guests, many of whom have commented on this public board. A solution was quickly found, though, although I understand this had not benefited the reviewer. A
s we understand, this was the trigger for the review, and we would like to reassure potential visitors that it is something that would not normally occur.

We also do have a fully stocked bar and both Amaretto and Grand Marnier are on the list and they are quiet popular drinks. However, not all our selection is on display in the Library Bar due to restricted space. Perhaps the reviewer did not see them on the shelf and assumed we did not have any in stock.

Mattresses can, of course, be deemed both too hard and too soft as the softness of it is always relative.
We do inspect them regularly; we buy new mattresses on a regular basis and always replace what we consider to be substandard.
We notice that the reviewer mentioned the helpfulness and kindness of the team members encountered and we would like to mention to readers that all comments are passed on to the team

We also always welcome comments from guests at any point during their stay

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (989)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

846 - 852 of 989 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2014

After booking the castle 2 years ago for what was supposed to have been the best day of my life this has turned out to be one of the most dreaded days I have ever had to endure.

We booked Melville Castle for our Wedding back in 2012 and during this time I have never know a place to go through so many changes of both policies and personnel. We met with the manager at the time called Simon who was pleasant enough and decided to book our Wedding for Feb 2014. After a few months we contacted the castle to come back and discuss a few items to find that a new manager called Suzette had taken over and she was not very competent it turned out after speaking with her.

As we had everything else sorted out we contact Melville castle again at the end of November 2013 to be told that the Marquee we had booked was no longer there and would not be for our wedding day??? After meeting with Jane the wedding co-ordinator she made me break down in tears as none of the items we had requested were available or going to be available and to make matters worse she wanted to keep the children in our party in a separate room?? After speaking with the new manager Lorenzo he promised that everything was going to be sorted......it wasn't.

Our day was pretty much a disaster and would never ever wish this on any person.

Melville Castle should be ashamed of themselves parading about as a wedding venue when they cannot even organise themselves.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Fiona S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

My husband and I have just returned from one of the nicest weekend stays we have had it was our silver wedding anniversary and what a fantastic place to celebrate it the staff were so polite and helpful nothing was too much trouble the food was exquisite the hotel was immaculate our room was lovely I can't express how fantastic this hotel is and the staff should have an award they were charming and lovely
Well done all!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Sarah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2014 via mobile

Me and my partner stayed here for 1 night it was a wowcher that we had so we did get dinner included first of all the room we had was just awful the glass on top of the tables were not secure and one almost fell on my foot, the decor was just horrible not what I expected at all for a 4 star place, we had a cover on the bed which was ripped the bathroom had hairs in the bath which was disgusting, when we went for dinner it started off fine but after our main course we had to wait 30 mins for our desert after asking 3 times as well someone finally brought it out, they are well under staffed in the restraunt and it was not a pleasant experience, we had late check out till 1 so me and Me and my partner stayed here for 1 night it was a wowcher that we had so we did get dinner included first of all the room we had was just awful the glass on top of the tables were not secure and one almost fell on my foot, the decor was just horrible not what I expected at all for a 4 star place, we had a cover on the bed which was ripped the bathroom had hairs in the bath which was disgusting, when we went for dinner it started off fine but after our main course we had to wait 30 mins for our desert after asking 3 times as well someone finally brought it out, they are well under staffed in the restraunt and it was not a pleasant experience, we had late check out till 1 so me and my partner left the room went for a stroll came back and they had cut off our keys apparently according to the maid they cut them off at 10 am which is ridiculous I will not be coming back here it is not 4 star more like 2 star

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Victoria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager M, General Manager at Melville Castle, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

I would like to thank the reviewer for their comments and hope that our direct apologies for the poor experience have been accepted..

We would also like to reassure potential visitors that, as it can be seen from the vast majority of the reviews here and on many other public boards, the experience described is not typical for Melville Castle.
Although it is very clear that the decor was not to the reviewer’s taste, we feel that
anyone would be pushed to describe it as “horrible” in any way, and that the cleaningless of the rooms is normally of a very high standard.
All of the reviewer’s comments were nonetheless investigated.

Dinner was very busy and some tables did experience small delay. Everyone affected was informed and apologies were made. I would like to renew our apologies to the few guests affected, including the reviewer.

Room keys stop functioning after checkout time (after 11am not 10am) and they are extended for guests who have requested a late check-out.
However, this must be advised in advance as if it not requested at booking stage or on arrival, the room key will automatically expire at the normal time.

We would like to take this opportunity to advise future guests that if this happens to them, the card can simply be extended by reception at any time.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

My room was dusty and the toilet was not properly cleaned, the breakfast took forever and they said they had no gluten free bread, worrying since we were booked in for 2 gluten free afternoon teas later that day, but we were assured they would get more in on time. After coming back later for the 2 gluten free afternoon teas only 1 sandwich was brought to the table, they said this was all the gluten free bread they had and went on to argue that we'd only booked for one! This was simply untrue which we proved through the confirmation email. The waitress went on to say she had too many bookings to deal with and made us feel very unwelcome. They also didn't have enough cups or teapots for our tea and all the cakes were clearly shop bought. My mother had a chocolate eclair which had gone off and the cream had curdled. There was a table near us who also needed gluten free bread and they couldn't have anything, another table had the off eclairs and another one was kept waiting over an hour, they were there before us and we got ours first. Just a disaster from start to finish, would definitely not be back.

  • Stayed: March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Becca C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

My wife and I have just returned home after an excellent stay at Melville Castle. Not knowing what to expect we were pleasantly surprised by our beautiful Gallery room, the welcoming reception staff, the attentive bar and restaurant staff and the food was second to non. Congratulations to all at Melville Castle for knowing how to look after your guests. We will definitely be making a return visit.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Jim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2014

My daughter bought a voucher for afternoon tea at Melville Castle. The staff were very pleasant, hotel is lovely, we had a seat overlooking the garden at the back of the hotel. We felt that the afternoon teas was a bit of a disappointment. The scones and cakes were obviously "bought in", not nice at all. Surely a big hotel would have their chef make all the goods needed for their afternoon teas? We were also given our pot of tea in a big purple teapot with a crack in the spout! Not good. We often go to Dobbies just up from the hotel for afternoon tea. Maybe the hotel owners or manager could take a trip over there and see the difference in the afternoon teas served there.As I said, everything about the hotel itself, and staff were brilliant. Get the afternoon tea goods sorted out and I,m sure it will be a great success.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Thank explorer50uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Dalkeith
Dalhousie Castle
#1 of 1 in Bonnyrigg
1,406 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Princes Street and Gardens
The Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel
#14 of 151 in Edinburgh
3,881 reviews
Prestonfield
#4 of 151 in Edinburgh
1,162 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Melville Castle? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Melville Castle

Address: Gilmerton Road, Dalkeith EH18 1AP, Scotland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Midlothian > Dalkeith
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Dalkeith
Price Range: $104 - $191 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Melville Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Melville Castle, once home to the influential Dundas family, is set within a 50 acre estate of wooded parkland on the picturesque banks of the river North Esk. Located just 20 minute drive from Edinburgh’s city center this luxurious castle offers the tranquility of a country setting on the doorstep of this thriving city. The 32 classically styled bedrooms offer all the luxury & comfort you deserve and our friendly team will take pleasure in catering to all your requirements during your stay. The Castle provides Bed and Breakfast accommodation and there are a number of award winning and highly recommended restaurants within 5 minutes drive. At one time the hunting seat of Mary Queen of Scots, the Castle was commissioned by the first Viscount Melville in 1791 for entertaining, which it continues to do to this day. We have ample free parking and a frequent 24 hour bus service to Edinburgh from the bus stop at the Castle Gates. Complimentary city maps and bus timetable are available at reception. Whether lounging with a drink next to a crackling fire in our library bar, or relaxing over a game of croquet on the lawn, we are sure you will enjoy your stay with us! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Orbitz, Cancelon, Otel, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Melville Castle reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Melville Castle Dalkeith, Scotland

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing