More about Dornoch Castle Hotel
Wedded bliss at the Dornoch Castle Hotel
When we decided to get married at the beautiful Dornoch Cathedral, it made sense to arrange the reception at the Dornoch Castle Hotel. We are not natives of the area, however family still reside in nearby villages and since we have been visiting for many years, we call it 'home'. But we were slightly nervous as we had to make all arrangments over the phone and email. We needn't have worried! The directors of the hotel, Ros & Colin ensured that everything ran to plan, down to the flowers on the table, table runners and seating plans etc. The food was exceptional - if anything, the portions could have been slightly smaller! Maybe this is the influence of the many American visitors they host each year?! The main bar (entrance) is cosy and informal - large open fire and comfy leather suites, and 'our' reception room opened out to the garden, is fresh and airy - very pretty. Our room at night 'The Old Courtoom' was outstanding. I couldn't stop admiring the stone and wooden walls, the fireplace, the 4 poster bed - truly stunning. I believe some of the more standard rooms need updating, and this is something the Hotel is working on, but all in all, its a fabulous place, lovely location and the staff cannot do enough for you.
Never even got the chance...
As Dornoch Castle Hotel's online booking facility was 'down', I e-mailed my enquiry via the 'contact' link on their website.
Two days later - no reply, so I sent a second request. To date, never received a reply.
I was looking for four nights D,B&B in a superior room in mid-November, but clearly, they don't need the business.
Each year around this time, we enjoy a few days at a good quality hotel in, or better than, Dornoch Castle's price bracket - Monachyle Mhor, Kinloch in Skye and Loch Torridon to name a few - all wonderful in our experience.
We looked elsewhere and received a response within twelve hours!
Dornoch Castle? We'll never know!
D Williamson, Edinburgh.
Wonderful night in Old Courtroom
We spent one night after our wedding in Inverness. This was definately the most expensive night of our whole wedding/honeymoon trip but it was worth it. From the moment my groom and I walked in, all we could say was Wow. The Old Courtroom was gorgeous with the huge tall ceilings, the little window seats that looked out over the street leading up to the hotel, to the Dornoch Cathedral and to the car park in the back. The jacuzzi was great, the fireplace ready for us, and they even threw in a bottle of champagne to celebrate our honeymoom. Everyone was friendly and helpful. We ate at the restaurant and my groom said it was the best sea bass he had ever eaten. The little details like great products in the bathroom including bubble bath, nice tea with electric kettle, sherry in the room and wireless internet in the resident lounge were great. I also have to say that the King of the Castle (Charlie the cat) was a friendly reminder of my two cats I left at home, especially with him curled up in a ball in front of the fire. Highly recommend the quaint town of Dornoch and the Dornoch Castle Hotel.
Great Value for Money
Stayed at the Dornoch Castle Hotel for 3 nights in a Deluxe Room, Dinner Bed and Breakfast. Location was mainly due to golfing at Royal Dornoch, Brora and Tain. The rooms themselves were not the greatest in that the walls are quite thin and they are in need of updating, however they are immaculate and spotlessly clean. The bathrooms are also spotlessly clean and provide adequate facilities for showering etc. The reception staff were more than friendly and actually escort you to your room. The bar staff are very professional and tend to your every need.
The food was probably the best part of the stay. The A la Carte Menu and the Early Dinner Menu is fantastic and the quality and quantity of the food is great value for money, especially when you consider you get £27.50 per person per night for dinner and the total cost for the night is £54.66.
You could stay in a more up to date room in a travel lodge granted but you have to appreciate George140 if you want some character then you are not going to get this in a travellodge. The other side of it is that you only really need to sleep in the room so it does not become a huge issue.
Overall I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates good food and basic clean digs that is major value for money.
The best thing about this hotel is the service (very helpful and friendly) and the garden at the back. Unfortunately, the bedrooms, the breakfast room and the food are all disappointing. The rooms are very overpriced for their size and quality.
My husband booked this for me as a Christmas Gift 'Experience' through Thanks Darling.com. It was sold as a 2 night stay in a Scottish Castle and a Cruise to watch Dolphins. The cost was approx £450.
It was dreadful, the Hotel was substandard although the history seems to indicate that it was at one time a Castle, it is now a very average hotel. We could only book a twin room as the Hotel was busy and although they may have much better superior rooms, at a superior cost, we were only allocated a standard room with the 'Experience' my husband had purchased.
The ' Warm Scottish Welcome with a Dram on Arrival' was actually a very off hand receptionist with no offer of help with luggage up 2 flights of stairs and 2 glasses of sherry in the room covered with a paper doyley !!
The bedroom was in dire need of refurbishment (see pictures)and also some good soundproofing as unfortunately all bathroom noises could be heard from the next room ..... very unpleasant as you can imagine.
The Dolphin Cruise was actually a Rigid Inflatable Boat with wet weather gear, handbands and goggles provided which we decided not to do. The word cruise does not conjure up the thought of bouncing around in a RIB !!
Apart from the cost of the 'Experience' we had flights, car hire etc to pay for, so all in all the 2 night stay cost nearly £800.
We did make a complaint to Thanks Darling.com who passed it on to Dornoch Castle. Neither of them wanted to take responsibility for our disappointment and I was told that many people think it is a 'trip of a lifetime' All I can say is that many people must have very low expectations of a very over priced 2 night stay.
On the positive side, the food was very good but it certainly did not make up for the bad 'Experience'
As no details were given by Thanks Darling.com as to the Venue or the Dolphin Trip until the 'Experience' was actually purchased, it made it difficult for my husband to judge whether it was value for money ..... and it certainly was not!!!
If you really can't resist it then book directly with the Hotel, and avoid the large mark up made by Thanks Darling
Fantastic Hotel, Staff and Food
We arrived at the castle hotel in August and we were blown away by the brilliant staff and atmosphere. We checked in, and once in our bedroom sipped away at the complimentary sherry. We then headed for the warm cosy bar and had some pre dinner drinks. The large fire in here was magnificant. The service throughout our meal was fantastic, "service with a smile". We ate a delicious 3 course meal in the Garden Restaurant and afterwards took a stroll around the historic villiage. We later returned to enjoy coffee in front of the roaring fire (with charlie the cat!).
Overall we had a great experience and we will definatley be back!!!
As we live only 5 mins walk from the hotel I suppose we are not best positioned to give an impartial review! However we had our marriage reception in the hotel in September 2005 and went back for a night in September 2006, plus many dinners before and after. Service has always been first class, on a few occasions we were dissapointed with the food, not bad but not up to our expectations. I can only assume on the the nights in question the usual chef was off ( the usual chef has won a number of awards). Otherwise the food is always excellent and the atmosphere and servie great. I can recommend this hotel.
This is a lovely hotel in a nice area. Worth the effort getting to. It was the perfect romantic retreat we were looking for.
The staff were very friendly and helpful and the room was full of character and we loved the four poster bed (we were in a superior room). The bar area has a fantastic open fire but one of the seats is constantly occupied by Charlie the castle cat!
Food was excellent and there was a good selection of drinks in the bar.
Dornoch itself is small and quaint but there are adequate amenties and plenty to see and do in the area. As our visit was in December we were happy to curl up on the sofa in front of the log fire.
We will be booking our return visit soon.
staff.....6/10 (helpful but inexperienced)
arrival..2/10, table in bar, no privacy, no individual attention
room...1/10 expect a lot more, even for a standard room, makes a Travel Lodge seem exoctic.
Definately oversold in the annex section, which is the majority of the hotel, will not be going back!
Dornoch Castle Hotel