Auchen Castle Hotel
Junction 15 of the M74, Beattock, DG10 9SH, United Kingdom
It sells itself as an idyllic wedding location, but don’t believe all the hype. The hotel/castle is very impressive and has lovely grounds set on a steep valley side. When we were there (May 06) the Rhododendron bushes were in full bloom, making a spectacular backdrop to the wedding photographs.
Now the bad news – this place is going to hit you hard in the pocket! The basic meal package was GBP 30.00 per head and I ate better for half the price in the Brewers Fayre I stayed next to the previous night. The ‘supreme’ of chicken was bland and dry. The syrup sponge was worse than my school used to serve up!
The real disgrace is the bar. GBP 3.00 for a pint I can just about live with, but GBP 6.90 for a gin and tonic or whisky and soda is a plain rip-off. After charging GBP £153 for a fairly basic room there’s really no need to ratchet the charges up so high at the bar.
The final insult comes at checkout. If you want to pay for your bill by credit card (fairly inevitable given the prices), they’ll charge you an extra 3.5%. At these prices the hotel should absorb the credit card admin fee (even Travel Inn do that!) and this was the final straw that broke the camels back – hence this review.
Having chatted with fellow guests not one had a bill they agreed with. Six out of seven had bar entries they weren’t sure about and most have been charged more for their room than they were originally quoted (we’re still trying to sort that out with the hotel). They’ve also asked me to point out that several people couldn’t see the top table in the dining room due to the partition wall, the mini-bar in the room was noisy and, with the castle being next to the motorway, the garden isn’t nearly as tranquil as it appears in the pictures.
I would strongly urge people not to use Auchen Castle as, for what it is, it is highly over-priced. It is a shame that for many guests the memories of a fantastic wedding are marred by bitter feelings about the excessive charges.
Unique Quality: Fantastic setting, but stratospheric prices (there's not even tea/coffee making facilities in the room - you have to get those from reception and they charge you for the privilage!).
Directions: Follow signs off Junction 15 of the M74
More about Auchen Castle Hotel
I have just got married at Auchen Castle Hotel and would like to tell you all what an absolute joy it was! The service was excellent, the food was excellent and the staff were excellent I had absoluely nothing to complain about. Yes the rooms were rather expensive and the bar for that matter but what do you expect? Your staying in the most gorgeous of settings in a castle for that matter! Its not something you would do everyday so you should expect the prices to be bumped up a little bit. My wedding day was one I will not be forgetting in a hurry as it truely was the best day of my life and the staff at Auchen castle made that possible.
I had my wedding at Auchen Castle on 28th June 2006. It was perfect. I was slightly nervous about the hotel after reading the reviews on here. The rooms were clean, tidy and perfectly decorated.
The setting of the hotel is breathtaking. Its such a beautiful place.
The staff made us feel welcome the minute we arrived and were allways on hand if we needed anything, (even making my fussy child a milksake from fresh strawberrys as she would drink nothing else!!)
My wedding day was hassle free and again the staff were on hand to make my day special.
The food was wonderful. You didnt have to wait hours for each course and all was cooked to perfection. The waiting staff were just as fantastic.
I really urge any one enquiring about Auchen Castle to visit even if just for one night. I will definately be returning to Auchen Castle for my first wedding aniversary and I cant wait!!
Beautiful surroundings but beware the bar.
My Wife and I stayed overnight in Auchen Castle in one of the bridal suites.Overall the standard of service was excellent and the food was very good.Two points stick out though-firstly there are no tea or coffee making facilities in the rooms and the use of room service incurs a £2 charge as well as the cost of the drinks.Secondly the exhorbitant cost of drinks in the bar.A pint of beer and a gin and bitter lemon cost all of £9.90-the gin itself coming in at £5.00 and the mixer £1.90.The measures are 50ml but surely overpriced.To be fair the bar manager did state he had suggested to the owner on a number of occasions re halfing the measures and lowering the prices but with no success.This is a lovely hotel in fabulous surroundings but it is let down by the inflated bar prices.I would return but would make sure I had taken a loan out first!
Our Fantastic Wedding
We held our wedding on 26th June this year at Auchen Castle, and we had the most fantasic day.
The staff made us feel really special and nothing was too much trouble for them. Our special thanks went to Jackie, the wedding co-ordinator, and Jamie and Todd, managers. Todd kept everything calm , professional and was just such a fantastic help.
To be honest, we chose the venue for the backdrop for photographs, and the room we got married in, but the food was just wonderful, and most beautifully presented. And the waiting staff were just so friendly, curteous and professional, and smiled , genuinely, all the time.
We travelled down the night before with our bridal party and had a very informal dinner the night before, and all had breakfast in the morning of the wedding...... ok tradition was out the window. Unlucky ?? No way, we had the happiest wedding day you could ever have........ even if we did forget to collect our bottle of bubbly on the way upstairs !!!! :)
We would have no hesitation in recommending the hotel for a wedding.
Keith and Rona
Excellent place to get married
We booked our wedding at Auchen Castle Hotel in February 2004 when we were staying in nearby Moffat and fell in love with the place. We booked after seeing only one of the double rooms and were really astounded when we later got a tour of the rooms and saw the luxurious suites complete with four-poster beds.
This is truly a special, out-of-this world place. All our guests at the wedding on 29th July 2006 thought it was marvellous and the staff were wonderful -they really helped to make our day special. Our wedding co-ordinator (Todd McCourt), who we booked the wedding with and who co-ordinated the day, was brilliant. It really was great to have someone as calm and efficient as Todd there on the day.
Be sceptical about the hairdressers recommended by the Castle as I found that they were either unreliable, expensive or unwilling to do a trial. I wanted a trial before the big day so I travelled into Dumfries (probably about 40 minutes away in the car) to a fantastic salon called Jon Paul, where we were all given bucks fizz. It may seem like a hassle to leave the Castle on your wedding morning but it is worth it because these girls were fantastic and efficient (my hair was up in 30 minutes).
This isn't the cheapest weekend but you get what you pay for and what you pay for is an intimate, pampering stay in luxurious surroundings where you really are made to feel at home. The grounds are beautiful too and the loch is well worth a walk round. Watch out for all the cute bunnies that are out in the grounds - it is idyllic. I can't recommend the place enough. We'll be back next July to celebrate our 1st anniversary.
never again ...
We stayed at this Hotel in August.
When we arrived there was a skip right next to where we parked our car! The manageress told is that it apparently was supposed to have been moved - yesterday!
These so called “lodges” look like a 1960’s holiday camp. The entrance to them needed a good coat of paint, better still if they were knocked down! The carpet inside was filthy and the place had a musty smell.
The door at the top of the stairs is held open with the Fire Extinguisher; I don’t know how this works with Safety Regulations.
The staff quarters are below the “lodges”, the net curtains looked as if they needed a good wash, when the staff have finished their shift you can hear them talking late into the night.
After complaining we were offered accommodation in the Castle itself, but it was no better than the “lodges” – shabby furniture and worn out carpets.
The other couple with us had a baby with them and they had dinner in their room, their plates were still outside the room in the morning, when we were leaving – very hygienic – we all had to pass this to get out of the lodge.
At dinner in the evening – no salt and pepper in the condiments. The Rioja on the wine list – some other guest just had the last bottle.
The so called “Wonderful Scottish Breakfast” was cold; we didn’t bother to complain anymore we were just so disgusted with the whole setup. Never again.
The “Guest Book” seemed to have disappeared overnight so we were unable to make out comments.
We weren’t the only guest complaining, we spoke to other guest in the morning and they were like us absolutely disgusted, for what we paid for we certainly did not get first class service.
I am attaching photographs of our experience of The Auchen Castle
A Perfect Wedding
Wedding in August 2006 for 67 guests.
We booked our wedding at Auchen Castle in April 2005 after finding it on the Internet and sending for a brochure. We then had 2 visits up to the Castle to have a look around and make arrangements.
We loved the location and the Castle. All the rooms are different - admittedly, some are better than others, but all were nice.
I was rather concerned after reading the negative reviews on this site that our wedding would be a disaster, but nothing could be further from the truth! I was also concerned as I had spoken to four different wedding coordinators in the lead up to the wedding - this is something that I feel needs to be addressed as I would have rather just had one person to deal with the arrangements as it got a bit confusing at times!
We booked the Castle on an Exclusive hire for the Saturday and all our guests stayed over on the Friday night. We received a 3 course meal on the Friday night - the food was delicious and well presented. The bar was open for as long as guests wanted to drink - the early hours of the next morning!
We were married at 3 o'clock on Saturday afternoon. The day was absolutely perfect. We really wanted to get married outside, but the weather did not look very promising. However, the manager kept me updated throughout the day on the weather situation. She decided that at ten to three, that the weather would hold out for an hour and so we got our wish and we got an hour of lovely weather!
The wedding service was lovely - we had a piper who was brilliant and added to the atmosphere. The meal once again was delicious and served quickly.
Overall, the weekend was more than we could have ever hoped for. The staff were all fantastic, really friendly and helpful. They could not do enough for us and made us feel very special. Huge thanks to Jamie - wedding coordinator -who worked all of the weekend and was a complete star.
Thanks also to Back Garden who supplied beautiful flowers, Alistair Lynn for a wonderful photographer and Sandra Braid for supplying our lovely cake.
Staying on the Friday night prior to the wedding added to the whole experience as it gave guests the chance to get to know one another and for my groom and I the chance to relax. The male guests also went clay pigeon shooting at nearby Annan on the Saturday morning which gave them valuble male bonding time!
All our guests had a wonderful time and some even said it was the best wedding they had been to!
If I had any criticism, then I would agree that the drinks were rather expensive -however we had been warned about this by the hotel staff prior to the wedding and so we could prepare our guests for this.
I would definately recommend this hotel as a wedding venue and we will be going back for our anniversary. Please check out the place for yourself before relying on the negative remarks on this site and if you are reading these reviews after already booking this venue, please be reassured that everything should be perfect!!!
I was best man at my brother's wedding. The negative reviews I read on this site made me apprehensive to say the least. Having been, all I can assume is that people are quick to write bad reviews but not so quick to write about pleasant experiences. I found the place wonderful, the staff courteous and helpful, the food first rate and the whole experience a joy. The bar prices were far from expensive for a hotel (pint of stella/guinness £3) My two young children had a great time and the staff bent over backwards to accomodate us.
I only heard of one complaint from one of the bridal party about the size of their room and they were moved efficiently and without objection. Our suite was amazing, only outshone by the fantastic views. Please, if you are considering this venue and have the opportunity to look for yourself, then do so - rather than going with pre-conceived ideas as I did!
Fantastic nothigncould be better .Beautiful location
What a lovely place to hold a WEDDING . We had stopped at Auchen for a leisure break last year and the place still contiues to get better . The gardens this year look beautiful and the staff are very helpful . I had problems with my dress and was surprised that very quickly I had help on a small repair arranged it really saved the day for me. The resturant meal all the family thought was fantastic and in the setting of such a grand room I did feel like a princess. The Castle team made it all work like clock work on the day and the only thing I would say is try to have an earlier meal so if you have a buffee you don,t feel way to full or worse still have the entertainment delayed . All in all we are so pleased we picked the castle to get married in they have been fantastic. Our bridal room was so pretty and we could not resisit the contents of the mini fridge ..very nice but the next morning my god ..I was not at my best . The receptionist was even there to hand out resolve that mixture you take if you have had one to many..it did the trick enough to go to the airport for our honeymoon . What can I say first class all my friends who are thinking marriage say they will book here ..Looks like I get to go back for a wedding again.Next time I will bring my own resolve as they serve doubles in the bar ..although they ref to them as gentlemans measures maybe thats my problem!!!!!!
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Auchen Castle Hotel
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Auchen Castle Beattock
- Hotel Auchen Castle
Address: Junction 15 of the M74, Beattock, DG10 9SH, United Kingdom