Dornoch Castle Hotel

, Dornoch, United Kingdom
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Dornoch Castle Hotel

3 star

Rooms: 24

Castle Street - Dornoch - Scotland - IV25 3SD - United Kingdom Hotel Website | | 0044 (0) 1862 810216
215 Traveller

Reviews - Dornoch Castle Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Dornoch Castle Hotel

Great place to unwind

from Whiskyhunter
We stayed in one of the hotel's basic garden rooms and were impressed by its cleanliness and facilities for the price.

We were greeted on arrival by charming staff and a roaring fire which instantly helps one start to relax after a long day on the road.

The room, as mentioned was spot on and the food excellent. A good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast finished things off nicely. A shame we were not there longer but I dare say we will return in the future.

Excellent service!

from DavidandAnne
We stayed at the Dorhock castle on a tour of the highlands and went east for the night. There was a roaring fire in the lounge/bar/reception area(probably the smallest reception in any hotle i've ever stayed in!) We booked a standard room but had been upgraded to a superior room free of charge, the room was lovely, but the bathroom was a little tired for our high standards!
The service in the bar, restaurant, reception was outstanding, the waiter in the dining room was very knowladgeable about the wine etc. We asked one of the girls if they had scrabble for a late night game by the fire before we went into dinner, when we returned the cheese board and the port we had asked for desert were waiting for us in a table with the srabble game all set out and a reserved sign on the table, now perfect! and to top it all we had a complimentary carafe of port in our room.
i always wat to know what sort of people write these reviews, so we are mid 30's married couple, no kids, with very exacting hotel standards!
would definately stay again ond recommend to anyone going to the area, the glenmoringe distillery is also well worth a visit.

Lovely place, food and staff

from Tourist500
Lovely hotel, stayed in the basic room but was not disappointed, All staff were all extremely friendly and dinner was delicious, Would not hesitate to recommend to anyone and would also stay there again if I were travelling up North.

Lovely hotel in charming village

from Marianncl
This is a very small castle, so those who expect a medieval atmosphere with armours and dungeons will be disappointed. We were not disappointed at all. Our room was a lovely family room with a view of the garden, bathrobes and slippers, and complimentary sherry. The first thing that met us was the castle's own cat, and being cat-lovers, our hearts melted completely. We had dinner at the hotel's restaurant, conveniently situated by the garden. While waiting for the food, the children could run around in the garden, which was perfect for us parents! Food was great, and the waiter was very friendly. Even though the weather wasn't great, we walked to the wonderful beach in Dornoch. And yes, it was so irresistible that the children ran into the sea and had a great time, while I stood on the beach wishing I had put an extra sweater on.... A cat, good food, some sherry and a long beach - what more could you wish for?


from harkerBostonLincs
we have just returned from a five day break at the hotel and was that impressed we are planning on holding our wedding reception there next year. The only dissapointment was the food on the wednesday evening was not of the same standards as the previous evenings. The food was not presented well and some of the flavours did not go together at all, some rare concoctions were on offer. The room was very nice not such a good view but this was due to the time of year and the fact that the garden was being renovated. the service was excellent all the staff were friendly and helpful, the bar and restuarant were lovely. Dornoch itself is small quaint and quiet with the most beautifull cathedral and is an wxcellent base for touring. I wouldnt recommend John O groats if you dont like heights the road is a nightmare really steep and bendy but the trip to ullapool is beautifull as is the road to Skye where you can see th amazing Eileen Donnon castle but be aware that herds of goats may jump out of the hills at any time. an excellent value for money break

We were both really glad we stayed

from burnfarm
Passing through Dornoch we saw the sign for Dornoch Castle and booked ourselves in for the night. We were both really glad that we did as the surroundings were beautiful and the staff extremely friendly. Had a wonderful meal in the restaurant and returned to our very comfortable castle room. No ghost stories to take home, but very glad we found this gem and will be recommending a stay here to anyone who is visiting the area.
Maybe the previous comment a little 'picky' as our experience was exemplary.

Shame about the menu

from LaineyScotland
Read the review Jan 24th "Let down by the dinner menu" and agree 100%. We even had the same room as him in the castle itself (which is more expensive than the modern extension) and the view of the flat roof and wall was not very inspiring for our "Champagne Winter Warmer" romantic break. Champagne was nice though and was actually champagne not sparkling wine. The only thing that went bump in the night when we were there was the room upstairs. Don't know what the occupants were doing until all hours but it sounded like re-arranging the furniture interspersed with frequent pacing up and down.

Agree with what he said about the food too. The chef cooked steak perfectly but when there is only a very limited choice on the menu, to be asked to pay surcharges is just not on.

The menu can be a little strange too. I had prawn salad as a starter which came with onion marmalade! I love prawns and I love onion marmalade but trust me the two do not go together!

The malts in the bar are expensive too (between £3.80 and £4.50) a shot. Try the pub down the road though - very basic place but friendly barman and although a limited selection of malt - it's very cheap. The wine in the hotel is overpriced too.

The staff are very friendly and the real fire is nice - the only comfy seating is in front of it. The three stars is justified but no more.

There's not much too do in Dornoch in January but it's pretty and was an ideal base to tour from. We drove up to John o'Groats but only one shop with cafe was open. Wick and Thurso are uninspiring towns but the coastal route from Dornoch was lovely,

We wanted to stay in a castle which is what I presume the Americans who were staying there thought too but given that their standards are often higher than ours, I'm not sure it would be up to scratch. Overall we did enjoy our break as it was booked last minute and we just wanted to get away but probably wouldn't go again as there is nothing much to do.

Nice stay, let down by dinner menu.

from fryman
I booked my room by phone the day before my stay. The man who dealt with my call {neil?} was excellent in every way. We settled on a rate for their second best room, which was extremely attractive, given the standard I was expecting.
The next morning about 11.30 am, the hotel called to say that an error had been made the previous night and my room had already been booked. The lady was very pleasant, and offered me a lower grade room, with a £10 discount(due to the low rate I had haggled for previously) and a bottle of Champagne. Given the time of day, I accepted.

The hotel itself is very nice indeed. The small reception is within the bar area which is dominated by a huge open fire. Check-in was fast and friendly, with accompianment up to the room. Our room, No4 Struie, was spacious and in good order. The view was onto a black flat roof. A good sized bathroom, with large shower. We later found out that the drain didn't work very well, but a bit of stamping up and down on it got things moving a bit better. The bed was king size, firm and very comfortable.

We went down for a drink before dinner in the bar about 7.30pm. We we met by what we call locally as someone that was "absolutely blootered!" This guy was in the process of finishing a meal while sitting beside the fire, which wasn't very pretty to look at. Not quite what I was expecting for the start to my romantic evening. He was known to the staff, but if you strive for a certain standard, that sort of occurance just should not happen.

We were given menu's in the bar to look at. At this point my heart sank a little. One of the reasons I booked this place was that it had achieved an AA rosette for its cuisine, so I thought I would be in for a special meal. The sample menu's online were impressive using good local produce.
The menu was a photo copied white A4 sheet. Four starters, four mains then dessert/cheese.
Soup, pate, avacodo salad, or prawn & crab timbale. The last item had a £1.50 surcharge! What is that all about??
Mains- veg curry, roast chicken,gravy & cabbage, pan fried herring, or rump steak on a bed of mash & jus. Yes, you guessed right- £3 surcharge for the steak. Remember- rump, not sirloin, not fillet. Why do hoteliers do this?

Starters were ok- pate, with excellent oatcakes, and mixed leaves with avacado slivers hidden within with an unfortunate bitter balsamic dressing.
We both had the steak which was cooked perfectly and very tender. The jus, however, was more like gravy, being quite thick and with a very overpowering flavour, and there was LOTS of it. No vegetables were provided. How much to provide a few carrots etc, or would that be another surcharge too far?

I had a raspberry fool with coulis for pudding. Half the portion was enough, as it was just a bit boring. My wife had the cheese- yep, another £1.50 surcharge!, but very nice though.

Main wine list sourced through an own label wine mechant, so you dont really know what you are getting. A bottle of Australian Shiraz for £19.20, was well short in quality for the money asked. "Proprietors choice wines" with lables you would recognise @+£20.
Why would anyone order a £30 bottle of wine to go along with a roast chicken diner off this menu, a meal you would get at home any day of the week?

The service was excellent, fast and friendly. An attractive enough restaurant spoilt by 12 garish wall lights along one sige and white walls. Has nobody here heard of dimmer switches and pastel colours, or the word ambiance?? All that was highlighted were the empty tables in the restaurant.

Excellent full breakfast in the morning.

This place has so much going for it, and the owners are obviously trying so hard.
My stay was spoilt by the dinner menu offered. Nothing wrong with the food- but not what I am looking for when I have this type of stay. The chef certainly let his boss down on this occasion.

Would I recommend a stay here? Definately. Would I come back- no, I don't think so. Leisure time is scarce for me, so things have to be as I expect them to be.

Simply one of the best hotel rooms in Scotland!

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed in the "Old Courtroom" suite in Dornoch Castle in October 2005. The room was simply superb - it had a huge handcarved four poster bed, open fireplace, tall stone "castle" ceilings, rows of padded window "nook" seats, and jacuzzi bath with luxurious amenities. There was even a glass of Sherry waiting for each of us in the room when we arrived.

We could not get enough of the bar area downstairs. We sat in front of the open fireplace and enjoyed our afternoon drink. Dinner and breakfast in the restaurant was outstanding as well.

I don't know why this hotel does not get more attention, because it is clearly run by hosts who believe in great customer service.

The little town of Dornoch itself was quite a gem...the cathedral was lovely and worth the drive into town.

Simply excellent

from A TripAdvisor Member
One of the best hotels I've stayed in.
This remarkable hotel sits right in the heart of Dornoch, a beautiful little town with lots of character, situated not far from the beach and the sea.
The staff were friendly, the rooms nice and the food was excellent.
There are some very good weekend deals, so keep your eyes open.
It makes a great base for exploring Sutherland and Caithness and the far north of Scotland.
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