Castle Venlaw Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Bernat de So Llivia
Ruined my wedding
My fiance and I have spent the past 3 months planning our wedding with Castle Venlaw. Despite several warning signs from the manager there, we ignored our better judgement and forged ahead with our booking. We were to have approximately 15 wedding guests, with 8 of us staying in the castle.
After bowing to Venlaw's wishes on some major issues, we got the final email to hard-book our wedding --- because that's right, they don't have contracts --- only to discover that no one had ever mentioned that the entire wedding, including ALL of our guests' accomodations, had to be paid before even arriving.
They wanted to double charge for the accomodations, amounts were grossly wrong, the manager became rude and beligerent basically saying we'd taken too long to book so it was our fault if communication was misguided from him, and the final straw was when they hid this little gem of a detail at the bottom of the booking email.
When it was pointed out to the manager that we had NEVER heard of this policy before and we weren't happy with fully prepaying over a year and a half in advance of our wedding, he said we should have asked.
Well, in my books, a deposit is exactly that: a deposit. This doesn't imply that we should have to pay the entire cost up front as a "deposit".
The final blow came in the last email returned to us. No apology, no excuse our errors, nothing other than: you have 5 more days to forward your deposit to us. Otherwise, we will assume you do not wish to proceed and will release your date.
I read that as: give us your money right now, even though you have no assurance that our calculations are correct and we've proven ourselves untrustworthy. Cross your fingers and hope that it all works out.
My response: kiss my wedding and our hard-earned dollars goodbye. We've taken our wedding, our guests and our money elsewhere. Good riddance to bad rubbish! Unfortunately, I now have to start planning our entire wedding all over again, thanks to my wasted time and effort with Venlaw.
Good luck to anyone and everyone who gets stuck with paying their *deposit* and then is forced to deal with the manager.
As the General Manager of Castle Venlaw Hotel, I feel that it is important to formally respond to comments raised in the above trip advisor review of our property. It is with my strong belief that this person was not deliberately mislead in any way.
Here are some facts:
The original enquiry for this booking was made at the end of July. A provisional booking was made in mid October which was never confirmed by the couple
The only correspondence with this couple was by email. Despite several attempts to contact them by telephone in Canada no calls were returned.
Three different email addresses were used by the couple which made it more difficult to work out what exactly had been talked about and agreed.
Over 14 emails were passed between the hotel and the couple just during the enquiry process of the booking.
In addition to this, and from the above review it is also clear that the information the couple were sent was ignored. Our full wedding booking procedure is available on our 'Weddings Section' of the Venlaw website and it is also available in our very comprehensive hotel wedding pack. The couple made the initial enquiry from our website and were emailed a copy of the wedding pack in response to their initial enquiry.
Certain points in the review are incorrect:
We did not try to 'double charge' for this accommodation. As you can understand this policy would never work! I cannot understand why the wedding couple would think this.
At no stage were the wedding couple ever asked to prepay the full amount of their accommodation a full 1.5 years in advance. We requested an initial deposit of £50.00 per room as well as the full deposit for the ceremony which was £175.00. This procedure would apply to anyone who wants to book their wedding at the hotel.
'Kiss my wedding and our hard earned dollars goodbye' is more than over dramatic! This user review was published by someone who was making a wedding enquiry at the hotel. This trip advisor member never made a confirmed booking at the hotel, never stayed at the hotel and no deposits were ever taken. The wedding was not planned until May 2007 and it was only for approximately 12 people.
I would state that I have been more than patient with this enquiry, we have gone out of our way to be of assistance (including trying to contact them by telephone in Canada) and we have done our very best to inform them of all the booking requirements.
Booking requirements have been put in place to ensure that the whole wedding process is kept clear and so that both the hotel and wedding couple can effectively manage the booking. Wedding couples hopefully never have to organise a wedding more than once in a life time; We organise a couple every week. We know what works best and what doesn't work so well!
On this occasion, my feeling is that this couple were not happy with our booking requirements (clearly stated from the outset) and were disappointed when the hotel would not back down on them.
Not sure about this review?!
If you are reading this review and are concerned in any way about making a booking at the hotel please feel free to contact me or look at our in-depth website for further details.
October in Scotland
We arrived at Castle Venlaw for a 3 night stay incl. the breakfast and dinner package in the romantic suite.
Our room was clean but it took a bit of detective work to find out how to operate the bath, heated floor and the LED lights etc. The automatic sensor to turn the bathroom light on is annoying. It goes on when you don't want it to and vice versa. However these a just little things. The staff were very polite and helpful but thet did have a habit disappearing completly during our time at the bar. Hence difficult to get a drink sometimes. The food was excellant and very rich, with a great choice of wine, all served with style.
The breakfast was excellant and again served promptly.
Peebles town you can explore in an hour, Edinburgh is only 45mins away and is worth a visit if you never been before. We felt it was a bit expensive and we wouldn't go back simply due to the fact that there's not a lot to do in the Peebles area. However this should not reflect on the hotel too much. As a hotel it has good staff, clean luxury suite and excellent food & wine.
I was dissapointed with castle venlaw. The hotel seemed quite shabby and in need of updating. The staff were cold and uninviting. The food was very disappointing. I am a vegetarian and notified them of this prior to arrival, yet I was presented with a meat amuse bouche and not offered an alternative after I returned the dish and reminded them I was vegetarian (anyway, you'd think it was a bit obvious I was vege when I'd ordered the only vege starter and main off the menu!).
My partner who eats meat felt the food was not bad but not worth talking about either. Overall a very disappointing experience.
Wonderful wedding weekend
Our guests and ourselves stayed at the castle for the weekend of our wedding. The food ,staff ,entertainment,and attention to detail was perfect,and many of our guests have asked for details so as they can return again,and as for ourselves we have spent time at the hotel previously, and most certainly will being doing so again.Absolutely fantastic!
I didn't stay at the hotel. I was invited with a friend. When we arrived for dinner the welcoming was nice and friendly. We've been showed the table reserved for us at the bar. The table was just in the midle of the way in front of the entrance. When we order the drinks we asked for some champagne we had to order a bottle cause they don't serve 3 glasses. My son's order was forgotten. We didn't had the time to look at the menu and a lady was asking the order. A bit quick fo r my taste! When the table was ready when went to the restaurant. The wine was arlready opened on the table. Of course it as been presented before to us in the bar, but I really find this disappointing where is the show??? The bread served to us was I don't think homebread but the last one at the table didn't had the choice. The amuse bouche arrived ! a slice of potato with a chicken liver terrine and a lot of oil. Not too good.. The starter my choice was the sushi with the homemade smoked salmon tastless and in my opinion the sushi need some practise to become japenese.! The trout for my main course was good, but the crushed potatoes and olives not fantastic but just fine. For my sweet I order the pineapple tarte tatin wich in my opinion was just caramelised pineapple and pastry, Big chunky bit of fruit on a pastry. To enjoy our coffe we went back to the bar and we had some very dry tablets served to us.Shame! Regarding the service this young lady was doing her best. No sign of any manager or training to achieve better. The overall was very OK, this could but much more better. I'll come back at some point to see. May 2005
If the order is asked for too promptly - ask for more time - no problem!
If the food is not to your liking - tell us and we can do something about it.
I'm afriad we're not perfect but, if we do make a mistake, please give us the opportunity to put it right.
Pineapple Tart Tatin - what was it you expected? What you claimed you were served is exactly what Pineapple tart tatin is!
Come on guests - if you're not happy at the time please tell us and give us the opportunity to do somehting about it.
Wedding at Castle Venlaw
My husband and I had our wedding at Castle Venlaw on Oct 19, 2004. We had 9 people staying at the castle. We had a wonderful wedding and stay. Chris and the staff, catered to our every need. They even took care of the last minute issues and the guest did not even realize it. The wedding ceremony and food was wonderfull and the staff was a great help in planning it since we are from the USA. It was a great destination wedding site and vertually stress free planning. It was like be royalty in our own castle.
Enjoyed the ambience and service
We started our vacation driving from Glasgow to Peebles with a stop at Abbottsford. Quite an introduction to driving on the left through narrow winding roads. The hotel is located set upon a hill outside Peebles. A very quiet location, very nice after traveling for almost 18 hours. We decided to have dinner that night at the hotel. The food was excellent but the service was even better. My mother had a beautiful room (#3 ??)with a sitting area while my wife and I had a quaint room (#4 ??)with a small balcony. We enjoyed our stay and would return.
What a treat!
It is always such a treat to go to Castle Venlaw which is why we return often, even if only for lunch. The staff are always attentive and friendly yet discreet and the food is wonderful. The rooms are beautiful and the family room that my sister stayed in was ideal for her, her husband and 3 children as it had a seperate childrens area in the turret. Drinks in the library bar before dinner and coffee in front of the open fire afterwards..utterly romantic.
Fantastic Scottish Castle Hotel
A weekend at Castle Venlaw is a must do if you want to live like a King but don't want to pay a King's ransome!
The four poster room was very luxurious, the owner was fun and the fish cakes devine.
I will definitely drop in the next time I'm over in Scotland.
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Bernat de So Llivia
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