Having worked in the service industry for the past seven years, I find it easy to get jaded and pick holes when I visit a hotel. Well, this place is a true labour of love, and I can't compliment it highly enough.
Jude (the owner) is charming, and really takes pride in making every effort to please her guests. We spoke on the phone the day of our visit, and as they no longer have a bar/restaurant, she recommended a local restaurant to us (Gigis), and offered to book us in. This is the kind of meticulous service you'd expect from a top-end hotel, not a reasonably-priced guest house. The meal was delicious and provided a lovely start to our break.
From the moment we arrived at the Retreat, we felt at ease and looked after. Jude offered to carry our bags, and made us feel at home, filling us in on the activities nearby. Even before I mentioned that we had come away to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday, we were whisked upstairs to a Four Poster Bedded Room as an upgrade. Nothing seemed too much trouble, and when you don't get much quality time together, things like that mean a lot.
The house is gorgeous, built in the 17th century and still retaining a distinctly gothic, magical charm. Located only a minute or two from the bus stop, it makes for an easy, cost-effective commute to Edinburgh City Centre and the Zoo, costing only £1.40 each way. The bedroom itself (Room 7) was luxurious and dramatic, with the main feature its four poster bed. Very comfortable nights' sleep. Our bathroom was huge with great toiletries and snug, soft bath towels.
When we stumbled sleepily down the majestic staircase in the morning, our breakfast table was lovingly adorned with streamers and a solitary white balloon, etched with a hand-written "Happy Birthday". An incredibly thoughtful thing to do, so simple, but it meant so much.
We have fond memories of the Retreat Castle, and I'd like to thank Jude and her family for a fantastic night's stay, and the extra brownie points at home! I hope to be back some day, but if you're planning a trip to Edinburgh, look no further.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Retreat Castle guesthouse is family run and close to Edinburgh City centre. All our rooms are ensuite and have been tastefully decorated offering hospitality trays, hairdryer, ironing facilities, toiletries and free wifi. Unique guesthouse offering genuine friendly hospitality only 6 miles from Edinburgh with direct bus and train routes. Minutes from the City by-pass and near to Rossyln Chapel. Ideal location if you are going to a function or wedding in nearby Dalhousie, Meville, Oxenfoord, Borthwick or Crighton Castles. We pride ourselves on our freshly cooked to order Scottish breakfasts- all from local produce.A warm wecome awaits you at the Retreat Castle Rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Retreat Castle Rooms Bonnyrigg, Scotland