We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Afternoon tea delight............”
Review of The Howard

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
The Howard
Ranked #14 of 149 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Afternoon tea delight............”
Reviewed 2 July 2012

Booked for an afternoon tea using one of the voucher offers, for a friend's birthday. I requested an additional bottle of prosecco along with the afternoon tea.
Wasn't disappointed, it was lovely, although a bit expensive for the prosecco (£28).
The afternoon tea had a brilliant selection of sandwiches; plus a small piece of quiche; scones with clotted cream and jam; madeira cake; plus small cakes - rhubarb cheesecake; chocolate brownie; lemon tart; turkish delight and a pomegranate mouse. All beautiful and fresh.
Would definitely recommend visiting for a quiet peaceful afternoon tea in very sumptuous old worldy surroundings.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Footiewidow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

794 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    586
    123
    41
    30
    14
See reviews for
108
457
37
57
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (130)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2012

My Husband and I had a marvelous afternoon tea at the Howard last Friday. When I booked I was most impressed to find that they remembered that we had visited previously. The butler service is a real treat and nothing is too much trouble. When I enquired if they still had the lemon curd for the clotted cream scones the butler insisted that he fetch me some although we already had a selection of 3 home made jams which would have been perfectly adequate.
Excellent selection of leaf teas to choose from which included 'first flush' varieties which really complemented the experience.
Imaginative sandwich fillings and light and fluffy scones to die for. After doing the circuit of 'afternoon teas' on offer at similar 5 star establishments The Howard is in a class of its own.
We will be back!

Room Tip: We had a lovely table at the window facing the front of the Hotel
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JWLong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2012

We stayed at the Howard for 1 night and couldn't have been more pleased with the staff - they were helpful and very pleasant. We had a very comfortable room and the butler service was fantastic. breakfast was delicious. This hotel is a very different from the normal chain hotels and does appear worn in places but this seems to be in keeping with historic nature of the hotel

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank happydaysscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EdinburghCollection, General Manager at The Howard, responded to this review, 15 June 2012
What kind words from this guest- I am gratified that they enjoyed their stay at The Howard enough to share their experience with the wider travelling community. Look forward to welcoming them again soon...
Leon Kiteley
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2012

We stayed two nights in the Trinity suite. The welcome from the staff was very good however we were disappointed with the room. The room is situated in the basement and so was rather dark although it is of a good size. The decor though of the room though is very tired. The carpet looks dirty around the edges, the net curtains are grey, paint is peeling off the walls in the bathroom and the room generally needs updating.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Casperuki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EdinburghCollection, General Manager at The Howard, responded to this review, 5 June 2012
Not as positive a review as I would have liked and my apolgies to this guest if they were dissatisfied with the room. As all our rooms are different and somewhat unique, there is always a question of personal taste attached and I would urge all our guests to contact us immediately if they do not like a particular room and we will endeavour to substitute it for one closer to their tastes. Please have a look at our website for an idea of the styles of room we have to offer.
Leon Kiteley
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
edinburgh
Level 6 Contributor
514 reviews
187 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 490 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2012

We stayed for one night in the Abercromby suite. Large comfortable 4 poster bed and plenty of space to lounge around in. Service was efficient and very personable. We do like early morning coffee before surfacing for breakfast and I was initially a little disappointed that there was no coffee/tea making facilities in room. We phoned down for morning coffee for two and it arrived very promptly. coffee was lovely and strong - just as we like it. Only on check out did we realise that the room service coffee was complimentary. so much nicer than having to get out of bed to make it yourself!

Although there were 2 of us in the room, housekeeping had only left one dressing gown and one bottle of water. Bit of an oversight but as we were only staying one night and left early in the morning we didn't bother to phone down to ask for this to be sorted.

Breakfast was delicious. Served by mature scottish butlers who couldn't have been friendly or more polite. Makes a change from having waiting staff who aren't from the area, don't speak the language and can't help with any travel arrangements.

This will definitely not be the hotel for everyone. If you like ultra modern or minimalist decor than do look elsewhere. This is a charming, comfortable hotel with polite and friendly service. Yes, it is a wee bit worn around the edges but that doesn't detract from its charm.

Location is excellent - although if you are a light sleeper you may want to choose a room away from the cobbled front street, which can be a little noisy.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dee090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EdinburghCollection, General Manager at The Howard, responded to this review, 5 June 2012
A great review and my thanks to this guest for going into such detail as to why they had such a great time. I am sorry it was not made clearer at check in that tea and coffee is complimentary but that is one of the little things that sets The Howard apart from other establishments and I do hope that all future guests take note!
Leon Kiteley
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2012 via mobile

I booked The Howard several months ago as a birthday treat for my wife - a weekend of luxury in Edinburgh was promised with our very own butler to take care of the unpacking and even the ironing!
We arrived late afternoon and the staff were really welcoming. I was a little worried as I had left the car on yellow lines. No problem! I handed over my keys and was really pleased to learn that my car would be moved to the hotel car park; our luggage would be taken to our room; it would be unpacked; allowing my wife and me to relax in the lounge with a refreshing cup of tea. Lovely!
A little while later my car keys were returned with a report that all been completed and a promise to guide us to our room when we were ready. Excellent! We were duly shown upstairs to our room. Our butler showed us where everything had been put and where all the facilities were. Lovely spacious room, enormous bathroom with a huge free-standing bath, two hand basins, separate shower, toilet & bidet and loads of shelf space. All we had to do was relax, enjoy and change for dinner.
My shirts had been put away still creased from travelling. I phoned reception and my butler soon arrived to take them away and iron them. Superb job - shame he hadn't anticipated my need.
I had pre-booked a dinner package and, as it was my wife's birthday, flowers for the room on arrival. Sadly these were not in our room. I checked with reception who looked rather flustered, checked my booking and confirmed they should have been there and promised to look into it.
While we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks we were shown the menu. A little limited in choice but this is quite a small hotel (only 18 rooms). The food however was superb.
As suggested by the hotel guide, I put my shoes out to be cleaned "army style". The following morning - no shoes! Rang reception and they were returned very quickly but I was disappointed that I had to ask for them.
Our missing flowers turned up later that day. No explanation, no apology for late delivery but at least they arrived.
Dinner on day two was eagerly anticipated. Shame it was exactly the same limited menu as the night before. My wife and I both chose something different and the food was again superb.
Sunday morning was check-out time. My bill was wrong - no account had been taken of the pre-booked package that had been so carefully confirmed to me by email. It was soon put right but again, it should not have been wrong in the first place.
A real shame. I had very high expectations but the actual customer care fell short of that expectation. In all other respects The Howard is a superb hotel, with a really good restaurant. I doubt I will return, i know of other hotels who really do excel.

Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Stuart S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malibu, California
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2012

This is one of those mysteries.....not the Scottish ghost or haunted type, but how are you a 5 star type?

Starting with the positive, the rooms were quite spacious by European standards.

The negative, I understand that this hotel has recently changed hands, and where it may have been lovely to stay at once, it is not now.  Add to that the fact that it is near to nothing and it had better change hands again soon to survive.

Specifically, the staff is not at all trained for any level of service to say nothing of 5 star service.  At minimum, I would suggest that someone might want to have the staff read what the Howard advertises so they have some idea what their guests have been charged for.  

They advertise a butler service to make your stay a dream, with packing and unpacking service, drawing your tub, pressing your suits etc.  In reality, if you ask them for something as inconsequential as directions, they look at you quizzically and inquire "you don't know where that is?", oblivious to the fact that you are visiting, therefore explaining your presence in their hotel. 

If you ask about having laundry done, with their outrageous charges attached, you still receive a cool response.   In my case, "We don't collect that now.  You would have to call tomorrow at 9am.  That is when we collect it."

They advertise they have a butler who will give you a primer on whisky.  I inquired, was told that was possible that evening, arrived, no one available.

The gentleman who I was told was the manager, I saw several times and he never addressed me at all or so much as glanced in my direction.  His cool attitude is pervasive with the staff.  As you enter and leave the building you walk right by the office and never get so much as a "good morning".  If you go in to speak with them, you are always treated as if you are an annoyance, you have interrupted them and they are "quite busy".

They advertise wifi, but they continuously reboot the system, which requires you to continuously reenter a password.  They choose an alpha numeric password that has no rhyme or reason, is not memorable, so you must retrieve it each time.  On the final morning when I called down for a password, I was simply told, "I don't know" and apparently, finding out was not in the job description.

If you ask for any of the services advertised the response is "oh, do you need that".  Their bedding, linens and products are limited and subpar.  

When I asked for something as simple as my bill, that required 3 requests before I received  it.  The one sent up the night before I departed was correct.  The one presented at departure was not.

In short, I was not anticipating aloof or rude in Scotland, but I found it.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BRNR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Edinburgh hotels
Princes Street and Gardens
The Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel
#12 of 149 in Edinburgh
3,805 reviews
New Town
The Principal Edinburgh
The Principal Edinburgh
#26 of 149 in Edinburgh
1,120 reviews
West End
The Chester Residence
The Chester Residence
#1 of 149 in Edinburgh
1,833 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Old Town
Old Town Chambers
Old Town Chambers
#4 of 149 in Edinburgh
957 reviews
Old Town
Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh
West End
Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
#15 of 149 in Edinburgh
2,828 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Howard? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Howard

Property: The Howard
Address: 34 Great King Street, Edinburgh EH3 6QH, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > New Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#11 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
#14 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
#19 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Howard 5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Howard is a small and discreet hotel which occupies three Georgian houses. A classically elegant hotel both outside and in, it has just 18 luxury rooms and suites. Located by Waverley train station, situated just off Princes Street. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, LateRooms, getaroom.com, HotelQuickly, Evoline ltd and Cancelon so you can book your The Howard reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Howard Hotel Edinburgh
Howard Hotel Edinburgh
Howard Edinburgh
The Howard Edinburgh, Scotland

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing