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“Could have been worse...”
Review of The Howard

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The Howard
Ranked #14 of 147 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Could have been worse...”
Reviewed 30 June 2009

I was very excited about visiting Edinburgh during our travels through Europe. I was looking forward to a wonderful stay with my husband before we went to visit his family, kind of a pre-stress interlude. Leading up to our stay the accommodations manager was very helpful, we booked a classic car for a drive through the countryside. When we got to The Howard check-in was easy and fast, our butler was very helpful. In the room we started noticing a few things that had been overlooked. There was used floss under the sink in the bathroom, the potpourri was old and full of dust and fuzz, and where the carpet met the bathroom it was unfinished with huge threads fraying out of it. Went to turn on the bathroom lights, nothing happened. When we asked downstairs about that before we went out they said it would be fixed, no one had done anything about it when we returned from dinner.

The next morning we were supposed to be picked up for our half hour drive to the car rental place. The driver was over 10 minutes late, and then he got lost. Our half hour drive took 2 hours. I was left wondering why they hired a driver who didn't know where he was going. Thank goodness my husband was being patient for my sake, we were almost ready to give up when the driver finally found the right road. No one said a thing at the hotel when we told them, just "oh, really?.... hmm..." Seriously, I was kind of amazed at the lack of response.

That night we had dinner in their restaurant. I got food poisoning. I was sicker than I've been in a very long time, not since Mexico have I had food poisoning at this level. Really bad. The next afternoon my husband wanted lunch, I asked him to eat somewhere other than our room because even the thought of food was too much. He went downstairs and ordered something, they said they would bring it to him in the lounge and they sent it up to me instead. I had to find a robe and talk to a butler I hadn't met while he assured me my husband had sent the food up to me. I couldn't understand why he would do that, but I left the food covered in a corner and went back to bed. Finally my husband figured out that he wasn't getting lunch in the lounge and came upstairs after he found out the food was with me. The staff was nice and our main butler was concerned, but other than that the response we got again was "oh, really? oh, hmmm"

I ended up getting a few hours at the castle before we had to leave Edinburgh. We asked for a taxi to be called while we were finishing checking the room, they forgot.

I will go back to the city but I will never go back to the Howard. After staying at the Churchill in London I finally had my relaxing, luxurious vacation room. The Howard could have been great, lots of things to recommend it, but I feel like under the idea of a five star hotel there is still a lot of problems to work out. The staff is nice and try to be attentive, but they are oddly forgetful and confused at times (at least, that's the impression we were left with). Very bummed out.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ErynB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2009

The Howard is quite simply a beautiful hotel.

Everything was perfect at this hotel: the staff are all lovely - very knowledgeable, kind and helpful; the room was beautiful with a fantastic view, bed and bathroom; the atmosphere is great; and the breakfast was delicious. This hotel is a wonderful find - luxurious and comfortable but not pretentious.

We got engaged whilst staying at The Howard and everything was absolutely perfect - I cannot recommend this hotel enough. If you want a special place to stay, this is it.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank travellerjohnnyh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
edinburgh
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2009

Booked this hotel as our wedding night hotel. Stayed in the trinity suite and it was fab - huge room, bed very comfortable, bath big enough for a rugby team and a nice little courtyard as well.

Service was excellent anbd breakfast was first class. Only changes I could make would be a bigger TV with more channels and more variety on the room service menu.

Overall, great hotel

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank stish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2009

booked the abercromby suite for my wife's birthday and it was superb. based in the new town, the hotel is near the heart of edinburgh but it's location is very discreet and quiet. the features of the hotel & rooms transport you back to another era and the service is excellent. well worth splashing out that little bit extra for a special occasion - you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank glasgowbhoy01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2009

Although they call it a hotel, The Howard is much more like a B&B. The style is antiquated, not modern, and feels a bit like you’re a guest in someone’s home. That said, it’s not at all depressing, as many UK B&Bs can be.

Single travelers will want to note that the considerable difference in price between a single room and a double is because single rooms (there are only two) are tiny, just slightly larger than the twin bed inside. I switched to a more comfortable double room (for a reasonable fee).

I must disagree with the prevailing opinion here that the location is great. It’s residential, and while not a long walk to the more central areas—10-15 minutes by foot—this probably isn’t the best choice if you’re someone who prefers to have the city center at your doorstep. And at night, the immediate area is quite dead.

The staff is young but well-trained, and service is one of the things at which The Howard truly excels. Breakfast represents the epitome of that, at The Howard has possibly the best hotel breakfast I’ve ever had, both outstanding and gourmet. It goes far beyond the clichéd buffet-service that even five-star hotels provide pass off as fine dining.

My conclusion is that while I quite liked The Howard and especially its staff, I would prefer to stay more centrally next time I am in Edinburgh.

  • Liked — Breakfast is outstanding!
  • Disliked — The location is a bit out of the way.
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mandarin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cincinnati, ohio
Level Contributor
50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2008

The Howard Hotel is fabulous! I have enjoyed visiting there a number of times. While in Edinburgh, I cannot imagine staying at another hotel. It is small and DISCREET. While staying, a private butler is available to see to all your needs. The rooms/suites are all named for various clans/families. The hotel is quite close to the city center, a short cab drive away. The rooms that I have enjoyed through the years have all been large and each special in its own way. The food is wonderful and the staff are always ready to be of help. This very quiet hotel has been visited by Pierce Brosnon and Prince Albert of Monaco. They wished anonymity and needless to say, it was provided.

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — It was all perfect in every way
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ukpassion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alberta
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2008

We had our wedding at The Howard in October 2008. We had been double booked by our first venue, and ended up at The Howard based on a recommendation from another hotel. We ended up being so pleased that we had been double booked as our experience at the Howard was absolutely phenomenal! The staff were so attentive (especially Fernando!), and nothing seemed like too much trouble for them.
The rooms were beautifully decorated and luxurious, not to mention absolutely spotless. The food at the hotel was some of the best we've had.
I can't say enough about how special the staff at the hotel made us feel, and they certainly contributed a great deal towards making our wedding the most special weekend not only for us, but for our guests who stayed at the hotel as well.
We definitely look forward to staying at The Howard for a few nights each year when we go back to Scotland.

  • Liked — The service and excellend food!
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 78review
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 
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Also Known As:
The Howard Hotel Edinburgh
Howard Hotel Edinburgh
Howard Edinburgh
The Howard Edinburgh, Scotland

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