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“Not a 5* standard hotel”

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Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
Ranked #19 of 151 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 July 2008

This ideally located hotel would benefit a lot from a refurbishment. Our rooms were dark and dated with old and scratched furniture, had very thin walls and were never ready before 3-4 p.m. The bathrooms were not really that clean, with mold growing on the shower curtain. Breakfast was average. Some of the restaurant staff were unpleasant and rude. I would not recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled on business
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2  Thank Dennis6723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,654 - 2,660 of 2,976 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2008

I’ve got to say that I think the Sheraton is coming in for some unnecessary criticism here and is still a fine hotel. We stayed there for 3 days (17-20 July 2008) and couldn’t fault the attitude of the staff. They were courteous and went out of their way to help, nothing was too much trouble. Maybe the difference is I don’t expect grovelling servitude from hotel staff but merely professionals and in that regard they are excellent.

Check-in was speedy but then there was no queue. This was my third stay and I have never been greeted by ‘surly females’. The receptionist was quick and efficient, her manner pleasant. The concierge escorted my mother to our room (she’s wheelchair bound) whilst I checked in. My luggage followed and my car was valet parked for me – no fuss. I don’t grudge the parking fee either which is extremely reasonable for the centre of Edinburgh and worth it for the peace of mind that my car is safe.

The room was very spacious and on entering realised we’d been upgraded to a club room with a lovely view of Edinburgh Castle and Festival Square – something that my mother much appreciated as she is largely housebound and the view gave her something else to enjoy from the hotel. The beds were comfortable. The bathroom was ‘small’ yes, but it was big enough to do all one person at a time needs to! It was fine…though yes, the handle for flushing the toilet was coming away slightly and the sink a little marked, but it was spotlessly clean. The TV wasn’t plasma, but OK, that’s not such a problem for me, what was an issue was on our final night the sound kept inexplicably dipping and certain channels would frequently ‘scramble’ and jump around. That was annoying so maybe that set is in need of repair/replacement. If it had been that way from day 1 then I would've complained/requested a new set and I can see how that might've disappointed some people. Not being a great TV fan it wasn't so much of an issue for me but something (that if management were aware of, and they may well not have been) should be addressed.

We ate in the Terrace Restaurant the first evening and I found the food good and the price for 3-course carvery reasonable. The service was adequate and we had no complaints. On the second evening evening we ate in the Exchange Bar and the waitress was very understanding of my mother’s health/eating requirements and phoned the chef to allow her to order from essentially the children’s menu (she couldn’t eat an ‘adults’ portion). The other staff were attentive and ensured my wine glass didn’t remain empty. On our final evening we ordered from the in room dining menu and our meal was promptly delivered. There was a slight mistake as the additional portion of chips I’d ordered wasn’t there but a call to room service soon corrected the error and the bowl of chips arrived with great apologies.

Breakfast was a good buffet and never a problem getting seated. Staff were attentive but the only thing I don’t like is making my own toast! I kind of like that to appear from the kitchen! That’s just me though maybe. The price is steep but that goes with the territory. It’s around the same in all similarly rated hotels and I felt better value was gotten when ordering in room as you got more of everything. Sounds odd, you can take as much as you like from the buffet, but when in room you get more coffee, toasts, rolls etc than you can eat (or I can). So I’d go with in room breakfast but then you lose the pleasure of eating in the restaurant and seeing the hubbub etc.

Check out was fine on the Sunday, there were 2 people in front of me but I have realistic expectations and didn’t mind waiting a couple of minutes to get attended to. Imagine that? A queue to check-out on a Sunday morning?! Damn the Sheraton!

If I have to nit-pick though I’d list the following negatives. The first time I stayed there was in 1999. I recall that every time our car or taxi pulled up at the back entrance, someone was there to leap out and open a door or offer to park the vehicle. The next visit in 2006 and then 2008, this was not case and I felt they’ve lost a nice touch they don’t do anymore. Likewise I had to ask for a porter for help with my luggage when it was obvious I’d just arrived – the porter was extremely helpful, I can’t fault him in that regard – but I shouldn’t have had to ask for help I don’t feel.

The hotel is billed as disabled friendly, and 99% of it is. There’s a ramp up to the front door on the Festival Square facing entrance but no automatic door or doorman to aid in holding the door open whilst struggling to get my mother (in a wheelchair) through the door. That is in stark contrast to the Balmoral and I think they should get something done there. Like I say, even an automatic door would’ve done the job.

The room was not ‘tired’ as some have complained. It was ‘used’ but not ‘tired’ in my opinion. If the hotel were to keep everything in A1 condition it would never turn a profit and the small ‘damage’ that I could see to furniture was entirely due to past guests who obviously had no respect for tabletops or other furniture. The room was spotless and overall well maintained and presented.

I’d certainly return again. For me it’s six and half a dozen with the Balmoral. Both have pluses and (small) minuses. It’s a matter of taste. The Sheraton is deserving of its 5-star rating in my opinion and I fail to see how anyone could be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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Thank T_ManAberdeen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2008

The hotel is o.k. Dont pay extra for a Club Room. (With lavish decor as described on the website) The decor is basic hotel stuff and is well worn. The bathroom is so small and will only hold one pearson. The Club lounge and breakfast is so poor I never used it and ate out. This hotel is worth no more than £100 per night and not the £229.00 I was charged.
The spa is good but you can stay elswhere and use the spa.
I have stopped in Sheraton Hotels In london,Abu Dhabi,America etc and have found them o.k.and reasonably priced,but this is over the top.
However please go to Edinburgh, its lovely and the people very friendly.
Hope this is Usefull
Olley

Unfortunate

Stayed: July 2008
1  Thank OLE1o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SheratonHotel, General Manager at Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2008

Dear Guest

I was concerned to read of your experiences during your time here and the negative impression this left with you of our property. We do try and get it right 100% of the time, but clearly, on this occasion, we did not.

I can only apologise that we could not have done more for you during your time with us but I would welcome the opportunity to make amends should your travels ever bring you to back to Edinburgh. To this end please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any queries.

Kind regards.


JP Kavanagh
General Manager
The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2008

We block booked as part of a wedding party and from the moment we tried to check in to the moment we left there were problems. Incompetent front-of-house staff and a disgracefully rude bartender. Given that we had splashed out on eight rooms we expected a far higher standard of service. In the end we were left feeling that we had paid a whopping pricetag for an utterly inadequate 'five-star' (ha!) experience. In comparison to other five-star hotels we have stayed in, this one is laughable.

  • Stayed: July 2008
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3  Thank clio1792
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2008

We arrived early on the day of check-in and the front desk staff was very helpful in providing one of our two rooms at that time. Our travel agent had led us to believe that we had booked castle view rooms, alas our view was of the office building next store. We don't know if that is the fault of the travel agent or the hotel. We ate lunch at the Terraces restaurant and found it to be extremely overpriced. Our daughter did appreciate the balloon animal one of the staff members made her. When we asked the concierge about tour buses, he was less than helpful - simply pointing toward the front of the hotel and saying to catch one on the street. We were looking for slightly more guidance as it was our first day in Edinburgh. After finding a tour bus, it turned out the concierge had provided inaccurate information. Upon returning the hotel in the afternoon, we again sought advice. When he realized we were going to stand in front of him until he was truly helpful, he did provide good advice. However, we have never had to force a concierge to be helpful before, especially at a five star hotel. The rooms were adequate and the beds were extremely comfortable. We were experiencing severe jet lag and ended up ordering room service two nights in a room. On the second night, we ordered fish and chips for our daughter (as we had the night before) and the peas that came with her meal were smashed beyond recognition and had coated her fish and her chips - not exactly appetizing. We mentioned it to someone at the front desk the next day, but other that agreeing it shouldn't have happened and saying it would be mentioned to the chef, nothing was done - disappointing, but that type of almost service seemed to be how things were done at this hotel. Our 6 year old really wanted to go swimming, but the hours children are allowed in the pool are basically designed to keep them out - the hours are in the middle of the day when, as toursists, visitors will be out exploring.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank southerntraveler70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2008

The whole weekend in Edinburgh was great. One of the reasons for this was the hotel. We arrived very early on Saturday and as no room was available our luggage was looked after while we used the spa to freshen up. everything was taken care of while we visited the Botanic gardens and did some site seeing.
I had requested a cake to be delivered to our room for my wife's birthday. It was amazing...compliments to the chef!
Think the spa gives the hotel that extra edge - worth visiting if you are staying at the hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank kagemusha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SheratonHotel, General Manager at Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2008

Dear Guest

It is very much appreciated that you took the time to share your experience on Trip Advisor so that others can be assured of the level of service they will receive when they visit our hotel. I'm glad our concierge helped with your luggage and that our pastry chef delivered you one of his fantastic cakes!

Hopefully we can welcome you back to the hotel in the not too distant future.

Kind regards.


JP Kavanagh
General Manager
The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2008

We have stayed at this hotel before and my DH likes it as he likes to use the Spa there. It is pretty central too. Check in was slightly longer than I would have liked as we were in a rush but a very nice young lady came out to help us and we were placed in a room on the club floor (we have SPG status - maybe that helped and I had mentioned it was a special ocassion on our comments section of the booking form). We received an early check in - thanks!. The room was much better than the twin room I had been in on a previous occasion and it was spacious and we were not too bothered with the view, which was looking over the Exchange office area and shops. he room was clean, well equipped but I would expect this in a Sheraton and paying around £150 pn. The bed and pillows were very comfortable.

The staff were friendly and tried to help at reception and when we were overcharged for the breakfast and pointed this out we were quickly credited. I believe there is an assumption that everyone takes the full breakfast and you need to tell them if you did not. Breakfast was fine but nothing exciting, just your average buffet. I did like the mini scones though.

We booked via the hotel website a cancellable reservation and then got a better prepaid rate a couple of days or so before we left so cancelled the other one.

We would go back and would recommend it to others. Edinburgh can be pretty expensive but I thought we had a good stay at a not too unreasonable price in a central location.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank lassie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa

Address: 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SR, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > West End
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
#16 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
#23 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#29 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range: £118 - £399 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 269
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sheraton Grand has been Edinburgh's gathering place for many years and it is the perfect place to discover this unique destination. From the moment you set foot inside the granite-floored lobby, you'll feel welcome. One Square, our restaurant and bar, serves a delicious range of classic British dishes all day long, while our beautiful bedrooms blend contemporary comfort and Scottish materials with cutting-edge technology. Of course, some things at the Sheraton have always been unbeatable, from One Spa's iconic rooftop Hydropool, to the breath-taking views of Edinburgh Castle. We can't wait to share them with you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Grand Hotel Edinburgh
Sheraton Grand Hotel And Spa
Sheraton Edinburgh
Edinburgh Grand Hotel Sheraton
Edinburgh Sheraton Spa
Sheraton Spa Edinburgh
Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh, Scotland

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