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“Theatrical!”

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The Witchery by the Castle
Ranked #28 of 444 Edinburgh B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Farnham, Surrey
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Theatrical!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2009

We have stayed twice at The Witchery - August 07 and August 05. First of all in the Guardsroom and then in the Library. Loved both visits. First of all you are greeted by the very eccentric Roxy who is marvellous and so helpful. Both suites are stunning, fabulous lighting, thick gorgeous drapes, gas log fire, faux fur bed cover, really comfortable beds, TV that rises out of a chest at the end of the bed, Bose HiFi. Yes, I agree there is no view but what the hell!! It is like something from Moulin Rouge! The breakfast and complimentary champagne arrive each day as requested and fabulous Molton Brown shower gels and lotions. I cannot recommend The Witchery highly enough for an unforgettable experience.

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Farnham_SurreySarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,408 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (220)
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English first
duns
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2009

Went to the witchery with Hubby to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. we stayed in the old rectory which out numbered our expectations, We were able to check into the suite two hours early ( bonus ! ) and found the staff very obliging and helpful.
We didn't dine at the witchery as we had other plans, we had a FAB meal at Tiger lilly.
If you are looking for something special and want romance on a stick then the witchery is the place to stay, the champagne and breakfast were wonderful as were the beautiful fresh flowers in the room. would def go again.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dbmDuns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2009

Thursday 4th June was not a good day at the Witchery. But since our visit, I have read Trip Adviser Reviews - and wonder if there is ever a good day - judging by the disenchantment displayed by the previous customers. We found:-
- Poor choice menu
- Pompous Manager
- Anniversary Menu - to be avoided at all costs
- Bad Service
- Sub standard food

All dishes - even the set-menu is served without vegetables and potatoes.
Our main course of braised pork underbelly was even worse than it sounds.
A rectangle of grizzle with a few strings of cabbage - "Enjoy your meal".

With so many great restaurants in Edinburgh - this is one to be avoided.
I picked up a leaflet - Edinburgh's Best Restaurants - only to find it is published by the owner of all the restaurants in the brochure. Shouldn't there be a law against this?

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
Helpful?
3 Thank clio231
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falkirk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2009

Well, what can you say. The Witchery is brought by James Thomson, the man behind Prestonfield House - see my other review.

The Witchery is not a hotel per se, but rather a restaurant with rooms (or suites). So don't expect a spacious reception area, lounges, bars or leisure facilities - there aren't any!

Do expect fantastic food and wine in an atmospheric restaurant yards from Edinburgh's historic castle. And if you are staying (and I would recommend that you do), expect the most opulent and quirky bedrooms. We stayed in the amazing luxurious Library with its hidden doors, sumptuous bathroom (heated floor included).

Breakfast was brought to our room in a picnic basket and was delicious.

What more can I say - faultless!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank paulmckelvie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2009

We stayed in the Sempill suite for 3 nights for my husbands 30th birthday!

This is a totally different experience from staying in a standard/modern hotel. If you want everything modern and perfectly finished this isn't the place. Its rustic, lots of fabrics and velvets and full of unique and strange items - some very bizarre. There was a crack on the mirror in the bath, strange wallpaper that was snapped in half, 2 funky lights in the dining room - one with the bottom broke off, but it all adds to the character of the room, I wouldn't complain about it. It makes it what it is.

The Sempill suite is the opposite side of the road from the main witchery building - all suites are except 2. We walked down a close called Jollies close to a locked gate that your room key opens then up to our own front door. When entering the room we were amazed at the size of it. Huge long corridor. The website doesn't do the rooms justice.

To the left was the kitchen - big enough room with a full cooker, plenty tea/coffee, large fridge with freezer and fresh milk and cupboards with pans. An iron & iron board was also in there.

Out of the kitchen you are in a small lobby area. On the table is where the serve the champagne and 2 bottles of water on ice - every day! We kept our champagne to have with breakfast. There is also a jar with 2 fresh cookies.

Along the corridor you come to the dining area. Large benches, a desk (with guest note book) and the breakfast table which is nicely laid out. Large fireplace with electric fire (not sure if it worked).

Next is the very large bathroom. Underfloor heating - that could get very hot! Large sink with really nice toiletries, Molton brown hand wash & cream, large roll top bath big enough for to with Molton brown shampoo & shower gel. Illumated makeup/shaving mirror. Plenty towels for the 2 of us.

Then into the very large bedroom. Four poster bed, very comfy and cosy. Not much storage, a small cupboard with hangers. Lots of objects like a large chest, unusual scottish history books, panel on wall for controlling heating or air conditioning - it can get very hot, but easy to cool down. Hair dryer, GHD straighteners and a safe. Large unit with doors that open to a large plasma TV and DVD player. A selection of DVDs. Bose CD player/radio next to bed and phone. Another large fireplace with electric fire (again not sure if worked)

There are lots of windows with roll down blinds and large heavy velvet curtains. Original sash & case windows that all open. Lots of lights switches in the entire suite, but it is very dull. All lights are on dimmers. You can get the bathroom quite bright. But it all adds to the feel of the place, its not meant to be bright and airy.

The suite above can be noisy though as with the original floorboards you an hear every footstep. Not much views from any of the windows, all brick walls.

No internet access, but this isnt the kind of place you want to work or use the internet.

It is literally a 2 minute walk to the castle and perfect location on the Royal Mile.

Most of the staff were really nice and helpful, but we didnt have much dealings with them except for Roxy who was the guy that took us to our room & served breakfast, very camp but lovely guy, very very helpful.

Breakfast in room is free and continental. You can pay to eat in the restaurant for a hot breakfast but we found it was plenty. 2 crossiants & 2 chocolate au pain, choice of cereals, choice of fruit platters, a yogurt and cheese and meat pleat - delicous freashly squeezed orange juice - it is really nice, and goes well in the champagne to.

We ate in the restaurant which wasn't that great to be honest, slightly overpriced, £34 for a fillet of steak without any side orders! It was nice enough but there are loads of other nice places around, the Thai Orchid is really nice and just down a few steps you are in the Grassmarket with plenty choice - the Musells & steak restaurant is lovely!

Overall the price of £295 per night seems expensive, but we did think it was worth it. For a bottle champagne, 2 bottles of water, 2 cookies, a bar of their own chocolate (£4 to buy), fresh milk and breakfast every day, and for the size of the suite and the experience of it and where it is, its not too bad.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kelsrae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fife
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2009

One to be avoided. The most overrated establishment we have ever come across. Completely undeserving of the tag it has been given. Don't believe the hype. This place has been dining out on its reputation for years. However from our experience The Witchery no longer lives up to that reputation (if it ever did?).

We stayed in the Inner Sanctum. One of the very original Witchery suites, rated as one of the suites to set the "exceptional standards". What we discovered was accommodation well past its sell by date and crying out for a renovation.

The general standard and cleanliness of the room was lacking. The suite is described as being opulent and decadent. Dream on. Filled with antiques? Yes, the sort of old wardrobes and cupboards you can pick up in one of a hundred different antique shops and junk shops in the region. That was what the room reminded us of, a junk shop. Merely a random, ill-fitting clutter of objects and mediocre furniture.

The bathroom was no better. Tatty, worn and completely unremarkable.

Most of the staff were pleasant enough, but they lack training and good hotel experience. The management however are without doubt the most stuck-up and arrogant individuals ever to be found in the hotel industry. If the hotel was half as good as they seem to think it is, then they might be on to a winner.

The restaurant also unfortunately failed to impress. My wife ordered the lamb, I chose the fish. She was unable to finish her meal and I could not help her either, it was foul. We complained and they were happy to knock it off the bill. The fish was edible, spiced cod if I remember correctly. Overspiced and downright unremarkable would be a better description.

Heed my warning. There is better value for money available in Edinburgh. If it is romance you are looking for, The Witchery is the worst kind of cold shower.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FrequentFlyerFife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2009

We stayed in the Sempill suite for one night on 5th April. It was an amazing experience from beginning to end and we will definitely return to the accommodation, though I doubt very much we would eat in the restaurant again.
We drove up from Surrey and arrived at 2.15pm. Check in was from 3pm but Roxy came and took our luggage to our suite while we went and parked the car and we were able to get into our suite at 2.30pm.
Roxy showed us around. It is more a flat than a suite, with a kitchen equipped for making basic meals too.
There was a bucket with champagne on ice and bottles of chilled water and jar of biscuits in the suites entrance lobby. We were shown around the rest of the suite and then finally into the gorgeous bedroom where classical music was softly playing as we entered the room.
It oozes romance,history and is like a little fantasy world of your own for your stay. Checkout is a respectable midday and we made the most of every single minute of our stay and can't wait to return to try some of the other suites.
We had a continental breakfast brought to our suite at the time we requested and this was laid out for us. It consisted of a choice of cereals,choice of juices, tea or coffee,croissants,pain au chocolat,fresh fruit or fresh melon platter,plate each of cheeses and cold meats,yogurts - more than enough to start our day well!
The only negatives were that if someone is staying in the suite above you then you can hear every footstep. This would have been ok except the people above were up and around at 5.45 am and woke us up. We were very tired still after an early start the day before and long drive so were not too happy!
The other down side was the restaurant. We chose to eat in the original Witchery restaurant which in itself was very nice. The starters was fine and the dessert we had was a selection of al the available desserts and was realy lovely too. The wine list is enormous!! Unfortunately the main course was a disaster. We both chose the duck which came with cabbage.I asked the waitres if we needed to order a side dish of potatoes and she assured us our meal came with potates dauphinoise but we could order another vegetable as well if we wished. We declined as we thought with the potatoes it would be adequate. Our meal arrived with a tiny portion of cabbage but no potatoes. No one asked us if we were enjoying our meal and by the time we caught the waitresses eye and queried the lack of potatoes we had almost finished. She apologised for her mistake, but it spoilt the whole meal as we left the restaurant still very hungry. Also, the duck was not nice at all. We both prefer our duck to be well cooked and not still quacking!! To say it was rare was an understatement. It was very bloody and hard to eat as it was very chewy as a result and not nice at all. As already stated, no one asked us if everything was ok! As well as this, my husband requested a whisky and as they had a large selection we were told they would bring the list of available whiskies. The list never arrived despte repeated attempts to catch the eye of someone to request it again! We paid £115 for the 2 of us for an inadequate experience and left there feeling hungry and rather disappointed with the overall meal.
Having said that, I would not hesitate in booking a suite at The Witchery again but next time will give their own restaurants a miss and eat out at one of the other many fine restaurants nearby at a fraction of the price.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank maidmarianSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Witchery by the Castle

Property: The Witchery by the Castle
Address: The Royal Mile | Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town , Castle / Royal Mile / High St
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 444 B&Bs / Inns in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Witchery by the Castle 5*
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
The Witchery By The Castle Hotel Edinburgh
Witchery Edinburgh
Edinburgh Witchery
Witchery Hotel Edinburgh
The Witchery By The Castle Edinburgh, Scotland

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