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“An Oasis of Calm in the Scottish Capital”
Review of Prestonfield

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Prestonfield
Ranked #4 of 151 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 September 2010

In August 2010 my eight-year old daughter and I spent a three-week holiday in Scotland. We first stayed for three days in Edinburgh (at Prestonfield), then went on to Nairn for a week (at Boath House, q.v.), continued on to the Isle of Skye for another for days (at Kinloch Lodge, q.v.) and spent our final week near Fort William (at Inverlochy Castle, q.v.).
Prestonfield was, on the whole, a delightful experience. The small hotel (less than 20 rooms) is situated in a nice park where several very decorative peacocks roam. It is about three miles away from the city centre and close to Holyrood Park. Unfortunately, from the hotel grounds there is no direct access to the park; either you have to take a five-minute drive or a shortcut over a golf course (the latter alternative involves some rough going, like climbing over a wall - my daughter loved it but I am not sure other people will). Nonetheless, you should visit the park - if only for one reason: a walk up Arthur's Seat (a hill which once was the site of an old fort) from which you have fantastic views of Edinburgh and its surroundings. The off-center location means, on the one hand, that it is a very quiet place but, on the other, that you have to take a car or a taxi to get to the major attractions of Edinburgh (walking is not really an alternative).
At the hotel we were greeted by the very friendly and very competent reception staff. Donald, Calum and others whose names I do not remember anymore always were most helpful and made you feel very welcome; they took care of some minor problem with our room quickly and effectively. I cannot say exactly the same about the restaurant staff; some were also very friendly but others had a hard time to put a smile on their faces. Our room (Churchill Suite) was very nice - comfortable, extravagantly decorated and well equipped (air condition, two flatscreen TVs, minibar) - although, for a suite, it was not very large. The opulent decor (which is characteristic for this hotel) looked quite harmonic in our room but I can imagine that in smaller rooms it might appear a little oppressive (what with all the black and dark red and the small windows).
The restaurant, Rhubarb, left a somewhat mixed impression: On one evening we had seafood which was quite good but not as good as you would have expected (the halibut was a bit hard and had quite a few bones); on the other evening we had venison which was really excellent. I am inclined to think that the second dinner is more representative of the quality of the food than the first. Breakfast was alright - nothing spectacular but good quality and enough variety to choose from (however, our assessment of breakfast is necessarily incomplete because we always have just continental breakfast, never full English or Scottish breakfast).
On the second of our three evenings in Edinburgh we went to the Witchery near the Castle (a famous restaurant associated with the hotel). It is one of those places you feel you just have to go to but which almost always will disappoint you: It is a tourist trap that is definitely not worthwhile going to. It is dark, the seating is cramped, the menu is very limited and the quality of the food is mediocre; since the "thoughput" of diners is very high, no special wishes can be fulfilled; the waiters do the best they can but it is no fun working under these circumstances and it shows; furthermore, since the restaurant is basically in the cellar, the location near the Castle is not really an advantage because you do not have a view of it. Obviously, the five-star rating applies only to the hotel and its restaurant, not to the Witchery (which, on its own, deserves maybe two stars).
All in all, and despite some minor problems, Prestonfield is a very good hotel and if you are alright with its off-centre location (and do not need new-fangled stuff like spas, gyms or swimming pools), you will love it. I, at least, would certainly go back.

  • Stayed: August 2010
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2  Thank Soellner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 August 2010

we stayed in the hotel in May 2010 and was so bowled over by the hotel, service and food that we decided to take family to celebrate a birthday, they came from London and have travelled world wide and have never so taken with a hotel like the Prestonfield Hotel. They were taken with the 100% service from all the staff and the 120 % service by Donald who greeted us at front door kilted and feeding the grey squirrel. As the saying goes you pay for what you get, at the Prestonfield you pay and get lots more that youd expect. Since May we have continually recommended the Prestfield to our friends and family. Everything was 100 out of 100. We will be back

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank bellsontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2010

We had a great evening meal and breakfast. It is clear that the owner is a very good restauranteer.

The hotel room was shockingly poor and below standard!!

Great big antique bed, looked stunning, but underneath a sheet of chipboard across the base to sit the mattress on. The mattress was lumpy and uncomfortable - all leading to a horrible nights sleep.

No air conditioning in the room, thankfully it was November so we could open the window to cool room, but this then lets noise in.

Bathroom, filfthy. The wall to the side of the bath was covered in a build up of splash marks, and grime from numerous previous guests. The bathroom was clearly not cleaned properly on an ongoing basis.

The soft drinks in the minibar were mostly out of date ranging from one month to six months beyond best before date.

The hotel has this image of grandeur and outstanding service.

They need to learn that the more appreciated definition to the preivous sentence would be demonstrated through fixtures and fittings that are fit for purpose and not just purchased because of the visual wow factor, and require hotch-potch chipboard additions to make them useable.

Service is not just dressing up your staff and getting them to carry my bags, and calling me sir. It is should be about having a comprehensive and regular approach to cleaning and hygiene. Its the things we don't see, but happen anyway, that is really outstanding service.

This hotel is pretending to be something it isn't. I spend many nights in hotels each year. The stay at Prestonfield has been the mosting disapponting to date. I explained to the receptionist some of my key frustrations, and although assured the manager would call, they never did.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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18  Thank Cheshire_Dinky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2010

We had had an evening meal in Rhubarb and had said that we would spend a night in the hotel for our 60th birthday /Silver Wedding Anniversary celebrations
We booked this hotel for the15th July 2010 as we were going to see the Rod Stewart concert at the Castle
First of all our room was not ready at 2.30 but we were offered complimentary drinks
we ordered room service food which was late and inedible although the charge was waived
In the morning we were looking forward to a coffee in our room ( Winston Churchill Suite but there was no coffee and the milk was curdled. Breakfast was not what I would have expected from a 5 Star Hotel
We could not fault the staff and the surroundings but could not reccomend the hotel after our experience

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank AlicebroughtyFerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2010

I was overwhelmed by this hotel. They just got every single detail absolutely right! The location seems a bit odd to me for such a prestine hotel, but considering the acreage that's requred, I can understand.

Opulent is probably the word that repeatedly came to mind as I walked through the hotel and to our room (room 4 - standard room, not suite). The attention to detail was prevalent everywhere you looked - champagne welcome, fruit, luxurious bedding, thoughtful decor, unique furnishings, and great design. My only issue in the room would be the lighting - thank goodness it was summer and light late, otherwise I would have had an issue applying my make-up as it was so dark.

On top of the wonderful decor, the service could not be faulted. Every person working there seemed to actually want to be there! Our every need was attended to and perfectly.

We ate dinner in the Rhubarb restaurant which was also memorable (with the exception of a £20 lobster risotto starter which was totally undercooked... did not mention as we were in a group and didn't want to spoil an otherwise perfect meal by complaining about the rice!) The rooms for the restaurant were also very opulent and you just felt special being in there. We spent nearly TWO HOURS just eating breakfast there... didn't want to leave :)

The rest of the hotel was full of hidden treasures of rooms and alcoves. I wish I had more time to spend, but we were only there for the weekend.

I would recommend this place without hesitation for any special occassion. Its not cheap, but if you have it and can spend it... do it here - you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank soshbfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2010

Stayed for one night at the hotel with 5 pals on a flying visit to Edinburgh. Everything about this place was excellent. Two of my pals have already returned and we have recommended to many people. Whilst the sumptuous "over the top" rooms may not be to everyones taste they are very comfortable and peaceful. The staff were quite simply excellent, very pleasant and extremely attentive with nothing too much trouble.

The finest part of the experience however was definitely the food. Absolutely delicious, we are all experienced diners and we are still talking about the lunch we had there now. Can't wait to go back again.

Off the beaten track but this is a plus not a minus. Short cab rides to the city.

Absolutely fabulous, very well done to all concerned.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Rocket14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2010

We dined in Rhubarb before we checked in, to elongate our stay at this hotel. The food and service in the restaurant was grand. We stayed in the Owners Suite which occupies the whole top floor on the right of the original building, and is entered by it's own discreet stone staircase. I believe this is Sean Connery's preferred room. It was EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE, LAVISH,OPULENT, LUSH, DECADENT and all the other adjectives that have been used by other reviewers. This hotel is indeed an intimate oasis of calm and serenity. There was a wedding on while we were there, and a huge function in the stables with many coaches in the car park - but I would not have known anyone was there. The young staff were friendly, but my husband and I don't like to be falsely feted and fawned over. I am pleased to say this didn't happen at Prestonfield. We like to be left alone but able to call on the staff if required, and I think this delicate balance was mainly achieved by this hotel. Although a turndown service is available, we wanted to be able to leave our room and have no-one enter it in our absence. If you hang the tassel supplied on the outside of the door, no-one will bother you during your stay, and newspapers etc. are pushed silently under the door. We have stayed a few times in the Witchery suites, and eaten at the restaurant there: Prestonfield has a similar ambiance and decor as the suites, but I preferred the Rhubarb restaurant. I would recommend you take the person, that you love most in life, to this hotel for a romantic retreat from the rat-race.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KDF4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Prestonfield

Address: Priestfield Road, Edinburgh EH16 5UT, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
#4 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
#32 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#37 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range: £180 - £370 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Prestonfield 5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Prestonfield is Edinburgh's most indulgent retreat and Scotland's latest 5-star hotel. Rated one of the "Best 101 Hotels in the World" by Tatler/Abercrombie & Kent and AA Hotel of the Year 2005, this exceptional hotel is near Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Prestonfield has been lavishly restored by new owner James Thomson of Edinburgh's famous Witchery by the Castle. Now guests find every modern convenience hidden behind the velvet-upholstered walls of Edinburgh's most talked-about bedrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Prestonfield Hotel Edinburgh
Prestonfield Edinburgh, Scotland

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