The Malmaison sits in a pleasant corner of the old dockland area of Leith, nowadays partly regenerated and gentrified though still, it must be said, an area in transition. The neighbourhood is home to several of Edinburgh's better restaurants, notably The Kitchin and Martin Wishart. The hotel is in an old, restored building of some character, at least on the outside. It's easy enough to reach from central Edinburgh by taxi (about£8) or bus - best bet is probably the 22, which passes within about 200 yards.
Reception was friendly, helpful and efficient. Other staff were notably friendly. The room I had was reasonably large, with a good bathroom and excellent shower. It was clean. The products in the bathroom were Malmaison's own but seemed of adequate quality. The bed was reasonably comfortable. The decoration was in good condition with only one or two scratches or marks. The colour scheme featured shades of beige and chocolate. There was a television, radio/CD and minibar. The television picture was poor on some channels and radio reception wasn't great, either.
The only sustenance immediately visible in the room was a 500ml bottle of house wine priced at £14.75. There appeared to be no kettle, cups, or anything with which to make tea or coffee, nor were there any complimentary biscuits; the water was priced at £1.75. All of that made the room seem less welcoming than it might have been.
The public areas of the hotel were in good condition, with few marks or scuffs.
Breakfast was served in the Brasserie and there was a buffet featuring various cereals, yoghurts, fruit, croissants and pastries. A cooked breakfast was also available to order. The breakfast service was a little disorganised; I had almost finished a continental breakfast before I was asked (roughly 15 minutes after sitting down) if I wanted anything cooked.
I didn't eat in the hotel,but I did have a look at the Brasserie menu in the bedroom. Whoever is responsible for marketing has decided that there is something 'daring' about the Malmaison and that theme was echoed in various small ways, though I was struggling to identify anything very daring in my beige box, except possibly the price of that bottle of wine. This theme has been carried through into the menu and the chef tells us that he is 'daring to go local', or words to that effect, elaborating on this by saying that produce from Midlothian is being used. These days, there is nothing remotely 'daring' about using local produce; it's practically compulsory in any restaurant that claims even modest competence. So the claim is idiotic. Secondly, try as I might, I could find nothing on the menu that claimed to be from Midlothian. There was beef from Aberdeenshire and smokies from Arbroath, which is fair enough: but why make vague claims about local sourcing without carrying them through into the menu? Whoever's responsible for this vacuous nonsense needs to get out more. The chef needs to tell the marketing department where to go and then focus on producing a menu that really does celebrate the good food to be found in the Lothians.
Overall, then, a reasonably pleasant stay, enhanced by friendly staff but slightly marred by a rather penny-pinching approach and clumsy, witless, marketing and presentation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It's the mother of all Malmaison's. The former house of ill-repute now has a reputation that's second to none, and it's also just a short taxi ride away from Waverley Station. Malmaison Edinburgh bides at Leith (as they say up here), just a stone's throw from the Royal Yacht Britannia, but offering far more funky luxury. Yes, when you want exciting hotels in Edinburgh, this is the King, not the castle. Our Edinburgh hotel puts you close to all of Edinburgh's cobbled splendours, incredible shopping and famous galleries. Then it's back to Mal for Scots dining with a twist, a fine selection of single malts and mojitos in the bar and then back to the slinkiest and most spectacular rooms in the Scots capital. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Edinburgh Malmaison Hotel
- Malmaison Edinburgh
- Malmaison Hotel Edinburgh Scotland