I stayed in Emmaus House from January 16 until 16 April, 2013. I found it home away from home. Janet, Andrew and Jonathan are particularly warm and wonderful. I hope to be able to visit again soon. Highly recommended!
Last month was my fourth visit to Emmaus House, and it gets better with every visit as the rhythms of the household become more familiar and you connect with new guests and re-connect with returning ones. I have travelled throughout Europe and North America, but Andrew and Janet and the wider community of Emmaus House make every stay special. Highly recommended.
To be totally honest: when I first read about Emmaus House I was a little bit sceptical due the overly positive ratings and, since I'm not a religious person myself, the Christian background mentioned on their website. But all my doubts were baseless.
From the first moment on you had a feeling of candour, warmth and being welcome: After showing us our amazing room (parquet floor, high stucco ceilings, fireplace, bath tub, etc.), Janet gave us a really warm welcome serving us tea, coffee & cookies, taking time to introduce us to the house and the incredibly beautiful city of Edinburgh, pointing out places on the map and giving advice on how to get there by public transport.
We were invited to take part in the daily church services, but there was no obligation whatsoever to follow that invitation. Same for breakfast: You could join in at the core time from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., which is quite recommendable since there’s plenty of food to choose from and you’ll get to know all the other lovely people living or staying at Emmaus House. But even if you’re not an early bird and prefer sleeping late –which is definitely reasonable concerning the overwhelming comfort of their beds! -you would still get something tasty to eat and have a nice chat with another late riser.
Unfortunately, we never found the time to take part in the daily supper which is quite a pity since it smelled delicious every time and would have been another chance to spend more time with the great people there.
Throughout our 6 day stay nothing ever changed that first impression of ours: Like Janet the other members of Emmaus House, Andrew and Jonathan, were just as helpful, open-minded and endearing in contact, always taking the time to answer our questions and even adding some insider’s tip to it.
To put it in a nutshell: A lovely, inexpensive, comfortable, centrally located accommodation with the opportunity to meet great, open-hearted and relaxed people and experiencing sincere hospitality.
It’s pretty much like everybody else says on here: You feel like coming home! Never had that experience before and would always do it again! Thank you!
I felt right at home with the welcoming atmosphere, family style breakfast, and wonderful peace of the place. You feel you've made friends instantly, and after a day of shopping or sightseeing it's like coming home. Great location, easy walking distance to everything in old town, and to buses. There's even a small chapel if you want to attend morning and evening prayers.
I think I would go back to Edinburgh just to stay at the Emmaus House again:
Practically speaking, I was able to walk here from the train station carrying my luggage and find the place easily. My room was fine, etc. Breakfast was good. I was able to store my luggage during the day since I wasn't leaving Edinburgh until 6 pm or so.
But, the best aspect of Emmaus House is the wonderful hospitality. Andrew and Janet are hospitable and warm but not at all suffocating, and I felt very welcome. They kindly showed me some maps of Edinburgh, gave suggestions about what I might like to do, let me make tea in their kitchen, etc.
It is a true guest house, with emphasis on making the guest comfortable. Food is available, or not, and the hospitality is gentle and kind. Rarely do I stay in a bed that is not my own and actually sleep well, but that kind of rest seems to be the atmosphere of the place, waking and sleeping. For those like me who enjoy regular prayer and meditation, the twice daily service in the simple and beautiful chapel plus outdoor labyrinth was an absolute luxury which set me back into a pattern of daily quiet reflection that has endured since returning to my overly busy life.