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“Tired hotel with some serious issues.”
Review of The Scotsman Hotel

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The Scotsman Hotel
Ranked #84 of 149 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle upon Tyne
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Tired hotel with some serious issues.”
Reviewed 17 April 2014

This hotel markets itself as five star but it is far from this. Aside from a swimming pool and spa it is at best a three star and needs to take a long look at itself in its poor service and so so rooms.

We stayed here for one night with two other couples only returning yesterday after a great couple of days in the beautiful city of Edinburgh which was only slightly spoilt by the Scotsman Hotel.

On arrival at noon we were shown to our rooms passing some left out trays from room service outside other guests' rooms. These were still present many hours later making me wonder if anyone ever checks the corridors. Not a pleasant sight and small problem in the scheme of things but a sign of the things to come.

Out of our three double rooms, two rooms were only given one set of towels and one bathrobe. When I rang down for another set for our room I was told that a set would be sent up but after waiting half an hour I had to resort to using my wife's used, wet towel after a shower. When I mentioned this to the reception they said that they got the message and were going to send a set up later. How much later? Why could this not have been done when I contacted reception. I would have thought it would be obvious in the early evening that when someone rings for a towel set they are wanting it pretty soon! Once again this was irritating and a poor oversight and slightly unforgivable in view that two of the party's three double rooms were affected. Smacked of disinterest in the guest to me.

When we had booked the hotel we arranged for six massage sessions (one for each of us) and were told that we would get these at a 35% discount. After our massages in the spa we mentioned this discount and were told that it would be honoured. On check out this discount was missed off and it took for us to mention it once again. It was apparent that there is no communication between anyone in the hotel and no notes are made of conversations with guests potentially leading to misunderstandings and embarrassing situations. It is not nice to have to keep asking for a discount which we were told we were entitled to. At £80 full price, the massages would have been expensive! The massage quality appeared to be variable in quality from good to weak and poor so no quality control here.

The spa itself and the health club were extensive with a good choice of exercise machines and classes but this is where another issue arose. All six of us in the party wanted to do an advertised early morning yoga class at 7am (we are keen yogis) but were told that there was a chance that this might not be on and to phone up the next morning before 7am to check. A good quality hotel would have made it a point to check for us and made contact one way or the other to tell us the night before if this was going ahead rather than having us make the effort in the early morning to find out. We had been told that this was a busy class too and that there might not have been space. In reality the class did not materialise. Poor service yet again.

Breakfast was really very good and substantial and we could have a choice of buffet with full Scottish sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, cereal etc. we could also order off the menu and have eggs benedict, haggis, kippers etc. Very pleasant and tasty indeed. The big disappointment here though was the maitre d' who was extremely grizzly and unwelcoming. We arrived as a group in the morning and after waiting for a while to be shown to a table for six decided that as no one seemed to be in attendance we would push three free tables set for two together to make a larger group table. When the maitre d' finally arrived he looked haughty and unhappy and we mentioned to him that we had pushed the tables together and hoped that it was alright (as he looked miserable and irritated!). The reply of 'it will have to be now' followed by mutterings of 'it makes it very difficult in clearing the tables...'. Made us respond by saying we would push the tables back when we had finished which we duly did on completion. Why could the hotel not have a more pleasant front room member of staff with a 'can-do' attitude? We did notice that other guests were having to wait quite a while to be seated and the maitre d' never smiled once during breakfast and seemed aggressive towards his own staff shouting for the chef etc.

The rooms in the hotel seemed tired and could do with a makeover. Our room had no ventilation and we set our thermostat to the coolest setting as the weather was warm but this made no difference as the room was still stuffy and hot all night. When we tried to open the window in the night we realised that being an old building there were two sets and we were unable to open the outer window as it would have involved us literally climbing on the table and sitting on a wall to open the outer one! Poor ventilation meant a poor quality of sleep.

The bathroom seemed a bit more modern with nice White Company toiletries. The hot water took some time to come through but this is due to the age of the hotel and the plumbing I would wonder.

The hotel is very conveniently located in the central part of tourist Edinburgh and close to Waverley Station. I would possibly have given only a one star rating for the lack of service, inefficiency of the hotel and lack of attention to detail, but I give it a two star rating as the breakfast deserves an extra star.

Room Tip: Choose another hotel.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JHSimpson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheScotsmanEdinburgh, Customer Service and Administration at The Scotsman Hotel, responded to this review, 18 April 2014
Thank you very much for your letter regarding your recent stay at the Scotsman. I appreciate you taking the time to make your comments, and would like to take this opportunity firstly to apologise as well as responding to the points you have made.
I would like to apologise about the service that you received during your stay with us; we take a great pride in training our staff to the highest levels and it concerns me to hear that you were not treated to the 5 star services we normally offer.
I greatly appreciate you taking the time to detail your experience with us and would ask that to better serve in the future that you contact me directly where I can respond to the points you have made and apologise directly to you.

If this would be suitable you can contact me by calling the hotel directly where they will be happy to direct your call to me.

Once again thank you and I look forward to speaking to you.

Kindest regards

Laura cooper
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Graested, Denmark
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2014

Simply perfect. When we arrived we were welcomed by Nick and guided to our room - ask for room 702 - with the best view in Edinburgh. The service was personal and excellent. Free internet, complementary water, friendly staff, clean room, excellent restaurant. Five well deserved stars!

Room Tip: Room 702 is the best.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheScotsmanEdinburgh, Customer Services and administration at The Scotsman Hotel, responded to this review, 18 April 2014
Thank you for taking the time to record your positive comments regarding your recent visit to the Scotsman Hotel. As you will be aware, normally avenues such as Trip Advisor are utilised for the negative aspects; making your kind words appreciated that little bit more.
We are very proud of the fact that each and every one of our staff knows the importance of making our guests feel special and I am pleased to see that you experienced the team’s professionalism and friendliness especially our concierge.

I hope we will be given the chance to welcome you back in the future.

Kindest regards

Laura cooper
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tonbridge, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2014

Lovely old building and very pleasant staff, but didn't really have a five star feel. Spa is a little basic, rather a gloomy pool with a small Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Gym looked very good if you really want that on holiday. The restaurant (North Bridge Brasserie) was disappointing and expensive for dinner but served a great breakfast.

Room Tip: Quirky layout so difficult to specify a room unless you know the place well. Rear ovelooks the stati...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 500Mark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheScotsmanEdinburgh, Customer Service and Administration at The Scotsman Hotel, responded to this review, 18 April 2014
Thank you for taking the time to record your comments regarding your recent stay with us. I am sorry to hear that this did not meet with your expectations and I hope that we will be given the chance to change your opinion in the future.

If you do decide to stay with us again please contact the hotel directly where they will be happy to take care of your booking and stay with us.

Kindest regards

Laura cooper
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2014

My brother and his wife recently stayed at the Scotsman for their anniversary.
I arranged for a bottle of Prosecco to be put in the room on their arrival. There was a slight mix up with this but was very quickly and efficiently rectified.
On knowing it was their anniversary, the member of staff I had contacted upgraded their room.
Although I have not stayed there yet, I am very impressed by the level of service and attentiveness shown by the staff.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JGIUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheScotsmanEdinburgh, Customer Service and Administration at The Scotsman Hotel, responded to this review, 18 April 2014
Thank you for taking the time to record your positive comments regarding your family’s stay with us. I am sorry there seems to have been a small mix up with the prosseco but I am glad to hear this was quickly and efficiently rectified.
I am glad we could make their anniversary special and I hope that if you get the chance to stay with us you contact the hotel directly where we can take care of your booking for you directly.

Kindest regards

Laura cooper
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2014 via mobile

Lovely big room, super comfy bed, great bathroom. Service impeccable in the hotel and spa - well worth having a swim and sauna in the basement! This hotel has a great location and the concierge was helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. Breakfast was good but the maitre d' needs some serious customer service training - grumpy and dismissive at lunch and breakfast. Bad idea to offer only a set menu for lunch in the brasserie as not everyone wants that and so we had to go out for a snack. The maitre d' was clearly annoyed and unable to recommend anywhere other than a Pizzahut! Lots of lovely pubs on the Royal Mile to choose from.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank GlasgowBilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheScotsmanEdinburgh, Customer Service and Administration at The Scotsman Hotel, responded to this review, 18 April 2014
Thank you for taking the time to record your positive comments regarding your recent visit to the Scotsman Hotel. As you will be aware, normally avenues such as Trip Advisor are utilised for the negative aspects; making your kind words appreciated that little bit more.

I was sorry to read that the service you received did not meet with you personal expectations, as you can see from the majority of reviews on websites such as trip advisor we are proudly known for our 5 star standard of service and I would like to apologise if you feel you did not receive this. Your feedback will be passed onto our restaurant manager.
I hope we can welcome you back in the future and thank you once again for taking the time.

Kindest regards

Laura cooper
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014 via mobile

As a special Easter treat, I booked to take my daughter for Easter Afternoon tea at the Scotsman Hotel, billed as £25 for one adult and one child, including a regular afternoon tea for an adult and a child's afternoon tea to include jelly baby jelly, chocolate crispy cake, lollipop, child-friendly sandwiches etc. This is the first time I've taken my daughter for afternoon tea, and I have fond memories of my grandmother taking me as a child, so I thought the child's version tea was a great idea. Also, I visited the hotel when it was still quite new and had a cowshed spa and had a lovely day, so I was really looking forward to this outing. And I must admit, I'd rather bigged up the whole thing to my daughter, shown her the menu, and got her excited about the child-friendly offerings. Unfortunately, on arrival, we were told that no child's afternoon tea was available (despite having booked) as they'd been unexpectedly busy (and we didn't go particularly late in the day or anything). One waiter told me that it wasn't available because they had been so busy the previous week, which I really didn't understand - how long does it take to make chocolate crispy cakes??! What was more galling was that the Easter afternoon tea was still being advertised on boards outside the hotel. Instead they gave us what appeared to be two regular teas, though I can't really believe that it would have been impossible to rustle up some jam sandwiches and chocolate crispy cakes - sounds more like the kitchen regretted the offering and just couldn't be bothered! What's worse, is that they then tried to bill for two adult teas (£40), although they did agree to change this when I asked them to, given that it was hardly our fault that the £25 tea we'd booked wasn't available. I just feel that I shouldn't have had to ask. It's always unpleasant to have to complain. What should have been a lovely first memory to look back on was rather spoiled.

At risk of going on, a few other points:
- it would have been nice to have been offered a menu on arrival, for teas/coffees and so forth;
- no one offered to take our coats or seated us properly (service was not at all what I'd expect from a 5* establishment);
- I ordered Earl Grey tea but received regular tea - it didn't seem worth complaining about at the time, as I didn't want to make a fuss and totally spoil my daughter's experience, but it's another indication of the not fab service;
- crockery was dishwasher-faded and a bit tired - again not exactly 5*;
- tables didn't have cloths and were stained with ring marks - decor in general looked like it needed a bit of a spruce-up - scuffed paintwork/woodwork in toilet and in restaurant;
- it was generally hard to attract staff attention despite you not being at all busy, and no-one said goodbye to us when we left, though we were within sight of several staff at the bar area (funnily enough, my daughter has eaten out enough to know that this is customary, so stopped at the door, turned into the room, said 'goodbye', then left, still without an acknowledgement).

Scotsman Hotel, in order to not leave people disappointed by their experience in view of your 5* rating, I prescribe: a bit of a refurb of decor, crockery, tables etc; some staff training, and an encouragement not to make offers you can't fulfil. More worryingly for me, because you are one of the few places in Edinburgh (if not the only) to offer gluten-free afternoon tea (for which much credit is due), I am due to visit again in the next few months, and at the moment I'm not really looking forward to it! I also hope that, when my Mum and I come for that, you will actually have the gluten-free option, as my Mum won't be able to make do the way my daughter did.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank SorenLorenson19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheScotsmanEdinburgh, Customer Service and Administration at The Scotsman Hotel, responded to this review, 18 April 2014
Thank you very much for your letter regarding your recent stay at the Scotsman. I appreciate you taking the time to make your comments, and would like to take this opportunity to apologise.
As I am unaware of exactly when you visited us I cannot comment with clarity with regards to your comments, I would however appreciate if you contact me directly at the hotel where I can speak to you directly regarding the points you have made. I hope this will be suitable.
Kindest regards

Laura Cooper
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bo'ness, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
166 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Checked in on Friday and were greeted by friendly staff who were keen to help with luggage. We were given an upgrade as we checked in so were very pleased with this. The staff are very friendly and helpful without being too intrusive. The wedding was on Saturday and I cannot in any way fault the way the staff carried out their duties - the military precision in which we were served our meals was fantastic. Breakfast on both days gave a fine selection of food both hot and cold and on Sunday when it was really busy if there was not a table there were very quick to speak to us and ask us to wait for a few minutes whilst they cleared and made up new tables. The staff made us feel like family and made sure we were all okay.
The only negative was that although the beds were lovely it was so warm and even when the temperature was turned down it did not seem to make a difference.
All in all a fantastic weekend and a beautiful venue for our friends venue.

Room Tip: Turret room has a wonderful bath.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cate1405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheScotsmanEdinburgh, Customer Service and Administration at The Scotsman Hotel, responded to this review, 18 April 2014
Thank you for taking the time to record your positive comments regarding your recent visit to the Scotsman Hotel. As you will be aware, normally avenues such as Trip Advisor are utilised for the negative aspects; making your kind words appreciated that little bit more.
We are very proud of the fact that each and every one of our staff knows the importance of making our guests feel special and I am pleased to see that you experienced the team’s professionalism and friendliness.
I will personally make sure each of the staff involved are aware of your kind words as I know that this will be very much appreciated.

I hope we can welcome you back in the future.
Kindest regards

Laura cooper
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Scotsman Hotel

Property: The Scotsman Hotel
Address: 20 North Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1YT, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
#45 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#45 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
#48 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Scotsman Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a desirable location on North Bridge, The 4 star Scotsman Hotel is nestled between the hustle and bustle of the New Town and the historical Old Town, the hotel is perfectly located to explore Edinburgh. Just off the famous Royal Mile, Waverley Train Station and Princess Street are within 2 minutes’ walk from the hotel. Tourist attractions, entertainment venues, restaurants, bars and shopping are all conveniently near-by, making The Scotsman Hotel the ideal base to explore the our great city. Many of the original features and layout remain intact from the former national newspaper of Scotland printing house, bringing historical character to this luxury boutique hotel. The Marble staircase, now the centre of the hotel, retains its imposing stained glass window and glows magnificently by candle light each evening. Within the heart of the historic and iconic building is our comfortable bar and lounge area which serves a wide variety of drinks to suit all tastes, a luxurious afternoon tea and a great range of bar snacks. A high quality Scottish breakfast with superb service is served daily in our dedicated breakfast restaurant. With discounted parking at local secure car park, complimentary Wi-Fi and all the little extras you would expect from a 4 star boutique hotel, we look forward to welcoming you soon to The Scotsman Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Scotsman Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland
Scotsman Hotel Edinburgh

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