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“Not a 4 Star!”

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Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Ranked #85 of 150 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
115 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Not a 4 Star!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2014

I stay in hotels very often within the UK and across the world and this is the first 4-star hotel that I have come across which fails to impress so spectacularly. At check in the front of house managed to give me wrong directions to my room. Not a big deal. I am old enough to find my own way. I made my way through the foyer which had a reception on the go. Unfortunately, the entire foyer stank of cigarette smoke.

The hotel staff should have considered other guests in the hotel (including kids). I tried ordering room service only for the phone to ring without being able to get through. When I eventually did, I was told that they were very busy and that they would call back in ten minutes. I am sure my order would have taken just seconds to scribble down. I then received my main course - the mushroom risotto. It was under cooked and resembled paste. When I called room service again to request a replacement. The first person I spoke with came across defensive and abrupt. He said that someone would call me back. Someone else did call me back and thankfully he was polite and sorted me out in no time. I then tried calling reception to book a taxi for the morning but the phone was engaged for at least an hour. I then tried the hotel's phone number only to get the reservation staff who weren't on the premises, therefore they could not place my call through. I asked them to pass my message on to reception and ask them to call me. They agreed and confirmed that the reception desk is very busy at the moment (still not sure how they could have known this?).

After waiting for the call for an hour, I went down to reception to book the taxi directly with the reception staff. Low and behold, there were no guests at all at reception and the staff were not 'busy'. The friendly receptionist advised that there is a technical problem with the phones and that IT are looking into it. So much for the information provided by the reservations staff.

As for the room. Well it was sparsely decorated and less impressive than most 3 star establishments.

Some might say that the above comments refer to minor issues. However, a 4 star hotel charging 4 star rates should deliver a 4 star product!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank F J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014 via mobile

I am currently staying here for a couple of nights. Just had to give a review on how happy we are for choosing this hotel. This is the first time I've stayed in Edinburgh and wasn't sure where to stay. Looked online and wanted somewhere that would accommodate us with our 4 children, had a view of the castle and a swimming pool. This place ticked all the boxes. The staff are so helpful. From my first phone call, to see which rooms would be best for us, to excellent service at breakfast, they have been so friendly and also have a smile.
We ended up with adjoining deluxe rooms with balconies and views of the castle. It is so lovely when lit up at night. They put an extra bed in each room. Plenty of towels, bathrobes, slippers and complimentary Pringles, jelly beans, biscuits, and bottles of water, all of which were replaced each day.
Breakfast was very good. Huge selection of cooked items, made to order. The restaurant is on the 5th floor with the same view of the castle as from the room.
The Grassmarket area has lots of small restaurants, cafes and bars. Short walk to the castle, Royal Mile and museums. Hotel has added bonus of car parking for £12 a day. We haven't touched the car since we've been here. Everywhere is close enough to walk.
Will definitely be back.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alwayson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2014

Stayed overnight last week and very much enjoyed my time at the Apex International. The room was very comfortable and the view to die for - couldn't stop looking out the window, really stunning.
The staff were all extremely welcoming and nothing was too much trouble for them. Peter deserves a special mention for being so caring and helpful, organising taxis for us and carrying bags in and out in the pouring rain!
We used the pool which we had to ourselves in the evening - lovely - and ate in the restaurant, delicious food, lovely friendly waiters and gorgeous view.
Hope to stay in this hotel again one day soon.

Room Tip: Castle view worth the extra but use the ear plugs provided (we discovered them in the morning..) Qui...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LHScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2014

I was very disappointed by the standard of the rooms in the Apex International Hotel in the grassmarket. I paid extra for myself and some clients to get better rooms but they are small, tired looking and in places very grubby. The armchair in my room looked very grubby, the table was badly marked and the wardrobes were badly scored inside. Looks like Ikea did the decorating and installed the wardrobes - not what you expect from a city centre hotel given the cost.

The staff however were excellent. Very polite courteous and always greeted me when I walled past them. The receptionists were very helpful and professional and appear extremely well trained and happy with where they work - 1st class!

Room Tip: Go for a room on the 4th or 5th floor
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pocketmuncha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2014

We stayed here Sunday 9th for two nights in room 3021. my wife and I and our 3 kids.
We had booked a superior family room with a check in time of 2.30pm but when we arrived, our room wasn't ready. While we waited as the receptionist checked if there were other family rooms available, a member of staff gave our kids some goodie bags with puzzles and crayons.
Another room wasn't available so we were given vouchers for a free drink at the bar and waited half an hour.
When we got into our room we were really happy that we had such a great view of the castle. The family room isn't as spacious as the one at the MacDonald Holyrood hotel but the view made up for that.
There were 2 large very comfortable beds. Everything was spotless. Toiletries were available but one 1 small bottle of each (would have been nice if there were more.depending on the amount of people booked into the room).
We ate at the restaurant across the road (Mamma's) which was £64 for 3 courses for 5 of us and soft drinks.
We paid £230 altogether which included breakfast, continental or made to order from the menu. We had the full Scottish breakfast both mornings (potato scone, egg, sausage, black pudding, bacon, beans, haggis, mushroom and tomato) and the kids had pancakes and maple syrup. Everything was great. We also had a pot of tea and a pot of coffee.
we took the car and parking overnight in the hotel was £12 per night. We drove to Edinburgh zoo, the cinema and a couple of museums but to be honest you would be better taking the bus as parking fees are so expensive in Edinburgh.
The pool at the hotel was nice and there was a wii for the kids but unfortunately this didn't work properly.
our son wasn't well on the second night so we stayed in and were able to choose from a selection of free dvds from reception.
The staff at the hotel are outstanding and my eight year old was very impressed. After the receptionist had tried for the third time to open the wii, he whispered to me that "everyone is so nice to us here".
All in all a great wee break and we would recommend.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Eljay1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2014

My wife and I booked the Apex International for 3 nights in January 2013 to celebrate our birthdays. My main reason for choosing this hotel was it's proximity to the castle and the bars and restaurants in the Grass market and also the pool and gym facilities. I booked via a cashback site and our standard rooms with breakfast cost £70 a night.

We arrived at the hotel after a 10 minute taxi drive from Edinburgh Waverley train station. Checkin was prompt and the porter who showed us to our room was most helpful and welcoming. The standard rooms don't face onto the market or have a castle view but this is balanced by them having less noise. The rooms are huge with a queen bed, 40" Samsung tv, tea and coffee facilities and inclusive toiletries. We did use the leisure facilities at the hotel. The gym is small with some decent running machines, a sauna and the pool which was lovely. As I said, we had inclusive breakfast and I can highly recommend this option. You walk into the 5th floor restaurant and the view of the castle is just wow! There is a buffet of cereals, cold meats and cheeses etc but your main breakfast is a la carte cooked to order. Eggs Benedict and a pot of fresh coffee with that view makes me want to be back there now! Step out of the hotel and you're in the Grass market with a selection of decent bars and restaurants. The castle can be accessed from the market via a few sets of ancient steps that certainly get the lungs working. Princess street is a 15 minute stroll away. We used the bar at the hotel and though the drinks are pricey it's pleasant with great cocktails. All of the staff at this hotel that we encountered were most helpful and professional including reception, bar, restaurant and room staff.

This is a very decent quality 4 star hotel and we will definately stay here again when visiting Edinburgh if the price is right!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Darren R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2014

Booked last min for a first time break in Edinburgh. The hotel is brilliantly situated with fab views of the Castle. We had a deluxe room which came with a small balcony. The room itself was spacious and had all the necessary amenities. Conveniently located over looking a range of traditional pubs and eateries. We ate in the brasserie which was nice. Wine was pricey, but it is a hotel so to be expected! The issues came at night it was so noisy! Our room 4017 seemed to be a interconnecting room, and apart from the noise coming from the bars across the road, at 5.30am the neighbours were up chatting on their balcony and it sounded like they were in our room! When I made a tea the following morning I came across the complimentary earplugs which suggests that this is a common complaint! I would stay here again, but request a quieter room is there is any!

Room Tip: Ask for a quieter room
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GillyJacko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Property: Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Address: 31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town , Grassmarket
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
#35 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
#42 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#46 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Apex Grassmarket Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 169
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town, this contemporary four star hotel has 169 stylish rooms, many with panoramic views of the castle and city skyline. Designed for comfort, the rooms include 42 inch wide screen LCD TV, large desk, free Wi-Fi and local calls, tea and coffee, luxury toiletries, iron and ironing board. Facilities include restaurant, bar, meeting and event space for up to 250 delegates, and pool, tropicarium and gym. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Apex International Edinburgh
Hotel Apex International
Apex Grassmarket Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

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