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“Good central hotel for exploring Edinburgh”

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Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Ranked #89 of 151 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Staff went out of their way to be friendly and make you feel that they cared. Room was excellent. Nice bathroom, with shower over bath. Good view of the castle. Plenty of bars and restaurants just across the road and just a short walk to the castle, gardens and shops.

Room Tip: Although we are not used to traffic and other noise, it did not bother us at all. If you are bother...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank PenT16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,033 - 2,039 of 3,881 reviews

Reviewed 6 May 2014

Very good location, quiet rooms, comfortable and clean beds, very nice shower, excellent breakfast. The town square where the hotel is, is a very lively town center.I was very happy to spend time in this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank hakanarikan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Stayed here back in Feb with my fiancee on a 4 day break. The location of the hotel is great and is a great base for exploring the best attractions in the city. We had upgraded our room and got a castle view which was super! After a long day exploring we would get back to the room for a rest before dinner & the castle all lit up was lovely to look out at every evening. We didnt eat in the hotel so I cant comment on that but we did use the pool which was a nice bonus to have.

The staff were friendly & helpful for the most part. We did however have a small issue with a smell coming from the sink plughole in the bathroom. We reported it twice but nothing was done except they plugged in the air freshener that we had plugged out as the smell of this was overpowering. The rooms were clean however and the beds comfy.

We would stay here again as its in a great location and we got a great deal.

Room Tip: Get a castle view if you can!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank holiday_queenWexford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

I stayed at the Apex International for four nights, and it was satisfactory overall. However, even though the Apex market themselves as a four-star hotel on their web site, I found the hotel wanting for a number of reasons, all of which add up to the impression that this is really a 3-star hotel disguised as a 4-star.

I chose the Apex International for the location, the view from the restaurant, and the swimming pool. The location was absolutely perfect – a nice ten-minute walk from my daily destination. In line with warnings on online forums about street noise, I booked a deluxe room on the top floor. This paid off, and I was not at all bothered by the Grassmarket noise.

That aside, this is arguably one of the loudest hotels I have stayed in. The elevator doors clanged and rattled. Even in my deluxe room, the walls were so thin that I had no problem telling which television channel my next-door neighbour was watching. Most bewildering, however, was the lack of a doorsill between the door to my room and the floor. Consequently, there was a gap between door and floor that let in every sound from the hallway. The noise from the Heights Restaurant down the hall was particularly alarming. Fortunately, the restaurant closed around 11 PM (I would normally arrive back at the hotel around this time), and my top-floor neighbours behaved well overall, so I was hardly bothered by noise at night.

The cupboards offered plenty of shelf space, and the room was equipped with an ironing board and iron. However, the upholstery of the board was torn, and the iron was leaky; and the cupboard shelves were crudely painted (red) and not level. Again, I had the sensation that the Apex International tries hard to be a four-star, but only manages to be so on the surface. Also, I was surprised that the offer of bathrobe and slippers evidently did not apply to my room, even though this was ostensibly a part of the deluxe offer according to the hotel web site (I decided not to press the issue though).

The spa section was pleasant enough. Nice and clean showers, and vaguely kitschy lounge music at a discreet volume. However, the sauna was nowhere near hot enough, and there was no thermostat to amend this. The pool was a bit too small for swimming, and rather filthy. (To be fair, I only had the time to go for a swim in the evening, at which point the pool would naturally be messy after a day’s use.) My impression was that the spa is not quite up and running, and that the pool is chiefly designed for families with children rather than for actual exercise.

The hotel breakfast was good, and the view of the castle from the Heights Restaurant was just as nice as I had hoped. Most mornings I was up ahead of the breakfast rush, so I had no trouble getting a table. (The fact that the breakfast restaurant was run by a maître d’hotêl added to the sheen of four-star standard.) On the final morning of my stay, however, I did not go to breakfast until 9am, and found myself standing in line for 15 minutes. This gave me the impression that the restaurant is either too small, understaffed, or both.

Every member of staff was friendly and helpful (when I found that I had left my electrical converter at home, the staff at reception proffered one on the spot). Printing facilities available 24 hours a day made things considerably easier for me (even though the printout turned out a bit weird because of lack of relevant computer software). The food on offer in the bar was adequate (unfortunately, I did not have the time to check out the downstairs Metro Brasserie).

In all fairness, I do not think I would recommend the Apex International before they have made more of an effort to upgrade to overall 4-star standard. According to the information folder in my room, several things have recently been upgraded, and that is good to know. They need a bit more of that though – in order to attain and maintain 4-star status, they should improve the standard of comfort so that it feels worthwhile to pay that extra amount for a “deluxe” room. At its best, the Apex International is able to compete as a reasonable hotel in the city centre; but, again, my general impression is that the hotel does not live up to 4-star expectations.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Jon Å
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stuart D, General Manager at Apex Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Many thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive review of the hotel following your stay with us. I am glad that overall you enjoyed your stay, I have taken on board your comments regarding the physical aspects of the building and the service you received during your stay.
Rest assured we take all of these points into consideration in order to further enhance our guest experience.

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Reviewed 4 May 2014 via mobile

We stayed at this hotel for a long weekend. It was excellent. The room was clean and comfortable. The hotel had all the facilities we required. The highlight of the hotel was the staff. Nothing was too much trouble. They were happy to accommodate all requests that we made. The food was also excellent. The Heights restaurant was superb both for our anniversary meal but also for breakfast. Fantastic views of the castle added to make this a wonderful weekend.

Stayed: May 2014
Thank Lesley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stuart D, General Manager at Apex Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of the hotel, we are all glad you enjoyed your stay and your anniversary meal.
We hope you will consider staying with us again in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014

We were scheduled to spend 2 nights here, but left after 1. There was mold/mildew in the tub, trash on the floor in the bathroom and bedroom area, no thermostat, no in-room safe (which our 3 other hotels all had), no safety bars on the bathtub, no drawers tho plenty of shelves in the closet, a lovely view of the garbage and parking area which was also very noisy, and the water pressure was lacking. The location however was great, across the street from 6 retaurants, and Edinburgh Castle. This is the worst review I've ever written.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank songbirdtova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stuart D, General Manager at Apex Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel following your stay with us recently. I am disappointed that your stay was not up to our normal standards and would be happy to discuss your points further if you would care to contact me at the hotel directly.

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Reviewed 1 May 2014

Staff at reception and in the restaurant were very good. Our room was at the front of the hotel and we had a superb view of the castle. We went for a walk after checking in and on our return we found a complimentary bottle of wine and a congratulations card for our 39th Wedding Anniversary had been left in our room. (receptionist had asked why we were in Edinburgh, at check-in.) We had a superb evening meal in the restaurant with, again, that wonderful view of the castle. Thank you to all the staff who made our stay memorable.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank TMBurns2013
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

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
#29 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#35 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
#47 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range: £66 - £271 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Apex Grassmarket Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 169
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Apex Grassmarket Hotel is located in Edinburgh’s vibrant Grassmarket. Nearby, you’ll find the characteristic Edinburgh Castle, Greyfriars Kirkyard and The Royal Mile, making this hotel the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to explore the city. Your room will be stocked with both essentials and added extras like complimentary Wi-Fi, luxurious Elemis toiletries and a 42” LCD TV. Choose a Deluxe or Family room and you’ll also get an Edinburgh Castle view to make your stay extra special. Kick-start your day with a refreshing swim in the hotel swimming pool or use the Technogym fitness studio, free of charge. Later you can try some unique fusion food to share created by the well-known Edinburgh Chef, Tony Singh in the hotel restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Apex International Edinburgh
Hotel Apex International
Apex Grassmarket Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

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