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Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Ranked #84 of 147 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
316 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“We had a good stay here”
Reviewed 9 May 2014 via mobile

We found this hotel to be clean, convenient and very well located. I believe we were in a general room since we were traveling as part of a tour. We did not look out on the castle but our room had two queen beds and space for two suitcases ( not always available in the U.K.). There was a good hairdryer in the desk in front of the mirror. There were sufficient plugs for charging our phones, etc. there are shampoos, conditioners and bar soap in the bathroom. Nice shortbread cookies with the coffee and teas and hot chocolate. Adequate closet space and ironing amenities. On the downside, the tub is a bit difficult for us "older" folk with no handrails and we couldn't find a thermostat. Our breakfast was included as part of our tour and it was okay. Nothing special but apparently there is a very nice restaurant with castle views. The lobby and bar areas are modern and didn't seem very inviting to me and to go from the entrance to check-in and on to the two elevators require quite a few stairs so not easy with luggage. However, the comfort of the room and beds and the excellent location in the lively Grassmarket more than make up for any deficits. I would stay again.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank barbdpayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2014

I have stayed at the Apex International on two separate occasions, the first being in January 2014 and the second April 2014.

On my most recent stay I stayed for 3 nights and was once again very happy with my stay. I booked a superior room which comes with a castle view, and was on the top floor down the corridor from the Heights restaurant.

The room was a good size with a modern, spotless, en-suite; wardrobe; fridge; complimentary water; tea and coffee making facilities; shelving space (within a wardrobe); iron and ironing board; in-room safe; hairdryer; desk; mirror and massive TV. There is no air conditioning however this is not a problem for me.

The room was very clean and was refreshed daily by housekeeping.

The complimentary wi-fi was easy to connect to and worked across all three of my various devices without problem.

I made use of the swimming pool on numerous occasions throughout my stay, I found evenings quieter. The pool is stainless steel lined and of consistent depth, whilst not very long it does provide adequate space to do a few lengths. Like the rooms and rest of the hotel I found the spa area to be clean and tidy. Towels are also provided.

The Grassmarket area is a thriving part of the old city with may bars just across from the hotel. I did not find noise from this to be a problem during my stay. I also had no issues with noise from other guests in the hotel.

The hotel is in a great location for exploring the city (both new and old towns) and is only a short walk from the train station should you be arriving by rail.

There is a large lobby area to the hotel, close to the lifts, which is perhaps a little underused and could be enlivened as a social space either extending from the metro bar situated on the ground floor or as a unique entity with newspapers etc. However the main areas of the hotel which I spent large amounts of time in I was very satisfied with.

The staff are excellent. From the moment you walk through the door to the moment you leave there is no faulting the service the team at this hotel provide. Sometimes you can go to a hotel and get the impression that the staff are just there to do the job and then leave again without really caring about anything else other than the money. This is not the case with the Apex International, staff clearly take a lot of pride in their roles, are approachable and very willing to help in any way they can to ensure your stay is a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

I did not use the restaurant nor have breakfast so I cannot comment on these aspects. However, I found room service to be of good standard and the food was enjoyable.

As I booked well in advance I was able to get a good price for the hotel, and would always recommend booking as far ahead as you possibly can to get the best deal. Also booking direct provides you with a £10 voucher to use in the hotel which is a nice touch.

I would like to briefly touch upon a couple of points fellow reviewers have made. Firstly, the photography shown on the Apex website under the International hotel section for the spa are accurate of this hotel, they are not images from their other hotels. Secondly, some have commented upon cleanliness, or lack of, this is not something I have found any issue with on either of my stays, and I am a very picky person when it comes to cleanliness - boarding on OCD.

I would very much recommend a stay at this hotel. Not only is the customer service exceptional, the rooms modern and pleasant and the location great but you also get a purple Apex duck to take home too called Austin - what more could you want?

Next time I am in Edinburgh I will certainly be booking in again.

Room Tip: Book a superior or deluxe room and make the most of the castle view.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Michael G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2014

We have just returned from a three day break at this 4 star hotel and in our opinion this hotel is 3 star at best.

the staff are absolutely wonderful and the position of the hotel is great for visiting most of
Edinburgh.

However the lobby and common parts resemble a very nice Youth Hostel tired and quite old fashioned.

The bedrooms are very basic with only three shelves in the wardrobe and no drawers at all anywhere in the room.

There is a hairdryer tucked away in a desk but is no where near the mirror and the lead isnt long enough to plug in to reach the mirror so that is useless. The bathroom was new and really nice but does not compliment the very tired bedroom.

The picture of the spa put on line is in fact from another one of their hotels and the pool here leaves quite a lot to be desired.

The dining room which has lovely views of the castle, but unfortunately the tables are set in rows and there really is no atmosphere at all, and the buffet is just okay we have had better in the Prremier Inn but again the staff were lovely.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank helen 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 review, 8 May 2014
Thank you for posting a review of the Apex International Hotel following your stay with us. We appreciate guests giving feedback about the hotel and the staff.
I have taken on board the points you have raised about the bedroom, and in particular the hairdryer flex not being long enough which I will seek to address.
Your comments about the hotel team are much appreciated as we pride ourselves on making our guests feel at home whilst with us.
I do hope you will consider using Apex Hotels in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank PenT16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
istanbul
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank hakanarikan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wexford
Level Contributor
44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
Thank holiday_queenWexford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trondheim, Norway
2 reviews
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
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 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
#45 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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