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“Lovely hotel, shame about the restaurant”

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Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Ranked #74 of 150 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Ayr
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lovely hotel, shame about the restaurant”
Reviewed 24 August 2009

In August of this year, i visited Novotel for one night with the man. We found the hotel to be very easy to find (with the use of sat nav obviously) and it was in a superb centre location, close to shops and pubs etc. The underground parking facility was very handy and seemed rather secure. However, we grudged paying £10 for every time we left the car park! The room itself was very clean and modern, especially the bathroom which was rather fancy and included a large shower cubicle and bath. We requested a smoking room and were happy to hear that one was available. There was also a large TV with plenty of channels including Sky1! The bed was comfortable and large which came in handy ;) ;) . We were also served breakfast in bed which added £3 onto our room charge. However, there was a large selection of items to choose from and we enjoyed our continental breakfast thoroughly. Again, the hotel is quite close to the city centre and was within a 15 minute walking distance of several pubs.
Our only complaint was the restaurant within the hotel. The restaurant staff didn't seem to be very well trained. When we were shown to our table we had to request a drink. The food took a long time to arrive, the fillet steak was over cooked, the deep fried fish was full of bones and we were charged a ridiculous £4.75 for a simple vodka and lemonade! The food was over priced and not worth the money. But apart from that we would recommend Novotel as the room was very good value for money and it was a lovely place to stay. The only thing we would advise though, would be to skip the restaurant in the hotel and eat out, as it will probably be of better quality and for a lot less money! ;)

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank super_graeme
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 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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durham UK
Level Contributor
53 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2009

Although the hotel has very limited parking we arrived around midday and got the one space vacant at that time. Our theory had been that someone would be checking out as we arrived, or soon after.Whatever, we got a space. The charge was respectable.
Reception staff were polite and businesslike and could not be faulted. Our suite was on the top floor and was spacious, clean, comfortable and well appointed. The added luxury of a balcony, table and chairs, was well enjoyed as the weather happened to be red hot! We took our own champagne to counter ther hotel's extortionate prices. A bucket of ice was all we needed but after waiting over 40 minutes my partner collected the thing herself from the solo overworked and swamped barman. He was very appreciatve of the gesture.
This is a point on which I would score the hotel very low. The bar person was flitting backward and forward from the bar to the restaurant constantly and although this is not too much of a bind when the bar is quiet, it is very frustrating if there are several customers present, and in addition to all this, he has to provide room service from the bar??? The bar is unstaffed for repeated periods and getting served is a problem. Seems to me the manager must be teetotal and has no vision as to how he could improve the atmosphere as well as make a large increase in takings by employing a properly trained bar person with an assistant. The wages the staff receive will hardly make this a financial problem. We returned to the bar on the Saturday night to find it approximately 3/4 full and the single bar girl was not coping well at all. She had one speed, dead slow, and the lager was frothing. The practice of filling glasses with frothy lager and pouring them into one another until a pint is achieved is not pretty, a bit unhygenic, and the pint is ruined, as I was to find. I got two pints to avoid going back into the fifteen minute wait for service and boy did I cop out. The lager was putrid! It had been very nice on the afternoon and on the previous day when I was in so it must have been the frothing problem. (Frothing is easily cured with a small adjustment at the keg end of things in the cellar) clearly it was beyond the staff present.... A senior member of staff was again flitting about and served people out of turn when she interfered, She did not stay behind the bar to get rid of the queue though, after serving one order she flitted away. This was done twice whilst I was at the bar and she only just avoided getting the rough end of my tongue by my partners order for me to keep quiet. She was hindrance rather than a help and her coming and going was annoying. Simply, the bar situation is dire....!! Manager, please address and improve!
Breakfast, the thing which most determines for me whether the hotel is good or bad. 90% of my adjudication is based on the state of the breakfast. It was very good indeed. Buffet style, so not the best of situations, but the food was fresh and lively. A great Full English could be achieved and I thoroughly enjoyed mine. Toast is the 'do it yourself' type and ok if the machine was working properly and if staff had an inkling on how to adjust it. It was'nt, they didn't. The only downer on a nice breakfast set up. The tea was good, as long as you gave it time, and a stir, to get the flavour. All in all though a big positive.
Our stay was almost perfect and the Castle, Royal Mile and other entertainment and attractions were just a nice brisk walk away.
One we would return to, most definitely.
Special thanks to Alison at Reception.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pinkplatypus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2009

Got this through Priceline, a little less than $100 a night including taxes and fees. Location is close enough to the main attractions to seem like a short walk in the morning and distant enough to seem like a long walk at night. Taxi from the airport is £16-18.

I would echo some of the previous comments about the rooms. Bed was firm and my back was a little sore in the mornings. Toilet in a separate room from the rest of the bathroom is an annoyance but not a big deal. Internet through the television is £5.99 for 24 hours, the keyboard was occasionally unresponsive and the browser is limited. There was a computer in the lobby which had internet for a rather exorbitant price but seemed to get heavy use nonetheless. The room was pleasantly quiet, and the television offered a couple international channels in addition to the normal selection.

Breakfast wasn't included in the rate so I didn't bother with the restaurant, there are plenty of options between the hotel and the Royal Mile. Bar was not exactly hopping but was okay for a quiet pint at the end of the day. If you are lucky you will get to see a Southern European tourist try to order a beer.

I'm not sure if this place has "4 star" amenities, but I thought it was good value and I'd stay here again at the same price. Edinburgh is lovely.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank abdulai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crewe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2009

My family & I stayed at the Novotel from Monday to Friday, a week before the Edinburgh festival.

Checkin - we arrived earlier than official check in and were appreciative of the fact that there is a luggage store facility which we could use and then go into the city to explore as soon as we hit Edinburgh mid morning.

However, when we returned some time between 2pm - 3pm our room was not ready for us and we had to wait. despite the fact it states that check in is from 2pm.
Although there was a small play area with a games console to entertain the kids, there was precious little for the adults to do, and so you are naturally drawn to seek refreshment in the bar where at least there is a TV .......After waiting well over an hour for our room, it would have been a bit more palitable if the hotel had at least offered complimentary coffee/tea/ soft drink etc while we waited for them to get their act together, but no, we sat and frittered away a rather expensive and annoyingly unnecessary £10 on drinks in the bar, without any hotel staff appearing to care in the slightest. Good customer service is not clearly not a priority at this hotel...and rooms not being ready for arriving guests appeared to be a recurring theme as we observed for our selves on a daily basis.
The family room was a rather grey and lack lustre affair (room 427) - probably not a good idea for us to have stayed at the Marriott in Manchester the night before, as the contrast was rather overwhelming - despite the fact that the Marriott had been alot less money ! The sofa bed was permenantly extended out into the room throughout our stay, meaning that there was very little room for a family of 4 to comfortably move about - just as well we were out most of the day ! The separate bath/ shower room were rather unusual to say the least, and although clean and bright ,we did have a great deal of difficulty working out how to operate the taps and shower functions - a bit TOO clever & modern for my liking ! The separate w.c. room is very functional though , but my youngest did remark that it looked like an aeroplane toilet compartment - which it very much did in style, size and colour scheme ! The carpet was rather thin, grey & dismal too, and made strange crinkling noises in places as if there were quantities of tissue paper under it for some strange reason ? Hardly what you'd expect in a prestigious modern hotel. There were tea and coffee making & biscuits provided in the room, but strangely only 2 cups; considering we were in a family room, there were only ever enough provisions for a couple of people at the most- causing endless arguments amongst our kids over the biscuits and hot chocolate provisions.! We did leave a request for more to housekeeping one day, which was fulfilled, .....though the following days the meagre supplies returned back to normal.
The internet package for your room was relatively expensive and so were the film packages, though you could pay by the 24 hours for a combined package a bit cheaper, or use a PAYG internet at £1 for 20mins in the hotel foyer.
Breakfast was absolutely fine, considering it was already in with our room rate of £79 per night - I don't think I would have paid the £15p.p. odd they were asking though if it were not, and yes, were were kept waiting one or two mornings for a table to become vacant as teh restaurant was packed ! There was plenty of choice of food and the quality was OK for what is essentially mass catering. You would not starve and the wait staff did their best to fulfil any requests for you !
The pool at the hotel is very small and only comfortably takes about half a dozen people at any one time. My kids enjoyed themselves there - though I didn' really fancy the concept of sharing what essentially is a large, murky, green bath, with strangers ! The changing facilities were clean and well equipped & well thought out., with a good locker room and shower area. The small gym looked clean and functional, though I never saw one person in it all week.
Not many of the rooms hav a view of the castle (or anything else remotely inspiring !) ..a few end rooms do have a partial view of the back of the castle, but you would I imagine have to request one specifically, rather than leave it to chance if you really wanted one - room 427 does not by the way.
In summary, whilst this is certainly not a horrible hotel, it is certainly is nothing special and by the end of our stay I was struggling to think why I should have chosen this place over one of the Travelodge rooms in the city !

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jdybnsn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lossiemouth
1 review
Reviewed 26 July 2009

We have stayed at the Novotel twice in the last 2 years and have found it to be a lovely hotel. The staff were very pleasent, and the rooms are great.
We ate in the restaurant in the hotel, and while a little pricey, the food was delicious.
The hotel isn't really in the centre, but a good 20 minute walk, which isnt a bad thing as there was no hassel's with the noise from the pubs and clubs closing.

My only real bad point about this hotel is that the parking is terrible. They only have space for around 10 cars, but there is parking just 5 minutes away and is priced around £15 per night.

All in all a great hotel.

Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank stikkz213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2009

stayed at Novotel for one night with my huband and 2 kids, on arrival there was one parking space left in the hotel carpark this was lucky, if there are no spaces you have to use the ncp 5 mins walk away or on street parking, which i expect would be expensive. We were seen to and checked in quickly by friendly staff.

The room was an ok size for our family, maybe a bit more storage would be good. The bathroom was clean and the shower was of good power, i liked the seperate toilet. We had a sofa bed for the kids to share and a double bed. We didn't go near the mini bar as it was a total rip off. The room was nice, clean and quiet and we all slept well, no noise.

We used the pool twice this was great, kids enjoyed it as we had the place to ourselves. It was a tuesday though- can imagine it would be packed at the weekends.

Breakfast.. well that is the only thing i would say that lets this nice hotel down unfortunately. Over priced for a start, and there had been a power cut in the hotel that morning, so it was only cold stuff on offer, we waited a while till the power was back on as we prefer a cooked breakfast. wish we hadn't bothered, it was awful, tastless and overcooked. The worst i have ever had! We ended up eating toast, fruit and yoghurt they couldnt go wrong with that, Tables around us were dirty i felt they were slightly understaffed in the restaurant. Obviously i refused to pay the £13 they were asking for.

Overall the hotel did the job and it's in a great spot, but they need to have a look at other 4 star hotels in the area to see they are not in the same league when it comes to food and service. We have stayed at Apex a few times which it is much better quality, we will stick with what we know in future.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JoseAberdeen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malta
1 review
Reviewed 20 July 2009

The hotel is well located, close to the castle, Grassmarket, the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Mile and the Meadows. It is also close to a bus stop for those who get tired of using the best means of transport in Edinburgh....your feet! The hotel is very clean and well maintained. Some of the complaints on this site seem to be exagerated, in particular the one related to queing for breakfast.. We spent a week at the hotel and the only time we had to wait for a table at breakfast was on one occasion and this wait wasn't longer than five minutes. All in all an excellent hotel.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BobbieMalta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Novotel Edinburgh Centre

Property: Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Address: 80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DE, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Green Hotel in Edinburgh
#41 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
#52 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Novotel Edinburgh Centre 4*
Number of rooms: 180
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Novotel Edinburgh Centre is an AA rated 4 star hotel in the centre of Edinburgh. Perfect for a holiday in the Scottish capital, close to Edinburgh Castle and the lively Grassmarket Area, 10 min walk from Princes Street shopping and the Royal Mile. The famous Arthurs Seat is 15 min walk away and Edinburgh International Airport 15 min drive. Relax with friends or family and enjoy Elements Restaurant and Bar, 24 hour room service, indoor pool, sauna, steam room, gym and whirlpool. Limited pay parking. Complimentary WiFi available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Novotel Edinburgh Centre Hotel Edinburgh
Accor Edinburgh Centre
Edinburgh Novotel
Novotel Edinburgh Centre Scotland

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