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Grassmarket Hotel
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Reviews (2,340)
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2,040 - 2,045 of 2,340 reviews
Reviewed 13 August 2012

Having researched many hotels prior to coming to the Edinburgh festival, I decided on The Grassmarket Hotel as it sounded perfect for what I wanted travelling on business, and with my teenage son; contemporary design, lively atmosphere, great central location. Unfortunately when I arrived the girls on reception, although lovely, seemed to have been dropped in at the deep-end and were confused over which guest was staying where. They allocated me room 201 and gave me guide directions (the hotel is like a rabbit warren... lots of corridors, stairways, turns and more corridors... which makes it fun in a way!) and a key they 'hoped' would work! We found the room and the key worked, however it was a small, single bedroom contaning a single bed. We found our way back to reception and explained to the confused receptionists who began phoning people to find a solution. They very kindly offered us a complimentary drink from Biddy Mulligan's Irish Bar next door (fabulous lively venue) whilst they resolved the problem.
30 minutes later I went back to reception only to be told there were no other rooms available.
Obviously I was upset as I had booked my Twin room well in advance and was travelling with my teenage son so a single room just wasn't an option. I was greeted by the Manager who told me he had arranged for a second single bed to be put in the single room. This wasn't ideal as the room was so tiny and the 2nd single bed was just a small 'put up' bed with an insubstanial mattress, but the manager offered us a 50% discount as compensation, which was honoured immediately. In addition I was given a reference number and told that if I choose to come back to the hotel I should quote this reference and I would be given a superior twin room at a good rate.
Positives about the hotel: Well equipped bedrooms including decent hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner, showergel, lovely coffee and delicious chocolate marshmellows :) VERY friendly and helpful staff, nothing is too much trouble for them and they assisted with giving directions and printing off maps. Lovely atmosphere and central location.
Negatives: Our bedroom was too small to appreciate anything in there; it was very hot and cramped, the window opened but wouldn't stay open (we propped it open half an inch using the Dandy annual!), the bathroom was tiny. We were in the 'old' part of the hotel so we didn't have any of the mod-cons the other rooms boasted.
Overall, although a mistake was made on my booking and we spent 2 nights cramped in a cupboard-sized room (see my photo of Room 201), the Customer Service was second to none and my experience wouldn't put me off staying there again (providing I get a decent-sized twin room as requested the first time... please!).

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank Ericajc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fraser H, General Manager at Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2012

Dear Erica,

Thank you very much for taking time out to give us feedback on your stay. I am really sorry that the mix up with your room allocation had an impact on your stay and that this mistake happened.

I would like to sincerely thank you for your understanding and it really was a pleasure to have you and your son stay with us.

I am glad that we managed to turn things around for you and that you had an enjoyable time in the city.

I hope you will come back again soon to see us and I can assure you we will look after you very well next time.

Best regards,

Fraser and the Grassmarket team,

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Reviewed 10 August 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for our trip to the comedy festival! The room was really funky- one wall was a magnetic map of Edinburgh. There was an iPod dock and you could have the music playing in the bedroom or the bathroom or both.There wasn't a view from our window but we didn't care. The hotel's location is perfect. Walking distance to all of the fringe venues, the castle and lots of bars, restaurants, pubs etc. One annoying thing is that we got there at 11:30, told we couldn't check in til 2 (fair enough) but when we came back they were checking in a massive group so had to go to the pub next door til about 3.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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1  Thank TNoice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fraser H, General Manager at Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2012

Thanks very much for your great review!

Really pleased that you enjoyed the hotel. We are at the perfect base to see all the fun of the festival, due to our perfect location.

After a busy day you can chill out in front of the big flat screen TV with the air con on keeping you cool.

Next time you come to stay, feel free to give us a call to arrange an early check in and we will sort that for you no problem.

See you again very soon.

Fraser and the Grassmarket team.

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Reviewed 8 August 2012

I was really looking forward to staying at the Grassmarket Hotel, having read about the new room renovation with its funky design and iPod docks that can be amplified in the bathroom. However, it seems as if not all of the rooms have been renovated yet!

I was given room 301, so I took the lift up to the third floor. Turns out this was a mistake, and I had to take the lift to the first floor, walk along a corridor, take two flights of stairs, walk along another corridor, and I'd find the room. Eventually I did (unfortunately, the receptionist had given me the 'key card' and this room doesn't accept the key cards. I had to walk back the way I came - again - to collect the correct key). Still, what's a bit of extra time, eh? Not when you have funky design and iPod docks to look forward to....

Oh. This area of the hotel feels 'tacked on' to the rest of the place. The rooms here, including mine, are very staid and old-fashioned. Having been a bit nosey and peeked through the open doors of one of the rooms on the other side of the hotel while the cleaners were cleaning, I could tell they were totally different. So, a bit disappointing. It's especially frustrating when there's hotel literature in the room (slightly reminiscent of the Innocent marketing blurb, so you know - either cute and funny or slightly annoying depending on your viewpoint) boasting of the kooky design, of the iPod docks and telling you that "singing in the shower is compulsory". Frankly, being able to turn around in the shower would have been acceptable for me.

The room itself was pretty small, there was no reading light in the room, there was no wi-fi, and, most annoyingly, there was no coffee/tea with the kettle, just a collection of 'fruity' teas. I think this latter may have been an oversight though as the next day there was some coffee there. A bit annoying though, especially after a long train ride to your destination. I appreciate that these are minor quibbles, but they are touches that can lift an average hotel into a great one.

Also, if you get a room on this side of the hotel, be aware that you're likely to be right above the pub next door. And, during the Fringe, pubs are open very late, and this pub in particular likes their loud music and singing. Oh boy, do they like their loud singing. At 1am on the first night, I was treated to a raucous rendition of Rebel Yell. Irritating, especially as I've always preferred Billy Idol's other hit song White Wedding.

On the plus side (I genuinely hate to moan on here but I have to be honest), the staff are pleasant (and the girl on reception was very apologetic when she realised she'd given me the wrong key), the hotel is spotlessly clean, and the position is brilliant - right in the centre of everything, 5 minutes walk from the station and if you're there for the Fringe Festival (as I was), within easy walking distance of most major venues.

I know I sound a bit negative here, and I don't mean to - I did enjoy my stay at the Grassmarket, and I would recommend it with caution. Just ring beforehand and check whether you're getting one of the new redeveloped rooms would be my advice.

Room Tip: Ask which room you're getting - there's a world of difference between the refurbished rooms and the old ones.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank John_M44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fraser H, General Manager at Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2012

Thank you very much for your feedback on your stay with us.

I am sorry that your room did not meet your expectations on arrival at the hotel. We do still have a few rooms that are to be refurbished, but we no longer sell these as the Grassmarket hotel. The reason you were allocated this room was that you booked the hotel before it had been refurbished and the rate you paid reflected the room you were given.

If you had asked us, we would have upgraded you if the availability was there.

If you book the Grassmarket hotel now, you will be guaranteed to get a newly refurbished room.

I am so sorry that the housekeepers forgot to put the correct tea in the room for you. I have spoken with them to ensure they do not make this mistake again. Our team are on hand 24 hours a day to help with any assistance our guests need during their stay, or if they just fancy a coffee and a chat.

I am really grateful for your feedback as it has pointed out issues that I will improve upon for future guests.

Next time you come you are more than welcome to sing in the shower and test out the iPod docks.

Fraser and the Grassmarket team.

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Reviewed 2 August 2012

Stayed twice at the hotel on two separate occasions a week apart. First time good- rooms spotless, couple of small issues with aircon and the shower not draining but otherwise no complaints. We were aware of the pub downstairs but the room itself had really good double glazing and we could barely hear the noise. (And it really is a dreadful noise- we avoided that bar for the sake of our eardrums!)

Second occasion was a weeknight, the room stank of drying paint, had no soundproofing whatsoever and it was impossible to sleep until the bar closed at 1am. We could hear every single word the pub band sang (badly). Then in the morning the construction at the hotel started around 8am and we were subject to builders shouting, stomping and hammering on the floor above. We asked to swap rooms for the following night and were given a tiny attic room with no functioning aircon and blinds missing on one window. Deciding this was better than a sleepness night we opted for this room and asked for a blind to be put up.The receptionist was incredibly rude and unhelpful. We left for the evening and returned to a much more helpful receptionist who gave us a spare duvet and suggested we stuff it between the outer and inner window. It worked well but is unacceptable for a hotel pricing itself at this level.

After mentioning this to reception again in the morning we were refunded a token amount but not offered any apology for the experience.

Overall a hotel that would be absolutely perfect for hen nights/stag nights (in face the rooms were set up for this with mainly single beds), in a great location and superficially 'trendy'. However for the discerning or midweek visitor there are far better options for a similar price.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank catforr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fraser H, General Manager at Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2012

Thanks very much for your review!

I can only apologise for the issues that you had during your stay. As the rooms were brand new, with no guests staying in them previously, there were some unforseen teehing problems that unfortunately had an effect on your stay. I am pleased that we compensated you and moved you to another room on your request.

We have all been working very hard to iron out the teething issues and ensure our guests have the perfect stay.

We have a variety of rooms to choose from when you are booking. Cosy, comfy and comfy+, to ensure we accommodate our guests whatever their needs.

Thanks again for your feedback and we hope you will come back again soon.

Fraser and the Grassmarket team

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Reviewed 31 July 2012

This hotel is really great! I loved our room! Our second room that is. The first room not so much...
It looks like the hotel has just acquired the neighbouring property and is renovating it. We were assigned a room in the new part. Fine except the receptionist gave us the wrong directions, and we couldn't find it. Then when we went back down she remembered where it was and told us how to get there. Room 310, take the lift to the 1st floor, go up a couple of stairs, go down the long hall way, past the brown doors, up the stairs to the 3rd floor, through the doors, up a couple of stairs. We accidentally ended up in the back hall way of the hotel next door where the staff were eating their lunch. Finally found it, and... the electronic door keys didn't work. So back down we went and got the manual key.
Yup, all that with luggage. Lucky we travel light, but if you didn't you'd just have to give up.
The room was great except it was still being renovated, tape and dust everywhere, no hangers, mirrors still propped up. Ok, whatever, but the biggest thing was no hot water. And the lights and electrics didn't work. Probably because the electronic door keys didn't work. (you have to put the key in the key holder for the electrics to work).
And back we went again. No other rooms available, we would be compensated for the night and moved to a new room the next day.
Ok, nothing to do about it. Just have to be grubby tourists for a day! all cool. Had a quick splash in the icy cold water and away we went. Came back to a dark room with no TV and collapsed into bed. And wow, is the Grassmarket on a Saturday night the place to be! lots of whooping and hollering! So not so quiet in the street. they've tried to sound proof so it wasn't too bad as long as the windows remain closed.
The next day, we were moved to another room, but we made sure to ask for one in the part of the hotel with the elevator. Success! and the room was Awesome. LOVED it. Clean, fun, teacakes, rainshower, heated towels, all fab.
The doors on both rooms were really hard to open and close. It was weird, but you almost had to slam the door to close it. We passed another couple trying to close their door and having the same problem so it wasn't just us.
Recommend it but make sure you get a room in the part with the elevator (and have a look at the secondary fire escape stairs, really, really cool)
Oh, and the wifi in every room? not really. But the lobby has it and if you ask reception they'll make you a coffee while you surf.
Compensation? Booked the room through Expedia and no one could figure out how to compensate that. oh well.
In the area, Howies for dinner just around the corner halfway up Victoria street - delish, modern scottish.
Finnigans Wake on Victoria as well for music.
The Bow Bar for excellent scotch.
Brew Dog just a little farther up the Cowgate for excellent beer and cheese platter.

Room Tip: ask for a room in the part of the hotel with the elevator! unless you don't have much luggage and don't mind stairs and the adventure of trying to find the room.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank caramk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fraser H, General Manager at Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2012

Thanks very much for your recent review.

I am really sorry that you had a few issues on arrival. There were a few teething issues with a couple of rooms that had just been completed that morning. I am really glad that we managed to turn things around for you and you experienced the rooms as you should have on arrival.

Glad you liked our fire escape stone staircase. It is a charming feature!!

Hope you will come back and see us again soon!

Fraser and the Grassmarket team.

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