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Alba Hills Guest House
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Reviews (172)
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Reviewed 22 July 2012

We spent 3 nights here and couldn't have been more comfortable or made to feel more welcome. We'd checked with Itziar (the Manager) before we travelled that we'd be able to leave our luggage with her, even if our room wasn't ready. It was still being cleaned when we arrived, but Itziar took the trouble to explain everything to us; not just about Alba Hills itself, but the buses we could get, and where from, places of interest etc. Nothing was too much trouble.
As the weather was beautiful (yes, there are days in Scotland when it doesn't rain (we had four of them!!)), we spent our first day taking in the outdoor sites (of which there are plenty). We both slept really well every night, in the downstairs bedroom. We were only slightly disturbed one night with other guests arriving back late, but since the room is at the back, I assume it's quieter than the front. The room was immaculately clean with a small, but spotless bathroom and very comfortable bed.
Breakfast is in a large, bright room, with a range of local information books to look at. There is a large choice for breakfast, including cereals, grapefruit, pastries and a BIG cooked breakfast which set us up for the day ahead.
Alba Hills is quite a walk from the City Centre, but the buses are so frequent and quick that it's not really a problem, unless you wanted to return for a rest before heading out again. However, an all day bus pass enables you to hop on and off.

Room Tip: The guest house is on a fairly busy road, but this may be in daytime only. Ask if you can have a room at the back, because you will also get better views from there, including Arthur's Seat.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Alison A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
albahills, Manager at Alba Hills Guest House, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2012

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review and for your positive comments. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and that we managed to make your stay comfortable. We will be very happy to welcome you again at Alba Hills. From all the Guest House team thank you

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Reviewed 9 July 2012

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this place. Mainly because it is an oldold Victorian-era building that uses seriously dated water-pump technology to drain and regulate water on the top floors. ((I am not talking about the water pressure valve, which is another technology put to use in this old building.)) This water pump is essentially a veryvery loud motor that runs whenever you use the toilet, the sink, whatever. It is so loud and abrupt, it will definitely wake you up when it's running. The closest way of describing the sound would be to compare it to starting a car engine. Over and over and over again. It's a terrible experience when you are exhausted from a long day and just want some sleep.

Compared with actual hotels directly on the Royal Mile, this "bed and breakfast" establishment is also quite expensive. Using a Groupon voucher, I paid £135 for three nights "valued at £270" prior to discovering that better rated, higher quality accommodations were offering three night packages starting at around $200 USD.

** Breakfast. 3 stars. Good food, but tightly rationed (can't use the cereal bar if you order the "hot food" for example, unless you wish to pay extra) and tightly scheduled (9 - 11 am, so you miss out on breakfast if you must leave early for a tour). So it's a bit of a stressful experience and not as enjoyable as I would have liked.

** Location: 3 stars. It is near all the other "bed and breakfast" lodging. So there is not much around. It is about 2.5 km / 1.5 miles from the Royal Mile, which is about 30 minutes walking. Or, you can take the bus from the Mayfield Gardens bus stop right across the street which takes you directly to the Royal Mile in under 8 minutes.

** Service: 3 stars. Very few people seem to work here. During my stay, I encountered the hostess two or three times only, perhaps met her son or nephew (?? -- I couldn't confirm as he had very broken English), and caught a glimpse of the cook preparing my breakfast. That's it. Granted, it's a small place. But imagine waking early on a misty morning and existing a quiet, old victorian building with no one to greet you or bid you on your way. Or similarly, returning to said victorian home in the dark, keying your way past multiple locked doors and climbing several flights of stairs to your room without once encountering a single soul to acknowledge they've seen you return. it is a bit eerie.

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Overall, I would have given Alba Hills 3 stars, but the loud water-pump issue (which is nothing I have experienced before anywhere else) significantly lowered my quality of stay. I don't believe I will return here later in the year.

Room Tip: Do not stay on the top floor, which uses an old-school water pump to receive and drain water. It is soooo loud!
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Hilleliza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 11 July 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write a review and give us your feedback.
We are really disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy your stay with us and we will take your comments under consideration to improve our facilities. We always ask our guests if everything is to their liking at the time they are staying with us so we can improve their experience, unfortunately we did not have knowledge of this at the time of your stay.
Although for any future guests we need to clarify some points:
1.- We have 4 rooms on the top floor and only 2 of them have a water pump, installed last year, that helps the shower pressure, but does not come on with the rest of the water service; the rest of our rooms have electrical showers. Unfortunately this was not an option on the 2 rooms mentioned.
2.- We serve breakfast between 8 and 10 in the morning, and Sundays 8:30 until 10:30. We always offer early breakfast or continental option to our guests if they have to leave early.
3.- Due to the really low price we offered on the Groupon website (£45.00 per night for two people based on bed and breakfast and en suite rooms) we had to give the option of continental or cook breakfast. Guests staying on normal rate they have both options.
4.- Although this is a family business there is always someone to help our guest with anything they need. The owners leave on the premises and there is a bell which can be used to call our attention at any time.
We will be glad to welcome you again at Alba Hills to try to modify your opinion of our service and hospitality.

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Reviewed 7 July 2012

I went by myself to see Edinburgh, a city I have wanted to visit for some time now. I booked a room in this guest house and because of it's low price, I didn't expect much. However, it is probably one of the nicest hotel stays I've ever had. The staff was soo friendly. Especially the cute lady who welcomed me and made breakfast every day. She was eager to help me find out what buses to take and what places to go see. The breakfast was also excellent. One the day of my departure I slept a bit longer and planned on eating outside, and even though I was almost an hour too late for breakfast time, she still asked me if I wanted some when she saw me heading out. I think I fell in love a little bit. My room was small, but very cozy and welcoming. It was always clean and had very comfortable furniture. I slept well every night. The location was good as well, not in the middle of the city, but maybe 10 minutes walking distance. The city itself had so many interesting things to see, I didn't feel like I finished it all. If I'm ever coming back, then I'm definately staying here again! I almost want to come back JUST to stay.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank Ida V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 8 July 2012

Thank you very much for your feedback and your kind comments. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us, our breakfast and Edinburgh, reviews like yours are what gives sense to our job and the energy to keep improving the facilities and service we offer. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you at Alba Hills again. From all the Guest House team: Thank you!!!

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Reviewed 18 June 2012 via mobile

We used a Groupon voucher for our break in Edinburgh, we too usually stay in 4 star guest houses but we were very impressed with the cleanliness, helpful owner and we thought the breakfasts were delicious, the buses are very frequent into the city and only a short trip to get there, thank you for an enjoyable stay

  • Stayed: June 2012
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Thank Aliswift
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
albahills, Manager at Alba Hills Guest House, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2012

Thank you very much for your feedback. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and our breakfast and we only wish we could do something about the weather. Once more your comments support our work and give us the motivation we need to reach the standards we want to achieve. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you again at Alba Hills

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Reviewed 14 June 2012

We book via groupon on 8TH JUNE 2012 for 3 nights stay in this lovely guest house. ITZIKA the manager was amazing! she did everything possible to make our stay comfortable. there is a choice of continental or cooked breakfast . The place is very clean white ironed bed linen, TV , coffee & tea & kettle in the room. It is 15min bus ride to city center.Buss Day pass cost £3.50 well worth it. However, we did walk back many times.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Liz48_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
albahills, Manager at Alba Hills Guest House, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2012

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review and for your kind and positive comments. We are really glad you enjoyed your stay in Edinburgh and at our Guest House; knowing this is the best reward to our work. We will be delighted to welcome you again any time.

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