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“Great B & B for readers” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Stevenson House

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The Stevenson House
Ranked #68 of 445 Edinburgh B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles CA
1 review
“Great B & B for readers”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2008

If you like to read and are interested in history, this is a great place to stay! The site itself is Robert Louis Stevenson's childhood home and the current owners are friendly bibliophiles who will figure out your interests, ply you with books from their own collection, and discourse knowledgeably on local history, Edinburgh literary figures, 19th century plumbing, Scottish law as compared to English and American law, the history of linoleum, lighthouses and steam engines, and just about any other topic you might care to raise with them. We have never stayed in a B & B before, so cannot compare with others, but this one may have raised our expectations to an unfairly high level for the next one we stay in. We were given a large quiet room with bath on the second floor, fed lavish breakfasts and offered delicious whiskey in the evening. The three Macfie children who were home were charming hosts themselves, even the toddler twins who lavished us with grins and giggles. We were welcome to visit the common dining room at any time and each time we did we encountered a different set of interesting guests who were passing through. The Macfies manage a most gregarious and friendly B and B and they enriched our stay in Edinburgh immensely.

  • Liked — historic site and friendly knowledgable people
  • Disliked — steps would be difficult for some people with physical disabilities
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank EchoParkReaders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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165 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    133
    20
    4
    4
    4
See reviews for
40
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27
19
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2008

I’ll be the first to admit that Stevenson House is not your mainstream B&B and its charm lies in the fact that one gets to share in the daily comings and goings of the MacFie family from the moment of arrival until departure; something which the hostess pointed out to me when I first made enquiries.

The house is conveniently located and one is able to walk to the main tourist attractions in both the Old and New Town without any inconvenience at all. John and Felicitas as well as the older children are able to give one a local’s insight into their city that other establishments would probably not be able to do.

I was shown where the key to the private gardens across the road from the house is kept and was able to spend some quality quite time out there. Books are to be found all over the house, even in the downstairs loo, and I got to spend enough time in the drawing room on the first floor curled-up with something interesting to read.

My room was spacious enough and thankfully clean, as was the bathroom which I have been told in advance I would have to share. The loo did at times need a special flick of the wrist to get it to flush.

Staying at No. 17 is highly recommended if you are open minded to a unique experience and I shall certainly be back.

  • Liked — Friendly, warm and hospitable family treating you as part of the clan for the duration of your stay.
  • Disliked — Would have loved a piece of crisp bacon (my weakness!)
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank CiccioVernon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2008

Great Location and Great Bed, after that i only have negative things to say. On arrival we were offered tea which was great, unfortunatly the family felt they had to join us and we wanted to catch up with our friends one in a nearby B/B who had walked over to say hello our other friend had come over from Europe.
It felt rude to have a conversation without including the whole (and there are a lot ) family. I felt they needed our attention in order to tell us their life history and introduce us to their children. Delightful as they may have been, we needed to discuss the evening ahead. Our room was too full of personnal items and the bathroom had the family washing hanging up to dry, no full length mirrow, poor light, and no Hot water, no tea or coffee making facilities. Breakfast was very dissapointing no cooked breakfast was offered, no selection of cereals, we shared our teapot with the family, the croissants arrived as we had finished.
One of the daughters was upset and crying about her homework the eldest son marched of to school in a huff. we need more peace on a night away and a little less familarity.

  • Liked — the bed
  • Disliked — the familarity of the family
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank cockillp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Morrison
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2008

A few freinds visited Edinburgh and were lucky enough with this find in a charming B&B. It is "just down the hill" from the Castle in New Town (which is still quite old by US standards). The proprieters have wonderful stories about their family and the escapades of former owner Robert Lewis Stevenson. We were treated as family by this large family of 8. Made for a delightful weekend.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
Thank avey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2008

I have just returned to South Africa after 3 wonderful nights at 17 Heriot Row, Robert Louis Stevenson House, Edinburgh. The owners, the Macfie family, could not have been more welcoming and went out of their way to accommodate us, and made travelling with a toddler an absolute breeze. Our every need was catered for. This beautiful historical family home is in an excellent location in New Town, walking distance to most of the Edinburgh sights. Big thanks to the Macfie family for the personal touch!

  • Liked — The personal touch - B&B is family run by delightful busy household
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank V_KeenTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2008

We wanted to post this last year but there was no listing in Tripadvisor.
First , I'll say that this is not a mainstream B&B but it is very wonderful experience to stay here. It felt more like staying with friends or family. The Macfies are a very nice family; the kids are adorable and very pleasant to talk to. They were able to give us a local insight to Edinburgh that we could not have achieved elsewhere. We also loved not being in the tourist mainstream. The location of this home is very central and you can walk anywhere from here. Be sure to ask for the key to the private gardens across the street.

The room and bathroom were one of the largest accommodations I have ever stayed in. The home has many antiques and is gives you a nice feel into the period of RLS.

On departure, we felt sad, not as much for leaving Edinburgh, but because we had to say goodbye to the MacFies. Thank you Felicitas for the jars of homemade preserves. They were delicious.

Overall, highly recommended if you open minded to a unique experience but not if you are fussy about hotels and expect hotel-like service.

The best way to experience Edinburgh!!

  • Liked — Hosts, location, atmosphere and character of the home
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mapleleaf72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2008

I can't believe that some of the other reviews on this site are true. This is one of the worst B&Bs we've ever stayed at. The price was very high, and the value was that of a boarding house.

It looked lovely from the outside, but when we stepped in the door, we were not sure where we were. Coats, jackets, hats, prams, toys, children's clothing etc were stacked up in the front hall to the point that you could barely see the walls or walk through the place. They have 6 children but obviously no housekeeper. Our room was on the top floor. The stairs were littered with junk.

They had two single beds in the room (we are newlyweds). We had to share a bathroom with the children and the nanny. The toilet did not flush the entire time we were there. The room we stayed in was clean enough. There was no private (clean) area for the guests to relax in. Every room of the house that we saw was very messy.

This is one of the most expensive places we stayed in Europe. We stayed in some lovely castles, inns and B&Bs. This certainly was way overpriced. The hosts barely spoke to us, with the exception of the teenage son, who mainly acted as our host.

We were used to the excellent breakfasts in Scotland. But since I am vegetarian, the breakfast options here were limited to bread and sliced cheese. No offer of porridge or any type of hot breakfast. I had to make the toast for myself, and in fact the nanny asked me to make hers! The jams and condiments looked like they had been sitting on that table for months. I dared to taste one of them then opted to eat the toast plain.

Also paying for this stay was the most difficult chore we had ever met with in paying for accomodation. It required several negotiations and several trips to the bank and sending a cashier's check weeks beforehand. And they tacked on $40 in fees to add to our trouble. No wonder we had to pay the whole thing in advance with certified funds! If we had not, we would have left the place immediately after walking in.

RLS would be rolling in his grave.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — The messy house and toilet not flushing
  • Stayed August 2007
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank number_tw0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Stevenson House

Property: The Stevenson House
Address: 17 Heriot Row | New Town, Edinburgh EH3 6HP, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > New Town
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #68 of 445 B&Bs / Inns in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A very central family home which welcomes you at all times of the year.Experience Edinburgh like a local,walk to the sights and let us help you make the most of your visit.Especially suited for family vacations as we have active children ourselves.French,German & Afrikaans, Literature and History spoken.An atmospheric,multicultural experience in the childhood home of R L Stevenson awaits you ! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Stevenson House Edinburgh, Scotland

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