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“Not worth the Money”

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Macdonald Houstoun House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Uphall
GreenLeadersSilver level
Inverness, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not worth the Money”
Reviewed 15 February 2014

I don't normally write reviews (this is my first on trip advisor) but I felt compelled to after a 2 night stay in the Houston House hotel while on a business trip. In summary the hotel rooms are average at best, the food is way over priced and very poor as is the service. If you want a hotel in Livingston area my advice would be look elsewhere.

For more detail on why I came to the conclusion above I have split my review in to 3 categories below.

Costs
The rooms are very overpriced and at over £100 pounds a night breakfast was not included - that was another £17.50 or £15.50 if you bought vouchers at reception. The costs don't end there if you want the bottle of water they give you in your room its costs £4.50. The hotel charges like a wounded bull.

Rooms
There were 4 of us staying and the rooms all varied with 3 of us in the newer part of the hotel and 1 in the older part. I had a look in the older part of the hotel and the room looked very dated and run down with creaking floorboards and the most vile curtains I have ever seen. My room was a double and was clean enough but nothing special. The bathroom was very small and the water pressure was terrible. On the second day it took almost 20 minutes to get any water out the shower - I almost gave up !!! I mentioned this on checkout and was told that someone would look at it. Not very comforting as I was on my way out.

Food
This is where the hotel really let its self down. We booked a table and when we arrived were placed in a side dining room as there was an event in the main dining room. The waiters were very unfriendly and after ordering drinks we were asked if we wanted bread but if we did they now charged for it. We said we would have some for the table to be told that it was £1.75 per person for as much as you wanted but the waiter had to hand it out. The one person in our party who wanted bread therefore asked for four bits only to be asked by the waiter if she was joking. It was then a very uncomfortable situation which ended up in the waiter handing out two bits of bread, which ended up being stale. The menu was fairly limited and we all ordered different starters all of which were overpriced and very average. For the mains I ordered a steak which at nearly £25 did not even come with potatoes, chips or even a salad. The chips were £3.50 extra and were soggy and greasy. I asked for my steak cooked medium and it came rare. By the time a new one arrived the rest of the table had finished their meals.

Breakfast was equally disappointing and one of our party were told off for coming down at 6.50am when breakfast started a 7.00am. None of our party thought the food was worth £5 let alone £15.50.

I cannot comment on the Spa as I did not get the chance to attend.

Room Tip: If you don't want a dilapidated room make sure that you choose the newer part of the hotel, the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Scott T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this review, 2 December 2015
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (187)
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English first
scotland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2014 via mobile

I recently spent 3 weeks at Houston House on business and was really impressed. Really good facilities, excellent lunch options but the standout for me was Frank. From arrival on day one Frank looked after our group, he was friendly and chatty and took care of everything we required. Staff like Frank are hard to find and in my opinion can be the difference between Your business being good and great. I would happily recommend your business facilities. Thanks again for all your help Frank.

Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this review, 2 December 2015
Thank you for your review
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Renfrew, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2014

Every hotel needs a Frank !!!
Just finished a three week business trip, working and staying in the Houston house hotel and I must say we were treated fantastically well. The facilities were superb with nothing a bother and the way Frank our event support partner looked after us was "the best I have experienced". The food was great and varied during the day with an option of a la carte or bar menus at night. The surrounding grounds were vast and the leisure facilities were great for relaxing after a hard day at work. What I liked most was everyone from Herve the manager of the hotel to Scott the barman had their customers at the centre of everything. To finish off this report I would like to thank all the staff for making our stay a delight and if ever a hotel wanted to stand out from their competitors, employ a "Frank" as he is one in a million...........

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this review, 2 December 2015
Thank you for your review
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Musselburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2014

Stayed for 1 night on an itison break – received everything as per the break package i.e., B&B, Afternoon Tea, chocs in room etc. All very nice! We upgraded to an Executive room (not in the main building) – room was large, comfortable and well equipped. We also booked dinner in the Jeremy Wares restaurant and our meals were excellent. The vaults bar is cosy with open fireplace. Yes – the drinks are on the expensive side but this is more to do with the MacDonald policy rather than the individual hotel I would say. Having stayed at other MacDonald hotels, I have found this to be the case. A special mention for the staff – all of whom were very friendly and helpful – thank you! Didn’t use the leisure centre (although would have if staying longer) – so can’t comment on that. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OpaOpa2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this review, 2 December 2015
Thank you for your review
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton , East Sussex
Level Contributor
110 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2014

The entrance is very nice, dealt with efficiently at reception. The young lady mentioned that as I was on an evening meal allowance of £27.00 I would be better eating from the bar menu, so god knows what the prices in there were. Room ok but up lots of dimly lit stairs and tucked away in a corner. Not offered any help with luggage. Room was pretty good , nice comfy bed. Evening meal from the bar menus was very limited, I ordered the smoked salmon salad, which consisted of smoke salmon and lettuce, so don't know where rest of the salad went. Breakfast was good but staff seemed flustered when it got a bit busy and started to take a while to get the breakfast out.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rhodesiabill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this review, 2 December 2015
Thank you for your review
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2014

What can I say.

All round excellence. Called the hotel 2 weeks before to arrange things for her birthday,Arleen arranged everything to the letter, arrived in the hotel ,lovely room ,flowers , chocolates and wine were all their.
Evening meal was really good , my wife being on a gluten free diet ,nothing was a problem.

Would I stay there again . yes

Room Tip: Book direct. Excellent deals on offer.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank christopher B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this review, 2 December 2015
Thank you for your review
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SCOTLAND
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2014 via mobile

This hotel is not much to look at but we got an itson deal so we gave it a go, room was a family room with a bed, pull out couch and chair, clean but tired and dated looking, a second door led out to a sloped lawn, but it seemed that most people used it for a cigarette break place, carpet was wet at this doorway, bathroom was spacious and well lit.
Food was overpriced and the selection was poor, dining rooms were quite dull and cold looking, overall experience was ok but nothing to rush back for, in fact we will not be back. Did not get my rose petals or chocolates in the room which were in the deal. I did complain but still got nothing, wine was pricey at £7.40 for a glass.
A positive point was that staff were friendly and helpful.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank ScotlandCarebear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this review, 2 December 2015
Thank you for your review
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 Macdonald Houstoun House

Property: Macdonald Houstoun House
Address: West Lothian, Uphall EH52 6JS, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > West Lothian > Uphall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Uphall
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Houstoun House 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in a secluded spot near Livingston just west of Edinburgh, and set in 22 acres of beautiful woodlands, Macdonald Houstoun House is the perfect country hotel and retreat. Once visited by Mary Queen of Scots, the historic building has the classic grace of a 16th century Tower House. Inside, 70 rooms blend luxury and character, with a unique feature bedroom in the Tower For food-lovers, the Jeremy Wares at Houstoun House restaurant has two AA Rosettes for excellent local ingredients, expertly cooked in season. In the cellar, the cosy Vaulted Bar is the perfect spot for a drink or afternoon tea. Our Leisure Club and Spa have ample scope for working off the calories and a host of rejuvenating treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Houstoun House Hotel Livingston
Macdonald Houstoun Hotel
Macdonald Houstoun Livingston
Houston House Hotel
Macdonald Houstoun House Uphall, West Lothian

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