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“Nice hotel,poor housekeeping and maintenance”

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Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in North Berwick
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Stayed from 4 to 8 August 2014.Booked two rooms for my wife and me as well as for family. Arrived at 4.00 on Monday 4 August, but stood behind a small queue at check-in, all waiting for their rooms to be to be made ready! During the course of the week one or other of the two rooms were unready on varying days when we returned at 4.30 pm, after a day out in East Lothian. Also Housekeeping forgot to replace water, sugar and milk provided as standard room facility.Our room (Room 320) had ONLY blistering hot water for the duration of our stay; and even that at a mere trickle (simply NO water pressure at all) Took the thermostat tap down to reception on the Wednesday morning ( it simply came off), and though maintenance did replace the tap that day, the water continued to remain steadfastly scalding. Thank goodness for a swimming pool (though not much comfort if you are not a swimmer). The lobby is festooned with framed awards for excellence. Nice hotel, super views from the right rooms and acceptable breakfast.. But be aware that you may find much to disappoint if you are expecting a stay in a 'best this' and 'best that' hotel.

Room Tip: Corner suites can be very spacious and comfortable. Many rooms have truly wonderful views across the...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
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    • Service
2  Thank Fideli0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

Spa is the main attraction in this hotel closely followed by the food which was excellent., only downside was our room was not ready on arrival and was disappointed with the size of the room but spoke to the manager and we were moved rooms and given a bottle of wine for the inconvenience. Overall really nice hotel and would happily stay here again

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank kvt01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

At the beginning of or weekend break, we unloaded our car leaving my youngest to wait in reception with bags as we unloaded a few more bags from the car. We arrived about 2.45pm expecting our room to be ready as check in was 2.30pm, this was not the case, we waited in reception for around 5 mins...not bad but we then started to load luggage ourselves for four people in our party onto the luggage trolley, I watched at least 4... Yes 4 members of staff pass us by as well as reception staff watching no help was offered! We have stayed at this hotel for the passes 5 maybe 6 years and didn't recognise any staff as I did in previous years! We then proceeded to the lift, we'll my husband did with the trolley full of luggage....
After asking for enough towels for four as well as bathrobes which all should be in our room before we arrive.... Oh also more shampoo for 4, more biscuits enough for 4, no slippers were ever given to us no extra hand towels or extra toilet rolls! Come on marine hotel....what's going on?
We'd had along day so we went to relax in our favourite lounge looking out to sea. We sat down then ordered drinks while we decided what snack to have, while we waited longer than usual for drinks... Their were 4 members of staff talking at the bar and still not sorting drinks! I'm sorry but this it not what we are used to at this hotel out fav place of all time!! Our food was very nice and our drinks when they arrived.
The beach is just perfect especially when it's warm like it was today, we collected shells and stones to take home, but to be honest their was a cloud hanging over this because of the warm welcome we didn't relieve... Hmmm!
The pool was relaxing although the towels we picked up looked and feel like they had just being used... Off putting don't you think!
Returning to the lounger later that evening for pre dinner drinks was better...but we were never offered menus, pre dinner nibbles or shown to our table. That would be lovely by the way just like you used to do it?
Dinner was exquisite, all three courses even my 7year old enjoyed it. Although yet again I ordered a liquor to accompany my chocolate fondant which never arrived and all 3 of our fondants were not runny in the middle!
Breakfast was out of this world as expected.
Our trip into north berwick along the golf course was enjoyable as usual, lots of goodies found in the new why not store all yummy yummy stuff... You must try it!
We returned for a swim and I had a spa treatment booked they said 1 hour and 1/2 so when I arrived back to my room earlier than expected I looked at the spa Brochure which said 1hour 15 mins then I realised that they'd missed part of the treatment out my head massage which would have made my treatment all the more relaxing. I mentioned this to reception that evening, which was promised to be sorted out.... Heho at check out the next morning it wasn't ? Surprise as the receptionist that evening was complaining of how busy she was as she came off the phone while I was waiting to talk to her, I dint think that she should have voiced her option at that time in front of me as well as another member of staff, do you!
This is normally a place you can visit to get away from everything... At this point I felt more stressed!
While I was in the spa I over heard a few ladies in for treatment 9 of them and only one of the had a robe apparently their was a problem with staff and washing ? When you pay the £££sis to stay at this luxurious hotel you expect a little more! When we asked for robes for the 2nd time we were greeted at out hotel door with a pile handed to u...not folded in any way!
Dinner that evening was very nice also breakfast the morning of departure...fab!
We normally have the best time here hence why this is out 5th or 6th year here, don't tell everyone but North Berwick is idilic, especially in the spring summer months.... Shhhhhh!
We do love this place but will really have to consider if we'd returned to this hotel which is a real shame!
On the plus side I did have some money taken off for the treatment I didn't receive and some of the staff are very hard working and friendly, although I think staff moral is really low...hence the problems! Please sort your staff out management? Happy staff happy guests! It's simple!
Oh one more thing while room 132 is huge and lovely it's right next to the bins also their was a wedding party on in the suite oboe spa right outside our lovely room so the noise level was high went on till early hours....

Room Tip: Ask for sea view x
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank ShawDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

My wife and I had a short break at this fine Hotel where we have been on a number of occasions. Paid extra for a room with a sea view and the weather was wonderful. We enjoyed so much just sitting looking out over the golf course to the sea as the sun was going down each evening. I must say the old place is starting to look like it could do with some new paint and decor. Definitely would not class this hotel as 5 star, but don't want to be too harsh. The staff are attentive, polite and friendly and are a credit to Macdonald's. We ate in the hotel one night and the food was good but drinks in my opinion a bit overpriced - I paid £11.25 for one glass of wine( a very nice Rioja Crianza). No hangover next morning at that price. Definitely will go back as we love the area and the marine is still the best hotel around

Room Tip: well worth paying extra for sea views
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We visited this hotel for a short break and were not disappointed when we first arrived. The reception area is spacious and light and the staff friendly and helpful The main lounge overlooks the golf course and the north sea, views are lovely. Our room, whilst ground floor and at the front of the hotel, was quiet and very comfortable. Lovely 'sweet' tray was prepared for our arrival and the usual facilities including bottlkes water, were available in the room. The bathroom was cosy, but big enough for a couple of nights stay and the hotel provided very nice shower gel etc. Dinner was included for the first night and whilst served at a sedate pace, it was pleasant to have time between courses to enjoy and properly digest each course. The food was first class, well cooked and beautifully presented. Restaurant staff were great!! The spa and gym were very welcome after long walks and sightseeing and they weren't overly busy. One or two of the tiled areas could have done with a good scrub but overall the areas were more than acceptable. Our main concern was on our second night. The restaurant was fully booked until 9pm which for us is too late to start dining but we were told that the bar served meals. As we had been so delighted with our meal the night before we decided to take the opportunity to dine in the bar. We sat down in the bar area - there were two other couples already there - and ordered drinks at 6.50pm, which were brought over after a five minute wait. We eventually had to chase up and request someone take our order for the meal. They did - we both had fish and chips. The meal was okay - fish was a bit soggy but not inedible. Chips were nice. It took ages and ages and ages for them to come back and so my husband once again chased after them so we could order dessert. I ordered ice cream and he ordered a piece of cake. More than half an hour later we again went to look for someone to chase up the order. The staff seemed over worked and were never in the bar area when we went to look for them. We sat down at 6.50pm and finished at 9.55pm - I think that's far, far too long for what we hoped would be a simple bar meal. It took less time the night before in the main restaurant than it took for our 'quicker' bar meal. The staff did apologise and I guess it wasn't their fault. Breakfasts were superb and nothing was a bother for any of the staff. Check out was pleasant and they do give you the opportunity of using the spa for the rest of the day of your check outm, which I think is geneerous. Our stay was spoiled by the bar meal experience but we are hoping it was a 'one off'.However, I am marking service as average because of this.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Joan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We had a really enjoyable time here. The room was good and the staff were nice. Only complaint - breakfast seating service was very slow. Otherwise everything was good. Reasonable value for BnB - we dined out as we had two kids with us.

Room Tip: Seaside room for the view.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank WicklowJamesy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

All in all a lovely hotel but it is in no way a 5 star hotel.

First the good points, of which there are many. The locations is excellent, set upon a lovely golf course by the sea with fantastic walks into nearby North Berwick ten minutes away. The views are stunning and a sea view room is well worth the extra money. The social areas are also first class, all with the same view and comfortable sofas and chairs looking across the water. We never ate in the restaurant but the afternoon tea in the lounge was excellent and the cocktails very good. The service in the hotel was friendly and efficient and we found all staff to be very helpful.

The spa is probably the main selling point of the hotel and it does not let you down. With many saunas/steam rooms that are adult only, it is a really relaxing way to spend an afternoon. The large jacuzzi has an outdoor part which is lovely rain or shine. The pool is excellent for swimming and children are allowed at this part. We never got a treatment but the area also looked first class and if I was to go again I would certainly consider.

Now for the negatives. The room is very small, and we had paid for an 'executive double'. The bed was a tiny double - not the usually king size beds that most top end hotels have now. There is no air conditioning so even on a night that was by no way exceptionally warm outside (we came after the recent heat wave) the heat was unbearable. We were given a small fan upon asking but all it succeeded in doing was moving around the already warm air. My thermometer showed 28 degrees which is really far too hot to sleep in. Sadly we never slept a minute the whole night in the heat and small bed. I appreciate it's an old hotel but they really need to be looking into some form of air conditioning.

Breakfast was good but not quite as good as some MacDonalds I have stayed in. The view is fantastic again.

Unfortunately I lost an Up Fitness Bracelet in the hotel which must have been pinched by some dishonest guest. The hotel were very helpful trying to locate this, and phoned me to keep me up to date on whether it had been found. Sadly it never turned up but certainly the hotel cannot be held responsible for that!

Overall a lovely hotel with fantastic staff, views and spa, let down by the rooms and lack of air conditioning. At the end of the day we came for a relaxing 5 star night away to recharge and relax but in the end came back more tired than when we left!

Room Tip: Upgrade to a larger room as the basic room is tiny.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank chris-hogg-1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa

Address: 18 Cromwell Road | Edinburgh, North Berwick EH39 4LZ, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > East Lothian > North Berwick
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in North Berwick
Price Range: £106 - £262 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa boasts everything you could need for a short break on the Scottish coast. Our luxurious spa offers rejuvenating Elemis treatments performed by highly trained therapists. Experience award-winning dining in our restaurant or relax in our lounge while taking in the view over the Firth of Forth. Your guaranteed a great night sleep in our stylish bedrooms, exactly what you need after a day on one of the many surrounding world-class golf courses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Marine Hotel And Spa
Macdonald Marine Hotel North Berwick
Hotel Macdonald Marine
Berwick Hotel Marine North
Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa North Berwick, Scotland

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