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“Not a true four star” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa

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Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in North Berwick
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Not a true four star”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2014

Stayed two nights whilst attending a wedding. The organisation and function suite were fantastic.

The good: Wonderful views (if you stay, definitely opt for a sea view), comfortable bed, spacious room, pleasant public areas, excellent food at dinner, free wifi.

The not so good: Were told room may not be ready at check in, booked one double and one twin room but reception had to enquire as to which room was which, limited number of electrical sockets in bedroom (only place to plug our kettle in was the window ledge), room very warm as the rooms lack air conditioning.

The unforgivable: Mouldly toast served to us at breakfast (no real apology offered for this and says a lot about quality control in the kitchen), fifteen minute wait for a table at breakfast despite tables being available, just staff were not clearing them quickly enough (we were told this happens all the time).

Overall the stay was fairly pleasant, but at the prices this hotel charges, there needs to be more attention to detail.

Room Tip: Get a sea view!
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (445)
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English first
Perth and Kinross, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

We booked a two night stay, using Tesco clubcard vouchers we exchanged. Thank goodness, as if we had paid full price I would feel very let down, disappointed and overcharged. We paid an additional £80 for an upgraded room - we didn't really see much of an upgrade. Very small double bed and quite a small room to be honest.

A bizarre moment when we realised the TV had a speaker in the bathroom that you couldn't turn off... Meaning that you could mute the TV in the main room and it was still loudly audible in the bathroom! Hard to have a relaxing bath with this. When we asked the staff, they seemed to know nothing about this and said they would contact housekeeping. No further action was taken by the hotel.

My husband then found a cockroach crawling up the wall. We squashed it on the wall and it was still there when we checked out two days later.

We had dinner in the bar on Friday night, and I'm glad we had paid ahead for dinner as the menu was very expensive. £17.50 for a chicken pasta salad (which was very bland) and £15 for a tomato mozzarella salad, which came with no mixed leaves as described.

Breakfast on the Saturday was delicious, although the buffet didn't seem to get replaced as it was eaten.

The spa and the staff in the spa were very good, and really made the visit. Lots to do and very clean. Staff we're very helpful, engaging and polite.

Dinner on Saturday night was delicious, food was excellent and the menu was very good.

Breakfast on Sunday was not as good. We arrived around 10, then we're told to wait in the bar. 10/15 minutes later we were called through to the main restaurant. I ordered a cooked breakfast, which was forgotten about. I asked the staff and it came out a wee while later. Again, I felt that items on the buffet were not replenished as they were finished, and as we arrived and were asked to wait, it was disappointing.

When we checked out, an additional £1 had been added to the bill. When I questioned this, the receptionist said it was an optional contribution to charity. No one had actually asked us if we wanted to contribute, so we were not given the option. I asked to take this off, as I felt it was cheeky to take money without asking!

We were also charged £100 extra as we had been charged for dinner twice. I questioned this initially and I felt I wasn't taken seriously. I then returned to reception to question it further, and indeed I was right. The receptionist said 'I did think it wasn't right!' Which was not the case, as when I pointed it out to her at first, she didn't want to know.

All in all, a disappointing experience from the hotel (but not spa, which was excellent). Definitely not a 4* hotel- obvious wear and tear throughout and the service and quality were not there.

So glad we didn't pay full price. Unfortunately, we will not be returning or recommending.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

I visited this hotel for lunch with my parents yesterday. The food was lovely, however, a little over priced for what it was. The service was however not so good. We waited a considerable amount of time for both drinks and food despite the lounge being quiet. Furthermore we were not given the shortbread which was said in the menu with our tea. Overall we left feeling a but let down by the service here which would definitely put us off returning...despite the beautiful location!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ZoeCampbell1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Kilbride, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
172 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

Went for the Dinner,bed & breakfast package but wished we had opted for bed & breakfast only.
Dinner was not as good as our first visit. Although service was very good and the food appetising,portions below average and can be an expensive meal with add ons for wine,water and other sides.
Next time we'll eat out as there are numerous nice places in the town which is less that 15 minutes walk away.
Breakfast cant be faulted at all.
Super spa and pool facilities and our room looking out to the sea on 3rd floor was very good.
Hotel itself looking a bit tired in places and needing a makeover.We had two broken tiles on our bathroom floor,not what you would expect of a hotel of 4 stars.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GEORGE P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falkirk Bairn
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Fideli0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kvt01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ShawDurham
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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