on July 15, 2009
---Intro--- Having decided to walk on fire for charity (best laid plans – it was cancelled) and having decided to make a weekend of it in Edinburgh I had the task of finding a hotel. So off I went trawling the Internet to see what I could find....and the Bruntsfield Hotel was what I chose. It's always good for hubby if I book the hotel, after all if it's not up to scratch then it can be my fault! Being a Best Western chain I was reasonably confident that it would be acceptable. ---Booking--- I booked online and it was all very quick and simple. The cost was £270 for the two of us in a double room for two night's bed and breakfast. Not cheap but it is Edinburgh, and it was a good price compared to some of the hotels I was looking at! However, perhaps I should mention that was the last transaction I made on my credit card before it was used fraudulently. Anyway, more about that in a minute. ---Getting there--- Living in Cumbria we're not far from Scotland, and it's about a 3 hour journey. We decided to visit the zoo prior to check into the hotel (see review).Anyway, getting to the hotel from the zoo involved various detours as they're currently digging up Edinburgh to put in a tram, but otherwise it was reasonably easy to find, although hubby doesn't really like city driving. The details are as follows: Address: 69 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, Lothian, EH10 4HH, Scotland - Telephone: (0131) 2291393 The hotel's website can be found here - www.thebruntsfield.co.uk ---Parking--- On arrival at the hotel at about 3:30pm (you can check in from 2pm) we had to wait what seemed like ages for an irritating taxi to get out of the way so that we could get into the one available parking space (parking is round the front of the hotel). Everyone else seemed to have avoided this space as it really needed a long reverse to get into it. On going into reception the woman seemed surprised that we had managed to get a space in the carpark, and gave us a resident's permit. So, although we were lucky to get a space, I wouldn't necessarily expect to get one. I suppose it must depend on when you arrive really. If you don't get a space you will have to pay to park in the road. ---Checking in--- The reception area was pleasant enough, nothing special. There is also a lounge room where people can sit and wait if they need to after checking out, or whatever. The receptionist lady was French, and while her English was good, I really don't think she understood when I tried to tell her about the fact that my credit card was most likely cloned after I used it to pay for the hotel. She kept on saying that sometimes she might put a transaction through twice by mistake and then cancel one. I couldn't really get her to understand that that wasn't my point, that the point was that someone has fraudulently used my card details for transactions elsewhere. I thought it would be something the hotel would like to know, in case they do have a member of staff who's selling card details to people or whatever (NOT that I was accusing - because it was possibly more likely to be something to do with the online booking process), but there you go! I filled in a form, saying that if we smoked in the room we'd be fined £150, gave them the details of hubby's card (fingers crossed with that one). We could have ordered a newspaper, but it would have cost us. We were given two card keys to our room - 234 and a map of Edinburgh which was very useful (and the lady on reception gave us some directions). We also booked a table at the restaurant for 8pm, as we were told that there would be in a party of 18 at 7pm and were advised to go later. ---The Lift--- The hotel's lift was really annoying. Poor hubby managed to get a static shock off it every time (I don't think we can blame the hotel for that though). But most annoyingly it was just so slow, we seemed to spend half of our time waiting for the lift - in retrospect we should have just taken the stairs maybe. There are only 2 floors, and there are 67 rooms. ---Our room--- Our room was a Classic room. If we'd paid more we could have had a room which looked like this - http://www.thebruntsfield.co.uk/GuestRooms.asp However, I don't think I could fault the room really. The bed (which was two singles joined together) was huge, and very comfortable. I slept like a koala (without the tree). The bathroom was basic but clean - the shower (in the bath) was powerful and came out at the right temperature which is always a bonus. Slight niggle was that although there was shower gel, shampoo, etc, I think we could have done with the shower gel being replenished the next day. The TV had a reasonable picture, although it could have been bigger. There were the usual tea/coffee making facilities, a hairdryer, a fan (which we had on at night) - all we needed really, although unfortunately no free Wifi. No mini bar, not that we'd have used it anyway. The view out of the window was of the building across the road. If we'd been at the front of the hotel we'd have been looking out over a park. Being at the back of the hotel we weren't bothered by any noise at all. The room was cleaned well while we were out. ---The area--- Having dumped our stuff hubby and I went for a potter. We headed towards Grassmarket which was about a mile away where we went to a couple of pubs sitting outside and watching the world go by. There is a nice pub near the hotel called the Cuckoo’s Nest. The Bruntsfield hotel is within easy walking distance of the city centre if you like a little bit of a walk!---The Bisque Bar & Brasserie--- Since the restaurant is open to the public I have reviewed this separately, but I will say here that I would certainly NOT recommend it – highly overpriced. The bar however does have an excellent selection of drinks, and they are not too excessively priced. ---Breakfast--- We were staying on a Bed and Breakfast basis, and breakfast was served in the Bisque. I will say briefly here that breakfast was not really up to scratch, the selection of cold foods was basic, and with the Full Scottish breakfast hubby was particularly disappointed that there were no baked beans. It really wasn’t that great at all, but I talk in more detail about this in my review of the restaurant!---Other--- On the Saturday we spent the day sightseeing. It's about one and a half miles to the castle, but it's uphill. We visited the castle (well worth a visit) and the Scottish Whisky Experience (which I have reviewed). We walked down, and then back up the Royal Mile, and visited various free attractions - the Museum on the Mound, the National Gallery, and a museum of Edinburgh. While you could end up spending a lot of money, there are lots and lots of attractions which cost nothing, so it doesn't have to be expensive. We did walk a fair distance over the day, and I was glad of the comfy bed back at the hotel.With regards to the clientele...I would say that probably most of the guests were aged 50+. However, there were some families there with small children, mainly foreign. ---Checkout--- Checkout time is 11am. However, we left straight after breakfast at 10am. Since we hadn't spent any money and had pre-paid it was a quick process! ---Concluding remarks--- While the hotel itself was reasonable enough the experiences in Bisque really let the visit down, and since that is the restaurant serving breakfast for the hotel I cannot give the hotel higher than 3 stars. Good location and competitive price. We were also lucky to be able to park. On the whole I would recommend the hotel, but would recommend that you eat elsewhere - there are loads of reasonably priced restaurants nearby.
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