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“Perfect start to married life!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Witchery by the Castle

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The Witchery by the Castle
5.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   The Royal Mile | Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF, Scotland (Old Town)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #104 of 440 Edinburgh B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
northants
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Perfect start to married life!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

We spent 3 nights of pure bliss in October 2012 in the Inner Sanctum room. It was a treat to ourselves as we were married on the second day of our stay at the Lothian Chambers which is the registry office situated about 5 minutes walk away.
We were welcomed into our room by the famous 'Roxy' who has been at the Witchery for years and is a perfect example of someone who is passionate about his work and certainly knew how to make us feel special. He informed us that our room had been inhabited by numerous celebrities including Catherine Zeta-Jones who apparently was proposed to in the room by Michael Douglas. Might sound a bit corny but it did make the experience even more exiting.
We didn't actually eat in the Witchery restaurant as we were committed with friends elsewhere but on the subject of food the breakfast supplied to our room each day was of very good quality and with plenty of variation. As well as lots of fruit and croissants the were things like carpaccio of beef with cheese....all excellent quality. The room has a raised eating area which directly overlooks the Royal Mile and we spent some time people watching. It is quite amazing to watch people looking at the hotel and we felt somewhat like celebrities ourselves being residents.
The hotel couldn't be in a better place and although on the face of it it is expensive, for a special occasion it really would be hard to better.
Going back to our room briefly it was amazing and spacious. The night before our wedding we had 9 people all drinking champagne and there was loads of room for us all.
One thing to bear in mind is that there is no parking at the hotel.We parked at the sister hotel at Prestonfield and that looked as amazing as the Witchery. They then arrange a taxi to the hotel and return journey although the cost is down to you. Think that may well be a future destination.
Thanks for a great start to our marriage.

Room Tip: The inner sanctum suite directly overlooks Royal mile, sit on the window seats with the complimentar...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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806 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

My husband booked this as a surprise for our anniversary. Based on reviews and other people's experiences we had high expectations. The actual secret garden setting is beautiful all candlelit and an amazing setting. We ate from the a la carte menu, the food was very nice but very over priced for either the portion size or detailing. Overall glad we had the experience as this is mostly what you pay for.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We visited the whitchery for my mums birthday at lunch time. The food was amazing, came out piping hot and the flavours were incredible. Beautiful restaurant, fantastic service! And they put a little candle in my mums desert which was a lovely touch. Can't complain.

Except £5.00 for water is a bit much!! But that's it!

Thank you.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Belfast, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

I used to work in Edinburgh one day a week for almost two years. I often took a walk up the royal mile and I would look into the Witchery and think, someday, i will bring my special someone there. That day was Friday 26th Oct. The place is stunning, so romantic, a very beautiful location and the staff were lovely. Imagine my disappointment when the food tasted bland! We opted for the £30 menu as we thought it would give us the chance to try 3 courses each at a reasonable price. I had the soupe au pistou, a very tasteless, bland, minestrone type soup that required a lot more seasoning. My partner opted for the salt cod, which came out as a purée and tasted of very little. Our mains arrived, vegetable tangine for me, again, tasteless, bland, boring, and my partner had the mullet, of which the portion was TINY, served with two peeled baby potatoes!!! We didn't have high hopes for the pudding! Luckily my marmalade brûlée was delicious, my partners knickerbocker glory a let down. The bill came to £78. For what I had planned to be the highlight of our trip to Edinburgh, was such a let down that it left a bitter taste in my mouth. A beautiful establishment, awful food. We popped into Whiski the following day, a gastro pub, for something quick before our flight, the food there was fantastic, tasty, good potion sizes, Pleasant staff, not the opulence of the Witchery but great value for money food.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

My husband treated me to this for a suprise to mark our 10th wedding anniversary. We had stayed here before, about ?? 6 or 7 years ago, and I had raved about it afterwards for ages. That time, we had stayed in the 'Vestry' which is bigger and a bit more impressive, larger room, more dramatic bathroom, with lots of candles on pedestals filling the bathroom, and a bank of light switches to adjust the lighting just so......
This time we stayed in the Sempil suite - a little smaller and more snug, with separate lounge/breakfasting area to the bedroom. It was definitely quieter than the Vestry which looked out onto the main street (no double glazing in a 16th century conservation building!).
The Sempil was utterly silent, and if you closed the dense velvet curtains at night, completely blackout. You are absolutely cut-off in your own little world, away from all else.

The champage in the room (both nights! was this because they knew it was our anniversary?) was such a treat, and added to the indulgence of it all..... Cookies in jars, tea/coffee in the en suite kitchen, chocolate each night.....

Breakfast was served in a hamper in your room - and I felt it had decreased in size a little since our previous visit, but was very filling. Such a nice treat to unpack things and sit in bed with a picnic.

The weekend we stayed in October, the sun shone and it was very warm - so the rooms were a little overheated each time we came back ; (why do they turn on every light, the stereo, and pump up the heat each time we leave our room???). We could adjust the thermostat in the bedroom, but the underfloor heating in the bathroom was a little too much, and we couldn't find how to adjust it.

I don't accept the room was jaded and bedding threadbare (earlier review). This is a different hotel, utterly 'edinburgh' -in keeping with the whole 'Harry Potter', gothic, witching, image of the city ; it is far from a uniform, bland hotel room. And its not meant to be your standard, modern luxury place with minimalist decor and expanses of floor that the Missoni offers.The decor, furniture, and ornaments are not mere 'bric a brac'.... and add very much to the experience. It is opulence and different.

We ate in the restaurant on the Friday night - excellent. And helpful wine waiter.

My main niggle is the porter. We had marked very obviously that we wanted our hamper left outside the room in the morning - yet he insisted on knocking and bringing it in. It was very very obvious he wanted a tip, and insisted on talking and talking and reminding us that "we wouldn't see him tomorrow"..... It would be funny except it was the same guy, acting in exactly the same way as on our previous visit. Staff should be a LOT more discrete and not hound for tips in a hotel of this price range!!!! quite irritating.

I seem to be picking at everything above, but in conclusion, this hotel does have small quirks, but its the overall package you are paying for. Dead romantic!!! If you want to be carried away and get steeped in Edinburgh in the most sensual way, being your loved one here!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Ok Lets be honest here. The location is perfect right in the centre of the old town, 200 feet from the Castle Gates. The rooms themselves are romantic but that is kind of where it stops.
Remember that the average room rate here tops 300 pounds. What do you get for that?
The size of the rooms are good and yes it is atmospheric. Yet there are many things that let the hotel down. The quality of the bed linens is very poor. Sligtly threadbare sheets and pillowcases. A cheap blanket that my grandmother would have used The two sitting rooms were ok but none of the furniture or sitting areas where really useable. Lots of kitsche brick brack being passed off as style?
The continental breakfast was poor. I expected to be wowed and what I got was orange juice in a plastic bottle and very weak coffee and squashed breakfast pastries. The hotel bills itself as a restaurant with rooms. If thats the case then do it right. Have the kitched squeeze the juice fresh, bake your own pastries and breads etc.
If like me you have traveled globaly and stayed at the best hotels you will be disappointed here.
I have stayed at both The Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh as well as The Balmoral and I would be happier if I had stayed there. Yes it is romantic in a faded sort of way. Yes it migt have been the in place 5 years ago but the quality and comfort justs doesnt say 300 pounds to me.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

Please read the warnings about this place and spend your money elsewhere. It was my husband's birthday and I actually booked this 2 months ago. What a waste of money and time. We attempted to stay in The Old Rectory but the bed is situated right up against the next room's SEWAGE stack. Every time someone used the toilet the stench was incredible. Utterly disgusting.

The fridge in the room was filthy - a pint of milk placed in plenty of bacteria.

Also, if you need foam pillows don't expect them to have more than enough for one room on site - we were told other guests had them. I have asthma and can't sleep with feathers.

As for management try complaining gracefully and be told it's a 16th C building what do we expect? I'm sorry but sleeping in the stink of [--] IS NOT WHAT we expect.

Avoid at all costs. A travel inn is better than this.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Witchery by the Castle

Address: The Royal Mile | Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town , Castle / Royal Mile / High St
Amenities:
Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #104 of 440 B&Bs / Inns in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Witchery by the Castle 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Witchery By The Castle Hotel Edinburgh
Witchery Edinburgh
Edinburgh Witchery
Witchery Hotel Edinburgh
The Witchery By The Castle Edinburgh, Scotland

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