My partner and i stayed at Norton over the new year as we wanted to see Edinburgh, but also wanted to do our usual hand picked break.
Needless to say, the break was nothing short of stunning. If you read my other Hand Picked reviews, you will hear me talk about the hotels being all about food and service in really really great properties. The same applies at Norton - but with a few twists.
First to the building / rooms themselves - we opted for an upgrade to exec room - and boy was it worth it. Our room (Ratho) was in the newer part of the building. The building itself is simply stunning. The exterior well kept with nice gardens / patios etc. the inside is where the place really comes alive though. From the drawing room, the bar, lounges and restaurant, everything is well appointed with classy furnature and decent decor. It kind of just makes you feel like its a home from home. our room was based over 2 floors - a real surprise to us. As usual with HP, you get a super king bed (even more comfy from home.....) well appointed bathrooms etc etc. In our room though we had a decent sized balcony and upstairs was ansice sitting room and wet room. Its the little extras that make the difference though - so at Norton we were not surprised to see that bottled water and milk come as standard in the fridge in your room. the rooms also have very large flat screen TV's with DVD player and I-Pod / MP3 jack (they even have a selection of DVD's for you to borrow). All in all - the room blew us away - it really made the difference for us being there for 3 days.
So to the food - for us we had two evening meals, one lunch and three breakfasts in the brasserie and one gala dinner in the function room (New years Eve). You can only describe the food as stunning - and i will explain why..... Seldom do you come across a place that offers a menu with such choice that the chef can execute flawlessly. Out of all the meals, i didnt have one single complaint. Everything was cooked and presented as if you are in a michelin starred place. You usually find that a chef can cope very well if the menu only has 4 or 5 selections - but here there were many many more - and thats whats most impressive.... the gala dinner was equally impressive. The main was fillet of beef - now you try cooking that flawlessly for over 100 people - well this chef did just that. Overall - the food was a real star - tasty, reasonably priced, well presented and served by expirienced enthusiastic staff.
And so lastly to the service, as i have you will often read on here things like 'nothing was too much for the staff'........ well i hate to be one of those that uses a cliche - but really - the service from the staff was flawless - from check in through to check out - no problems. the great thing though is that they really did take an interest in what i wanted. For example - at breakfast asking what i had planned for the day - and then offering tips and advice from their own expiriences. Now thats what i call great service.
I will sum up just by saying two things:
1. I wish i lived closer so i could stay more often
2. Thank you to all the staff at Norton - you made our New Year break a very very special expirience.