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“Avoid this hotel” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Original Raj Hotel

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The Original Raj Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   6 West Coates, Edinburgh EH12 5JG, Scotland (West End)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #136 of 146 Hotels in Edinburgh
Zurich, Switzerland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Avoid this hotel”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

We only stayed one night at this hotel, since we had an early morning flight and most hotels in Edinburgh were already fully booked due to the festival. The atmosphere is completely gloomy and run-down inside, quite scary, like an old haunted house. Welcome at the reception was not friendly at all, we had the feeling of disturbing when we arrived. There is no WIFI in the room (which was at the end of a maze of a corridor), only in the front area of the hotel. The room is not clean, lamps do not work, carpet is old. Overall a very overpriced choice for what you get... We left early so we did not try the breakfast, but our instinct would have been to escape from there as fast as possible anyway.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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162 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
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Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

We were very apprehensive about this place, judging by the many comments, but decided to give it a go and move on somewhere else if it was awful. However, on first impressions the room was spacious and seemed clean, likewise the bathroom. There were plenty of clean towels and the sheets looked freshly laundered. But the room was very dark, none of the windows opened and it all felt very stuffy and as though it could do with a good 'air'.

Breakfast - this consisted of orange juice, croissants, packets of jam, some slimy processed cheese slices and white or brown bread which you could toast yourself in the domestic size 2 slot toaster. The management had clearly bought the very cheapest economy ranges they could find. Nothing tasted of anything. And was that really coffee they were offering? I'm not convinced. The room where breakfast was served was pleasant and spacious, but again it could have done with some open windows to freshen it up and all the surfaces had a sticky feel to them.

The sheets weren't changed, nor was the bed made up or clean towels provided the next day.

However, on the plus side, it is a reasonably priced hotel in quite a nice location, and the staff seemed friendly enough.

But would I revisit? No.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013 via mobile

Well I don't really have many us points for this place! I guess it was clean enough...

First off I think for what it is and what you can get in Edinburgh it's over priced!

The rooms was decorated fine but I swear one of the staff had used the toilet just before we checked in because it stunk of faeces for the first half hour we arrived! Not a good start!

The staff were ok but not the most attentive, we were just handed our key and told "2nd floor" cheers!

The bed felt old and flat and wasn't the most comfortable at all!

The breakfast... Wow, for what I paid for the room I expected a lot better! Shameful! It was basically terrible! The bread looked like the cheapest stuff I've ever seen, the cereal was all over the table and the orange juice was warm!!! Croissants were available but to be honest it looked such a mess I just walked out... Put my keys on the reception desk, picked up my stuff and left!

It is a little hike from the centre but to be honest not so bad and I knew how far when I booked it so I'm not complaining on that score!

I wouldn't return to this place at all!

I don't usually give stinging ratings unless its justified but I felt so let down with this place!

Basically guys if you're looking to stay in Edinburgh then look elsewhere, you will find a better standard of hotel or guesthouse that is also cheaper!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Cheshire
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

It's a nice building. From the outside. The dimly lit lobby seems authentically Raj-like, with periodic decor.. Even the telephone on reception is vintage.

My room was quite disappointing, but maybe it was completely authentic, I dunno. I can forgive the lack of a ceiling light, the lack of a quilt (I had a scratchy old blanket), the lack of a window (I had a skylight way, way above my head), I can even just about forgive the boiler that started with a roar at 6am then chugged away - a bit like an Indian train rattling through Maharashtra.

What I can't forgive is their failure to change my towels, the minging shower curtain, their failure to vacuum my room, and the lack of a plug in my sink.

Breakfast was functional, but joyless.

I'd have to be fairly desperate to stay again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

One imagines that when one books into a hotel with an unusual and exotic name that one is going to have a wonderful experience. So when I booked a week-end away in Edinburgh, I did not go for the cheapest option, I went (as is in my nature) for something which looked more interesting than the “normal” hotel. Firstly, with a name like "The Original Raj" situated in Edinburgh, it does stand out somewhat.

Upon arrival, the first impression was that of a quaint and somewhat unusual hotel. From the road the entrance is framed by pink flowers from the trees on either side of the gate, which is quite beautiful. Being greeted at the door by a statue of an elephant and having a rickshaw bicycle as an ornament in the garden sets the tone as to being different.

The front desk manager almost looked surprised when we came in the door (Almost as if he wasn’t expecting any guests). After a while he identified our booking and gave us a room key and directed us as to where to go. This would be fine in a normal hotel, where having a grid pattern and floor based layer structure allows one to identify location, but in this instance, the rooms are identified by names, so it is not entirely obvious as to where one should go. But we worked our way through the maze and found our room.
Upon arrival in the room, there were a number of obvious defects. The room was very dimly lit, (an obvious attempt at creating some form of ambience, and when one tried to switch on the bedside and desk lamps, only one of the three worked. Upon inspection, two of them were unplugged and one of them didn’t even have a bulb. The door to the bathroom was dysfunctional and hanging badly off the hinges, so it didn’t close unless one put one’s shoulder into it, so all in all this was a poor start to our week-end. I went back through to the front desk and pointed out the room’s issues and also enquired about Wi-Fi (Which I had seen mentioned in a review). I was told that Wi-Fi was only operational at the front of the hotel, in the dining room area. The front desk manager then moved us to a room in the front, one where we may be able to access Wi-Fi. (This is the room with the bay window, featured in the small fold out brochure). This room was a vast improvement on the initial offering, but it was not without issues.
The standard room key (a 4 lever lock key) to the outer door didn’t work, so the door was unable to be locked, which meant that the hanging cupboards in this area were technically unusable. However the inner door had a Yale type front door lock. We would be able to do without hanging space and used the desk drawers as clothes storage.

But in all instances, one does notice smaller issues.
The end of the curtain was hanging down, obviously having come out of the runners. (There was an additional bed in the bay window which made the closing and opening of the curtains somewhat awkward, and this had undoubtedly led to the curtain coming off the rail).
The bedside lamps had loose tops, which made them wobble around when one tried to switch them on or off.
However the room was functional and on a positive note,
The room was generously proportioned and the availability of hot water in which to bathe was considerably more than adequate.
I inquired at the front desk about restaurants in the area and the manager seemed to be vague. After some form of interrogation from me it appeared that he had only been in the position for some three months and was not very knowledgeable about the offerings in the area. He offered some very limited assistance.
Our own investigation led us to an Indian restaurant about 15 minutes walk away which was highly rated in a number of reviews. (We were not disappointed). I brought back a load of cards from the restaurant and suggested to your front desk manager that they be kept at the front desk for guests. (I also did this for the second restaurant we visited on the second night as it was also an above average culinary experience.) interestingly, at no time was the Raj Restaurant, on the shore Leith mentioned. (We love Indian Food – in fact Asian food in general.)

The following morning, the arrival at breakfast was very disappointing. My first requirement in the morning is Coffee, and to say I was mightily disappointed is somewhat of an understatement. I have been travelling internationally on various TV assignments for many years (Amongst other things, I make films on Tourism) and I have to say that the coffee on offer was undoubtedly the worst I have ever tasted. I think some el-cheapo instant would have been better. Furthermore, the breakfast offerings were very unappetizing. When we got there on offer were;
Three elderly looking croissants,
yellow processed pre-packaged cheese obviously designed for some kind of sandwich,
some fruit in baskets,
standard white and “brown” bread in baskets,
and, most surprising, not anyone from the hotel in in sight. No offering of perhaps Tea (Somewhat strange here in the UK). From an establishment which is owned by a celebrity chef, I feel that this is embarrassing indictment.

We headed out to the city for the day, returning early in the evening. Other issues which indicated a lack of attention to detail was the toilet roll in the bathroom, which was at about ¼ full, ran out and there was no spare. I had to request one on Monday morning. The Monday morning breakfast was as painful as the Sunday one, with one exception. I asked the gentleman behind the reception desk if we could possibly have some tea (he was on the computer). He produced a small pot of tea which was unceremoniously plonked on the table, no offering of milk or sugar. (I realised that this was his way of expressing his dis-interest in us as guests as I had been taking issue with the hotel in general.) The final straw was when I inquired as to where to catch the Airlink bus, He said the bus-stop outside the hotel. There are two bus-stops outside the hotel and he didn’t bother to direct us to the correct one. (We missed the first bus as we were standing at the wrong bus stop, but fortunately the service is very efficient and we caught another six minutes later.)
My impression is that the staff here are unaware as to the requirements for working in the hospitality industry. At no stage did I feel that I was being welcomed into a place where my wife and I would be spending 2 days.

I made the effort to bring back some cards from both of the very good restaurants which we visited and left them at the front desk, for the benefit of other guests. I suggested to the gentleman on the front desk that he may consider having a guest book there and ask guests to write about the restaurants they visit, so as to give advice to new arrivals as to culinary options. It was only at the end of the second night that I found your three panel glossy brochure which allowed me to realise that this establishment was owned by a celebrity chef, it is almost like they were hiding the information.

All in all, the room was basically comfortable and functional, and certainly from a space perspective a great improvement on the standard box offerings of today. But the lack of attention to detail, and the indifference of the staff coloured the picture in shades of grey. In our industry we refer to this as: “Nice video, pity about the song”.

My most recent tourism video was on an area called Libode in the Eastern Cape area of South Africa, andover the week it took to shoot it, I stayed in accommodation at both ends of the spectrum. Even the backpacker style hotel at the bottom of the scale in the middle of nowhere made me feel welcome. They were in a very remote area, but I felt welcome and the accommodation was as I expected.
I wanted to you know as if I was doing a tourism film or review on your hotel as experienced, it would not be very flattering at all. What I think has happened is that in some way people who do not have a feeling for the hospitality industry have been employed here (Possibly because they needed a job) and your establishment and brand are (and will) suffer as a consequence. More interestingly, I sent this to the parent company as well as the celebrity chef owner, Mr Tommy Miah and have received no response whatsoever. My email report back system indicated that it had been read. So is this the ostrich method of dealing with criticism? If this is how they deal with guest issues, be afraid, be very afraid!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

We stayed at the Original Raj for one night in April 2013. We emailed in advance to ask if we could check in early as we had a function to go to. The staff didn't seem aware of this, but eventually we did get a room. We stayed in the Mendhi room. The furniture was lovely but, as another reviewer has commented, the carpet has seen better days. The price was very reasonable for Einburgh, and I would rather stay in an interesting hotel like this than a big chain with boring rooms. It was a bit cold at night in the room, but warm when we woke up.the breakfast was light, a choice of cereal, croissant, bread and fruit. The coffee was very weak, which was disappointing. Overall, this hotel was cheaper than most on a weekend in Edinburgh and for us, it was a good choice.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Pole
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

My friends and I stayed here for two nights during the Hogmany celebrations. Safe to say we won't be stopping by the Original Raj again any time soon. It's easy to be fooled by the lavish exterior of this hotel. From the outside it looks warm, inviting and clean. However, the pretty architecture is merely part of a cunning ploy to lure you inside this sanctum of doom.

Upon arrival, we made our way through to a dim and murky reception area where we found a bespectacled member of staff hunched over his desk. He barely uttered a word and (reluctantly) showed us to our (unsatisfactory) suite. Our room was of hostel standards. Dark, cold, and smelt funky. The door leading to our room didn't lock and the bulb was broke. We spoke to staff about this, but it seems they were far too busy sitting on their arses to pay attention to us. After booking out of the raj on the last day we left our luggage in reception to pick up before our train arrived. Instead of storing our bags somewhere safe and out of sight, our friend at the desk felt it was a good idea to leave them sprawled out around the reception area.

All in all, service was ice cold and we felt unwelcome. Staff should take a few lessons in customer service. Interior is in serious need of renovation. And don't even get me started on the cheese powder. 1/10 for bants.

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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Additional Information about The Original Raj Hotel

Address: 6 West Coates, Edinburgh EH12 5JG, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > West End
Amenities:
Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #136 of 146 Hotels in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Original Raj Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Original Raj Hotel
Original Raj Edinburgh
The Original Raj Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

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