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“Smart at IQ, Grove Street, Edinburgh-pretty good, could improve their housekeeping.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Smart City Hostels Edinburgh

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Smart City Hostels Edinburgh
5.0 of 5 Hostel   |   50 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh EH1 1NE , Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #55 of 185 Specialty Lodging in Edinburgh
Amsterdam
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Smart at IQ, Grove Street, Edinburgh-pretty good, could improve their housekeeping.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

I have mixed feelings about my experience at Smart at IQ, Grove Street, Edinburgh. The hostel is in quite a good location - only 10 minutes walk from Princes Street. It looked like everything had been renovated and it was great that I had my own ensuite bathroom. The power of the water in the shower was great. I booked the hostel so I could cook for myself while I was there, to save some money and I had the kitchen to myself the whole time. The amount of utensils provided is limited. There is the basic cutlery, cups, plates, 3 frying/saucepans but there are two fridges, a kettle, microwave, oven and hob, so this sort of compensates for the small amount of cooking utensils and crockery. I was only cooking for myself so I didn't need more than what was provided but if groups were cooking there, I would say that more utensils should be provided.

The room was very clean and it was pretty quiet, apart from when the fire alarm went off at 7.20am on Saturday morning. It was a false alarm but I didn't see any staff around to tell us this. Everybody just went back to their rooms after 10 minutes.

Staying in a hostel for five nights, I would expect the towels to be replaced every day by housekeeping but after the first two days, I had to ask for new towels and they didn't clean my room while I was there. It does say on the website that there is housekeeping but I didn't find out, until I asked the guy who was replacing the towels, that we had to put our used towels outside our room doors to be picked up by housekeeping.This wasn't explained to us at reception. When I checked in, the girl on reception told me that they had charged me twice, by mistake, for the 10% deposit on the room but she gave me back the 14 pounds in cash.

It wasn't the best hostel I've stayed in but overall, I would say it was pretty good.

Room Tip: I stayed in Flat number 75, which was pretty quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
EdinburghSmart_city, Director of Sales at Smart City Hostels Edinburgh, responded to this review, July 23, 2012
Hi,

Thanks for your review for our secondary property.

Smart@iQ is not a hostel. It's serviced apartments that we at Smart City Hostels operate over July and August only for the busier period in Edinburgh. The rest of the year round Smart@iQ is called iQ students and is student accommodation. We only market Smart@iQ as serviced apartments and not as a hostel. Please do email me on jayne@smartcityhostels.com to let me know where you may have found the information stating Smart@iQ was a hostel facility.

This will explain several of the points you raised.

We are sorry about the inconvenience of the fire alarm and glad you got back into your room promptly.

There are tent card signs in all rooms letting you know about our towelchange policy. As keen supporters of the environment, we have implemented a towel change system that is stated on those cards.

Many Thanks,

Jayne @ SCH & Smart@iQ
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476 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Jarfalla, Sweden
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

This was my third visit to Smart City Hostels and may be my last. It has a great location and rooms are clean but this time we got a very cramped room with a curtain that couldn't be closed properly (letting in the light) and an en suite shower room with a stinking drain. The guest kitchen is short of glasses and mugs. The hostel can get a bit noisy due to large groups of school classes and music in the bar.

It costs about 20 GBP for a taxi from the hostel to the airport. If you walk down to Waverley station you can get the Airport Express bus for 3:50 GBP per person one way. Both journeys take about 30-45 minutes depending on the traffic. If you turn right out of the hostel and then directly left and work towards Holyrood, you will find a Tesco supermarket on your left after about 5 minutes walk.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EdinburghSmart_city, Director of Sales at Smart City Hostels Edinburgh, responded to this review, July 23, 2012
Hi there,

Thanks for taking the time to review us.

We are sorry you feel your stay this time around wasn't as good as your previous stays.

Did you alert reception or a member of the duty management team about the problems in your room? We would have been very happy to accommodate you in another room and look into the problems you say you were experiencing.

Thanks,

Jayne @ SCH
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Guildford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

We have used the hostel for the past 4 years with a group of 20-25 very well behaved college students. Generally we have been delighted with the central location, friendly staff and plentiful breakfast. However, this year we were very disappointed. Having paid for rooms from 3pm on Sunday afternoon, we had to join a lengthy queue only to be told that the rooms were still dirty. We finally got access at 3.50 and had to miss half of our next planned visit as a result. No apology or compensation was offered. As all visitors have to pay if they stay in rooms after the exit time of 10am, it seems logical that we should get compensation if they break their contract by not giving us access until nearly an hour after the stated time. So sadly, the rating is poor, but i will return and change it if the hostel provides an apology and compensation in the near future.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EdinburghSmart_city, Director of Sales at Smart City Hostels Edinburgh, responded to this review, July 23, 2012
Hi there,

Thanks for your review.

We are disappointed to hear you missed half of your next planned visit given your rooms weren't ready. Check in is any time after 3pm. If you had made reception aware that you had an outing / trip planned that afternoon, we would have stored your luggage for you and ensured it was delivered to your rooms for you arriving back into the hostel. It really would not have been a bother - we have done this happily in the past for other groups.

Thanks,

Jayne @ SCH
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Mumbles, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

I stayed here for my stag do last August at the start of the Edinburgh festival.

We had a dorm of 14 beds to ourselves with ensuite facilities.

The accommodation was perfectly acceptable and there is a bar attached. It's also in a perfect location-what more could you ask for?

The only criticism is a lack of soap in the ensuite toilets.

If I go back to Edinburgh again, I will gladly stay here.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EdinburghSmart_city, Director of Sales at Smart City Hostels Edinburgh, responded to this review, July 23, 2012
Hi, and thanks for your review,

We aim to please all of our guests at SCH and are really glad that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Please do some back and see us soon.

Cheers,

Jayne @ SCH
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highbridge, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012

How anyone can moan about this place is beyond me!!!! IF you expect hotel treatment - FORK OUT FOR A HOTEL.

Smart City Hostels were ideal for our party and everyone had a great stay.

Location - Amazing, just off the Royal Mile and surrounded by lots of bars and restaurants

Facilities - Bar was awesome that stayed open till 01:00 in the morning and servered a great full breakfast in the morning. We had lunch there also which was to a great standard and very cheap for what you get.

Rooms - I have stayed at many top hotels and the shower in our private 6 dorm room was amazing. The beds were more then comfortable.

For those who moan about cleanliness........you must have been staying at the grungy looking hostel up the road as it certainly was not the hostel.

I and the other 6 in our party had a fantastic stay and if we ever return to Edinburgh again we will definately be booking to return to Smart City Hostels once again.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Director of Sales at Smart City Hostels Edinburgh, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Hi,

Thanks for your review.

It's great to get such positive feedback. The team really love feedback of this nature, because we do always try hard to make every guests stay an excellent one.

Do let us know if you are coming back to Edinburgh. Hope to see you again soon.

Cheers,

Jayne @ SCH
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

SmartCity Edinburgh Hostel isn’t the best establishment. It is in a good location, but lacks cleanliness and has rude and impersonal staff. I wish I had taken pictures of stairway. You can see copious amount of dust/dirt on the sides of the stairwell as you enter. My bathroom was not clean at all and there were fecal remains on the toilet. I asked when the bathrooms were cleaned and was told every 3 days (disgusting). Additionally, while I was on the top bunk was troubled to see a thick layer of dust on top of the locker stand.

If enough reviewers are saying this than any person would have to acknowledge that it has some truth. A bland corporate response is not comforting.
“Cleanliness is an area that our guests normally rate us really well on. We are sorry if you did not have the same experience.”

Secondly, the staff was rude and impersonal. There were a lot of employees- a different face at the reception desk everyday. It seems that most of them were not trained properly. I was told to wait even though the receptionist was not busy. Secondly, the staff did not follow normal procedure of informing us about the amenities of the hostel. The receptionist did not inform me that there was free internet available at the bar (which I found out from a hostelmate), or that there was a guest kitchen, or that there was a luggage storage room, or that there was free breakfast. In fact, when I asked at a later time the receptionist said that there was NO free breakfast at all! Which is false! A continental breakfast of tea, coffee, juice, water, and toast is available for free (you have to pay for the full English breakfast). Additionally, I paid exorbitantly for internet before I found out of the free internet! The staff is impersonal and incompetent but also does not inform us of the amenities of the hostel, which is contrary to all of the other hostels I have stayed at. How are we supposed to enjoy out stay if we are not informed properly of the amenities? Normal protocol “Your room number is 102 sir. We have free breakfast and wifi. Please see us if you have any questions.”

I also witnessed the staff acting like bad landlords. While waiting in reception, I saw a guest ask of he could extend his stay. The receptionist said: “You should have done that yesterday, I will have to charge you a late checkout fee in addition to the cost of another night”. The guest was upset and decided to pay the fee and to leave. What type of business practice is this? Firstly, the staff is too rude to inform us of the checkout time (in addition to the amenities of the hostel). Secondly, is it more profitable to charge late checkout fees than it is to have a guest stay another night? Common sense would tell me encouraging the main source of revenue (guest staying at night), would be more beneficial.

Lastly, there is a lack of communication between the staff and they are rude as well. I asked to check out early as I was not satisfied with the hostel and wanted to move out. A lady with red hair told me that as long as I told her before midnight, I could cancel 2 days and receive a refund. Another gentleman was there when I came back from dinner (around 9:30 PM). I told him of my 48 our notice and he said everything would be good. I saw a refund a day later for 1 night and asked about the other day’s refund- I was told it would be taken care of. 2 weeks later, I have still not received a refund and emailed about it. The response I got was that I had not given a 24 hour notice and not a 48 hour notice. I responded with the same information I mentioned earlier-that I spoke to a gentleman around 9:00 PM after speaking to the lady with red hair-which was 48 hours. The response I got was:: “According to our computer system, the time and the date of the cancellation was made at 6:30am on the 14th of June by Adam. This is accurate. Sorry for any confusion this has caused but it is clearly stated in our terms and conditions.”.

Really, I was up and in reception 6:30 AM to give my notice? (especially when I have a tour reserved at 9:30). It seems that Adam forgot to record the notice until 6:30. Please check your security footage SmartCity- I was there around 9:30 PM the night before, and was sleep at 6:30. It is not polite or proper to accuse international guests of lying.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Director of Sales at Smart City Hostels Edinburgh, responded to this review, June 29, 2012
Hi there,

Thanks for your review.

As you will understand, coming into the busier summer months, we employ more team members, therefore training takes place. Part of our ethos here is to give everyone on shift a chance to develop their skills and learn their role thoroughly - it's what we are all about. You may have experienced slower and not fully polished service due to this. Your feedback is appreciated however, and has been given to our reception manager.

We do not operate a free breakfast. Everyone pays for breakfast and you should have been doing so also. The breakfast price we have includes a continental and hot cooked breakfast. Whether you have only the continental breakfast, or only the cooked breakfast, or both, it's the same price.

Our toilets and rooms are cleaned after every stay checks out, before other guests check in. During your stay, your room will be cleaned lightly every day, and a full deep clean every 3 days as standard, if the total of your stay exceeds 3 days. We have an established house keeping team who fully clean and check room cleanliness constantly. You refer to the few reviews on trip advisor by those pointing out cleanliness issues, yet don't refer to the biggest majority that praise our cleanliness.

Thanks,

Jayne @ SCH
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germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

In my professional life, for the last 6 years, I had to travel often from country to country, town to town. I have stayed in a lot of hostels. It is quite difficult for me to judge which is the best but the Smart City Hostels in Edinburgh got the best location i ever saw. I visited there about 1 year ago but i still remember the enjoyable time i had there. It was located just off the Royal Mile. Though the price was higher than the facilities i was given with, i think the hostel deserved that.
The bar of the hostel was really great. It was open all day. Though it was noisy, i liked it. I think the breakfast also need to be praised as it included eggs, sausages, bacon and fresh fruits in an adjustable price.
The only problem i faced was the expensive internet cost.
But i have no hesitation to say that, it was one of the finest and best served hostels i have ever seen.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Director of Sales at Smart City Hostels Edinburgh, responded to this review, June 29, 2012
Hi,

We appreciate you taking the time to review us.

We always aim to make every person's stay here most enjoyable - it's great you have a good time with us.

Thanks,

Jayne
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smart City Hostels Edinburgh

Address: 50 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh EH1 1NE , Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #55 of 185 Specialty Lodging in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Smart City Hostels Edinburgh 5*
Number of rooms: 132
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just off the Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, Smart City Hostels, Edinburgh, redefines the hostel experience. Smart City Hostels is an award winning stylish five-star hostel with great facilities that make it the ideal choice for value accommodation in the heart of Edinburgh. Smart City Hostel's rooms are clean, comfortable and spacious and all have en-suite facilities. The hostel can provide private rooms as well as larger dorm style living so there really is something for everyone. Smart City hostels really is the ultimate urban retreat with Bar 50, a fully licensed restaurant and bar, with free Wi-Fi, Sky Sports, pool table, and a great atmosphere. There is also a 24 hour reception, no curfew, and all of Edinburgh's lively night scene and famed attractions on your doorstep. Smart City also offers fantastic City break deals, family and friend packages, group offers and stag and hen specials as well as seasonal offers. So what are you waiting for? Come and see for yourself why Smart City Hostels is the smart choice for your journey to Scotland's vibrant and historic Capital city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Smart City Hostels Edinburgh Hotel Edinburgh
Smart City Hostels Edinburgh Scotland

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