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“A joy to visit.....staff, decor and food all top notch!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Berkeley Hotel

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The Berkeley Hotel
3.5 of 5 Small Hotel   |   1 Barns Street, Ayr KA7 1XB, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 62 Ayr B&B and Inns
Prestwick, Scotland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“A joy to visit.....staff, decor and food all top notch!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011

I visited the Berkeley Hotel In Ayr with two of my younger children for dinner in December 2011.

In entering the premises you are met with the most fantastic high specification stylish decor which continues through into the upmarket and trendy bar area and also to the clean, crisp well lit dining room.

Although the children who accompanied me were age 6 and 7 respectively we were still met at the door by Donna and David, two members of staff who were immaculately turned out in waistcoats and purple ties and balck trousers.

Their greeting of " Good afternoon Sir, how are you all. Could I ask if you are dining with us today." Totally top class and so different from from the greeting you receive in most establishments nowadays. What a refreshing and professional approach and what difference it makes as a paying customer.

I was given the choice of sitting in the Aubergine Restaurant or the lounge area for our meal. As the "Aubergine" is set up with the best of cutlery and real........yes real, crisp white tablecloths I opted for what I thought would be more appropriateand to sit in the lounge with two fairly young kids.
What a surprise I got when I was led through to the table by Donna. The Lounge area is simply stunning with its ambient, high quality, trendy decor. It has black glass tables, comfortable cushioned fabric seating and lots of little touches which distinguish it from the majority of establishments I have eaten or stayed in over the years.

As my kids can be quite lively the decandence and quality of the place unsettled me a little in that I was terrified they would damage something or use the sumpteous seating as a trampoline!

I should not have feared as Donna and another staff member Eka made the kids very welcome and put me at ease.

The kids menu is farly limited but I was advised that half portions of some food on the main menu could be supplied if the kids preferred it. As it turns out my 7 year old had the half portion of macaroni with fries and devoured it in no time. My 6 year old wanted Spaghetti Bolognaise but it isnt anywhere on the menu but lo and behold the chef on the night managed to conjure some up for her! That's what I call service!

I ordered Haddock which was nothing short of "whale" size and cooked in the most beautiful light, crisp batter. I followed it up with sticky toffee pudding which was also pretty damn tasty!

It was soft drinks all round and I had a soda water and lime...........Eka even made sure there was sufficient lime in the glass as he said he was aware that some establishments sold quite weak mixers and he didnt want to disappoint! How thorough is that for customer care?

The meal overall was pretty good but I could offer a couple of suggestions for improvement regarding the overall experience.

I would suggest that the childrens menu is extended somewhat if the premises want to encourage the attendance of young families.

I would also recommend that the table we sat at initially is adjusted to ensure stability. It wobbled a little and because I was there with two young kids didn't want to increase the chance of drinks spillages so requested a move to another table..........it was carried out in the blink of an eye without question and accompanied by a huge smile from Donna one of the staff.

The owner Megan found out that there were two young children on the premises and she brought some fancy dress masks for them and allowed them to pick one each to take home with them. Another really nice touch.

The bill was very reasonable and I would suggest good value for money for under £30.00 for 3 drinks, 3 main courses and 2 desserts.

Whan settling the account the courtesy, good manners and friendliness of the staff persisted and on leaving the premises the door was held open for us.

The parting comment from Donna was " Thank you for visiting Sir, I hope you enjoyed your meal and we hope to see you again soon." Eka also wished us a nice evening as we exited the premises.

I will be back at the earliest opportunity..........maybe without the kids so I can relax a bit more the next time.

The decor, food, attentiveness and manners of the staff make it all worthwhile and vastly outweigh the minor improvements which could and I'm sure will be made as the business becomes more established.

I enquired about the bedrooms on the premise and was advised that there were only 5 at this time but expansion is planned in the future. The staff gave me a peek at one room which lived up to the decor in the rest of the premises.......very plush and luxurious! I was tipped off that room 5 was the jewel in the crown but didnt get the chance to view it as I beleive it was booked for the night.

I would urge the gents on here to take their wife or girlfriend to The Berkeley for a meal or a stayover without them knowing..............you will be in their good books for a very long time if not forever!

Room Tip: As I said in my review I was tipped off that room 5 was the best but what I saw of one of the other...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
blue10ayr, Owner at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, January 2, 2012
Good evening Fatsammyd??

We have decided to frame your review and put it on the staff room wall, Ha ha, seriously it must have taken you ages to write this or else you can type at the speed of lightning!

We are delighted you took the time , however long, to write a great review and post it on trip!!
I can promise you that the wobbly table will be removed from the hotel ASAP. and pleased you have brought this to our attention. I must confess that this table has been nothing more than a piece of chess within our lounge and it is high time it was removed.
We agree our kiddies menu is short and our chef is happy to extend this to include many more choices. However, it may be worth mentioning that we have now decided to offer many dishes from our menu at half price for half portions which has been a direct result of your review!!
You mention Eka and Donna in your review as being great with the kids, , well I can reveal that both have quite large clutches of their own and indeed Donna is warmly called Momma D by her little ones albeit she looks nothing like a Momma!! more like a little Diva!! so it just goes to show practice must make perfect!
Thank you very much for your review and can assure you table and menu are sorted!
Kind regards
Megan and the others that make this happen
ps If you need any help choosing a better screen name maybe the kids could help?
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283 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011 via mobile

Second visit to the Berkeley in the last few months and still excellent. Stayed in room 5 this time and very impressed with the decor. Breakfast and dinner both very good and as last time the staff are a credit to the hotel. So another big thumbs up from someone who knows how difficult the hotel business can be and we will be back again soon.
A.Christie

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
blue10ayr, Owner at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, January 2, 2012
A BIG thank you Alasdair58 for another fantastic review from all of us!!!!!! I am sorry it has taken me some weeks to reply but my work load is getting beyond me at times......
This is indeed a 24/7 life style with no holidays or me time, but then as a Hotel General Manager you will fully understand this. I have said this before and I will say it again, if we can please some one who himself was in this industry , then yes I do think we are doing something right and truly value you thumbs up vote!!
In the past I must confess I probably thought nothing, not good or bad about persons in this trade, however, that is now not the case.......I have nothing but total respect for these dedicated and hard working individuals!
It means a great deal to the team to recieve outside recognition and praise and creates a feeling of achievment
Our Kindest of regards
Megan and the small team with Big hearts
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011

Years ago, we had our wedding reception in the old Berkeley Hotel in Ayr. Then the hotel closed and over the next quarter of a century we always felt wistful as we walked past the building which had morphed into lawyers’ offices.

Recently we discovered online that the hotel had re-opened and had been transformed into ‘Ayrshire’s only Boutique Hotel.’ We decided to book in for our wedding anniversary weekend. It was brilliant. There was a ‘wow’ factor as soon as we entered the reception area with its elegant staircase and distinctive décor – and the dining room and lounge were equally stunning. The ever-helpful Susan showed us to our Mews House room which, as well as being stylish and well-appointed, felt cosy and comfortable.

We had an excellent dinner each night of our stay and particularly enjoyed the chef’s chicken pâté, boeuf bourguignon, monkfish on couscous and sticky toffee pudding (though the bread and butter pudding came a close second.)

Megan and her staff made sure that our return to the Berkeley was a very happy one and we look forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
blue10ayr, Owner at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, December 17, 2011
Dear Norma ann

We are delighted you found the Berkeley again!!!!! and delighted you enjoyed your meals and home made puds! indeed I must admit we too enjoy the odd sticky toffee pud and confess I am the biggest culprit so much so I have signed up to join weight watchers in 2012!!!
Joking aside we all want to thank you for your kindest of reviews and support .it is much appreciated and that is for sure
Kind regards from everyone at the BerkeleyMegan
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Prestwick, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011

It is the first time we have been to the Berkley, what a pleasant surprise. The interior of the hotel is very up market, the staff were very pleasant and the high tea was extremely nice. we will not hesitate to return with some of our other friends to sample their evening meals.
Nice one "thanks a lot"

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
blue10ayr, Owner at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, December 17, 2011
Good Evening David P
Time over the past few weeks has been limited as I wrote to another valued guest, so please accept my apology for the late reply to your lovely review.
As you know we are attracting many visitors from wider afield than Ayrshire but it is fabulous to realise that we are indeed attracting many locals to the hotel , cocktail lounge and bar. and delighted you have joined so many in posting your fabulous support on Trip Adviser
After working so hard to create something a little different in our home town of Ayr we are all seriously happy to hear you shall return and hope our small hotel will continue to please you
Once again a huge thank you for your kind review and local support
Kind regards
Megan and the team
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York, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2011

Spent one night here on visit to Scotland. We arrived to a warm and friendly welcome. The room we had was excellent, it was spotless and decorated to a high standard. It had everything you required plus a few extras. We dined at the restaurant in the evening and the food and the setting was first class, as was the service. The breakfast choice had something for everyone. The friendly yet professional attitude from everyone we met is a credit to the hotel and it would be a pleasure to return if staying in Ayr again

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
blue10ayr, Owner at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, December 17, 2011
Good Evening Jan D

I have not had a lot of time recently to reply to reviewers who take the time to post these on Trip. On one hand that is a good thing in that we have been so very busy, but on the other hand it is only right I apologise, because our guests are and always will be at the very top of the tree in importance . You are all VIP's and that's for sure.
I therefore wish to convey our sincere gratitude to you for taking the time to post your review which makes us realise we are indeed on the right track and inturn encourages us to continue with our current philosophy in the many aspects of hospitality
We do hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip exploring Scotland and can promise a warm welcome will always await you if ever returning to Ayr
Once again a huge thank you for you kind review
Kind regards
Megan
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Scotland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2011

Ok so we did a double take. After entering the Berkeley we were not entirely sure we were in Ayr, indeed this Hotel would grace any of our mayor cities. Rejoice all fashionistas, stylistas and just plain folk like us who normally only see interiors like this in magazines and on TV shows. The style I believe is called 'Boutique', the effect is that you want to call the decorator when you get home. Luxurious style pure and simple and that is only the beginning. You are very courteously asked if they may take your coat and then directed to the Bar if you so wish. The glasses glisten, the candles are in abundance and you can't help but relax. Next you move to the dinning room, intimate yet spacious, the decor again is just amazing. Crisp white linen table cloths, beautiful table ware and attentive, polite, knowledgable staff. The menu was eclectic, I had the venison my partner the fish and both were delicious. Being a plain sort of lad I opted for the sticky toffee pudding and ice cream for dessert. The best outside Cartmel! In fact probably better, now I have an excuse to check! We are lucky in Ayr we do have some good restaurants but The Berkeley is simply a cut above. It's not just a dinner it's an experience and I'm happy to report a very affordable one too.So next time folks head for The Berkeley, and if they are out of sticky toffee pudding, well sorry, I beat you to it! We will be back. Thank you.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
blue10ayr, Manager at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, November 9, 2011
Good evening y0uasked

WOW Well where do I begin?

Many reviews are so good we all go home pleased with our achievments, however, your review made us all sit up take stock and take a long hard look at our service, and as the Manager of the Berkeley I personally want to thank you for your fabulous reviewwhich has helped me in several ways!
1 Exceptional frre marketing through the biggest hospitality site on the net.
2 Has given our small team proof of what our guests have come to enjoy & expect
3 Endorsing the importance of being service obsessed

So thank you once again y0uasked & shall wave your review around during our team meetings!!
Obviously the Berkeley ticked all the right boxes for yourself and your partner and therefore I shall be on the look out for a gentleman with 2 portions of sticky pud!

You have indeed set us high standards to maintain & trust we shall not disapoint

Best wishes

Linda Mccandlish
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Ayr, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2011

The Berkeley Hotel is a fine building with an impressive and welcoming feeling. The bar, restaurant and cocktail lounge are done up to a very high standard.

That said, there is another factor which makes a good hotel great - that is the quality of the food. Here appears to be the Achilles heel of this hotel. All the more surprising since all previous reviews have been gushing praise. Indeed one of us had eaten here before and had praised the food quality.

Let us get down to details. This was a lunch visit. The (soft) drinks were fine but the lime pieces looked almost as if they were about to be thrown away. The starters were tasty. The main courses were a disaster. All of them. Fish which seemed to have been fried and fried again, until soaked in oil. Chips that had been given the same treatment until they were drowned in oil and inedible. A burger that was so dry its composition was unrecognisable. Desserts were thankfully better, although the ice cream was much too soft, as if stored incorrectly.

The waiter who served us was exceptionally polite and efficient but the food was such a disappointment.

We are a group of lunch time diners who are quite savvy when it comes to food quality and all gave a strong thumbs down. So, what on earth made our experience so different from that of others?

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
blue10ayr, Owner at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, October 13, 2011
Good atfternoon Sanlab

Thank you for your kind comments about our decor & team,we believe that all reviews are extremely important to us and so let us deal with the "Achillies Heel", as you put it.

We at the Berkeley are utterly amazed that you went home and wrote such a review about our main courses but made no attempt whilst still here to bring your disappointments to the attention of the Waiter, the Manager or myself the owner? Neither did you fill in the comments card on your table. No meals have ever been sent back to the kitchen and it appears you were also happy to pay your bill in full once again mentioning nothing. Throughout the course of a meal all guests are asked several times if everything is ok and once again we have no record of a complaint?
Sadly, your decision to post such a comment rather than approach one of us has quite frankly left us bemused?
All persons who eat with us at the Berkeley are ultimately paying for the privilege and should therefore always expect nothing but the very best! We therefore find it hard to comprehend why such a, "savvy", UN quote, party have willingly paid for food they felt was less than up to a high standard.
Surprisingly, you did not give us the chance to rectify this situation, look into the cause, or indeed at the very least apologise at the time and as such can now only offer our sincere apology via Trip Adviser.
It is indeed baffling, why out of 394 great reviews, collated from various sources, your experience was less than everyone else's. and we are at a loss to explain this.
Regards
Berkeley team
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Additional Information about The Berkeley Hotel

Address: 1 Barns Street, Ayr KA7 1XB, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Ayrshire > South Ayrshire > Ayr
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 62 B&Bs / Inns in Ayr
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Berkeley Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Berkeley is a small family owned Boutique styled hotel and is and run by a small dedicated team, and has 24 hour night porter service, 5 sumptuous bedrooms a romantic restaurant and casual lounge cocktail bar, our large terrace is due to be heated & covered so guests can use this all year round and the gardens have 2 patio areas and are large enough to offer marquee weddings and events. We offer morning coffee & home made pastries, lunch and light snacks, afternoon tea, Traditional High Teas and evening meals to suit every occasion. We are a small hotel with a passion to do the best we can and raise the bar in hospitality. Our decor is strong and quirky! Comfortable and plush bedrooms which we take pride in. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Berkeley Hotel Ayr, Scotland

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