This hotel has in my opinion a mixture of standards! some parts and aspects are close to 5 star and others are only 3 star at best! But overall the experience is a 3-4 star and in the main very pleasing
the rooms are very very different in size so make sure that you know what you are booking as even the sea view rooms can be on the very very small side - we had to move rooms when we arrived as although we had a sea view with a large bathroom it was right next to the very unrealiable and noisy lift system! There was no problem moving us though - we were upgraded to a junior suite although without a sea view as there were no other sea view rooms available - i believe some of the sea view rooms are very large and one of these would have been fantastic so try to get one of these, one with a bay in it or corner windows from what I could see would be perfect - the odd numbered rooms are mostly sea view although some of the sea view rooms are still very small - the rooms have mostly been refurbished to an acceptable and clean standard - there are a lot of aspects that have been sadly missed in the refurb which includes the corridors which are really not very nice and still have the same 70's pre refurb wallpapers and horrible "hospital like" swing doors - once through the corridors though with the bulging plaster behind the wallpaper the rooms are all done to a nice standard and they are clean with modern bathrooms
The restaurant is superb - the meal both nights was absolutely excellent - they have a wonderful chef who apparently trained or worked with Gordon Ramsey - the meal was very good value for the quality - we were very very impressed - the wine choice was also very very good and fairly reasonable - service throughout the hotel including the restaurant was excellent with all staff friendly and professional. The bar area is very nice too with large comfy inviting chairs
Breakfast was very good on both mornings and service again to a very high standard - we were also impressed that the orange juice was indeed properly freshly squeezed - expresso coffees were also available and the full breakfast was of exceptionally good quality particularly the bacon! They also had my favourite - chocolate croissants!!
The hotel is very very warm and for me to say that is unusual as I am always cold!! We were so glad that we were able to move rooms as the first very small room was very stuffy and the second room allowed us to open some windows to get some air in - there isnt any air conditioning and I think it is probably a very old heating system without much thermostat control going off the look of some of the very very old heating pipes that run round the rooms and corridors!- the whole hotel is just exceptionally warm. there is only one lift and it is very very unrealiable and noisy - it definitely didnt like going to the 2nd floor! However the staircase is very nice with the original wood banistair and provided some good exercise as it was often quicker to just take the stairs! It is unusual to just have one lift though in such a large hotel
The hotel is a grand old dame from the victorian era and some parts of the refurb have been done exceptionally wel i.e. the reception, bar and restaurant and to a certain extent the rooms although lots of small touches have been forgotten like plug sockets near the dressing table in our room were non existent which is very inconvenient when drying your hair!! Also shelving in the first room bathroom was non existend which is also inconvenient for women with a fair few toiletries! The corridors are the thing that I disliked the most and the woodwork in many parts of the hotel which hadnt been tastefully or sympathetically refurbished and looked lumpy and bumpy! Perhaps they do plan to improve on this area which gives the impression of a "run down 2-3 star hotel" when really it is of a much higher standard - perhaps there is just too much damage to the plaster and it would cost too much to renovate all the woodwork and corridor decor! And it didnt spoil our experience to be honest!
The spa was superb and again the staff are very very nice - Dan in particular the spa manager was wonderful! The pool and steam rooms and saunas are great - the outside jacuzzi is very unique and a wonderful unmissable experience - the changing rooms are nice but take care on the floors as the tiles are very very slippy beside the pool and into the changing areas! The changing areas are small but all brand new and clean. the pool is of a decent enough size for lap swimming and wasnt too crowded on all of the 3 visits I made over 2 days - it is nicely overlooked by the gym which my husband enjoyed visiting as it had some of the very latest equipment! The treatments we had were very good and again the staff were excellent
The Manager should be very proud of the team he has at The Marine as the staff can make or break even just a short stay and without exception they were all very very friendly and happy
If I were to summarise the bad points I would say that the carpets in the restaurant needed more regular hoovering, the lift definitely needed not only a service or some maintenance but also needs a good cleaning and if there is further investment the corridors and general woodwork around the hotel would benefit from significant improvement and take this very pleasant hotel to the next level!
The good points are most definitely the staff, the food, the views and the spa and most of the public rooms
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa boasts everything you could need for a short break on the Scottish coast. Our luxurious spa offers rejuvenating Elemis treatments performed by highly trained therapists. Experience award-winning dining in our restaurant or relax in our lounge while taking in the view over the Firth of Forth. Your guaranteed a great night sleep in our stylish bedrooms, exactly what you need after a day on one of the many surrounding world-class golf courses. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Macdonald Marine Hotel And Spa
- Macdonald Marine Hotel North Berwick
- Hotel Macdonald Marine
- Berwick Hotel Marine North
- Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa North Berwick, Scotland