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“Best breakfast and host” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank

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Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank
45 Eskbank Road | Eskbank, Dalkeith EH22 3BH, Scotland   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 7 Dalkeith B&B and Inns
Southampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best breakfast and host”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We just stayed there for one night, only booking very late in the day as we didn't know we would need a b&b, Ewan was very accommodating and found us a warm comfy room with all the amenities you'd need and expect. The breakfast was herring rolled in oats and covered in vinegar. Sounds unusual but yet the most delicious surprise ever. More 'standard' options are available too =) Please let him "strong-arm" you into having some as it was beautifully cooked by his lovely wife. Hosts are very friendly and knowledgeable about their family history and always happy to chat.
If I were you, pay no heed to the review above complaining he was rude. Sounds like those guests were too. He was lovely, a real character. Lovely house and decor - would definitely recommend!!
From,
The people with the green van.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ewan M, Owner at Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Dear "Greenvaners"
As is obvious we try to be a little different. 95% of guests seem to like that. Our breakfasts are distinctively "Highlands" in content and include a few tastes which are new to most. It is wonderful, when you recommend something which you had clearly not had before , to be told that
it is really great food........which of course is the point of good food.

We are not going to hit the nail on the head every time, but we try , and we obviously really appreciate it when people are pleased.

Thank you for your kind comment.
Ewan Irene Hoolie and Willow
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109 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Lismore, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Our stay at Rathan House was wonderful, we were made very welcome by Ewan and Irene, the dogs wonderful too. The room was very comfortable and clean and our hosts made us feel part of the family. That trip was in 2011 and we have just contacted Ewan to book for our next trip in 2013. This is the only B and B we will revisit although we did stay at some other lovely places throughout England and Scotland as well as Jersey. The temptation to stay again at Rathan is to much to resist.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Ewan M, Owner at Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
How embarrassingly nice of you to say what you say. With a grannie from Melbourne and a dad who had a wallaby on his coffin , its great to compare notes with Ozzies .....and great when they wind me up and give as good as they get. One of my ambitions is to get to OZ.

Of course the main purpose of the guesthouse is to collect Ozzie addresses .......then I can turn up, knock on the door , and when it opens - say "got a bed". .......well it is ozzie culture!

look forward to seeing you at Rathan House again this year .......we shall do our best to look after you .

Have a good one !

Ewan & Irene & the doggies
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Folkestone, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We had a wonderful stay in this beautiful homely house with lovely garden.
The host Ewan was a very interesting historian with a great personality creating a great atmosphere.
A magnificant breakfast is served in a spacious dining room and all the guests eat around a large table where conversation is encouraged.
A visit to the nearby Rosslyn Chapel is a must.
We would certainly stay again when in the area, a great find

  • Stayed October 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We all had a great time at Eskbank. The Hosts were very helpful and full of interesting conversation about local history and attractions. The dogs were great and very friendly and our kids loved playing in the large yard with them. Breakfast was very good and enjoyable.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ewan M, Owner at Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Glad you and the kids enjoyed it at Rathan House. "Hoolie" enjoyed herself too and getting lots of attention while we attend to the tasks of the day is just great. Hope you will be back and certainly a warm welcome awaits.

Ewan & Irene
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

We are from New Zealand and arrived at Rathan House to visit Edinburgh and go to the Military Tattoo. We had had a booking for 8 months. On arrival the lovely hostess booked us in and showed us our room. The host then arrived home and told us he had had a call from his agent who sent him lots of business to take some Germans who needed accommodation so he was looking for somewhere else for us. When we said we were not going to move he told us he would just throw us out. He then proceeded to tell us several different stories about why we couldn't stay which were all untrue as obviously he intended just to take the Germans who obviously visit a lot more often they we would. The way he handled the whole situation was appalling and we have never been spoken to by anyone so rudely anywhere in the world. We did have to move as he threatened to put our bags outside if we left the house - what sort of a host would do that!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ewan M, Owner at Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
DTT - ( tourist wholesaler )booked a DOUBLE on 21 22 aug in Eskbank Dalkeith and although ( post drains blockage by prior guest) a 350 yards move was wholly nescessary
..............& arranged through DTT - the wholesaler.
Thus there was no reservation for these guests at Rathan House for 20.21 aug. ( Reasons - see letter 20 aug 2012 below addressed to the guests and copied to DTT ).

- the guests reservation was now to be provided by another DTT provider in a larger room in -Eskbank at "Gold Standard" on 21 22 aug. They were at the new accommodation C. 1.5 hours PRIOR to contracted arrival time. The move was difficult as they were very very cross indeed.

I don't think they would have been cross if they had allowed me to complete the problem/consequence/ solution explanation. I am afraid there was absolutely no obvious 2 night alternative other than to take up the move arranged through DTT. We certainly had no room available. Initial attempts to be accomodating seemed to just raise the temperature.

As far as I can tell they were actually happy with the new accommodation.

Faced with a drains BLOCKAGE and no idea what the problem was, or when we could have it fixed........& near 100% occupancy in local B&B providers throughout the Edinburgh Festival
......We had NO DOUBLE room to offer for 21 22 aug and DTT had pre-arranged instead a lovely ensuite room with 2 Double beds ( also a Gold standard provider for the same wholesale tourist bookings agency which this couple had booked through). The changed location is 350 or so yards from Rathan in a lovely Georgian mansionhouse set in 3 acres.

Our prospective guests were instantly very cross about the move news. We made a silly mistake in this instance - an assumption was incorrectly made by us here that they were another party. The outcome nevertheless - C. 2 hours before contracted arrival time - the couple were at a larger room at "Gold standard DTT" - 350 yards from Rathan ( at another DTT provider -arranged 5 days beforehand)

Immediately after leading this couple by car- 350 yds to their reserved accomodation ( still C. 2 hours before contracted arrival time ) I took the exceedingly unusual step of writing them a letter . Clearly they had not allowed me to complete the explanation and had obviously joined the wrong dots. The letter was delivered to the proprietors of the other guesthouse and placed on their bed.( on 20/aug) .... and copied to the reservations department of the tourist bookings wholesaler. In the normal course a letter would not have been my chosen explanation method.

A COPY OF THE LETTER IS PASTED BELOW. ( I have blocked out the guest names consistent with Tripadvisor rules)


RATHAN HOUSE,
45 ESKBANK ROAD, ESKBANK - DALKEITH,
BY EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, UK EH22 3BH
Tel/fax: 0131 663 3291 Mobile 07710200840
email: guesthouse.at.eskbank@gmail.com

CC. Discover Travel Tours 21 Aug 2012

*********************
Re: Discover Travel and Tours Gold B&B reservation 21 22 August –
DOUBLE ROOM ENSUITE B&B

Dear Mr and Mrs *******

You are clearly not happy about the 350 yard move to Gold Discover Travel and Tours provider ******* for the 21 and 22 August. –( Family room with 2 double beds) . I would however ask you to follow the train of events which took place here. The train of events put us between a rock and a hard place.

7 days ago we found that we had a blocked drain. At problem first sight - I had no idea if it was an inside or outside drain block, and I could not contact my normal plumber. I had no idea how long it would take to fix - but I acted immediately as a very nearly 100% advance bookings occupancy faced me( and most local B&B providers) up to 27 August ( end of Festival).

I was 100% full and had to arrange alternative accommodation for 1 couple. Another couple accepted a twin room rather than a double. For 4 following nights I arranged another couple to move elsewhere. For 20 aug I had had a 1 night TWIN room cancellation ( for 1 night - 21 aug) which was then taken up almost immediately by the tourism wholesaler ( DTT). We live in an online world.
We have 6 different types of room. ( Quin;Quad;Triple;King/Double;Twin & single). Any change has obvious ramifications. I need to be very well organised. Any reservation change has an obvious knock on effect in a busy period.

You booked a DOUBLE so I was faced with giving you a TWIN for one night and canceling the second night ( and moving the 1 night DTT booking elsewhere)- or, I had thought, much better - providing you with a 2 night DOUBLE (actually 2 double beds) at nearby ******** ( a Gold standard B&B provider for Discover Travel ), for 2 nights as arranged .

My alternative ( on the Sunday) would have been to call Discover Travel next day and cancel your whole reservation on the Monday. I know every local alternative ( some not as good) is now 100% full tonight……and that delays could have presented you with no 2 night availability in any equivalent nearby.

Virtually all half decent accommodation is booked well in advance for the 3 weeks of the Edinburgh festival. I believed I was acting wholly in your best interests by taking an immediate decision and asking DTT to arrange a switch nearby for you to a DOUBLE ---at exactly the same gold standard as booked, rather than cancelling the reservation. Any delay in my decision taking then risked having NO DOUBLE HERE AND NO FINDABLE ALTERNATIVE.. Edinburgh during the Festival has a wall of visitors and tourists. That presents obvious annual supply problems.

I wholly accept that I could and should have made more effort to contact you, I apologise for that…….but we are given no contact information when you reserve, only your name and a booking reference. Contacting people on the move can be very difficult. My only route was to go back to Discover Travel. I have talked to the reservations desk at Discover Travel and they advise that my solution was a good one. …and that they would have done just the same.

You did not book a TWIN ROOM at Rathan ( the room you saw) – and provision of a twin ( for only 1 night not 2) could have made you unhappy. The rearranged reservation ( By DTT) provides you with a DTT gold standard DOUBLE ensuite C.400 metres away from Rathan. The bus 3 stop is 100 yards from ******* driveway . I accept the point that 25 yards from our driveway is closer. Feel free to use Rathan House’s grounds to park if you wish.

Sometimes when you do your best and believe you are acting in someone’s best interests, it may not look that way to the other party. I do like to think I was doing my best to ensure you got what you needed.

I apologise unreservedly that you have had an unpleasant start to your visit to Eskbank. I unreservedly sorry too for the confusion my 15 minute absence from the house caused – I had a labourer building a garden wall waiting for materials. As a small B&B (not a hotel) we operate with a tiny team, and post cleaning and room servicing /turnarounds there are things a tiny team must do ( shopping, organising, dog walking etc.) – Discover Travel do give CLEAR WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS TO YOU on their Accommodation voucher that hosts can expect to welcome guests BETWEEN 4PM and 7PM.
Thus we were not expecting pre 4PM arrival. I am sorry that early arrival led to confusion.

************ is a wonderful person and a gracious host. I am sure you will enjoy your stay with ******** and **********.

Yours sincerely

Ewan MacRae


Proprietor : E. D. H. MacRae MBA

.....................................................

Postscript

- an item was left at Rathan and the husband returned to collect it. I enquired if he was happy with their room .........and got a horrid retort in language I am unable to repeat. It is almost universally true that if you are nice to people they are nice in return. Raising voices to a proprietor does not actually help solve a problem.

I thought my solution was good and helpful. For those who have picked their way through the cause / consequences ........please ! note :- no proprietor ever moves anyone without very good reason.

Although the plumbing problem was fixed on the 19th, the postfix decoration meant the DOUBLE room now smelled of gloss paint and so was still unusable .....It was not seen by the guests. ( Listening guests would have known this on 20 august)

It is true that Irene and I enjoy our guests and a wide cultural mix . In this case with 2 v.cross guests refusing to move and raising their voices .....I am guilty of disagreeing with their assertion that they were not moving. In C.30 years I have not before raised my voice to any guest or client. I did this time - and entirely regret it. ...How extraordinary would it have been if my first efforts were not efforts to be helpful and explain ?. ..... However they really did have to move as there was no available room at the Inn.

It is true too that the contract to the Georgian House owners nearby had to be honoured and their small business needs met.

I hope the tone of this interaction would have been 100% avoided if the guests had not arrived 2 hours early ...........or had recognised that the room they saw was a TWIN ( Not a DOUBLE) and therefore OBVIOUSLY NOT THEIR ROOM.........or had not interjected half way through explanations.........or liked the idea of a bigger room .

I am sorry.

I hope the guests enjoyed the rest of their trip to Scotland .
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Trondheim, Norway
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

We stayed here for only one night and would have liked to stay longer. After a long day of travelling, we arrived rather late and were welcomed with a no-nonsense, warm welcome and the owner quickly made sure we were allright and recerved a table for us at the local Indian restaurant (which was superb) within minutes. The breakfast was a highlight, with multiple tempting offers on the menue, also including a lecture in history and the way of life provided by the owner, who was happy to chat with us and answer questions about anything while we were eating. We also got to meet his two lovely dogs, who also made us feel much welcomed.
A little out of the way, but with an excellent bus service and a bus stop within 1/2 minutes walk, this place is a great place to stay if you get the week ticket from Lothian Buses. I would not consider the distance (30 min. from Edinburgh centre) a drawback.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

Nice and clean and very welcoming. The owners were very friendly and made us feel at home. Owner had good historical knowledge and was interesting. Beautiful kept gardens and lovely dogs if you are a dog lover. I would recommend if distance is not an issue as it takes about 30 mins to get into edinbrugh central.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ewan M, Owner at Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
We reckon housekeeping is about the most important thing we do and it is refreshing when our hard work is noticed. Thank you. Hope to see you again.

Ewan Irene Hoolie and Willow
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Additional Information about Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank

Address: 45 Eskbank Road | Eskbank, Dalkeith EH22 3BH, Scotland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Midlothian > Dalkeith
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Dalkeith
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BUS ( no. 3) to Edinburgh Royal Mile - 24 hra ( every 7 mins weekdays) from Rathan House driveway. Cost £1.50/ bus journey.Family Rooms - 2 doubles 3 twin 1 single 1 ( all ensuite)Airport ( 12 miles...95% dual carriageway) 16 minutesFamily holiday oriented upmarket Scottish Tourist Board quality rated 4 star guesthouse - with Parking in the Grounds - set in the leafy Eskbank conservation area with large sheltered peaceful 3/4 acres beautiful walled garden - with a croquet lawn. In an ideal location for park and ride to Edinburgh Scotland. . 7 all en-suite rooms with great memory foam medium firm mattresses. 1 very large and 1 smaller family room. 3 doubles and 1 twin . Near to Dalhousie Castle, Roslin Chapel, Dalkeith palace Adventure Playground and Country park & The Butterfly Farm. Well behaved dogs welcome. 13 Miles from Edinburgh Airport - along A720 (dual carriageway) making Dalkeith a great base for getting quickly to and from the airport for an Edinburgh fly/drive visit. It is also true that the road route into/out of Edinburgh is quicker than from any other direction. There are 6 restaurants/pubs within 2-5 min walk. 1 excellent - ITIHAAS - is 140 yds away. Bus runs every 10 mins to central Edinburgh from stop 30 meters from the driveway. Edinburgh Airport is a 14 minutes drive - 90% of which is dual carriageway...which makes Dalkeith a great base for Flydrive Edinburgh visits. Breakfasts:-Edwardian/ Highland in style - 10 cooked options including 5 seafood dishes - 3 courses - the opposite of an Ulster Fry. Signature dish - "Spealtragan" which few will have tasted. Curious? Let the fairy pipers DE-STRESS you at Rathan House in Eskbank! Dalkeith EH22 3BH ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rathan House - The Guesthouse At Eskbank Dalkeith, Scotland

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