Apparently when it opened this was a really good hotel. And frankly it’s still not a bad one – the staff were friendly, the rooms were spacious, well laid out and very clean, and the location’s good (especially the top floor rooms, which have interesting rooftop views). But there’s no escaping the fact that the interior is getting tired and needs some attention. Overall, as a fairly regular visitor to Aberdeen, I know you can do better in the town - but you can also do a lot worse than the Copthorne, hence my fairly neutral overall rating.
The good: Generally helpful staff, no problem with late check in (on the first night I arrived at around 11:30 after a long train journey!), the location is central and convenient (just a few minutes from Union Street, Aberdeen’s main thoroughfare, and loosely the centre of the shopping and eating areas), the rooms are spacious (noticeably more so than in other Aberdeen hotels at this price point) and sensibly furnished, with various useful extras (trouser press, hair dryers, fans) in the rooms. Decent quality soaps and shower gels, comfortable beds, and nice and quiet outside the hotel.
The bad: The building is nice on the outside, but it’s distinctly run down on the inside – the lift was broken (though to be fair it was fixed the second night), not one but two of the taps were firmly stuck shut, the bath handles were loose, one of the lights flickered, the bathroom spotlight was falling out of the ceiling, and the iron didn’t work despite following the instructions to the letter. Throughout the building, the décor had a scuffed and bruised look, with peeling paint and worn areas - the panelled corridor ceiling on the top floor was covered in huge leak stains, two lights in the lift had fallen out... I could go on. Individually, these are all things that can happen, but there were far too many of these small issues for it to just bad luck. Curiously, the shower was inexplicably fixed to the wall well below head height (and I’m not even tall!). All in all, I was left wondering if the interior is maybe being run down for a refit in the near future - which could make this a very good hotel.
Food: I only had breakfast, which was perfectly adequate and more or less what you expect (though the £13.95 rate would be a bit steep if you were paying for it on a non-inclusive basis – I’d expect at least fresh rather than long life orange juice for a rate like that).
The building: The hotel is a sort of gluing together of four old granite houses, with a new bit in their back gardens. The entrance happens to be directly opposite a giant granite tower block, which is a rather jarring landmark in an otherwise low-rise area - but don’t be put off – this is an upmarket bit of town, apparently helped by being a good school catchment area! Curiously, no windows in the breakfast area.
Room tip: The top (third) floor is definitely the one to go for if you like rooftop views across the granite city. Or the ones facing the streets either side. There are some extra large rooms (I saw one being cleaned near the lifts) which are absolutely vast.
Useful to know: I didn’t drive to the hotel, but if you do, there’s some parking underneath the hotel, as well as a huge Pay & Display public multi-storey car park right opposite the hotel, on Huntly Street, that (at least when I visited in February 2012) is open 24 hours.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Traditional Hotel located in city center, 7 miles to airport & within walking distance of museums, galleries, shops & restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Copthorne Hotel Aberdeen Scotland