My wife and I booked three nights here whilst we were up in Edinburgh for the marathon. The prospect of my first 26.2 miles was tempered by the thought of luxuriating at the Mal before and after!
We were not disappointed!
As the title suggest, do NOT be put off by the location of this hotel down in Leith! We had previous experience of staying at a nearby Premier Inn, so we knew just how good the transport (bus) links back into town are. With a bus every few minutes for most of the day and an all-day ticket costing £3.50, we had no hesitation staying here. However, you could easily spend a long weekend in Leith itself and not need to venture back up to the city centre if you didn't want to: there are a whole host if good bars and alternative eateries within a few minutes walk of the Mal if you want alternatives.
The Mal was pretty much up to the usual high standards. Decoration, the sophisticated - but relaxed - ambience and the comfortable rooms were as you would expect. The beds and towels were particularly noteworthy - and a good, relaxed sleep is really useful just before a marathon...! The room itself faced north towards the docks; the view was OK, but nothing special, consisting mainly of a car park and residential flats, but we could see the occasional ship moving around and this hills of Fife in the distance.
Size-wise the room was also "OK": acceptably large enough, but you probably would not call room 209 "spacious". I part that's probably because bed is pretty large and to be honest, I was OK with that compromise, given how comfortable it was.
On check-in we were surprised to be told that Sunday morning breakfast would not start until 08:00, given this was the morning of the marathon. On enquiring whether there was even the possibility of some porridge at 07:00, we were told quite clearly there would be no-one in the kitchen, so a continental room-service breakfast was our only option. Having bought our own instant porridge at a shop around the corner, it was only by chance that we overheard a conversation in the lobby the following day where a member of the check-in staff was explaining to an arriving guest that they would be opening breakfast an hour early at 07:00 on Sunday to cater for those runners entered for the marathon....!! Well, thanks for letting us know...!
Apart from breakfast, we didn't dine at the Mal. Breakfast on two mornings was every bit as good as you would expect, and despite the number of guests coming and going, availability and service remained high. However, on the Sunday morning - marathon morning - service was not up to the usual standards. Whether this was down to opening an hour early, I do not know. Having arrived bang-on 07:00 for a timely breakfast, there were already a handful of marathon breakfasters I place. We ordered two bowls of porridge as soon as we were shown to our table. We helped ourselves to the impressive fresh fruit and awaited our porridge. Three bowls of porridge arrived ten minutes later, but two of them were delivered to a nearby table who had arrived just after us: although the women there had not ordered it, she gratefully accepted it and tucked in. The third bowl hovered in the background whilst the staff tried to work out who had ordered what. It then disappeared back into the kitchen. We asked a member of staff and were assured the porridge was on its way. Twenty minutes later we asked again, getting quite concerned that we would have to leave without our "staple" breakfast. Another 5 minutes later - a total of almost half an hour after ordering - our two bowls of porridge finally arrived. Delicious they we too, but it wasn't really the standard of service we expected at the Mal nor what we needed for our marathon breakfast!!
Otherwise, service was good. The two "good" mornings, we breakfasted in the bar area and the service was great. There was a young blonde-haired barman who seemed to be there from breakfast right through until quite late in the day. He was friendly, polite and efficient. One morning he was about to pour breakfast coffee when I noticed one of the mugs was not clean. Both mugs were promptly and apologetically whisked away and replaced with clean items. Everyone understands sometimes things go awry: it's how they are out right that is more important, and this was a fine example of doing just that.
We didn't dine in the evening at the Mal, but we did same the bar. My wife can attest to the quality and range of gin on offer, whilst I was over the moon to see one of my favourite beers on draft: Bitter and Twisted - a very fine offering befitting of the Mal.
All in all, a good stay let down by a few minor service niggles which would be oh-so-easy to put right. Would we stay there again? Yes, at the right rate we certainly would.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- It's the mother of all Malmaison's. The former house of ill-repute now has a reputation that's second to none, and it's also just a short taxi ride away from Waverley Station. Malmaison Edinburgh bides at Leith (as they say up here), just a stone's throw from the Royal Yacht Britannia, but offering far more funky luxury. Yes, when you want exciting hotels in Edinburgh, this is the King, not the castle. Our Edinburgh hotel puts you close to all of Edinburgh's cobbled splendours, incredible shopping and famous galleries. Then it's back to Mal for Scots dining with a twist, a fine selection of single malts and mojitos in the bar and then back to the slinkiest and most spectacular rooms in the Scots capital. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Edinburgh Malmaison Hotel
- Malmaison Edinburgh
- Malmaison Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland