We had travelled 4 hours in the car on New Year's Eve and were happy to get to the guest house for 1:30pm to make the most of our day.
We parked outside and knocked on the door but there was no answer. There was a note on the door with two mobile numbers to ring if there was no one there. The first went to voicemail, the other was answered by the manager who said she was at the theatre so wouldn't be there all afternoon, but the owner should be on his way as he was expecting us...
45 mins later we were still waiting outside and a couple who were staying at the guest house let us in, so we stood in the dining room and rang the manager again. She apologised and told us to go up the stairs to room 9, get settled and wait for the owner to come over as he shouldn't be long. We went up the stairs to find a couple coming out of room 9 and had been there since last night.
I rang the manager again, starting to get a bit fed up. Again she apologised and said to go down to room 2, which was a family room overlooking the sea and the owner could figure out what to do with the people who would be arriving later and were due to stay in that room!
Then she apologised again and remembered that room 4 was our room, to go there and wait for the owner. We made our way to the room (being careful not to trip over the bed frame that was lying in the hallway), opened the door and were met with a cold, tiny room with dated wallpaper that was hanging off in places.
This room was on the middle floor. I went in search of the shared bathroom and found a handwritten sign on one door saying to use the one on the top floor as this room had a private bathroom. The toilet was a tiny room which was unclean and you could barely move, and the bathroom was being occupied by someone else so i couldn't wash my hands afterwards.
At this point I wanted to cry and my partner was equally as unhappy, so we looked online and booked another hotel! Only problem was that we'd paid for the first night here and wanted our money back.
We were making our way out to the car at 3:05pm, an hour and a half after we arrived, and the owner was walking towards the door. We complained and told him we were leaving as how we had been treated was unacceptable. At first he told us we had said we would be arriving between 2:30pm and 3:30pm, which we did not, and then said he had been at an appointment and we should expect to have to wait at least half an hour!!
By this time we were very angry and demanded a refund. The owner said he knew he was in the wrong but refused to refund our money at first, as he said he was here now and we had chosen to leave. We weren't having that but the owner then proceeded to ignore my partner and went to check in the family who would be staying in room 2!
We did not give up and took the opportunity to complain in front of the new guests! After buying himself another distraction by going to move his car he eventually apologised and gave us our money back and we left for a better hotel in central Edinburgh which we had no problems with.
I have no idea how a guest house owner can have the cheek to not be in when guests arrive and leave them standing outside, and then say we should expect this!! He also said he would be out of pocket if he refunded us as he wouldn't be able to rent the room out that night! Well, who's fault is that?!
I am glad we found another hotel, as even if these things wouldn't have happened i would not have wanted to stay there, due to the house's appearance and the shared bathroom/toilet situation.
To add insult to injury, my partner received an email from the site we booked the hotel through saying we had been reported as a 'no show' so we would be charged the first night's payment! My partner was straight on the phone to the company who in turn rang the owner, who said he'd made a mistake and apologised.
We have since read another review by guests who waited longer than us outside for him to show up, so its obviously not a one off oversight. The owner of this guest house needs a serious kick up the backside if he wants to continue running a business, because our experience was appalling and we are not afraid to let other people know so they avoid the same treatment.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA so you can book your Portobello Guest House reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Portobello Guest House Edinburgh, Scotland