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“Really poorly run Guest House, we refused to stay there!”

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Portobello Guest House
Ranked #342 of 389 Edinburgh B&B and Inns
Scunthorpe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Really poorly run Guest House, we refused to stay there!”
Reviewed January 3, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Stay at another hotel!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Twe4dle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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English first
Amman, Jordan
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 8, 2011

The Harvest Guest House has been leased out and has rebranded itself the Portobello Guesthouse. We arrived at 5pm as indicated on our reservation form, when it was already dark and very cold, only to find the place empty and no one answering the doorbell or our repeated knocking. Not impressed given we had a 16 month old baby with us, had been flying for 14 hours previously to get there, suffering from jet lag and this guesthouse is not exactly located near other obvious accommodation options. We were eventually rescued by the one guest staying there who reluctantly but very kindly let us in, when we showed the guest our booking form we had printed from our email. We asked where the manager was, he said they had left for the day. We rang the manager and owner on the two numbers provided which rang out. It was not until close to 8pm that we received a call to say he was on his way to let us in, with no hint of apology. When we saw the room, it added insult to injury as it was small and stuffy and the "ensuite" that we paid extra for was so tiny that it was not worth using. If you do choose to stay there, I would not recommend paying extra for the ensuite - we used the shared bathroom anyway as the ensuite was not usable.

The saving grace of Portobello Guesthouse was Annie. She is the lady employed to cook breakfast and do cleaning and she offered lovely conversation each morning, an abundance of food, and went out of her way to do things to make us comfortable. Thank you Annie, you are a treasure.

The location is fantastic for young families who don't want to stay in the city. We went for beach walks each morning and the Espy pub and the Beach House cafe are brilliant. Our daughter was enchanted by the Portobello morning activity of dogs, birds and little kids on scooters. We chose this guest house because the other bnbs in the area said they did not accept children under 12.

So overall, we had a good time, thanks to the location and Annie. Wouldn't ever recommend this as a place to stay though.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elephantmouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Edinburgh hotels

Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2011

I stayed at this so called guest house with a group of friends. We were greeted by two young children who looked to be about 5 and 6 who then began to run in and out of the kitchen putting eggs on the table. We were then allocated our rooms where upon 6 women were put in one room together sharing one bathroom and having to push the beds together. My room was a double with a shower cubicle stuck in the corner, not ideal when sharing with a female friend. The toilet was out on the landing which had a major leak in the ceiling which soaked the carpet ane walls and filled one and a half small buckets,,, and to top it all you banged your head and knees on the door when sitting on the loo and bearing in mind im only 5ft 4. there was no room in the bedroom to swing a cat and i cant even say it was particularly clean! There was string filling holes in the bannister spindles and a curled up piece of paper stuck up with blue tack displayin fire drills. The carpet on the winding staircase was loose and an accident waiting to happen. This was the worste place ive ever stayed and it ruined my trip!!!!

Room Tip: dont go this place is terrible
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SE England
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2010

This was a perfectly acceptable hotel for the money. Don't forget, you get what you pay for and it's no good expecting 5-star service for a 1-star price. The room was clean and comfortable. The owner was a lovely man and very attentive and breakfast was good. The Edinburgh bus service is superb - you can get into the centre very quickly, but expect a little longer journey in morning and evening peak hours. Why not get off a few stops earlier and walk - there's loads to see.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AllenSEEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando FL
2 reviews
Reviewed November 29, 2008

This was the first stay of our first trip to Scotland and it was most pleasant. Although the weather was stormy, the views of the water and the beach were spectacular. The room and bath were clean and adequate. Breakfast was hot and tasty and the service was very good. Transportation was minutes away. Sadol was a gracious and helpful host, recommending restaurants and calling a taxi for us. He even went above and beyond to return a necklace to us that had been accidently left behind.

  • Liked — Beach front location
  • Disliked — Limited closet space
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kenzieOrlandoFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key West, Conch Republic
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2008

We chose the Harvest House as we were trying to stay within an under-$100 budget for lodging, a challenge in Scotland (and most of the UK). It was easily accessible by bus from Waverly Station (rail) and the day passes for the buses were wonderful.

On arrival we were upgraded to a larger room because we were ahead of season. Now, were the rooms decorated in immaculate, modern style? No. Were they clean? Yes! And the view we had of the water was awesome.

Out the front door we were on the "boardwalk" of Portabello, a Victorian era promenade that led to an arcade area. On the way home one of the most magnificent rainbows filled the sky.

Our hoteliers, an Iraqi family, were gracious and helpful. We enjoyed several deep discussions with them about issues which might have separated us (we being from the US) but which in the end led us to find exciting common ground.

The morning meal was hot and delicious.

The 15 minute ride into Edinburgh centre was a delight as well, as we observed the life of locals which one does not encounter in the usual hotels.

Were we back in Edinburgh, we would be back at Harvest House.

  • Liked — Price, cleanliness
  • Disliked — faded elegance
  • Stayed May 2005, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RevRandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2008

I was disappointed with this B&B. We were in Edinburgh for the first few days of the festival and wanted somewhere reasonably priced to stay. The Harvest was reasonably priced and clean but is in need of some redecoration. The one thing we were hoping for was a decent Scottish breakfast but the portions were meagre and I swear that the baked beans must have been counted out! Portobello is a nice place to stay and the bus ride into the city is fast and frequent. If I wanted to visit the festival on a budget again I would probably opt for one of the many hostels in the city centre to be nearer to the action.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Decor
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Minezapint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Portobello Guest House

Property: Portobello Guest House
Address: 33 Straiton Place | Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2BA, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #342 of 389 B&Bs / Inns in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Portobello Guest House Edinburgh, Scotland

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