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Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Ranked #85 of 149 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not as good as previously...”
Reviewed May 2, 2011

I have stayed in this hotel 5 or 6 times. Most recently as a mini honeymoon after my February wedding.

The room was okay and clean although we needed a cot and it was very cramped as we had a double double but only needed one bed. Bed itself and pillows etc all very comfy and beds were huge! Travel cot provided had no mattress at all however and was just a sheet placed on the hard plastic base. Ended up putting spare pillows under sheet for my son.

Breakfast was lovely and no complaints. Not much staff interaction but not unhelpful even though we arrived toward the end of breakfast.

Bar staff all seemed fine to me. Restaurant not great. Ate in the metro restaurant as had a tired 11 month old and felt the heights wouldn't be appropriate only to find after ordering drinks that they were only serving the heights menu in there. Very unhelpful waitress eventually said we could eat from another menu which only had about 5 options. Wouldn't eat dinner in the hotel again.

Seems to have gone downhill recently as previous trip in 2008 was phenomenal.

Great location for exploring Edinburgh and within walking distance of everywhere.

would be more hesitant to recommend now than in the past.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank EdwardsMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2011

First room was small & very tatty looking with chipped, marked paintwork & furniture, frayed carpets and overlooked back of hotel. However staff were kind enough to upgrade us free of charge to a superior room overlooking the castle. Unfortunately it had long blonde hair all over the dark purple carpet, the bed cover was stained, the sheet had a hole in it, the telephone was filthy and the washbasin was very slow to empty - revolting when cleaning one's teeth.
On presenting ourselves for breakfast on the second morning of our stay we had to wait until the restaurant manager phoned reception to check there should have been two of us in the room (even though this hadn't happened on the first morning) He was told that there should only be one and we would be charged an extra £10 for breakfast. I insisted there had been a mistake and had my paper confirmation to prove we had booked bed & breakfast for 2, so the restaurant manager relented and conceded reception must have made a mistake. Very embarrassing none the less to be interrogated in front of the whole restaurant prior to being allowed to sit down.
I have to say that all of the staff we encountered were very polite, but the product they are selling is not good value for money, it's very tired and the housekeeping side in particular needs a good shake up. Would not recommend this hotel or stay there again.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jesmondbelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carnforth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed April 26, 2011

Staff on reception and bar excellent. Rooms spacious but very warm. Fantastic view overlooking castle but could not leave window open due to street and pubs noise opposite.
Swimming pool small but lovely after a long day.
Breakfast absolutely rubbish for 4* hotel and for price. Had a fantastic meal and excellent breakfast at beefeater premier inn £29 the night after.
Nice touch with children given easter eggs at breakfast and cards-eggs to decorate
you have to pay to park

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank julie2809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AJC3112, General Manager at Apex Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this review, April 27, 2011
Thank you for your review following your recent stay. I am very disappointed that you found our breakfast offering less than acceptable on this occasion. With kids dining free, both breakfast and dinner I am confident we are competitive within the 4* market. We offer a plated breakfast option in Heights restaurant and a family friendly buffet in Metro throughout Easter, I am unsure which restaurant you dined during your stay however would welcome an oportunity to discuss this with you further. On a positive note I am delighted that you enjoyed relaxing in the pool and that you rated highly the staff in the reception and bar. It is always our intention to make Easter special for the kids and I am glad they enjoyed the Easter activities on Sunday morning. We do advertise that parking is chargeable and at £8 per day is considerably cheaper than the local public car parks. Thank you for your feedback and I do hope we will have an opportunity to welcome you back at a later date. Do give me a call should you wish to discuss your breakfast experience in more detail . Kind regards - Alistair J Campbell.
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UK
Level 6 Contributor
42 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2011

Upon arriving at 2.45pm it was surprising & a little irritating that the room wasn't ready. It was suggested that we have a drink in the bar as ".....it'll be a maximum 30 mins....". There was a noticeable lack of apology, almost as though it's the norm and nothing unusual.

40 minutes, 2 drinks and £27 later (vodka/tonic & wine!) I asked if the room was now ready and the chap with the turban at reception called housekeeping for the 2nd time to be told that the room was being inspected and he'd ".....come and get me in 2 or 3 minutes....".

20 minutes later I once again asked reception if the room was ready, and it was - hurrah!!

This as a start in itself was annoying enough, but what made things worse was the unbelievable attitude of the girl behind the bar (black rectangular glasses - no name sorry). Taking a glass of wine back to the table I hadn't noticed the clear lip-marks left by the previous user and returned asking for a clean one. Now in 21st Century Britain, wouldn't you expect to hear the word 'sorry', even in passing? This lady was CLEARLY not the least bit bothered and simply replied (quote) "Oh yeah sure".

Drink up, let's get to the room!

I'd booked one overlooking the castle and cannot fault the view. The room itself was ok - similar to a Premier Inn, but trust me when I say it ISN'T 4-star (I wonder which room they reserve for the ratings inspector?!). I'll upload photos later showing the chipped & stained bath, the wardrobes with the non-closing doors and the paint-splattered door to the balcony that took some proper pushing & pulling to open & close it.....

Anyway, the bed was VERY comfy and the bathroom adequate despite the multiple stains on the shower floor and the watering-can pressure.

Jump to room service on Saturday night and all I can advise is..........don't. A 50-minute wait (after 2 phone-calls to chase) brought a cremated burger & cold chips. Enough said.

Jump again to the icing on the cake as far as the stay is concerned, and once again it relates to staff attitude - this time beyond belief. I was (un)fortunate enough to have a young lady by the name of Carry behind the bar serve me with 2 drinks before going out for food.

After watching her serve 2 other guests, I was absolutely amazed at her sheer inability to utter the words 'please' or 'thank you'. Furthermore, the 2 people prior to me were both foreign and had little English-language knowledge - this wasn't appreciated by Carry and her face made this quite clear!

It was then my turn and my request for a glass of Cabernet was met with a very blunt (quote) "We don't have any". I replied "You don't have any?", she said "No".

Regret? No. An offer of alternatives? No. Very apparent disinterest.....

Who on earth interviewed these people and thought them suitable for a front-line, customer-service role?!

I could continue but I won't, needless to say that I really hope this little contribution prevents others from wasting over £300 for a weekend stay. (I suspect however that the post will be removed after a request from the hotel).

If anyone from the hotel does read this though, please understand that certain members of your staff are letting the hotel down quite badly. This will undoubtedly go unheeded as the location will ALWAYS guarantee high residency rates. My request is that you train correctly or employ those that WANT to make guests' stay an enjoyable one. I am not being tongue-in-cheek nor falsely condescending when I say that I have received better service in both Travelodge & Premier Inn.

PS. Nearly forgot - very thin walls so next doors TV clearly audible; no drawer storage; noisy location; breakfast VERY good with admirable service from those in the Heights Restaurant, so not everything is bad!

Room Tip: Book another hotel!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank junctiontwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2011

We were in Edinburgh on business at the beginning of April, and when told we'd be staying here I had a quick check of the website and thought it looked fantastic, but had been bluffed by hotel websites and pictures in the past so reserved comment til we got there...

Well, it was even better than we had first thought! We were welcomed by happy smiling staff who were most helpful. They gave us all the information we needed to know, and they also checked us in very quickly. Within 5 minutes I was in my room, had a peak out the window and there was this HUGE castle staring us right in the face, the best view from a hotel room i've ever had bar none. The rooms were spotless and in fantastic condition, the beds too were EXTREMELY comfy. We took advantage of the room service to get some drinks up to the room.
The food in the hotel is top notch, we had planned on eating out but decided to stay in and we were so glad we did! The hotel is in a great location, in the centre of Edinburgh's Grassmarket which is a nice area with good bars, restaurants, cafe's and shops. And it's only a 5 minute walk to Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle, and even less to the Royal Mile, you're really spoiled for choice.
The hotel has a swimming pool which we didn't use but it looked fab, also a gym which we didn't have time to use.
Our flight the next day wasn't until late afternoon, and upon telling this to the hotel staff they offered us a complimentary late check out time which just topped off a brilliant hotel stay.

The next time I'm in Edinburgh whether it's on business or leisure, I will 100% be going back to the Apex International!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cwmusic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
northumberland
Level 6 Contributor
518 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 829 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2011

stayed here with the family for two nights as it was my birthday. my husband told the hotel in an email that we were there for my birthday and on arrival there was a bottle of wine, a big chocolate easter bunny and a voucher for two free drinks at the bar and a birthday card. a really nice touch and made my day. the room was a superior family room which was fine and had a nice bathroom, the best bit for us was the fantastic view it had facing right on to the castle which at night was lit up and very nice to look on to. the reception staff were friendly and helpful and the breakfasts were lovely.free wifi also in room which was fast and no problems at all. the only down side i would say was that we stayed there on a saturday night and the pubs across the road were very noisy even through the night despite the windows being double glazed. over all a very enjoyable stay!!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank holiday032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Augustine Beach, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2011

Had a good experience with Apex in Dundee so decided the Apex International would be perfect for me in Edinburgh. BIG mistake; this is not a 4 star anything. After you lug your suitcase up two set of stairs to the dingy check-in area you have another set of stairs to reach the elevator. Then yI was welcomed by narrow, dark corridors leading to a cramped premium 5th floor room with a view of the castle. Good view; lets open the window and take a picture. Oops, the window is NAILED SHUT. No air-condioning and no source of air in the room. Which I now notice has dirty scuff marks on the walls and nicks and scars on the furniture. Bathroom has been newly redecorated but so poorly designed that it helps to be lefthanded. I like a cool, quiet room for sleeping; since the day was warm and the sun was shining and the window was NAILED SHUT I did not have a cool room; however, the room was indeed quiet because the window was NAILED SHUT!!!!!!

On the plus side; location is great for the Old Town; breakfast is very well done and the reception staff pleasant and efficient.

Room Tip: Find another hotel, there's plenty of them.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DiamondBill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AJC3112, General Manager at Apex Grassmarket Hotel, responded to this review, April 27, 2011
Thank you for your feedback following your recent stay. I am extremely sorry that you found the arrival arrangements with luggage awkward on this occasion. There is a signposted ramp at the entrance that leads from the pavement directly into the raised gallery area of the Hotel, however it would appear from your comments that perhaps you did not see this on arrival. With regards to your picture of the window, having personally checked this it is in fact a hinge with the window freely opening inwards from a catch at the top. It is regrettable that you didnt bring this to our attention at the time as we would have been able to ensure you had a more comfortable night sleep. There are also fans in all rooms to further assist in maintaining a more ambient temperature. I am delighted that you enjoyed breakfast and found the reception team attentive. Thank you for your feedback and please do call me should you wish to personally discuss any elements of your stay. Kind Regards - Alistair J Campbell.
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Additional Information about Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Property: Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Address: 31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS, Scotland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town , Grassmarket
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
#35 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
#42 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#46 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Apex Grassmarket Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 169
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Apex Grassmarket Hotel is located in Edinburgh’s vibrant Grassmarket. Nearby, you’ll find the characteristic Edinburgh Castle, Greyfriars Kirkyard and The Royal Mile, making this hotel the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to explore the city. Your room will be stocked with both essentials and added extras like complimentary Wi-Fi, luxurious Elemis toiletries and a 42” LCD TV. Choose a Deluxe or Family room and you’ll also get an Edinburgh Castle view to make your stay extra special. Kick-start your day with a refreshing swim in the hotel swimming pool or use the Technogym fitness studio, free of charge. Later you can try some unique fusion food to share created by the well-known Edinburgh Chef, Tony Singh in the hotel restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Apex International Edinburgh
Hotel Apex International
Apex Grassmarket Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

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