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Macdonald Houstoun House
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All reviewshouston houselovely hotelspa breakfour posterspa facilitiesgrounds are lovelywedding receptioncourse mealsauna and steam roomlovely roomfood was lovelyone night staya lovely staybreakfast was excellentedinburgh airporthoustoun housejeremy wares restaurant
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Reviewed May 19, 2013

We stayed here two nights for a friend's wedding in May.
I was Bridesmaid and found the staff incredibly helpful and the facilities great.
Rooms are very comfortable, clean and spacious. The onsite bar is a gem and the grounds are lovely and extensive too, including an outside area for having a drink!
My partner used the pool complex and said it was fantastic. I tried to get an appointment at the Spa but they were booked out. However the staff were great and found me an appointment nearby.
FYI - Mobile phone coverage is hit and miss and wifi is available but you have to pay for it.

The hotel is a short taxi ride away from Uphall station, which is about 15 mins from Edinburgh. There are regular trains but ring the hotel ahead so they can send a taxi to pick you up from the station, there are no taxis at the station!
The hotel is also not far from Edinburgh Airport and you can walk into the local village in about 10mins if you need anything.

I would recommend this hotel for functions or if you're looking for a spa/golf weekend in the country.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank JMacL0nd0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2015

Thank you for taking the time to post a review. Your feed back is important to us.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2013

We stayed at Houstoun House recently for a night, and found it to be a pleasant place. The spa was nice (albeit busy) and our upgraded room was immaculately clean and well-furnished. The inevitable Philips TV was predictably awful, but the bathroom was clean and well-appointed, despite having a shower curtain over the bath instead of a dedicated cubicle.

The biggest failing with Houstoun House is the price of its food - £17.50 for a breakfast is extortionate, which is why we chose not to eat here and therefore can't comment on the hotel's culinary aspects. Also, we could hear someone in the next room sneezing, which suggests the sound insulation isn't up to much, but despite this, we did enjoy a very good night's sleep.

The grounds are lovely, and the buildings have real character, although there was quite a bit of outdoor walking and many stairs separating the reception desk and our room. In heavy rain, that wouldn't be ideal. However, on a dry day, this is a very pleasant place to stay, and the staff we encountered were very knowledgeable and pleasant.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgraded room
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank NeilandLauraGlasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2015

Thank you for taking the time to post a review. Your feed back is important to us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We booked in here last minute as unexpectedly we needed to be in the area and a MacDonald hotel seemed a safe choice. It's quite big, with the usual golf/conference/wedding services, so feels a bit corporate; friendly staff manage to make it a bit less impersonal. We had a room outside the main building, which was a bit annoying as we had to dash through the rain to get there, but had the upside of being on ground floor with direct door to outside (good for dog). It was amply sized and clean with a big bed. There's a nice little swimming pool/sauna/steam room for guests which we used and appreciated. We started with a drink in the small downstairs bar (friendly staff knowledgeable about their gins). The food upstairs was great with plenty of Scottish classics (I had a wonderful Cullen Skink starter, a fish soup like a chowder) and a fab "platter of tower desserts for 2" for the indecisive/greedy. Service was pleasant and the atmosphere busy enough (although there was one large loud group in which could be irritating if multiplied ata weekend). Pretty good value for so near to Edinburgh. I am coming to expect good standards from this chain and would be confident in booking any of their hotels.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BoatLadyUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2015

Thank you for taking the time to post a review. Your feed back is important to us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

I am normally critical of reviews in TripAdvisor that mark a hotel down for an single incident such as a misunderstanding over a booking and although we did have a significant issue, I have tried to mark the hotel fairly on what they had to offer rather than give a very low score just because of one thing.

We were attending a wedding at the hotel and had reserved a room for two nights, the night before and the night of the wedding itself. We’d agreed with some friends to meet up the day before, some of us to play golf, others to enjoy the spa, followed by dinner in the hotel before the wedding on the second day.

When we arrived, at around 1330, I went to see if the room was ready before we went to play golf, only to be informed that the hotel was overbooked and we were being accommodated for the first night of our two night stay in the Marriott Dalmahoy, which was about 5 miles away.

I know that these things happen, but the way the hotel handled it was very poor. My first question was to ask how they’d chosen us to be walked and they said that they’d given priority to people staying for the wedding and those who’d booked earliest. Now for a wedding in May 2013 we’d booked in March 2012, so this was clearly nonsense. We spoke to another couple later that day who’d also been walked and they were told that they were being moved because they were the last checking in, - another lie as their relatives who were being accommodated in the hotel had not yet arrived. I ended up speaking to the General Manager, which was about as productive as talking to a speak your weight machine. All he could say was “There has been a mistake” and he seemed unable or unwilling to admit any responsibility for the overbooking.

It took the best part of an hour negotiation to get agreement that we wouldn’t be charged for the first night, would have taxis to and from Dalmahoy when we returned for dinner with friends that evening and we would have an upgraded room available for 1100 the next day to prepare for the wedding.

We went off and played golf, then met with the spa stayers before heading to Dalmahoy, who were kind enough to offer me my full Marriott Platinum benefits for the night.

When we returned for dinner, one friend told me that he’d had no hot water in the room that afternoon and when he’d gone to tell reception, the response was “Yes that’s right, we know that”. No apology was forthcoming.

Dinner in the bar was poor – portions were small, they had none of the £22 Sauvignon Blanc that we wanted, but could offer 1 bottle of a £27 wine after which the next one was £33. Many places I've stayed at would have offered the more expensive wine at the lower price, but not here.

The next morning when we arrived at 1130, the room was not available and took another 30 minutes to be ready. Again no explanation or apology from the staff, just a simple statement that there was no room.

Those who had stayed in the hotel reported breakfast as a shambles. One person who’d ordered room service had received two full breakfasts and another had waited 35 minutes in the dining room for delivery of the wrong food.

When we got there, our room was very nice, although we did note that some rooms are in a different building and you need to walk outside to get to them – not ideal given what Scottish weather can be like.

The wedding and reception was also very good, but again the next morning breakfast was less than stellar with poor service at the fore.

It is a nice hotel in a nice location, but lets itself down badly in terms of service.

I think they had significantly overextended themselves that weekend with two weddings the first day, and one the second, but the one overriding impression I got from the hotel was poor service by staff who didn’t seem to have the training and empowerment to deal with customers’ issues well.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Peter J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2015

Thank you for taking the time to post a review. Your feed back is important to us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

a beautiful hotel in an out of the way location with fabulous rooms

Well worth the BandB rate and so worth visiting in beautiful grounds with very friendly staff that seemed eager to help and assist.

Breakfast was fantastic if service was slow at times but I like a relaxed breakfast so this suited me fine

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Hibee1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herve B, General Manager at Macdonald Houstoun House, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2015

Thank you for taking the time to post a review.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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