Our group of 6 (50 something!) professional ladies have met up for a long weekend at the Townhouse on 3 occasions. We are all very seasoned travellers who value the reviews of other travellers when making booking decisions. While we enjoyed many of the features of the Townhouse, which are well documented, we felt as a group that it was important to provide a measured review highlighting some of the downsides of staying at the property. No property is without its flaws and sometimes you rebook knowing these flaws – it is a balance between what the property has to offer and the price being charged. However with the recent price increase for the Townhouse we considered that what was on offer no longer justified the cost being charged. While we were offered a discount to book direct with the owner to reduce the cost slightly for a stay in 2019 our experience of dealing with the owner meant we did not have the level of trust in her to risk doing this.
The biggest potential drawback of the property is that the garden is shared with the adjoining garden flat, which is also owned by the owners of the Townhouse and let to students. Use of the garden is one of the main attractions for students wishing to rent the flat, indeed my own daughter enquired about the potential of renting it until we decided to make more suitable arrangements which didn’t leave her exposed to the vagaries of a private landlord.
On our most recent visit to the Townhouse we were fortunate to have lovely weather. Disappointingly, we only managed to take advantage of the garden facilities for a short time as it was being used by the students to sit out in the morning and for a party in the evening. This is mentioned not to criticise the student tenants, they were simply enjoying the sunshine in their garden and the additional space it provides when they have friends round. The point of highlighting this within the review is to clarify that the garden is not for the sole use of those staying in the Townhouse but rather is shared, which means it may or may not be available for use by those in the Townhouse.
Also worth highlighting in relation to the garden is that it is used by the student tenants and their visitors to access their flat. This means that you will frequently see students passing the lounge windows and patio doors to reach the flat. We feel this is something which should be highlighted, it may not be an issue for some people but for those looking for more privacy when using the lounge and kitchen area it probably would be.
The house is over 4 levels which means it is not suitable for anyone who isn’t fit! Of the 4 bedrooms, 3 involve climbing 2 or 3 flights of stairs to access the bedroom from the main kitchen and living space. This also means popping to a bedroom for anything you need during the day is a bit of a hike, we ended up taking everything we needed from the bedroom downstairs at the start of a day to avoid multiple trips up flights of stairs.
The Townhouse is on a busy road, one of the main routes in and out of St Andrews, therefore traffic noise can be an issue, particularly for the front facing bedroom. In addition to traffic noise during term time the pavement in front of the house is the main route for students returning to halls of residences after nights out. Again, not a criticism of students who are simply returning to their residences after a good night out however it can be an issue if you like to sleep with the bedroom window open and can’t due to the street noise.
The Townhouse is adjacent to a well-used car park. There are no blinds or curtains on the basement level kitchen window which means when it is dark the head lights from cars using the car park come streaming in, something which affected our enjoyment of an evening sitting around the dining table. We did previously mention this to the owner but blinds have still not been put on those windows.
The deposit for the Townhouse at £300 is relatively high compared to other properties. We were however always pleased to receive very positive feedback from the owner regarding the standard of tidiness and cleanliness in which we left the property and normally received the deposit back within a few days of leaving.
In summary the Townhouse has various positive and negative features. We were happy to return on 2 occasions as we considered the price charged was acceptable even taking account of the downsides of the property. The recent substantial price rise (we were quoted a price of almost £1900 for 3 nights in April 2019) meant we considered it to be significantly over priced for what is on offer. There are several similar sized superior or comparable properties available for rent in the centre of St Andrews which are more fairly priced for the standard on offer. Indeed, we have booked our April 2019 get together in one such property which is of a higher standard than the Townhouse, with a totally private garden, one additional bedroom and for substantially less than the £1900 quoted for the same weekend for the Townhouse!
Hopefully this review has allowed travellers to gain a balanced insight and the additional information it is so valuable to have when looking for a property that fits all your criteria. Wherever you choose to stay in St Andrews I hope you have an enjoyable holiday, it is a lovely town with so much to offer visitors.