“ Guest House and apartments in Edinburgh, Scotland. „
Having been with my boyfriend (let's call him husband number 2...actually, maybe we'll just stick with BF for now) for a good few days (as I post this on dooyoo it's 3 months later now!) it was decided that we should go away for the weekend. After all, these are the days of being young and in love that we will never get back, and on which we will look back fondly in many years to come and tell the grandchildren about. Yes, really! Humour me...
BF first suggested Chester due to the zoo, but then we agreed on Edinburgh...although there's no moose there (only moose in the UK are in Whipsnade and Inverness which are a bit of a trek), there are koalas which are pretty much the next best thing for me.
I thought that we should chance it and end up in some dodgy B&B with a mad woman called Morag holding us hostage and force-feeding us haggis. BF felt otherwise, and wanted to treat me like the princess that I am, and I'm willing to concede that this was a good decision on his behalf.
BF booked online, choosing somewhere that looked nice, and conveniently located within easy walking distance of the city centre. It got better though, there was an error with the booking (technical thing with online system causing a double booking as listing was not removed) and as a result we were offered an 'apartment' for the same price as a superior double room. Hopefully a sign of many such lucky occurrences to befall us in the future.
---About Kew House---
Kew House opened in 1992. The website which can be found here www.kewhouse.com (where you can book online) describes Kew House as "immaculately clean" which it is. Kew House is run by Ian and Alan - it was Ian who we spoke and met with. According to the website, both have an 'endless supply of personal recommendations from local restaurants, wine bars and theatre nights out to day trips or simply planning your day', and from talking with Ian I don't find this hard to believe!
Kew House is located in the Murrayfield area of Edinburgh, a 15 minute walk from the centre of Edinburgh, and is used by those travelling on business or for pleasure. Within the hotel there is a residents lounge, high speed wi-fi and a private secure car park.
We found our way to Kew House without too many problems, although Sat Nav woman wasn't too happy with the diversions and repeatedly told us to turn left and turn left again....and again...and again.
Check in was from 2pm, but I think we arrived at about 1pm. Ian was very welcoming, and moved his car so that we could park on the drive of the 'apartment'. We checked in, and Ian showed us our pad. It was actually a whole house rather than an apartment...we could have lived there quite happily!
The house comprised briefly of kitchen (big kitchen, and much nicer than my one at home - obviously if you're staying there for a few days then you'd make use of the self-catering facilities), dining room, a smaller eating area, lounge, double bedroom (with a big cupboard that we could have slept in had we so desired), single bedroom, and bathroom. Ian talked us through all the little things like turning on the TVs etc, which was a nice touch, rather than like in some places where they just point you in the right direction and leave you to it. The house was decorated simply but tastefully, and brightened up with pictures and flowers.
There was a little garden around the back (or around the front depending on which way you look at things), where we sat and drank our complimentary red wine and Ferrero Rocher chocolates, a very nice touch.
Although near to the centre of Edinburgh, it was actually quite a nice peaceful setting, with birds and trees and all that sort of thing!
We didn't spend much time in our little house, as we wanted to get out into town and hit the pubs. It was a shame in some ways since it was so nice, but you can't do everything.
The little touches (in addition to the complimentary wine and chocolate) were also appreciated - shortbread biscuits in the kitchen with the tea/coffee making facilities...the soap, shower gel etc (which seems to be becoming more of a novelty these days). BF also made use of the iron.
The bed was comfy (which is the main thing), the shower worked well (BF says it's a good make - and BF seems to know about showers)...and really, what else do you need to know?
Usually those staying in the apartment would get a continental breakfast, but as we were supposed to be in the guest house, we joined the other guests in the dining area.
We began with little bowls of fruit, and orange juice. We ordered freshly brewed coffee and toast. There were a variety of options on the menu - porridge, salmon, etc. BF and I opted for the traditional Scottish cooked breakfast with everything except the black pudding. BF had never had haggis before and I think he was pleasantly surprised, but if he hadn't like it, I'd have had it (incidentally there was no mad woman called Morag force-feeding us haggis). The breakfast was cooked to perfection with very little fat on the bacon. You can choose how your egg is done too - I love a nice poached egg.
While I was tempted by the little chocolate muffins, I restrained myself as we were full...sometimes when you're away the emphasis is on quantity rather than quality. At Kew House you can have both.
Having packed our stuff in the car, we said goodbye to our house, and went to check out. Check Out is by 11am, but we wanted to be off before then to get to the zoo. BF paid by card, I took a couple of sweets from the bowl, and we set off on our merry little way.
---Prices and what's included:---
Current prices (2012) per night are as follows (include full breakfast and VAT):
Single Room (sleeps 1) £79.00 (low season) £99.00 (high season)
Double or Twin Room (sleeps 2) £99.00 (low) £183.00 (high)
Superior Double £109.00 (low) £199.00 (high)
Family Room (sleeps 3) £135.00 (low) £242.00 (high)
Hotel rooms all include (I've taken this off the website) en-suite facilities, double beds are king-sized, table and chairs, multi-channel flat screen TV, free wi-fi, fresh flowers, telephone, hair dryer, guest fridges (in superior rooms), beverage tray with shortbread, and chocolates and sherry on arrival.
Prices for the apartment:
Balbirnie Apartment (sleeps 1-3) £135.00 (low) £242.00 (high) - there is a two night minimum stay for the apartment (obviously as we got it in error, we only spent one night there - would love to have spent longer though!)
This apartment includes, daily maid service, continental breakfast each day, private parking, all towels, bedding, soaps and shampoo, multichannel televisions in lounge and bedroom, DVD player, hair dryer and ironing facilities, and free hi-speed wi-fi. The fully equipped kitchen includes cooker/oven, dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator / freezer, washing machine /tumble dryer, toaster, and kettle.
Weekly rates are also available, so it is worth asking about them!
Address, and postcode for the Sat Nav:
1 Kew Terrace
phone - 0131 313 0700
fax - 0131 313 0747
email - info @ kewhouse.com
Website - www.kewhouse.com
BF and myself enjoyed our (albeit) brief stay at Kew House, and will definitely be returning, perhaps for an anniversary of some descript in the future. I imagine we're unlikely to have such luck again in getting the apartment for the cost of a room, however I imagine the rooms are of such high quality (and the pictures on the website illustrate this) that we'd be very happy in one of them. The location is excellent, and the hospitality fantastic.
We got the best of both really, as although in the apartment we got the complimentary chocolates and wine (rather than sherry), and the full Scottish Breakfast (rather than continental) which we'd only have got with the guest house rooms.
To my regular readers on Ciao and dooyoo, I am aware here that this review is not one of my longest epics. Real-life really has taken over, and for the first time ever I am really loving living, and of course having a fab time with BF. But I will try and review the important things as and when they arise (although perhaps more concisely than I have done previously), and Kew House is definitely worthy of a review.
Highly recommended - 5 stars!