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The Knight Residence (Edinburgh)

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Address: 12 Lauriston Street / Edinburgh / EH3 9DJ / Scotland

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      22.04.2009 19:45
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      This aparthotel provides you with all your home comforts, whilst on holiday.

      -- What is the Knight Residence? --
      The Knight Residence is a luxury aparthotel in Edinburgh. This means you have your own serviced apartments instead of your average hotel, making you feel right at home and having your own private space. The Knight Residence has a 5 star rating and in 2008 they were the top hotel for customer service according to Expedia... not just in the UK, but in the whole of Europe!

      The apartments are designed to suit every traveller, so if your travelling as a big family or group of friends, you will be looking for the 3 bedroom apartment or, there are also one bedroom apartments and two bedroom apartments.


      -- What's in these apartments? --
      The Knight Residence offers 2 different types of apartments (and 2 different prices!), Superior and Comfort. In Comfort expect to find a HD LCD TV with Virgin Medfia including Sky Sports, a DVD recorder, Hi-Fi and free broadband access. There is of course the fully fitted kitchen which includes a dishwasher, washer/dryer, fridge and oven. There is a spacious bedroom and a bathroom with shover over bath. The Superior apartments will be more nicely decorated and you will find a LCD TV with DVD player in the bedroom, a steam resisting mirror in the bathroom and a speaker in the bathroom connected to the Hi-Fi in the sitting room. As you can tell from reading, these are pratically a home away from home!
      I first came across The Knight Residence on TripAdvisor. I have been to Edinburgh a fair few times now on short breaks and often stay at an aparthotel named Fountain Court apartments. When reading the reviews for Fountain Court I came across The Knight Residence which was #1 on TripAdvisor for this type of hotel. After reading the brilliant reviews for The Knight Residence I was keen to stay there so looked further into this.


      -- What are the prices? --
      Well they aren't cheap. You might have guessed this anyway after reading '5 stars' and 'luxury' and you wouldn't be wrong. For a One Bedroom Superior apartment in low season you are looking at a whopping £155 a night! In mid season this goes up to £180, and the regular rate is £205. This is really expensive. However, they do have some special offers which, thankfully, save you some money. At the moment in a superior apartment if you stay 2 nights you save 15%. They also have a last minute offer on and you can often get at least 25% off the cost. It's worth checking www.theknightresidence.co.uk to see what current offers they have.


      -- My Experience --
      Me and my boyfriend made a last minute desicion over the easter weekend to go up to Edinburgh for the night. I looked on Expedia and The Knight Residence was showing as £135 for the night as a last minute offer, this isn't too much cheaper than the usual rate really but we were only going for the night and, as we've wanted to stay here for a long time we decided to go for it. We booked a One Bedroom Superior apartment and were really excited as the reviews of this place on TripAdvisor are glowing!


      -- Arrival --
      We've been to Edinburgh before and were expecting the mini maze of 1 way streets. We did go round in circles a few times before we found this place. There's a strip club on the corner and The Knight Residence is only a few doors up. This does sound a bit strange but we had no bother at all from the couple of strip clubs at the end of the street, and it wasn't a very dodgy neighbourhood really. First appearance of the Knight Residence was good, the building is well maintained and looks very tidy and posh from the front! The only thing that spoils it is the huge building site directly opposite it, this isn't the hotel's fault, but the building site is very tall (an now blocks the view of Edinburgh Castle) and I know it's quite noisy during the week. However once this building is finished, then it will be a nice peaceful street again.

      We parked outside and went into reception... only to find the concierge walking out the door! Not to worry he apologised and came back in within a few seconds. The customer service in this place was excellent. He immediately greeted us and asked our names, and asked us how our journey getting there was. I had to quickly sign a form then he handed us a card explaining the instructions to get to the car park. The car park is actually only round the back of the building but because of the one way system we had to go round a couple of streets to get there, but the map was very clear and the concerige explained this well to us. We pulled into the car park through 2 big gates which I guess are closed at night and you access using your key. The concierge met us in the car park and explained how the keys work, the outside door is locked at 11 but you simply swipe the keyfob on the door to get it open, how fancy and modern! He then helped carry my bag up to our apartment, which was on the top floor. On the way past reception he showed us the large DVD library where you can rent a DVD for £2. They weren't old shabby DVD's either, very modern and up to date with new releases and from all sorts of genres, plenty to choose from. There was also a coffee machine, a collection of books and a huge section with leaflets and maps for things to do in Edinburgh.
      We got to our apartment using the lift, not too spacious but not as tiny as ones you might find in cities such as Paris! The 3 of us easily fit in with our luggage.


      -- The One Bedroom Superior Apartment --
      When we got to our apartment the concierge pointed out my name on the front of the door, I thought this was a lovely little touch! Just inside the doorway he showed us the buzzer and phone, the reception is open until 11pm but they also have a buzzer for each apartment outside and you can view who it is on the video, incase we wanted to order in a takeaway or something. Moving to the lounge I was pleased to see quite how large it was! For an apartment made for 2 people there was ample amount of space, there was a sofa and 2 armchairs, along with a small dining table and 2 chairs. There was a huge Sony TV, a sony hi-fi, dvd recorder and cable box. He showed us the instructions and also demonstrated how to flick the sound from the hi-fi from the sitting room through to the bathroom. Then came the tour of the kitchen which was in a seperate room. He pointed out the 'breakfast basket' which I amazed at! Considering we were only there for 1 night this was huge. There was 4 boxes of cereal, 1 pack of museli, 2 packs of biscuits, a carton of orange juice and a selection of jams. There was a loaf of bread in the breadbin and fresh milk in the fridge, along with some cartons of butter and margarine. The kitchen also contained a dishwasher and a washer/dryer and it was really spacious and clean.
      The concierge then explained to us that the boiler was broke but an emergency repairman was due out (expensive on Easter Sunday?!) and he asked if we were going out. We were planning on going out for a wander anyway, but he said he'd phone up to the apartment when he arrived just to let us know. We dumped our bags and went out.

      The location of the apartments was great. They are just below the castle and it's about about a 15 minute walk along to Princes Street or the Royal Mail. Just around the corner there is a Starbucks, Costa, Odeon and a Sainsbury's Express, and there's plenty of small pubs, restaurants and take-aways around. I thought the location was great, not very central and noisy, but not on the outskirts either, just right!
      A few hours later when we returned a new man was at reception, but he said hello and seemed very pleasant. We got to our apartment and we noticed it was really warm, the boiler fixed then! We had to turn it off though and open the windows. The windows were like a door and open up fully, and there's a fence and flower pots infront of the window with nice well kept flowers and daffodils, very pretty!

      We made good use of the TV and DVD player. The cable is Virgin Media and they have the sports package, but not the films as they are available to rent from downstairs. Personally I think the DVD's shouldn't be charged at £2, but maybe £1 or even just a deposit. Under the TV was 6-7 old videos and a very random selection of CD's which personally I think they could do without as they were old and worn, and I hadn't heard of half of the artists in the CD collection.
      At night we could hear the distant music from the strip clubs, and looking out of the window you could see clubbers walking up and down the street, but this is right at the end of the street and the street the hotel is on is actually really quiet and doesn't have much traffic or pedestrians at all.

      The bed was really comfy, it was just 2 singles pushed together but it wasn't too noticeable and the pillows were lovely and soft. There is also a smaller flat screen TV in the bedroom which has a built in DVD player, a lovely touch. There is a nice vanity desk and a large mirror, with a hair dryer. The wardrobe contains a safe on the top shelf which is free to use, the type where you set your own 4 digit code.
      The bathroom was spacious and contained a shower over the bath. There was a good selection of toiletries from Arran Aromatics, and the mirror is steam resistant (not vital I know but it was there.)

      We decided not to eat out for dinner but made our own food in the kitchen. As well as the plentiful breakfast basket you also get a good selection of tea and coffee. There even even a packet of fresh ground coffee, and some herbal twinnings tea! The kitchen was well equipped, they provide you with a sponge, cloth, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, persil tablets, kitchen roll, and even surface spray for the worktops. However there wasn't a tea towel or an oven mit. I couldn't believe they were missing these 2 things as it was really well stocked! Unfortunately I only realised this when it came to taking the food out of the oven. I had to wrap up a ton of kitchen roll to lift out the hot tray from the oven, not very safe really.


      -- Summary --
      I really enjoyed my stay here and the apartments are lovely, the customer service spot on. Unfortunately the 5 star prices mean I probably won't be coming back here anytime soon, even know I would love to! It's worth keeping an eye out for offers and last minute deals, but you will still be looking to pay over £100 a night. These apartments make a lovely change from the normal hotel, and the concierge to this place is perfect and they are happy to answer any questions. They are at the desk from 7am to 11pm and an emergency out of hours phone number is left for you.
      You can book directly at the website, www.theknightresidence.co.uk or on sites such as Expedia.

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