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“Nightmare on the second floor”

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Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in North Berwick
Reviewed 4 November 2012

Before time softens the impression of the past 24 hours: staying at the Macdonald's Marine Hotel North Berwick last night was horrible. My room (£200 for dinner bed & breakfast) was a scaggy rathole on the second floor. The only two power points were at floor level, so – for instance – to boil a kettle one had to stand it on the floor on the opposite side of the room to the tea things. The heavy tray of tea things, since we are mentioning them, were stored above head height on a shelf in the clothes cupboard- not an ideal place for a weary person approaching 70 years of age. Paint was flaking round the inside of the door; there was a nasty-looking white stain on the headboard; the reading lights were ineffectual; the wooden floor by the bathroom window was either dirty or badly scuffed; I ordered a paper but it was not delivered (no apology when I enquired about its non-appearance at reception this morning); the wi-fi is one of those infuriating ones with two long utterly impossible to remember strings of numbers and letters as 'user name' and 'password' which have to be re-entered every time one re-opens ones laptop. This is totally unnecessary. I am sitting in a cosy customer-friendly café in the High St where they have given me today's password and I just reconnect automatically every time I open my laptop.

To add to my misery, there was a very noisy party going on next door when I had gone to my room after supper. After an hour thinking 'this cannot go on much longer', I rang down to reception. I reported that there was what appeared to be a noisy party in progress next door. 'There isn't a party going on' asserted the unsympathetic respondent. I felt like a 13 year old trying to report misbehaviour by Jimmy Savile to the police or the BBC. By dint of persevering that there was indeed a party going on, although fearing by now that I was losing my wits, Kevin the duty manager came up. By then I had left my room and was standing at the top of the stairs willing someone to come and stop the noise. Kevin tapped on the door and when it was opened reported to me 10 people all very merry shouting at the tops of their voices. He asked them to keep it down. I threatened to leave and go home. The party went downstairs to dinner – it was by now 9.30pm.

The staff were hit and miss. In the dining room they were professional and welcoming. The duty manager, Kevin, went the extra mile to help me get connected to the wi-fi (however maddening it turned out to be) and showed me why I could hear two radio programmes playing at once on my laptop (I hadn't realised that every time I went to the same programme, I opened another window. Staff at reception were perfunctory and brusque, reminiscent of an offhand old people's home (me being the old person, they the young).

Room Tip: Check if there is going to be a group party in the next room
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled solo
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4  Thank Erser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,901 - 1,905 of 2,355 reviews

Reviewed 31 October 2012

Went with my boyfriend on a 2 night mid-week dinner, bed and breakfast deal. The hotel is in a fantastic location with lovely sea views. We wanted a cozy, romantic weekend away and were a bit disappointed - it wasn't bad, but the hotel was basically just functional and had none of the nice little touches that you would get these days at a mid-range B&B to make it a bit of fun.

For example the room was big but cold, dimly lit and not very welcoming, there was a very thin duvet considering it was scottish wintertime, and we had to put the electric heater on all night to keep warm. There were no dressing gowns and the toiletries were basic. The food was good, but a £30 allocation on a very expensive menu was not what we were expecting, and took some of the fun away from the "all-inclusive" and meant we pigged out on the free bread, didn't get pudding, left a bit hungry and didn't feel like buying the over-priced alcohol.

On the plus side we loved the sea views and the outside jacuzzi was a real treat on a miserable winters day. All in all it would be fine if you needed to stay in north berwick, but i wouldn't go just for fun.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank louiseandjane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2012

We held our wedding here in October 2012. The staff were wonderful from the start of the booking process to the conclusion of the event. The location is fantastic and the food amazing. The rooms were clean and comfortable and well appointed. There is some randomness in both room size and bed size even in the same room type but all were more than suitable! Wedding guests that had any issues with room sizes were dealt with quickly and given larger rooms. The breakfast can't be faulted and the selection is great. The library was a beautiful location for the ceremony and the bass rock suite a great venue for a ceilidh. All in all a brilliant hotel and spa.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank Rogiestar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A Holiday Lettings verified reviewer
west yorkshire
8030
Reviewed 26 October 2012

Room Tip: we were in room 112, no sea view but you can go and sit in the lounge and get it for free.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank A Holiday Lettings verified reviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 26 October 2012

My wife and I stayed here for three nights recently as part of our honeymoon. Upon arrival we were very impressed by the foyer, lounge and certainly the fantastic views. We were even happier when we were imformed on check-in that our parents had informed the hotel we were honeymooners and as a result had a sea view room, and we were certainly not let down by this.

Our room had views over the West Links golf course to the sea, both from the sleeping area and the adjoining 'lounge'. Unfortunately, we were somewhat surprised at the quality of fittings and furniture in the room in comparision with other hotels Macdonald surely see as their competitors. Our shower had virtually no water pressure and our widescreen TV showed programmes in 4:3 ratio (this is 2012!). We also found the walls to be somewhat thin and could hear every movement in the corridor, although this did not extend to other rooms as we could not hear anyone on the other sides of their doors!

This hotel's benefits are its outstanding golfing location (which neither of us play) and its spa facilities. Whilst we did not partake in any treatments, the gym, pool and 'thermal experiences' were of great quality and very enjoyable, in particular the outdoor hydro-pool which was warm and enjoyable even in cold October weather. The public areas were pleasant to be in and around, although I have to confess I felt somewhat out of place even walking through the hotel with trainers on! The bar is standard hotel fair, although a good selection of whiskey is held, and the bar snacks, whilst expensive, were very good.

We did not eat dinner in the restaurant (I can however, recommend Poonthai's and The Ship Inn in North Berwick for Thai and 'pub grub' - see my other reviews), although we ate breakfast daily. The breakfast was good quality, I would particularly recommend the smoked haddock with poached eggs and eggs benedict. However, I was a little disappointed that the full cooked breakfast was of the 'English' variety, with no 'Scottish' option offered.

Generally, the staff we pleasant and helpful, although very formal. The bar staff in particular were attentive and helpful, and there are no complaints from me in this area.

Although this hotel is not perfect, it is undoubtedly a good place to stay, particularly if you wish to stay on East Lothian's golf coast. As a result of my stay I would recommend this hotel, but I would recommend hunting for a deal before booking directly!

Room Tip: Only around half the rooms have sea views, and we found being on the top floor led to low water pres...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank captainkrunchy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa

Address: 18 Cromwell Road | Edinburgh, North Berwick EH39 4LZ, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > East Lothian > North Berwick
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in North Berwick
Price Range: €93 - €247 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa boasts everything you could need for a short break on the Scottish coast. Our luxurious spa offers rejuvenating Elemis treatments performed by highly trained therapists. Experience award-winning dining in our restaurant or relax in our lounge while taking in the view over the Firth of Forth. Your guaranteed a great night sleep in our stylish bedrooms, exactly what you need after a day on one of the many surrounding world-class golf courses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Marine Hotel And Spa
Macdonald Marine Hotel North Berwick
Hotel Macdonald Marine
Berwick Hotel Marine North
Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa North Berwick, Scotland

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