‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – The Glasshouse, Edinburgh (part of Marriott Bonvoy)

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Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Edinburgh.

We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for PointsYou can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.  This was scheduled to be a series of about 25 hotels, but a good response from readers means that we have commissioned another batch and are continuing the series.

Today’s hotel is The Glasshouse, a historic hotel in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre.  It is reader Andrew’s favourite hotel and here is his review:

Overview

Having an intense work schedule up to Christmas Day it is always good to get away around New Year.  As our travel plans for 2020 were extensive (ironically looking back now, as it was virtually all cancelled), our first break of the year was intended to be brief and not too far afield.

We struck on The Glasshouse, a mid price hotel in Edinburgh that is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection and as an added incentive netted a sizeable number of Bonvoy bonus points.

A one night stay on 2nd of January in Edinburgh avoids the crowds and peak pricing but still offers the atmosphere of the Scottish capital at the New Year.

The glasshouse hotel Edinburgh review

Getting to The Glasshouse in Edinburgh

We arrived at Edinburgh Waverley station in the early evening.  The walk to The Glasshouse hotel was only a 10 minute stroll from the station. The location of the hotel is conveniently situated opposite St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in the theatre district and near a major new shopping development. It was amazingly easy to catch a bus on the opposite side of the road to Leith Docks to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia which was our entertainment for the next day.

Despite the excellent location, on a dark evening with packed streets, it is extremely easy to miss the hotel entrance. The Glasshouse frontage is the remains of a free church chapel dating from 1846 and is set back, and therefore, obscured in between the Edinburgh Playhouse and the OMNi Centre. Once you have found your way to the hotel, the surroundings enhance its appeal.

Check-in

We were greeted in the smart and modern lobby by a very friendly receptionist who introduced us to the concierge who produced a bottle of bubbly wine and poured my wife and I a glass each as we checked in. The staff must have been exhausted the day after Hogmanay celebrations but there was no sign of it in the way we were treated.

We were escorted to our room which featured a large glazed door that opened to an extensive roof garden overlooking Calton Hill. In warm weather this will be a wonderful area for a stroll. However, be warned if you wonder out, room numbers are not displayed on the outside and with all frontages looking identical, the next morning after a short walk I found an ajar door which I though led back to our room only to walk in on a couple getting dressed for breakfast.

There was no room upgrade available, but my Marriott status entitled us to a complimentary whiskey in the snug bar. We dined in a local restaurant, of which there are many very close by – this being theatre land after all. On returning to The Glasshouse the snug was an excellent place to spend the evening  comfortably seated around a large gas fired open fire.

The glasshouse hotel Edinburgh review

The bar stocks almost 100 whiskeys, as I remember, although our voucher did not stretch to the more specialist choices.

Our room

Retiring to our room, there was no shortage of space. The furnishings were in better condition than the communal corridors and the bed was comfortable, ensuring a good night’s sleep.

The glasshouse hotel Edinburgh review

Rooms featured a sitting area immediately in front of the opening panoramic door to the roof garden and a coffee machine. In fact there was everything you need for a comfortable short or medium stay.

The bathroom lived up to the hotel’s name featuring lots of blue glass from the basin surround to the bath and shower splashback. The bathroom was almost part of the main bedroom, separated by a bamboo screen which could be drawn across, so there are no secrets when it comes to ablution time.

The glasshouse hotel Edinburgh review

Food and drink at The Glasshouse

The next morning we were among only a handful of guests at breakfast. Again the dining room had a fresh and open feel with lots of large windows overlooking Calton Hill and the Edinburgh architecture to enhance the sense of being in a special place.

The glasshouse hotel Edinburgh review

The food offering was beautifully presented as if the selection was prepared just for you: there were no mountains of mass cooked food in heated servers but smaller portions of freshly prepared specialist items.

The glasshouse hotel Edinburgh review

Both my wife and I ordered porridge from the hot menu, which we thought a must for our Scottish break. I was slightly disappointed that the bowl was not a large piping hot affair served with salt but a modern twist topped with fresh fruit and accompanied by a large jug of cream and demerara sugar: all my reservations about this dish evaporated once I had tasted the first mouthful.

Here’s the point about The Glasshouse: You are staying at a hotel in the heart of Edinburgh with a traditional ambiance but a contemporary twist ensuring that there is a surprise at every turn and your stay will be comfortable and modern.

Conclusion

With so many hotels in Edinburgh and so many different styles would we return to The Glasshouse? The answer is undoubtedly yes!

First of all the location was convenient for Waverley Station as the train was our preferred way of getting to Edinburgh. Next time, with a little more planning, we could fit in a show and still browse the shops on nearby Princes Street.

We particularly enjoyed The Snug and the breakfast service but we had no complaints over our room and it would be worth visiting in summer (but perhaps not in 2020) to experience the roof garden. Next time we would like to dine at The Glasshouse to sample how they manage a full dinner service, although there is no shortage of dining options in the vicinity.

There are more opulent hotels in Edinburgh but The Glasshouse is friendly, not at all pretentious and offers amazing quality and service in a period immediately following Edinburgh’s busiest night. That shows attention to details and relentless focus on delivering customer satisfaction by the management and staff.

If you want to find out more, the hotel’s website is here.

Booking The Glasshouse

As a Marriott property, you can also redeem Marriott Bonvoy points at The Glasshouse.  It is a Category 7 hotel which means that it costs either 50,000, 60,000 or 70,000 points per night depending on demand.

For cash bookings, The Glasshouse is part of Marriott’s Luminous scheme which gives the following extra benefits if you book via a luxury travel agent:

  • Welcome Scotch whisky accompanied by a homemade whisky tablet
  • Daily continental breakfast for two people in The Brasserie. Sunday breakfast service offers a complimentary prosecco station
  • Early check-in / late check-out, based on availability
  • Priority for complimentary room upgrade (based on availability upon arrival)

Our hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas at Bon Vivant can book this package for you.  The price will be the same as the Best Available Rate (room only) on the Marriott website.  You can contact Emyr via the form on this page of HFP.

Review Glasshouse Hotel Edinburgh

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Marriott Bonvoy points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Genghis says:

    Good smoked salmon at breakfast when we stayed a few years ago.

  2. Stayed for work a few years ago. Remember the breakfast being tasty (and good views too!) Looks like it’s had a refurb since I was there, when I stayed the bed was 2 singles pushed together and I kept on falling through the middle as they weren’t fastened!

  3. Jordan D says:

    Had reserved a couple of nights here for this year’s festival, but alas… Maybe in 2021.

  4. Andrew says:

    Please, whiskies, or maybe whiskys (bad grammar), but 100% not whiskeys (Irish/American).

    Nice review otherwise!

    • Sandra B says:

      +1

    • Cultural vandalism at its worst 😂

      • Not sure if Andrew did that or if Anika has been in America for too long and change it!

        • RussellH says:

          Even in North America, Scotch Whisky is sold without an ‘e’.
          And Breton Whisky has no ‘e’ either.
          [It is not very good though – I would never buy it again!]

    • This was the first point I also wanted to make – when in Scotland, you drink whisky (or scotch), but not whiskEy… The second point is the porridge – doesn’t it sound too boring to order porridge (for both!) with so many other choices available? Especially when you are about to write a review of a place

  5. It’s useful to note that this hotel is equally as convenient for those arriving into the Airport. Just hop on one of the trams, take it to the end of the line (York Place – 35 minutes) and walk across the road.

    Just around the corner from the hotel, on London Road, you have one of Edinburgh’s most interesting culinary experiences… The Gardner’s Cottage. Small restaurant, with communal seating, serving a set menu with produce exclusively from the local area. Best to book in advance.

    Also near the hotel is one of Edinburgh’s best pubs, The Cask and Barrel on Broughton St. Great selection of Cask Ales and whiskys in a traditional Scottish pub setting.

  6. Best to check if they’ve an event on in summer if you have one of the rooftop garden rooms then. They do host weddings and company events which use the rooftop gardens. If there’s nothing on though, agree it’s a good option for Edinburgh.

  7. Harry T says:

    Booked this for the August Bank Holiday, and it was a reasonable £239 for a Carlton Hill room. It’s now approaching £400!

  8. As there was reference to possibly trying the restaurant, I thought a local perspective might be worth sharing as I live a few minutes walk from here. It has a terrible reputation – poor quality, overpriced, no atmosphere and lacking service are the stories. Might be urban myths, but heard first hand from at least two sources who have tried it themselves. There were also some reports about problems with environmental health last year.

    Might still be worth trying of course, but there are many, many good restaurants within a 10 min radius. Some less well known favourites are Le Roi Fou, Fhior, Origano, Chop House.

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks. In a city like Edinburgh, I’d probably be inclined to eat anywhere but the hotel for an evening meal! So many choices.

      • Stu N says:

        The Little Chartroom, 10 mins down Leith walk is excellent too.

      • Genghis says:

        Aizle was v good when we were last there but prices now much more.

        • Stu N says:

          Aizle is great as well. So many good places in Edinburgh.

          For the locals, Aizle are doing an “Aizle at home” service at the moment. Order on a Monday for delivery within the city bypass or collection from restaurant on Fri/ Sat. A little bit of cooking and heating up but mostly just plating things up. We had it last weekend and it was superb.

          • Genghis says:

            🙂 my wife keeps getting emails (or is it Insta notifications?) from no.16 in Glasgow on their home delivery offering. Looks v good.

          • Michael says:

            Stu have you tried his new restaurant on Thistle St?

        • Stu N says:

          Michael – new place is called Noto. Haven’t been but heard very good things about it. Hopefully will get to try it in the summer as restrictions ease.

          • Michael says:

            Likewise heard good things. The last time we were in Fishers I stuck my head round the door. Hopefully they’ll manage to reopen with whatever distancing measures are in place.

  9. Darren says:

    I had a nice stay at Glasshouse a few years ago, nice breakfast. My choice now is Nira Caledonia SLH, always get an upgrade and like the locality.

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