Stay at the Bonham Hotel
How Good Is This Luxury Boutique Hotel in Edinburgh?
Are you considering a stay at the Bonham Hotel in Edinburgh? You will not be alone as it is one of the best-rated hotels in the city, a stylish and modern boutique hotel, renovated from three Victorian townhouses. But how good is this four star hotel compared to other luxury hotels in Edinburgh City Centre?
I've read hundreds of reviews from guests who have stayed at the Bonham over the years and the following is a clear and unbiased summary of what these guests really thought of their stay at this hotel.
What's special about the Bonham Hotel?
- The Bonham is a contemporary and tasteful townhouse restoration, with stylishly chic and often quirky design features, featuring bold colours in the public areas and guest rooms.
- Guests can enjoy incredible views over the Edinburgh skyline and the Firth of Forth.
- Polite, friendly staff, who are always willing to help, displaying true Scottish hospitality.
- The restaurant, which has been awarded 2 AA rosettes, serves French influenced food, sourced from fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients.
- Location: The Bonham Hotel is ideally located in a quiet area overlooking Drumsheugh Gardens in Edinburgh West End, a stone's throw from Charlotte Square and only a few minutes' walk from the restaurants and shops of Princes Street.
Read discounted room rates.
What do guests really think?
Whilst the majority of reviewers are extremely complimentary about their stay at the Bonham, there are several guests for whom the experience had clearly not lived up to their expectations. Included here are summaries of both the positive and negative reviews:
- Guests liked the fact that The Bonham is a boutique hotel, full of character and not an anonymous chain hotel.
- They loved the individual design of the rooms and the facilities on offer, however some were critical of the maintenance and cleanliness, and remarked that the hotel was in need of updating.
- Whilst many reviewers praised the level of service, the attention to detail was criticised by several guests, from restocking of complimentary items to slow and inefficient service in the dining room.
- The majority of those who were critical of the hotel still believe that they received good value for money, as they had enjoyed their overall stay. Many of these had booked their stay taking advantage of special deals found on the Internet.
Although some guests do express dissatisfaction with one or more aspects of their stay at the Bonham, based on the reviews I have read, the overwhelming impression I was left with was that the hotel is excellent value for money if a good deal can be found. Many people, however, would not be prepared to pay the full room rate.
With the friendliness of the staff, the generally excellent food, and some thoughtful extras, the management at The Bonham is making an effort, but it would appear that more attention needs to be paid in certain areas. In addition, The Bonham might be very attractive to business travellers as well as tourists due to the advanced technology available in the rooms, together with the fact that meeting rooms are available, and also the proximity to the financial district.
In Depth Review of the Bonham Hotel in Edinburgh
Stylish 4-star boutique hotel. Central but quiet West End location.
Average room price per night: £69-£156 ($108-$245)
What is the Bonham Hotel like?
The Bonham is part of the renowned Townhouse Group of hotels which also includes Channings, the Howard and the Edinburgh Residence. It is a contemporary boutique hotel, stylishly and boldly decorated, yet retaining many Victorian features such as carved oak panelling.
Building and room design
- The Bonham Hotel, has been luxuriously and tastefully renovated from three adjoining Victorian townhouses, and styled by leading interior designer Janey Armstrong.
- Stylish, contemporary design is a key feature - the entrance lobby, also doubling as a lounge, has a black granite reception block, and bright pink spiral sofa. The room features a collection of approximately 30 works by contemporary Scottish artists.
- There are 48 bedrooms, each individually decorated, with single rooms, standard double or twins, and superior rooms, which enjoy bay windows and larger bathrooms.
- Room 1 was mentioned often in the reviews, magnificently but tastefully decorated and featuring a huge bay window and a period fireplace (no longer working) . Of special mention is a huge oak panelled bathroom with a Victorian copper bath. It was however mentioned by a couple of guests that the room was not very clean and in need of maintenance.
- The reviews of the bedrooms were very varied. Typically they were considered to be comfortable, tastefully decorated, and of a high standard, but there were also some reports of the rooms being in need of refurbishment.
- The level of cleanliness and maintenance in the bedrooms and bathrooms were also subject to varying opinions. Some reviewers were complimentary, but some were distinctly underwhelmed, with more than one reviewer citing cobwebs, broken curtain rails and a general lack of cleanliness.
- There is a mini bar, tea/coffee making facilities, ironing board and 24 hour room service available, as would be expected of a 4 star hotel.
- The Bonham offers a state-of-the-art entertainment and communication system, with a flat screen e-TV. This includes free Internet access, DVD/CD, games and Hi-Fi capabilities, but some people reported that these were difficult to use.
- A key feature often mentioned and appreciated by guests were the luxurious and roomy beds, with high-quality linen and duck down duvets.
- The shower pressure and temperature was also commented on by some, but many accepted that this was to be expected in an old building.
- The room temperature was criticised in several reviews, as there was no air-conditioning available, nor was the temperature in any way adjustable.
Staff and level of service
- The vast majority of reviews were full of praise for the friendliness and professionalism of the hotel staff. This seems to be a major strength of The Bonham.
- However it was reported by several people that the service in the restaurant is extremely slow, too casual, and reactive rather than proactive, with an occasional lack of attention to detail. It would seem from the guest comments that the management are aware of this problem, and are trying to rectify the situation.
Food and drink
- The opinions on breakfast were on the whole excellent, especially in more recent reviews, which might indicate an improvement over the previous quality of the breakfasts. Generally they were thought to be extremely good quality, using fresh, local ingredients, with traditional Scottish dishes on offer such as porridge, kippers and haggis, and fresh fruit. The portions were thought to be too small by some reviewers, however a continental bar is also available. Many people also commented positively on the fresh juice machine. It was recommended that you breakfast early, as it can become crowded towards the end of the service, and ends at 10 a.m. even at weekends.
- Surprisingly for a 2 AA Rosette starred restaurant, there were extremely mixed reviews of the restaurant. Some reported dining at the European influenced restaurant an amazing foodie experience, and raved about the carefully thought-out and innovative menus, made with fresh, organic ingredients, whilst others were disappointed with the meal. On the whole, however, the positive reviews far outweighed the negative ones.
- The themed evenings such as Fishy Friday Dinners and Boozy Snoozy lunches seem to be extremely popular, as is their Market Menu, an inexpensive set menu based on fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients.
- There were a few reviews of the room service, which were not, on the whole, positive, with incorrect items being delivered and poor quality being reported.
- There is no bar, which was seen as a negative point for many people. Drinks can be served, however, in the lounge/lobby area overlooking the garden.
Location and parking
- The Bonham is situated on a quiet street in the West End area of the New Town, a short walk from Princes Street. Most reviewers were extremely happy with the location, as the area is quiet, and yet close to the restaurants and shops of the city centre, and nearby attractions such as Edinburgh Castle.
- The hotel is 25 minutes from the airport, and 5-10 minutes from Waverley and Haymarket train stations and St Andrew's Square bus station.
- The free car parking (and valet service) was mentioned frequently in the reviews, usually positively. On the one hand, it is unusual for free parking to be available in city centre hotels, however some people commented that the car park was extremely small, and it was common for cars to be blocked in.
- The luxurious bathrooms are stocked with Molton Brown toiletries.
- More than one reviewer who had booked at the hotel for a special occasion spoke of free room upgrades or other thoughtful touches such as birthday cards and biscuits.
- Some really unusual themed packages are available, such as Doggy Dreams, where your dog is welcomed with a toy and treat, specially prepared room service and a dog bed.
- You can pre-order treats in advance for special occasions such as Jo Malone toiletries, flowers and champagne.