Stay at the Malmaison Hotel

How Good Is This Boutique Hotel in Edinburgh?

Why Stay at the Malmaison Hotel,
4-star Contemporary Chic Hotel in Leith

  • Boutique hotel decor with decor intended to be funky, chic and rich.
  • Winner of Edinburgh Hotel of the year 2007
  • Some rooms have beautiful waterfront views
  • Location: Located in Leith, right on the Waterfront and close to the Royal Yacht Britannia.
  • Rates: Average room price per night: £99-£175 ($156-$275) but special deals can save you up to 50%.

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Are you considering a stay at the Malmaison Hotel in Edinburgh? It's a tempting choice as this prestigious boutique hotel is situated right on the waterfront in the up and coming docklands area of Edinburgh, with many top restaurants and bars in the near vicinity.

With a French Brasserie and Mal Bar, this fashionable hotel is noted for its funky, rich décor. But is this a better choice than other 4-star hotels in Edinburgh and does it represent good value for money?

I've read hundreds of reviews from guests who have stayed at the Malmaison 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 Malmaison Hotel?

  • Each room is individually decorated and styled in plush and sensual dark colours with king-sized beds.
  • Winner of Edinburgh Hotel of the year 2007 the Malmaison draws on its French influence in the form of chic styling and a French brasserie with well stocked wine bar.
  • Location: Situated in Leith, in the heart of the fashionable docklands, this former 19th century Seaman's Mission is located right on the banks of the Forth River, with stunning views of the port area.

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What do guests really think?

  • Although many guests thoroughly enjoyed their stay and would return or recommend to others, there were also many negative reviews.
  • The most common complaint was that this originally grand and chic hotel is now very tired and in urgent need of an update.
  • Several guests felt that it was overpriced for what is actually offered and did not represent good value for money.
  • Although the Malmaison brand is synonymous with contemporary chic, some guests felt that the rooms were nothing special and were disappointed in this respect.
  • Some guests felt that this hotel did not reflect the Malmaison brand.

The Malmaison Hotel in Leith

Scottish Tourist Board Rated 4 Star Hotel

1 Tower Place,
Edinburgh,
Postcode: EH6 7DB
Official Malmaison Website

How far is the Malmaison Hotel from the bus and train stations?

The Malmaison is located in Leith near the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Visit Scotland star rating: 4 star Hotel
Hotel Reviews: Malmaison reviews

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My Recommendation

Unfortunately there were too many negative reviews to be able to make an outright recommendation. This hotel certainly does have its advantages, especially if you are looking for something away from the very centre of Edinburgh, and if you are looking to stay in the Leith area this might be a good option. I would however recommend trying to get a port view room as this seems to make a lot of difference to people's perception of their stay.

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In Depth Review of the Malmaison Hotel in Edinburgh

Prestigious boutique hotel brand. Located on the fashionable waterfront in Leith.
Average room price per night: £99-£175 ($156-$275)

What is the Malmaison Hotel like?

The Malmaison in Edinburgh was the first hotel in the prestigious Malmaison chain of hotels, a UK hotel chain synonymous with French chic. Opened in 1994, from the guest reviews it would appear that the hotel is starting to show its age and is in need of refurbishment. There were news reports in January 2010 which indicated that the hotel is now for sale as the MWB Group who own the Malmaison brand wish to purchase a larger hotel which 'meets the new design criteria'. It is therefore unlikely that the current owners will invest in refurbishing the hotel.

Four Star Malmaison Hotel in Edinburgh

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Building and room design

  • There are 100 rooms and 9 suites, all individually designed, with king size beds, and grey slate bathrooms with black tiles.
  • Most guests agreed that the public areas are cool and funky.
  • Some guests said the rooms are extremely plush and chic but the majority agreed that they are dark and depressing and in need of refurbishment.
  • Many guests agreed that the carpets needed replacing, also the TV's as they are the old CRT type.
  • From the reviews there seems to be two types of rooms, those in the 'New Wing' are actually those which need updating.
  • Some of the rooms have views of the port, others look out to the back of the hotel where some reported noisy air con vents.
  • Those who stayed in the port view rooms tended to give a much better review of the hotel, so it is recommended to try and get a room with a view.
  • Some rooms face out to an industrial work shop which opens very early in the morning.
  • There is no air-conditioning in the rooms and many guests said that the rooms were too hot.
  • There is a DVD player in the room with a free DVD library to borrow from, and many guests appreciated this.
  • Many guests agreed that the rooms were spotlessly clean while others reported a lack of attention to detail in this area.
  • There is a gym, but several guests said that it is extremely small.
  • Wi-Fi is free for 30 minutes and chargeable thereafter which many guests found expensive.
  • Some felt that, for the price, the rooms lacked nice touches such as complimentary water, biscuits, slippers etc.

Staff and level of service

  • Many reviewers said that the staff were very efficient and friendly.
  • Several reviewers said that they had been given complimentary upgrades.
  • Several guests reported that there were mistakes with the bill on check out and that they were overcharged.
  • Many guests said that the service at dinner was very slow with waits of over one hour between courses.

Food and drink

  • The Brasserie serves French cuisine made with local produce, however there were a significant percentage of guests who were disappointed by their eating experience there as it did not live up to their expectations.
  • Several of the guests had booked one of the special offers such as a room for £10 (or £20 for a superior room) if you spend £75 on a Sunday dinner, and several thought it was good value whereas others were disappointed due to the quality of food and service.
  • Breakfast received mixed reviews and many reviewers agreed that it was very well cooked with a good selection while others said that it was disappointing.
  • There is a trendy bar, the Mal Bar, which serves excellent cocktails.

Location and parking

  • The Malmaison is situated in the port area of Leith, approximately 10 minutes by car or 40 minutes by foot from the city centre.
  • Some guests felt that this was too far away from the centre, while others said that it was an excellent destination in its own right, as the nearby area has many excellent bars and restaurants.
  • The Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre and the Royal Yacht Britannia are close by.
  • There is free parking which was appreciated by many.
  • While many agreed that it is an up and coming area, some said that the surrounding area and streets behind the hotel are none too savoury.
  • Edinburgh Airport is 10 miles away and Waverley train station 1.5 miles.

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