POINT HOTEL IN EDINBURGH (34 Bread Street) My mum and I take several short breaks away together every year, just us two, to spend some quality time shopping and gossiping! Usually when choosing a hotel the first thing we check is if it is suitable for children. However this time as my own child wasn't with us, we decided we didn't want to have anybody else's children to deal with either! The Point Hotel does not accomadate children at all and states they have no room for even a cot in their rooms. This is certainly a hotel for relaxing with your paartner or catching up with your mum as I had planned!! LOCATION We travelled from Aberdeen by train to Waverly Station in Edinburgh. The hotel was a ten minute walk from the train or an in-expensive cab ride. We decided to get a cab from the station as even though it was only a long weekend stay, being women we had a fair bit of baggage!! The taxi only cost £4.80 so it wasn't too bad. This hotel is extremely handy and is smack bang in the middle of everything, located within spitting distance of Edinburgh Castle. The main high street is easy to find and an easy five minute walk from the hotel meaning after shopping we would not have to walk too far with our purchases, which I was sure there would be many!! One thing we noticed upon arriving at the Point Hotel was that there was no parking available which to us would have been very inconvenient if we had drove down. Thank goodness we hadn't! COST The holiday was for two adults as I mentioned and we stayed from Friday 5th January 2010 until Sunday the 7th January. We booked one room for the two of us and had the choice of a Continental or Scottish Breakfast. My mum booked the Scottish whereas I chose the Continental. We paid £142 for the two nights. CHECKING IN We arrived at five thirty and were glad to be checked in extremely quickly as we were really hungry after the train ride. The receptionist was extremely polite asking where we had come from and engaging in idle chit chat. Check-in time is from two pm, but if you ask when booking it should not be a problem for an early check-in time but there may be a charge depending on how early it is. The reception was a lot more modern than we expected and the restaurant which was on the left side of the Hotel lobby seemed nice too, which was where we headed first after swiftly dumping our bags in our room! RESTAURANT First of all you come to Monboddo Bar which is chicly designed with all the mod-cons. Glass shelves cover the rear of the bar and there was some extraordinary if not a bit weird artwork! The Cosmopoliton Point Restaurant is a bit more restrained with it's dark mahogany furniture and plain white drapes with contemporary chandeliers making for a relaxing atmosphere. There seemed to be a lot of buisiness men and women in both the restaurant and the hotel itself making me think that the hotels main clientelle are indeed buisiness men and women who are visiting the city for work purposes. They did not cater for families and the tastes were rather more sophisticated and distinguished. The restauant serves food Monday to Friday from 7am till 10am, then noon till 2pm then dinner at 6pm till 10pm. On Saturday breakfast is from 7am till 11am and dinner is from 6pm till 10pm. On Sunday breakfast is from 7am till 11am and dinner from 6pm till 9pm. For some reason Lunch is not available at the weekend which we were a bit disapointed about as we hoped to have lunch before we left on the Sunday. The prices were what you would expect for a restaurant catering to business clientelle and you could purchase individual menu items or a set lunch or dinner. The set lunch was two course and was a great deal at on £6.95. This is something we would definately have gone for but unfortunately with no lunch served at the weekend this deal was redundant to us. The two course dinner was a bit steep at £16.50 per head, but when we arrived we were that hungry that we were past caring about the price and so settled down to eat. The menu was wide and varied with some clever and well put together choices. Lots of the options were original and seemed to fuse Scottish, Chinese, Irish and Thai food together! There was also classic menu items for the more traditional palettes. Both me and my mum chose a starter and maincourse. There was a wide variety of meats, fish and vegetarian choices but I can only really comment on what we ordered. For starters, being a vegetarian I ordered the wild mushroom and leek tartlet topped with goats cheese. There were a few other choices but this was preferable. The pastry was excellent and melted in your mouth but the mushrooms and leeks were a bit oily with whatever they had been sauteed in. The goats cheese was a welcome topping and without it the tartlet may have been almost inedible. As a whole it passed but it wasn't anything to write home about. My mum ordered one of the more original starters which was Haggis Springrolls. She loves haggis and springrolls but would never have thought to fuse the two together!! It worked surprisingly well and my mum really enjoyed it. It was served upon a small bed of leaves with a simple dressing which complemented the springroll perfectly. For the maincourse I had pasta with tomato and pine nuts with more goats cheese accompanied with a bruschetta. This was absolutely gorgeous and although I have had plenty of pasta with a similar description to this I have never had anything this good. The ingredients were all so fresh and combined in just the right way. The only thing I could moan about is that there wasn't enough!! This is very unusual for me as usually I leave half a plate but not this time!! My mum had a sizzling sirloin steak which was beautifuuly presented with a tower of whisky battered onion rings and half tomatoes, corn on the cob and twice baked potatoes. My mum totally enjoyed hers and like me had no complaints what-so-ever about the main course. We washed all this down with a bottle of the house wine which cost us £12 and went well with what we ordered. After filling our bellies we trotted up to our rooms ready to sleep! OUR ROOM The room had two comfy single beds with a reasonable amount of storage and space. The room seemed modern and was extremely clean looking. The first thing that caught our attention was the huge plasma screen television embedded into the wall and in the perfect position to lie and watch it from our beds! There was also internet access available but there was an extra charge for that of £4 per session. You could choose a morning, afternoon or evening session or book all three for £9. There was complementary tea and coffee in the room along with the facilities to make it. This was found on the dressing table which was substantial enough for me and my mum to do our make-up. There was a hairdryer provided but with two women sharing the room, only having one was a bit of a pest! The on-suite was more basic than I would have expected for this hotel but much better than some I have been in. It was clean however and fresh towels were delivered daily. The shower was old fashioned with separate hot and cold taps which made getting the right temperature of water rather challenging and I usually ended up either scalding myself of screaming with the cold! Overall the room was acceptable and we had a comfortable and enjoyable stay. The tea and coffee facilities were definately a plus as when we had too much shopping to carry we would go back to the hotel, put our feet up and re-fuel with a cup of tea or coffee. We also ordered scones on room service which was very efficient. A full menu was available for room service but this was the only thing we ordered because at £8 for the two of us it was rather pricey for afternoon tea!! BREAKFAST The breakfasts were reasonably good but I am not sure why you had to pre-book Scottish or Continental because everything was spread out in a buffet. There was a huge choice of bacon, eggs, beans, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, hash browns and even fried bread. You could also have porridge or cereal. For the continental breakfast there was a choice of cresents, scones, pancakes, toast and breads along with a huge spread of cheese, marmalades, jams and other fillings. There was also plenty of tea and coffee, fresh fruit juice and even hot chocolate. Everything was fresh and warm and on both mornings we enjoyed our breakfast. It was most relaxing having breakfast just there for you and not having to prepare it for the whole family. CHECKING OUT You have to be out of your rooms by 12noon. We found this perfect as we strolled down for our breakfast then popped to the shops for some last minute bargains. The reception had pre-booked a taxi to take us to the station as we had even more luggage now! This came on time and got us there promptly. FINAL THOUGHTS We would definately go back here as it was the perfect relaxed weekend which my mum and I had been hoping for. The hotel would also be perfect for a romantic get-away and there were special rooms for this which were extremely luxurious and even had a jacuzzi! We thought it was fairly expensive but with everything being of a good standard we were quite happy and it certainly suited the purpose of our visit.
Worth staying at this hotel for the artistic experience. Point Hotel is a minimalist art statement. Converted in 1995 from an early-20th century CoOp store by the architect who now owns it, the hotel positively shouts Design, Minimalism and Good Taste – in the nicest possible way. The Point of this hotel is that “less is more”. From the uniquely atmospheric foyer (less lighting), to served by the receptionists (in their less fussy, almost plain black collarless uniforms), through the lifts (with less chiming) to the heart of the hotel (with less on the walls) and the bedrooms (with less clutter). It works. And even its name (Point Hotel) has less in the way of definite articles. The foyer is amazing. A deep, straight shape leading away from the street with large glass walls on two sides – and not a single light in the main area. The only illumination comes from over the reception desk, and that is cunningly hidden. Sounds simple now I have described it, but it took me a while to understand what created this atmosphere. The walls are mainly white. The only decoration comes from coloured fluorescent tubes and neon strips. And I do mean coloured – as you step out of the lifts, you see walls washed with violent pink, bright orange… The rooms are also mainly white – without a single work of art to clutter them, unless you count the large black leather sofa in most rooms – and with all decoration limited to a rectangle of blue glass overlapping a rectangle of bright yellow. And the beds, under the indulgent white duvet and white bedspread, are soft and comfy. The bathroom is similarly minimalist, with the only light coming from a rectangle of frosted glass in the wall-sized mirror. Some rooms have a large sliding-door-like sheet of black glass to draw across the window instead of a curtain. All of which makes you wonder about the imitation antique dressing table and wardrobe which seem to be standard issue in every room; an attempt at eclecticism, or a cheap job lot? But basically, very cool and satisfactory, unless you hanker after your conventional old-fashioned idea of comfort and luxury. All of the rooms seem to have the routine television (a small one though), and the finish is not extraordinarily high. But the staff are consistently helpful and friendly. My colleague needed to work, but forgot to bring an adaptor – so they allowed him to use one of their office PCs! It is located in the centre of town, in Bread Street (just near Grassmarket). The immediate surroundings are a bit insalubrious, but not so bad that they are threatening. On the plus side, there is a simply amazing choice of pubs and restaurants within five minutes walk. Mind you, the in-house restaurant is very good value indeed - £12.95 for three interesting, unusual, and distinctive courses. The bar is also very stylish, albeit loud, and littered with attempts at art – not my favourite. Finally, a little tip: the most stunning rooms are the almost round ones on the corner.