If you were to ask me about my experience at the Smart at iQ accommodation, Haymarket, Edinburgh, I would say that I have mixed feelings about it. There were both good and bad experiences to my stay there.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was charged twice by mistake by Smart at iQ for the deposit but they gave me the cash back on arrival. The place was spotless, I must admit. The room was small but very clean and the bathroom was sparkling. The accommodation had recently been renovated and it looked great. There was new, modern furniture in the communal living area and kitchen too and the appliances all looked new. I liked it. I also went downstairs once or twice to the t.v. room. That was tidy, clean and quiet.
I did think that the housekeeping needed to be improved though. Staying in a hostel for five nights, I would expect the towels to be replaced every day, if necessary, by housekeeping but after the first two days, I had to ask for new towels and they didn’t clean my room during my stay. It does say on the website that there is a housekeeping service but I didn’t find out, until I asked the guy who was replacing the towels, that we had to put our used towels outside our room doors to be picked up by housekeeping.This wasn’t explained to us at reception and there were no signs or cards in the room or bathroom to explain about the towel policy.
On the Saturday morning the fire alarm went off at 7.20am. It was a false alarm but I didn’t see any staff around to tell us this. Everybody just went back to their rooms after 10 minutes. It does say in reception that there are fire drills every Wednesday morning at 11am. I don’t mind doing fire drills but on this morning, there were no staff around at all to inform us whether this was a drill or just a mistake. Apart from these experiences which blighted my stay there, it was good overall. The prices, the general cleanliness of the rooms, the friendliness of the staff and location was great. When I got back to Amsterdam, I wrote a review on Trip Advisor and got a reply back from the management apologising for the inconvenience of the fire alarm and to say that there are tent cards in each room with the towel policy written on them.
Well as I said there were no cards in my room. So I asked them to tell me what the policy is on changing linen and towels and cleaning the room. They said that linen is changed on the third day and towels are changed whenever they are left on the floor. The bathroom and room is cleaned every day. My room or bathroom wasn’t cleaned in the five days I was there and the bed linen wasn’t changed either. The manager said she was sorry that my stay hadn’t lived up to my expectations and could only apologise if what I was saying about my stay was true. “Cleanliness is paramount and we pride ourselves on this” she said. She did offer me a complimentary stay at Smart at iQ or at Smart City Hostels in future. I was very happy with this. At least it was some compensation for the poor housekeeping I experienced.