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Macdonald Houstoun House

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Recent visit was rather disappointing. The location is beautiful-gardens and quirky buildings. However, the service received -especially from restaurant staff- dampened the experience. Serious lack of essential customer service skills and openly uninterested staff. We had to chase them just to take order. Food quality is not worth the level Houston House positions itself on. The cheap instant coffee dispensed into French cafetière press was really quite unbelievable! Stark difference to another MacDonald hotel we spent previous weekend at. Couldn’t access the pool - someone was allowed to take the glass into the area and consequently smashed it into the pool. Accidents happen - but perhaps a small discount on the final bill? We have paid for this service to be included in our stay and there was a failure to provide it. We sincerely hope that the management will look at improving the customer service as the hotel can be an amazing place to stay. Sadly, not at the moment.

We came here with high hopes following our mostly positive time at Macdonald’s Forest Hills, we were mesmerised by the beautiful buildings but that’s where the positives come crashing down, our room was alright and the gym/spa was satisfactory, but the service was dreadful! I understand that a lot of the staff look quite inexperienced, but they could at least be interested! We had many times at dinner/breakfast where our server would simply walk away when we asked a question. If you could just take a day off and retrain all of your staff it would make a huge difference to the amount of stars me and other people would give to this hotel.

First of all to be clear, we have not stayed at this hotel. I just want the management to understand why, and thought this would be the best way to do it. My partner has family around Livingston and we have been looking for somewhere to spend Christmas day and wanted to treat ourselves to somewhere special for christmas lunch where we could stay over. We found the 3 night stay deal on the internet, including the christmas day lunch, and my partner was thrilled as he had been to Houstoun House some years ago and had very fond memories of it. I sent a couple of emails (with a couple of months in between!) through the website form enquiring about making a booking, neither were ever acknowledged. So I phoned up (out of hours) and the girl I spoke to was very friendly and helpful, took all my details, and promised someone from the events team would phone back the following morning during business hours. No one ever did. I subsequently phoned a few days later and made a tentative booking for the two of us to stay over, with an additional 4-6 family members coming for the £100 per head christmas lunch. We were in the area over the weekend just gone, and called in to have a look around. The grounds are lovely, the staff on reception were very welcoming and friendly, and even let us have a quick look at the room they were setting up for a wedding. I started to feel really excited about the prospect of spending christmas in such a lovely setting. We even talked about it as a possible venue for our wedding. Then I went on Trip advisor to check the reviews. Now, everyone knows you take the reviews on trip advisor with a pinch of salt, and have to really read alot of them to properly get an idea of what a place is like. Well, I did that, but noticed that the same complaints were coming up time and time again. Poor standard, bland food, small portions, terribly disorganised service and... the chronically extortionate bar prices! I could live with the room being a little tired (especially given there is mention of a refurbishment plan) but not dirty, and when paying £100 a head for lunch (before you have even had a drink) you want it to be something special. The reviews really do not seem to reflect quality warranting £100 a head. And the venue may have a 4 star rating, but £13 for a small glass of average wine is ridiculous, especially in Livingston. You don't pay anything like that in Edinburgh or any other city I've been to! Most people don't mind paying a little extra if something is a fabulous/special experience, but it is not good to leave your customers feeling robbed because you are under-delivering and over-charging. Unfortunately, whilst the manager has responded politely to all the reviews, I don't really see that the customers complaints are being taken on board as the same issues are coming up again and again... and regretfully this has resulted in us not wanting to book our christmas function here. This is supposed to be a constructive review as we would love to come to Houstoun House once things have improved, and it is a truly lovely setting and our experience with the staff so far has been very positive.

There for a function and lovely hotel and great function. However breakfast on both mornings were a big disappointment .First morning service was terrible. Second morning the buffet breakfast was cold . Staff had to be continually asked fir coffee ,toast,butter etc.

We arrived at our hotel and the check in went smoothly except the receptionist did not tell us about our £10 allowance which was part of the deal. After that everything when downhill. We could not stay in our first room because of a loud continual buzzing noise coming from an electrical cupboard . So We asked for a new room and we received one. To be fair to the receptionist she did ask if I would like to inspect the room before moving and because We were in a hurry we declined and moved in. The room had damp spots, through out, cob webs, stained carpets and dirt behind the toilet door, the safe did not work and neither did the coffee machine. But we were in a hurry so dumped our bags and left. Next morning after a poor nights sleep we went for breakfast at 09:15 We waited to be seated and 3 separate members of staff said, “ I will be with you in a second” It was a long second. Eventually we were seated and before we had time to look at the menu we were asked for our order. I asked the waitress to give us a few minutes. We were asked if we would like tea or coffee and this arrived quickly. When it came I asked for toast. There was self service buffet in another part of the restaurant but none of the waiting staff thought to tell us.The toast when it did arrive turned out to be no more that warm bread. No one ever returned to take our order, so I went and physically searched out a waitress and asked her if she would take our order . She did. The order took ages to come and only after I tracked down a member of the elusive waiting staff to ask where it was. When it arrived I asked for fresh tea from the non smiling waitress. There was no acknowledgement from her. The full breakfast looked good on paper but was luke warm on the plate. The vegetarian breakfast was not much better The grilled tomato being uncooked..The waitress returned with our fresh tea and plonked it down with a scowl and stormed off. It was now 10:10 and we had to be else where.So we just left. Although the receptionist didn’t mention our £10 allowance I would like the hotel to give it to her. ( her name is Sabrina) because she did try her best to help and as far as I could see was the only person who actually worked in the place.

This was a late night arrival for myself and two sons from the airport where we needed a stopover before heading home in the morning. I was assured that a late night check in was fine, and it certainly was. My mind at ease we went to our room and found it to be so very cosy, well appointed and clean. A hearty breakfast in one of the dining rooms was a pleasure and the food delicious, lots of choice and the hot option WITH BEANS YAY ! I am so happy we came here and shall now use again.

We arrived here late after a gig in Edinburgh. The hotel in undisputedly in a lovely location. I went straight to bed but a couple of my colleagues went for a drink in the bar as they were told it would stay open as long as they wanted - but were thrown out after 15 minutes. The room was ok - if somewhat dowdy. But it was at the "inclusive" breakfast that they got it beyond horribly wrong. My colleague and I arrived in the breakfast room at 9.30 - breakfast was served until 10. We both ordered the full English. Coffee and cold toast arrived some 20 minutes later. We started to chat to the other guests. A family of four on the next table had already been waiting 30 minutes. The service was appalling. Everyone waited for far too long for their food. At 10.35! My colleague and I were the last people still waiting in the room for our breakfast when the waitress came to the table with her note pad and said they'd lost our order and we'd have to re-order. We both stood up and left. If you're paying over £100 for a room you deserve much, much better service than this. Disgraceful.

I stayed here recently for 3 nights with a colleague whilst on a training course in Livingston. The room was lovely and the bed was honestly one of the best I've ever slept (like a big marshmallow). Dinner in the restaurant and bar were great and breakfast was a brilliant way to start the day. Also enjoyed the gym facilities. Thank you for a great stay!!

Very enjoyable visit for afternoon tea. Copious amounts of tea and a glass of iced water arrived. Sandwiches were lovely and fresh and generously filled. Vegetarian friend catered for. Best scones I have eaten in a long time with plenty of cream and jam. Lovely small cakes also provided. Waiter was lovely and attentive. Couldn't fault this at all and would recommend to others. We will be back. Would have given 5 stars but I was a bit chilly but then that's a personal thing!

Poor service is all I have to say. The grounds are lovely - there is no denying- unfortunately the interior doesn't quite match. It's worn and all a bit rough round the edges- we were guests for a wedding and drinks and canapés were served fittingly- in the reception. There have been many reviews about the prices of drinks- unbelievable is all I can say: 175ml white wine for 13 GBP-- is not normally priced as the manager has pointed out in previous reviews. I am often in 5 star hotels in Edinburgh which seem to be more reasonable and offer a nicer surrounding and service. Completely out of their depth on service- 1 bar man for 120 guests doesn't quite seem to be the right ratio, Whilst my friends has a super day and had clearly put a lot of effort in there is no way I would recommend this place for a wedding or otherwise. Unbelievable and quite absurd to think that this positions itself alongside very good hotels in Edinburgh.

Uphall Broxburn Scotland

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining
  • Spa

Located in West Lothian, Macdonald Houstoun House is within a 10-minute drive of Livingston Designer Outlet and Almondvale Stadium. This 71-room, 4-star hotel has conveniences like a full-service spa, an indoor pool, and free in-room WiFi. Royal Highland Centre is also within a 15-minute drive of this Broxburn hotel.


This hotel serves as home to a bar, along with a fine-dining restaurant that specializes in local cuisine. Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with room service. For your convenience, a full breakfast is served for a fee each morning from 8 AM to 10 AM.


All 71 air-conditioned rooms feature sofa beds, coffee makers, and free newspapers. TVs come with satellite channels, and guests can stay connected with free WiFi. Bathrooms have hair dryers and free toiletries. Other amenities include free bottled water, phones, and ironing boards.

Property features

At Macdonald Houstoun House, guests enjoy a full-service spa, an indoor pool, and a health club. If you decide to drive, there's free parking. Front-desk staff can answer questions 24/7, and assist with dry cleaning/laundry, luggage storage, and securing valuables. Other amenities at this spa hotel include a sauna, free WiFi in public areas, and conference space.

Room options

Classic Double Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Family Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 4

Executive Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Executive Double Room (King)

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

62% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1502 reviews