At the Old Town Chambers we love to look after our guests which is why we have an amazing concierge service. We caught up with Gaia who a couple of months ago is one of our Head Concierge’s to get a few insiders tips and now it is the turn of Bart another of our Head Concierges.
- Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My Name is Bartlomiej Malysa or Bart for short! I am a 22 year old Polish – American. I have been working as a concierge for 1 year and learned to enjoy every aspect of it!
- A concierge is quite an unusual profession, how did you come to follow this career path?
I have always been a very quiet person throughout my life. I started at Old Town Chambers as a Night Concierge but quickly moved to working during the day and realised that I really enjoy helping guests make the most of their stay. With the help of my manager, Gaia, I have really come out of my shell. She has taught me how to get the most from working in hospitality!
- Using a concierge can take your holiday to a whole new level. Do you think guests make best use of your services? What should guests do to maximize your potential offering?
Guests that choose to do what we recommend usually do make the best use of our services! Living in Edinburgh sets apart touristy attractions versus things you really need to see! We love hearing feedback from our guests about such places and this also aids us in giving great suggestions to the next!
- What has been your strangest request?
We absolutely love dogs at Old Town Chambers! We recently had a Cockapoo (Spaniel and Poodle mix) stay who was absolutely lovely. I myself have a Rottweiler at home and I cannot think about going on holiday without him. I’m very happy OTC is pet friendly, a dog always puts a smile on my face! (No diss to cat lovers).
- What has been your most challenging request?
The most challenging requests that we get are last minute restaurant bookings during the very busy weekends in Edinburgh. We highly recommend booking in advance! Edinburgh is usually packed especially during the summer months!
- Edinburgh is a buzzing city, with lots going on throughout the entire year. When is your favourite time in the city and why?
My favourite time of the year has to be the 5 days of summer we get!! It’s the best time of year to go to my favourite places around Edinburgh. Head to North Berwick for beautiful scenery away from the city life. Arthur’s Seat to hear the silent murmur of the busy city or just enjoy sitting on the grass in Princess Street Gardens after a day’s city exploring.
- What are your top 5 must do’s when in Edinburgh?
1.) Must do’s in Edinburgh have to include getting some good local beer in many of the great pubs that are around the centre. My personal favourites would consist of Holyrood 9a, The Cambridge Bar and Deacon Brodie’s for some good Nicholson’s ale!
2.) I highly recommend guests taking a quick 30-40 minute hike up to Arthur’s Seat, if you are not up for a hike I would then recommend Calton Hill for great pictures and views over all of Edinburgh, including Arthur’s Seat!
3.) This may not be in Central Edinburgh but I definitely recommend taking a tour bus (Rabbies, Timberbush) to the Highlands and to see some Lochs and Castles!
4.) Whisky Experience For “newbies” and for proper whisky lovers seeing a real Distillery must be included (Glenkinchie is the closest one to Edinburgh).
5.) If travelling with children I would recommend taking them to Dynamic Earth located right near Arthur’s Seat. They have many rooms full of different rides and cool things. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything too much but there is a movie theatre at the end! Where you watch a movie in a planetarium!
- And any tourist traps? (Activities that are promoted but over rated / disappointing or visitors shouldn’t bother with if they are short of time)
Edinburgh is one of the best cities to visit, there really are not too many tourist traps, and the attractions in Edinburgh want their guests to enjoy their time in Edinburgh and have all worked very hard to make it so. It all depends on who likes what! Some activities are more ‘touristy’ than others but I can’t say anything negative about any one of them! Perhaps just be aware that if you take a free walking tour it may not be as good quality as the paid ones such as Real Mary Kings Close Walking Tours , or Mercat Tours.
- In terms of eating out where do you recommend for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks?
Breakfast hands down Lucanos Kitchen, it’s our favourite and I have feedback to back it up!
For a quick lunch I would recommend – Cannonball at the top of The Royal Mile. After a good night’s sleep and a mouth-watering meal you walk to the castle in just a few steps up from the restaurant.
Dinner is a tricky one as there’s many, I would most likely recommend Monteith’s on the royal mile! Angels with Bagpipes or The Steak and Mussels Bar.
For coffee I would definitely say Starbucks, my colleagues judge me on this!
Afternoon tea in The Balmoral is absolute great! They supply some of the finest teas.
Being a very simple man I would definitely say beer is the way to go when you are in Edinburgh!! Deacon Brodie’s which is a part of Nicholson’s pubs always have a great selection year round! Nicholson’s Pubs has many pubs around Edinburgh and they all have their unique old fashioned feel to them!
- Which is your favourite OTC apartment and why?
Apartment 48hands down! It’s one of our open plan 1 Bedroom Signature apartments! You can lay in your bed and watch the busy life outside just on Princess Street pass you by, or you can sit in your bathtub and do exactly the same!! It has everything you need, a perfect apartment for a honeymoon or a special occasion.
- What is it about OTC that makes it stand out against the many other luxury accommodation options in this beautiful city?
Old Town Chambers has the freedom of home, you book an apartment with lots of space (compared to a hotel room of course). The apartments come fully equipped for daily life. All you need to do is show up and feel like you are at home! Our location is magnificent and I enjoy walking through the Old Town to get to work! We are off the main street which gives privacy and takes you away from the noise of the High Street! No better place to stay, especially during the Fringe.
- Final word. Please offer your one piece of advice for visitors to maximise their enjoyment of Edinburgh.
My Final word would be for our guests. I highly recommend doing lots of research and figuring out some places you would enjoy or like to see! Some guest arrive and know absolutely nothing about Edinburgh and it’s a shame since this city is one of the best to see!! Do research and ask us! We will give you honest opinions and help as much as we can