“ Travelodge Edinburgh Central Hotel / 33 St. Mary's Street / Edinburgh EH1 1TA / Tel: 0871 984 6137 „
Having wanted to go to Edinburgh for some time, I was pleased to be able to get 1st Class train tickets to Edinburgh for just £7 more than standard cattle class train tickets. So I aimed to get some bargain accommodation too. This is where Travelodge came in...
Travelodge are known for offering cheap hotel accommodation throughout the UK, but I was still surprised to be able to get an Edinburgh city centre room for just £42.75 a night! I booked a family room for 3 nights and added on the Late Check Out option for £10 (allowing us to check out at 2pm, instead of the usual midday) for a total of £138.25 at the end of April, ready for our trip in mid July. My booking was done through the Travelodge website (www.travelodge.co.uk) and, having booked hotels through the website a number of times, this was done simply and quickly.
Travelodge Edinburgh Central is situated on St. Mary's street and is easy to find, just a stone's throw away from the famous Royal Mile and only a short walk (roughly 5-10 minutes) from Edinburgh Waveley train station (just take the Market Street exit out of the station and follow Jeffery Street around to St. Mary's Street) and Princes Street. So it's location is ideal for a city break, visits to Edinburgh's many attractions and, of course, for shopping! It's location was ideal for us as it meant that we could pop back as and when we needed to... to drop off shopping or just to freshen up before heading out for a meal. It's location also meant that we didn't have to haul our luggage very far and we didn't need to waste money on a taxi.
While there is a set of 10 or so steps to get into Travelodge Edinburgh Central, there is also a ramp at the entrance, so for those with mobility problems (or even if you've done so much walking around Edinburgh that your legs simply won't go up steps), there's no need to worry. Although, you may need to dodge the smokers... There are a couple of cigarette bins outside the Travelodge entrance and every time we went in or our there seemed to be at least one person out there smoking (and it seems that some people are too lazy to actually use the cigarette bins as there were cigarette butts on the floor).
Checking in was simple, and, despite the queue, it was relatively quick too. You could check in at the reception desk (as per usual) or use one of the two checking-in machines next to the reception desk (which I only noticed one guest using). I found the staff to be friendly and helpful.
In and near reception were a number of vending machines holding items such as bottles of water, fizzy drinks, crisps, chocolate, ice creams and other snacks, as well as things such as a travel toothbrush & toothpaste pack. The bar/restaurant was just to the right of the reception area and had plenty of tables & seats, as well as a couple of computers for internet access.
Our room was on the ground floor. As a family room it had a double bed and a sofa (where the base pulled out to convert into a bed. The double bed was comfortable, but the mattress of the sofa's base was fairly thin and so not particular comfortable. The room also had a desk (with TV and kettle with tea/coffee) & chair, as well as an area for luggage and hanging clothes (which also held a spare towel and a pillow for the sofa/bed). Travelodge rooms are basic, so I really wasn't expecting anything else. The room was clean and tidy.
The bathroom had a bath/shower (although there was no plug, so the bath was a bit pointless!), sink and toilet. The no-longer-heated rail (disconnected for our safety) held a couple of towels. Oh, and there was a tiny bar of soap!
The bedroom windows (2 of them) had been left open to cool the room down, but it was rather noisy, so we shut them... However, that didn't make a difference! The website states that "due to the location of this hotel external traffic noise may be heard". Well, if you have room facing the road, especially on the lower floors, it will be heard! The road is cobbled with bricks and traffic goes by continuously all day and for most of the night. Even with the window closed, it sounds like you're sleeping outside! We barely got an ounce of sleep on the first night, with a little more on the second night. We were that tired on the third night (with all the walking and the lack of sleep on the previous nights) that we slept through most of it but it was an interrupted night of sleep as anything heavier than a car going up or down the street would wake me up. The windows are not sufficient enough to keep the noise to a minimum. So, if you are staying at the Travelodge Edinburgh Central I would advise asking for a room at the rear of the hotel.
If you have booked a late check-out, you will need to have your key-card reset by reception on the morning of the day you'll be leaving. The reason for this is that the room locks are reset at midday and if you haven't had your key-card reset, you won't be able to get back into your room after midday. Reception should tell you this when you check in, but they hadn't told us. We found this out when we were unable to get back into our room at 1.30pm to get our bags before checking out. Thankfully a member of cleaning staff was walking down the corridor and came to our aid. After asking us to describe something in the room (as a security question), she opened the door to our room and let us in.
The hotel's other facilities include on-site parking, although this is limited and chargeable. I wouldn't advise parking on-street in front of the hotel though as I believe you need a permit (and I did notice traffic wardens walking the streets). There is also an NCP car park nearby and they offer discounts to Travelodge customers (as does a cafe up the street - for food, that is!). There is also wifi available at the hotel, but this is payable in advance.
Checking-out is extremely simple. All you do is hand in your key-card to a member of staff in reception and that's that. They don't offer a left-luggage service, so I'd advise paying the extra tenner for a late check-out if you intend on leaving after midday.
As mentioned before, this Travelodge is situated just off the Royal Mile. In fact, you'll find St. Mary's Street roughly midway on the Royal Mile, so it's ideal for exploring the centre of Edinburgh on foot. Edinburgh Castle is at the top of the Royal Mile, while Holyrood is at the bottom (if you haven't guessed Edinburgh is built on a hill, so be prepared for some exercise!). As it's in the city centre, most of the city's attractions are within walking distance. There are also many local buses, as well as city tour buses, if you don't fancy walking everywhere. We caught one of the tour buses just up the street from the hotel and you can hop on and off as you wish. We also made use of the train station and caught a train out to the Maid of the Forth boat.
As Travelodge Edinburgh Central has it's own bar/restaurant (which is also open in the mornings for breakfast), you can eat there if you want (we didn't). However, Edinburgh has many pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to choose from, so you'll never be short of finding yourself somewhere to eat. I'd definitely recommend the Whiski Bar & Restaurant just a 5 minute walk away on the Royal Mile for a great meal, whether at lunch time or in the evening.
But would I recommend the hotel? For location, definitely! But for a quiet night's sleep? Certainly not!
The Travelodge Edinburgh Central is a cheap and cheerful chain hotel that has all the amenities you would expect and in a fabulous location. We booked a room for a weekend in December and got an extremely good price of £19 per night in the Travelodge room sale, although even at full price, I'd recommend that you have a look at this hotel if you're visiting the city.
Booking online couldn't be easier; you simply visit Travelodge's website (www.travelodge.co.uk), enter Edinburgh in the search engine and then select from the price options for the various dates. As is usually the case with these kind of websites, you are offered a number of extras 'to make your stay perfect', such as breakfast, internet access cards and parking tickets. These are all on one page and aren't automatically selected, so you don't need to worry about the process being time consuming or booking something that you don't want or need accidentally. Once you've entered your card details, you are given a booking reference and confirmation is emailed to you immediately - just take this to the hotel and check in is simple.
We travelled by car and found getting to Edinburgh no problem. We did struggle getting to the actual hotel though because there are lots of one way streets to contend with and a massive amount of traffic. Having said this, it is on a fairly main street so as long as you don't take a wrong turn (like we did) you should be fine. If you are arriving by train, the hotel is around a five minute walk (with cases) from the main train station. I wouldn't bother getting a taxi as you'd be quicker walking, although there it is up a hill.
There is a car park adjacent to the hotel, which is run by an independent company. The car park is enclosed by a brick wall all the way around and is monitored by CCTV so is pretty secure. It's a 'pay and display' car park, although we paid by ringing an automated number (displayed on machines within the car park) and it was an extremely quick and easy process. You just speak your arrival time and departure time as well as giving details about your car and credit card, then you are sent a text message by way of confirmation. They also send you a text message two hours before your time expires which is quite handy. We arrived at 4pm on Tuesday and parked until midday on Thursday and paid £20 for parking as well as 20p for two text messages. I thought this was exceptionally good value for secure, city centre parking.
The staff were very helpful and friendly and the check in process was quick and easy. Like I said, you just show your booking confirmation and you are given a key to your room. They also use this as another opportunity to sell you breakfast and the like, but I get the impression that this is just a standard thing that they expect you to say no to because there is no hard sell. I'd recommend that you ask for extra towels if there is more than one of you staying in the room and also extra pillows and a hairdryer if you think you'll need them - asking at check in will save you realising that you need them at the most inopportune moment later in your stay!
The rooms are well presented but simple. Part of the Travelodge idea is that they cut costs by only equipping the rooms with the essentials. This means that there are no TVs or hairdryers as standard and that the wardrobes are more like clothing rails with a piece of wood at the side! There is however coffee making facilities, as well as the usual features; bed, desk, and chair and, of course, the 'wardrobe'. There are no safes in the room and no secure facility at reception, which could be a nuisance for some travellers (if you have passports and things that you don't want to carry around with you). The rooms are nicely decorated in plain colours - mainly blue and cream - and the bathrooms are clean and well maintained. The bed we found was surprisingly comfortable - I've stayed in other Travelodge hotels before and found the mattresses to be uncomfortably soft - but these were perfectly OK for a couple of nights.
There is a restaurant in the hotel that offers breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is a full buffet serving hot and cold food as well as juices, cereals and fruit. We didn't actually have breakfast as we thought it was quite pricey at £13.50 per adult, especially considering that there are so many places near the hotel that you could get a good breakfast for a lot less. They did have some deals though - it's cheaper if you book online and also two children can eat free with each paying adult, which I actually thought was a very good offer. The dinner options were very much pub fare, offering burgers, pies and other things that you can eat with chips. Again, we didn't eat dinner as there were so many other options nearby, although we did have a look at the menu and I thought that everything was quite reasonably priced.
In the way of other facilities, there was a bar that had a screen showing sports games. The bar was actually quite nice - very modern but cosy at the same time. There are also lots of vending machines throughout the hotel offering drink, snacks and travel essentials at vastly inflated prices - useful for getting you out of a fix though.
This is by far and away the hotel's main selling point and definitely something that they can show off. The hotel is located on St Mary's street, just about 200 yards from the Royal Mile, Edinburgh's main tourist thoroughfare and home to Edinburgh Castle at one end and Holyrood House Palace at the other. There is also an abundance of restaurants, cafes and bars along this road including big chain coffee shops, cosy little pubs and excellent restaurants so you have no shortage of places to go if you want a nice meal or a good drink without walking too far. For shopaholics, the main shopping street is only a short walk away as are the Christmas markets, if you are there in December.
If this hotel had been in any other location, I would probably have given it three stars as it is nice, but simple and doesn't have a massive amount of facilities, although this is reflected in the price. However the location alone bumps it up to four stars in my opinion and if you are planning a trip to Edinburgh, you should definitely have a look.
There are several Travelodges in central Edinburgh and St. Mary's Street one is not the one I originally booked to stay in. Checking the Travelodge website I noticed that a new Travelodge was due to open on Rose Street and while this was not the closest Travelodge to the venue for a concert we were going to, it was over £20 a night cheaper, a saving I thought was worth the extra few minutes walk.
Unfortunately a few weeks before our stay we received an email from Travelodge informing us that the opening of the Rose Street Travelodge had been delayed. We were also told that we could stay in one of the other Edinburgh Travelodges at no extra cost, provided a room was available. As a result we were able to stay at the more conveniently located Travelodge for a not too bad rate of £62 on a Saturday night; the promotional price of £19 a night is advertised heavily throughout the hotel but I think it would be unlikely you'd find that rate for a Saturday night in Edinburgh.
This Travelodge is situated a stones throw (perhaps given the number of stag and hen groups a "stagger" would be more appropriate) from the Royal Mile and therefore many of the attractions for which the city is famous. We were going to see a band playing at Cabaret Voltaire which is just two streets away. There are several restaurants on the street, some of them highly regarded.
The building is rather grim and uninspiring from the exterior and unfortunately it's not set back from the road at all. I don't think anyone chooses Travelodge for style, though, so this is largely unimportant. We were checked in quickly and the friendly receptionist informed us of the times breakfast is served and told us that room service meals were available until 9.45pm - I'm not sure how many people order a room service meal in an Edinburgh Travelodge on a Saturday night!
(Note: we had been intending to go directly from Waverley Station to drop our bags at the hotel as we were too early to check but a note on the hotel's website states that for security reasons they are not able to store bags before or after check in/out.)
First impressions were positive, with an organised reception, friendly staff and an inviting bar area just beside reception. We didn't use the bar at all but noted that you can buy two bottles of Stella Artois for £5.00 which didn't strike me as too expensive. However, once you leave reception you start noticing things like grubby walls, worn carpets, in some places right down to the backing threads and battered skirtings.
Superficially our room looked fine but closer inspection revealed bits of damage and neglect. There was a small draft around the not quite perfectly fitting window and areas of black mildew or dampness around the window frame too. The veneer on the dressing table/desk and along the edges of the bedside tables was chipped and rough. The bedding felt clean and crisp but on turning back the covers that night we found a dirty stain that had clearly proved unmovable in the laundry process.
Essentially the room is standard Travelodge - basic and bland. There was tea and coffee making equipment but that's as much of a freebie as you'll get here. The sliver of soap was so measly it would have looked classier had they not bothered.
Our room overlooked St. Mary's street which is a one way street and although it isn't overrun with traffic its cobblestones do amplify the sound of the vehicles using it. Until around 4.00 am we were regularly woken by the sounds of singing and shouting from groups of revelers in the street. The glazing is woefully inadequate and I do hope that the new Rose Street Travelodge has better glazing as that area is likely to be pretty noisy at night too.
The mattress was really too soft and sagged slightly towards the middle. The pillows were too thin and there was only one extra one. Although we had been advised we could ask for extra pillows and blankets we just made do with what we had, too tired when we came back to our room to do anything about it.
The bathroom had a shower only; it was in good condition, much better than the sleeping area which had scuff marks on the walls in addition to the previously mentioned flaws. The best thing about the bathroom was the steam free mirror which I think is a brilliant invention; unfortunately there was no full length mirror in either the bedroom or the bathroom.
The television was situated on the desk to one side of the bed and not really a very good position unless you sat on the edge of the bed to watch it. As a result the remote control would refuse to work unless you placed yourself immediately in front of the television. The lights were another source of minor annoyance; it was not possible to switch on only one of the beside lamps, it was both or nothing which didn't please my partner when I woke up early wanting to read.
Mercifully there wasn't as much noise inside the hotel during the night as we had anticipated but that is probably luck more than anything. There were lots of single sex groups staying there and on another night, or on a different floor, it could have been much worse.
We didn't have breakfast at the hotel; the price for the "all you can eat buffet breakfast" is £7.50 and you can get a decent breakfast in Edinburgh for less on any day of the week.
While I can't say I was especially impressed by this hotel it was pretty much as I'd expected. You know what to expect from Travelodge and most vary little from the usual model. I think the problems here stem from the fact that this hotel is now quite old and tired. It's fine for a short stay and you can't get much cheaper in the centre of Edinburgh. The facilities are basic but I'd expect most guests to be spending very little time in the rooms. Leave behind high expectations and pack your earplugs!
33 St. Mary's Street
As we trravelled by train I cannot comment on the parking facilties. However, this information is taken directly from the hotel website
Limited on-site car parking.
NCP Ltd car park within 120 meters walking distance.
Britannia Parking Ltd operate the hotel car park on behalf of Travelodge. Parking is charged as listed below.
Midnight to 15:00hrs
1 hr £2
3 hrs £4
5 hrs £8
24 hrs £10
15:00 - 12 noon next day
£10 Evening & Overnight rate
The car park has 25 spaces
Alternative parking can be found at the NCP at St Johns Hill which is discounted for Travelodge customers.
NCP opening times 7am - 10pm not 24hours as stated, but vehicles can be left overnight
Hello and welcome to my review of my recent stay at the Edinburgh Central Travelodge. So here we were, sitting at the computer at home, my other half and I were discussing where to go for a week away. After some careful deliberation and persuasion from my other half we successfully agreed upon Edinburgh.
First thing was to book accommodation as it was no good arranging our flights without any Hotel rooms, the week we were going was the first week after the Tattoo and the City was still hectic as well as it was recovering from this and the Comedy Festival as well. So the first place we looked was Premier Travel Inn, no go on this one as the rooms are quite expensive and the location is not what we were looking for anyway as we wanted somewhere about 10 minutes walking from the City Centre. So the next stop was Travelodge.com to discover what they had.
Success!!!! A room was booked for four nights from the Monday to the Friday morning for just £264 for two people for four nights. This was not including Breakfast as that was an additional cost, but I will come to that later.
The location is great for this place, you are literally about 50 yards south of the Royal Mile in the South Eastern quarter of the City. The Travelodge is located in St Mary's Road and from what we were told by the Tour Guides 100 years ago this was previously the slum area of the city as there were houses that were holding up to 50 people at a time. The modern building of the Travelodge was built on a site of an old Victorian Hospice.
When we stayed there we found it a great Hotel to for location alone, it was a 10 minute (uphill) walk to the Castle and roughly about the same distance and time to Waverley Station. As St Mary's Road is placed about two thirds of the way along the Royal Mile, it is a great place to walk as you are only five minutes (downhill) from the Palace of Holyrood, Arthur's Seat and Parliament in one direction. Although the Royal Mile can be considered to be a heavily tourist focussed place, there are some good shops to peruse. One good thing to point out is the Sightseeing Tours actually have a stop directly opposite the Travelodge, so in some cases if you don't feel like walking into town or up the hill you can catch the bus up instead.
There is also a plenitude of buses that run along the part of that part of the Royal Mile as well and they do run regularly. It is also only five minutes walk to am area called Cowgate, where there are a large number of bars and clubs, so the Travelodge is well within staggering distance.
The room itself was very basic but also very clean as well which was refreshing. There were posters stating that Travelodge was determined to give the utmost in room luxury but at an affordable price. To me that doesn't quite add up. It appeared this was true as the room it self not only was missing any nets at the window but also doors on the cupboards and even a hairdryer to use. The thing that I was disappointed with was the fact that there was no storage space and we ended up having to place the bags under the bed for storage which previously in other Travelodge's we were given a foldable stand or cupboard storage space that we could place our bags on or in as necessary. Probably just a minor issue but it did lower the comfort factor a bit and made it feel more like a Hostel than a Travelodge. I personally also thought that this was a bad move, the room was just basic, there was no Hair Dryer at all and again the shower and lavatory area reflected the level of basic that we saw in the sleeping area. Needless to say because the shower was just a walk-in without a door and just a curtain the water dripped off the curtain and went everywhere over the floor which not only made the floor highly slippery but also meant water was wasted. The TV in the room just had four channels available without any Channel Five at all; the reception on the set was not that good at all and was patchy. Complimentary Coffee and Tea making facilities were given and in the morning this was a welcome start to the day. With the level of basic features, I thought that this was a bit of manipulation on the whole to get you out of the room, maybe I'm just being paranoid but that was the feeling that I got.
Our room faced the back of the building facing East, where there is a Church and a building site. Probably not the best of views to see in the morning, but it was nice to wake in the shade and not have the Sun blazing through the windows. Noise wise it was fine as there was very little noise generated, even by the building site. The front of the building faces directly onto St Mary's Road, in the daytime it is quite a busy cobbled road as you get some of the Sight Seeing tour buses pass the building itself, and with coaches for the groups of guests who are staying at the Hotel parked outside. In the evening the road has a number of restaurants and is considerably less busy.
I found the bed to be very comfortable, with the exception of the pillows as these seemed to be cardboard thin and needed to be doubled over to get the correct thickness. Reception can provide more if necessary.
We booked on-line for £66 per night per room, which only included the room price as breakfast was additional cost at £7.50 per person. I found it to be easy to book on-line and got an answer straight away as to whether there was a room available or not. If there isn't any available then the website will advise as to where the next nearest available room actually is. As soon as I turned up on arrival and mentioned that I had a booking then we were given the room key and advised where we needed to proceed to go to get to our room. A professional service was given throughout.
To give some idea as to how much we saved by booking on-line, there was a notice in Reception stating that all rooms were a flat £80 charge per night.
The hotel is decorated throughout in the same tonal colour as any other Travelodge, the decorating and colour did not stop at certain levels and as was continuous throughout the place which was nice. In the Bar/ Restaurant area there were a mixture comfy sofas and tables and chairs. My only qualm was that it was always warm in the Hotel and never seemed to cool down at all, especially in the Reception area. The Hotel does have a limited number of Car Park spaces located at the back of the building, we didn't drive to Edinburgh and didn't use this facility, but if you do hire a car to explore such areas as the Highlands or even the Forth Bridge then this is an opportunity that cannot be missed as the nearest Car Park is quite some distance away with the parking bays outside the building in constant use.
The one issue I did have was with the lift in the building as it was erratic to say the least and it appeared that only one out of the two were working at the time of my stay. We were okay as our room was on the second floor, but for others that were at a higher level, this could cause a few problems.
Breakfast is an 'all you can eat' meal up to 10am so you have the chance of getting a good start to the day, believe me you won't want to have anything to at least dinner time if you have one of these Breakfasts. Although as I said it is a good start to the day, you will feel weighed down afterwards. We only did this once throughout our stay as we found that we wanted to get out early and start walking round, instead of having Breakfast at the Lodge we ate on the Royal Mile. It did work out cheaper than £15 for the both of use and also saved some time as well. The Breakfast is all self-service with the standard offerings of Eggs, Bacon and Sausage, Toast etc. The good thing was that there was plenty of fresh fruit and yoghurt available as well as various cereals so all bases were covered.
In the evening the Restaurant becomes the Bar which is open till 1am, the prices were not too bad for a pint of lager, and there is also a food menu available right up to late evening. Unfortunately the night we decided to eat in parts of the menu was not available as they had already sold out of most of the menu itself, this was only at 8.30pm. Not stopping us we ordered Fish and Chips and these were served within about 15 minutes of ordering and were not only tasty but also good value for money.
A good location, but I found the room a little bit bland, the price I thought was good especially as we did not have to get cabs anywhere around the City to get back to the Travelodge. We weren't really in the Hotel that much as we were out doing the sights of the City, which of course I will review at a later date.
Bottom line is that I enjoyed the stay here on the whole and would recommend for the location as well as the Car Park facilities as well and the potential that offers. As Edinburgh recently vetoed plans for a Congestion Charge then this makes it all the more appealing to stay here.
Thanks for reading and until next time. Tim