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Grassmarket Hotel (Edinburgh)

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1 Review

94-96 Grassmarket / Edinburgh / Edinburgh and the Lothians / EH1 2JR /

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      09.07.2007 21:34
      Very helpful



      A great little place to stay in Edinburgh if you're on a budget

      A friend and I decided to spend a few days in Edinburgh when she came over from Sweden to visit. We mainly based our choice of destination on the fact that we both love Scottish men, oh and that we hadn’t been before.

      Sadly our budget didn’t allow for the 5-star hotel that we are used too (obviously) but we thought that we’d go native and stay in a hotel closer to where all the action was. As good an excuse as any but I must admit that our hotel search was mainly based on price, although we actually rejected a few very cheap hostels as, although we wanted a budget hotel we were not prepared to share a bathroom with others. Well, a girl has got to have some standards.

      In the end we stumbled across the Grassmarket Hotel which was situated on, believe it or not, the Grassmarket. This we soon found is a historical and central part of Edinburgh with plenty of pubs and bars which sounded pretty good to us. Without much more thought we decided to book the hotel. Unusually, we were only required to pay a deposit of just over £20 and were to pay the balance on arrival at the hotel according to our confirmation. We ended up booking a twin even though if we had wished to share a double bed we could have paid £7 extra and also had breakfast included. However, we decided that we’d prefer not to share and went for the twin beds instead, or so we thought. After we had booked the hotel we decided to have a little look around at what other travellers had to say about the hotel. The main complaint seemed to be that it was noisy, situated on the bar strip as it is, and that it is pretty old and worn. As long as these were the major complaints I wasn’t too worried in spite of the 2 star status, as I was more worried about it being dirty or mouldy or just generally disgusting.

      As we arrived in Edinburgh we followed our little map (it is a bit tricky to get there without instructions or a map although it is not very far from Waverly train station) and soon found our hotel. It is certainly unassuming from the outside - just a simple red sign to give the name of the 5-storey hotel and not much else. The receptionist greeting us was very friendly and check-in was quick. We did have to leave a credit card which was swiped and then voided for them to keep the details and we were then given our key and a pretty complex explanation on where to find out room – trust us to get the most difficult room to get to. After walking across half the hotel and across 2 ramps we finally found our room. The first thing we noticed was that this was not the twin room we had in fact booked but a double room with a bed sofa made up. As I’m the quickest and managed to jump onto the double bed the first I ended up keeping this bed for our two night stay, and my friend got what we soon re-named the Peasant bed (whereas mine was clearly the Princess bed). I can’t speak for my friend but my bed was very comfortable and certainly big enough for two.

      As for the rest of the room we were fairly impressed with how clean it was (I had silently imagined something from a horror movie with damp patches spreading all over the ceiling and trolls living in the corners). There was a bit of dust/cob webby things hanging off one part of the wall but not more than we could handle. Except for the 2 beds there is also room for a desk and a closet but that’s it. The bath room was a decent size and looked clean and neat and the shower was really powerful. There is no mini bar although there is a kettle with tea, coffee and shortbread biscuits provided. Oh and let me not forget - and the pride and joy of the room that is mentioned on every site - the hair dryer!

      As our room was facing the front of the building, the actual Grassmarket strip, I dug out my ear plugs straight away and we then headed off out. When we collapsed into bed that night we both slept all the way through the night with no problems. Noise? What noise? To be fair I think this may have had something to do with the amount of wine we had consumed rather than it being a particularly quiet night but we certainly weren’t bothered by any noise. The morning after was a different matter however as they started on some road works just outside – you can certainly hear it clearly through the walls. If you are sensitive to noise and still wish to stay at this hotel I’d strongly suggest that you ask for a room at the back of the building where it’s quieter.

      On arrival we had been told that breakfast, although not included for us, was served in the adjoining Biddy Mulligan’s pub between 6 and 8.30. This did not help us much as we didn’t manage to get out of bed before 10 either day so I cannot say whether it would have been worth paying the extra £7 for a full Scottish breakfast. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have bothered with this anyway, as I’m a veggie and I don’t like to eat cooked food in the morning so I’m not spending sleepless nights regretting not having breakfast there.

      On the day we were leaving we had to check out before 11 so at exactly 11 we were downstairs at the reception. There was no queue and a courteous but seemingly somewhat bored lady dealt with us. As we had not paid the balance on arrival we ended up paying it now. In all, our two night stay at the Grassmarket hotel cost us a little over £70 pounds each – bargain!

      We also asked to leave our bags at the hotel as our train was not leaving until later that day. This seemed to be a little bit annoying to the receptionist but she duly handed me a key and told me to go upstairs to the lounge where I would find the luggage room. The lounge was certainly not a place where I would like to spend much time and I was quite pleased that we had managed to miss this place. As I unlocked the door I found that the luggage room was indeed full of luggage and somebody less honest and more desperate than myself would easily be able to walk out with several pieces without being noticed. As we didn’t have anything valuable in the suitcase we still left it there but it didn’t seem the safest place to leave your belongings.

      In all I would recommend this hotel, especially to people who want a central location at a cheap price without the complete backpacker experience. Even though the hotel was threadbare in places it was generally clean and reasonably well kept. I feel that we got our money’s worth (especially me with the Princess bed) when it came to the room and it was quite nice to go to the pub in the evening and then be able to just fall through the door to the hotel! If you’re a family or worried about noise or too many people around you then this may not be for you, however.


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    • Product Details

      The Grassmarket Hotel is perfectly located for visitors wanting to be in the city centre of Edinburgh. The hotel is situated beneath the Castle and on the Grassmarket which buzzes with activity every night. The Grassmarket Hotel is perfectly located for visitors who wish to stay in the heart of Edinburgh city centre. The hotel is situated beneath the Castle and on the lively Grassmarket, which offers a range of bars and restaurants including Biddy Mulligans located next door. The hotel has 44 bedrooms within a historical tenement building all offering ensuite facilities and other basic amenities

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