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Premier Inn: a very helpful night's sleep in Edinburgh
Premier Inn (Edinburgh City Centre Haymarket)
Member Name: pegtheweg
Premier Inn (Edinburgh City Centre Haymarket)
Date: 29/12/10, updated on 29/12/10 (67 review reads)
Advantages: very helpful staff, very cheap, good location
Disadvantages: not much going on in the hotel itself; pricey breakfast
This December my boyfriend and I were invited to a friend's 21st birthday ceilidh. While she offered to let us stay for one night, we thought we'd take advantage of being up in Edinburgh anyway, and taking some time to see the city. Since we're both students we were looking for something that was affordable but not totally unromantic!
Premier Inn has several hundred hotels in the UK, including two in Edinburgh. We chose the one with the lowest price at time of booking. They offer a 'Good night guarantee', meaning you can claim back your money if they don't offer you everything you need for a good night's sleep. This does not mean you can claim to have had a bad night's sleep, as obviously that is not their fault!
The Edinburgh Haymarket Premier Inn is located less than a mile from the centre of Edinburgh and this is a great position for visiting the town. We were driven there by my friend who knew the way, but it doesn't seem the easiest location to find if you haven't got savnav! There's plenty of parking behind the hotel which I believe is free to guests, although we didn't use this facility.
The hotel itself looks fairly new and the exterior of the building is well maintained and fairly modern-looking. The reception area is located directly inside the main entrance. This area was not big but was clean, with a couple of chairs and the main reception desk, and a desk with a computer which charged around £5 an hour for the internet. The reception staff member who booked us in was very friendly, took our details and gave us the key. We were offered a room on the quieter, car park side of the hotel. He asked if we would like breakfast in the morning, and we politely declined because to be honest I am not in the habit of paying £6 for breakfast.
The hotel seems mainly to cater for business users, certainly in terms of their advertising. There were several meeting rooms available, with various capacities and costs. I'd suggest ringing the hotel directly if you're interested.
As with most budget hotels, this is very basic and there aren't any leisure options. However, I don't see this as a massive problem: I wasn't visiting Edinburgh to spend time in the gym!
Our room was located on the fourth floor of the building and was accessed via a lift and a corridor. The corridors of the hotel were quite well maintained, as was the room itself. It was faultless for the money we were paying and had a double bed, a large desk and a chair, and a coffee table with two armchairs (the wooden uncomfortable kind, not the squashy kind!).
The size of the room was perfectly fine for our needs and had a kettle, a hairdryer and a television. This had Freeview, with all the usual channels that come with this. The only thing the room was lacking was a mini bar, which we wouldn't have used given the prices, but which we've previously used as a fridge. This was disappointing but understandable given the budget nature of the hotel.
The bathroom was located on our right as we entered the room and was in good condition. We both showered several times during our visit and the water was suitably hot every time and the pressure was good as well. The bath/shower gel/shampoo stuff provided in a big white container stuck to the wall was predictably poor, so bring your own (unless you have a particularly hardy nose and skin!).
The staff were exceptionally helpful. We ran out of tea and coffee on the second day, and when we asked at reception they allowed us to help ourselves. We also had a slight issue with the pillows: my boyfriend is very picky and likes hard pillows, else his poor big head doesn't get enough support and he wakes up with a sore neck. We requested some harder pillows, but apparently they didn't have any (!). We were given a collection of things they did have, including a spare duvet and some more towels. We really couldn't complain as they tried very hard to help! (the eventual solution was to stuff a folded towel inside the pillowcase with the pillow, for anyone who's interested...).
As mentioned, we decided we could do better for breakfast than what the hotel offered for less money. Tea and coffee equipment was provided in the room, and we bought some croissants from a supermarket 10mins walk away one morning, and had a cooked breakfast in a cafe the other morning for around £4 each.
We didn't have dinner at the hotel either, which for the purposes of this review is unfortunate! However, we did spot a biggish telly showing Sky Sports from the reception area, and the bar which looked decent. These hotels do often tend to overcharge for food, so we took a 15min walk into town and had a lovely dinner.
Check in is from 2.00pm onwards and check out is by midday. Breakfast can be added to the room for £7.50 for a hot premier breakfast or £5.25 for a cold continental breakfast. I didn't have the breakfasts so can't comment on them, although £7.50 does strike me as a little pricey! Rooms at the hotel are from £29 a night, depending on time of year and how long in advance you book.
I'd certainly stay here if I ever went to Edinburgh again. The hotel cost us £58 in total for two of us over two nights, and we had a really pleasant stay despite our issues with the pillows. The staff were exceptionally helpful, and we were very impressed by this. Check in and check out was really straightforward. The location is ideal for getting to central Edinburgh, although it was initially not easy to find the way. We both had decent nights' sleep, and I would recommend this hotel for its staff, its price and its location. It only gets 4/5 stars because it seems crazy for a hotel with a good night's sleep policy not to have different types of pillow!
Summary: great budget option for a short break in Edinburgh.
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