“ Address: 18-20 Learmonth Terrace / Edinburgh EH4 1PW / Tel: 0871 9846 415 „
I recently took a three-day trip to Edinburgh to attend a promotional event for work. Ours is a relatively young company and so, in the interests of minimising costs, we opted to stay in the Travelodge at Learmonth. We booked four double rooms for £55.85 per night which seemed reasonable.
There is no free parking at the hotel, although there is limited paid parking outside. The hotel is set on a side street just off a busy road. There were plenty of spaces available mid-week when we stayed but I imagine it could be busier at the weekend. Also, parking is only charged between 9am and 6pm, so if you are planning to be out and about in your car between those times then you can park overnight for free, provided you can find a space. If you are arriving by public transport, then the website advises that Haymarket train station is only 0.5 miles from the hotel which seems convenient, however I can't comment fully on this. As we flew in and met up with colleagues at the airport we ended up sharing a taxi. The airport is 8 miles away and took about 15 minutes, costing just under £20, which does bump up your bill a bit considering how cheap the rooms are. The hotel is only 1 mile from the city centre, again in a taxi this cost around £5 due to the traffic.
The hotel itself is, in keeping with the rest of Edinburgh's architecture, a beautiful town house style building. In fact, when we pulled up outside it we didn't realise we had arrived at first; the Travelodge signage/branding has been kept to a minimum so as not to spoil the impact of the imposing stone frontage. Needless to say, my first impressions of the building were very positive.
The reception was not manned, but there was a button to press for attention and every time I used this I was never kept waiting more than a few seconds. As we had booked on line, check in was extremely quick. In fact, the service at reception and at the hotel bar was very friendly and faultless throughout. There is also a phone at reception that will call a local taxi firm directly, which is helpful if you are a total stranger to the city as we were.
One thing I would mention at this point is that when we made the website booking, it stated that Travelodge do not provide standard hotel toiletries but would be happy to supply anything you had forgotten e.g. shampoo, toothpaste etc. Well, like the highly efficient modern woman I am I managed to forget my shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste (and hairbrush, but I wasn't expecting them to help me out with that!). I asked at reception and was told that I could get toothpaste from the vending machine. She also said that they didn't keep shampoo, but she did find me a bottle that had been left behind by a former guest. So full marks for helpfulness here but just a note of caution that I think the website is a bit misleading and would better to just state that the hotel does not supply any toiletries. The toothpaste from the vending machine came with a travel toothbrush and set me back £3, I did think that at least the toothbrush would come in handy but it was about as effective at brushing my teeth as a piece of limp lettuce, and on the second use it broke, so that consolation went by the wayside. I did notice that the machine also sold earplugs, shower gel and an eye mask but would advise against relying on it and would instead recommend writing a list before packing! Whilst I'm grumbling, I also borrowed a hairdryer from reception. Again this was no problem, there was no need to sign it out and I was able to keep it for the duration of my stay and leave it in my room on check out, which was all fab. I was expecting it to be small and low powered, which it was (similar to a travel dryer) but what I didn't anticipate was that, to use it, you had to keep the power button pressed down at all times. As soon as you released it, the power stopped. This was more than I had the stamina for to be honest; it was quite awkward to hold down and made the whole hair drying process rather tricky and time consuming. In fairness, this isn't really a grumble so much as a note of caution, in future I would just take my own dryer.
So, niggles aside, the room was actually very pleasant and spacious. The whole interior had a very modern and airy feel, quite at odds with what you might expect from the exterior. In fact, as lovely as my room was, I was actually a bit unlucky as the rest of my group had fabulous huge bay windows (as can be seen in the picture). The room was clean and comfortable, with a large dressing table and full-length mirror. There was a small but again very clean en suite with a fairly powerful shower, but as you would expect, no bath. There was also a wall mounted tv with remote. The hotel has free wi-fi throughout which I did not use, but my colleagues did. The usual tea bags, coffee etc was provided and replenished each day. My only niggle with the room was that my room did not have a bedside shelf or table, and the plug socket was as far as it could possibly be from either mirror, which didn't help in my hair drying frustration as the cord wouldn't even nearly reach that far. Again, I think this was just unluckiness in the room on my part as my colleagues rooms were laid out differently. It became a joke that a man must've designed my room, as it gave no consideration to the use of hair straighteners!
I didn't eat a 'proper' meal in the hotel but did have a pizza and sharing platter in the bar which was very nice. Breakfast in not included but you can have an all you can eat buffet for £7.50. I didn't opt for this as don't generally eat a lot for breakfast and I thought the price was a bit steep, but that depends on how much you eat I suppose!
Overall, I was very impressed with the Edinburgh Learmonth Travelodge. The building is lovely, the rooms exceeded my expectations and the staff were fantastic. I don't normally stay in expensive hotels anyway as I am pretty much in the camp that they are just somewhere to lay your head when you're on a trip, but this was really very nice for the money.
As I was on a work trip I sadly didn't get to go sightseeing, but the website advises that the hotel is 1 mile from the City Centre and Castle, 2 miles from Murrayfield Stadium and 3 miles from Edinburgh Zoo, so reasonably central for the price.