Fantastic! And a surprise...
I have to start by saying Edinburgh is my single most favorite city on Earth, the only city that comes close is the big city close to where I am from-- San Francisco. I returned to Edinburgh after 2 long years of thinking about visiting again, and I had an exceptional time on this trip. Previously I had stayed at the Premier Travel Inn on Lauriston Place near the Grassmarket and it was very nice and modern. This time I wanted to stay in a hotel that had more character and was in a different part of town, but it needed to be near the train station since I took a train from London to Waverly. The Royal British Hotel more than fit the bill in all these ways. I stayed for 4 nights in January 2006 at a rate of about 40GBP per night ($72 USD) for a double room, even though I was traveling solo. I arrived at the train station around 3pm and as I walked up the steps to Princes Street, there was no way I could miss the hotel, it is one of the first things you see when you come up from the station! I couldn't have asked for a better location! I entered, and went up to the check in and was assisted by a very helpful lady and given the key to my room (the key was on a key ring with a massive plastic card that had the hotel name and room number on it- it was so big it barely fit in my purse!!). I had room 307 which faced out toward Princes Street and was on the 3rd floor, right where the "AL" in ROYAL British was mounted on the hotel sign! So my window was only partially blocked by the AL, but it didn't really interfere with my view of the Royal Mile and castle. I could even hear the bag pipe player down the street by the Scott Monument-- a very authentic welcome!!
The room was a good size, with 2 twin beds, a desk, coffee tray (shortbread!!!!), a closet, and bathroom. The building is goodness knows how old, and it showed in the old fashioned wallpaper and high ceilings, but I liked it- it added to the ambiance of the city and experience. I slept in one bed the first night and it wasn't terribly comfortable, so I switched to the other one the next 3 nights and that one was better. The bathroom worked fine, though I took a shower later in the evening one night and ran out of hot water, then got scalded by it once it kicked back in, but it wasn't a big deal. The tv was small and mounted on the wall, and only got about 10 channels, most of which were from other countries. But I spent very little time in my room because Edinburgh is simply fascinating! I recommend climbing to the top of Arthur's Seat if you are able (it's quite a hike), and visiting the castle and Royal Mile, of course. Also check out Stirling, which is a 40 min train ride northwest; it's a nice sleepy little town with a castle.
I had breakfast each morning in the dining room, which has a lovely view. You have your choice of a little buffet of cereals, pastries, and fruit, or a cooked breakfast with eggs, bacon, and sausage and coffee. All of it was good and the service was brisk and not terribly friendly but still efficient. If you are out late (as I was one night), to re-enter the hotel, you have to ring the porter to let you in. After going out with some local friends, I returned at about 4:30am (!!) and it took quite a while to get the porter to let me in. Not sure if I woke him or not! But it wasn't a problem. In fact, it was a nice bit of extra security for the guests, really.
The one thing I have to mention is that I think my room might have been haunted! There's "something" in the atmosphere in Scotland that I can't describe, but it feels very old (obviously) and well lived in (which it is), and maybe some of the past residents haven't left! One night, I was in bed watching Celebrity Big Brother (because the UK is obsessed with that show!), when I heard a creaking sound coming from the area right in front of the bathroom and closet. It was a spot on the floor that creaked whenever I walked on it, like floors tend to do in old buildings. So when I heard the creak, I figured maybe someone in the hallway was making the floor creak somehow. Then it continued. And continued. To the point that I was getting curious and worried. I got brave, and walked to the room's door and peered under the crack to see if maybe someone was walking back and forth in the hallway making the sound, but I didn't see anyone. I then turned around and realized I had to walk right over the spot where I heard the creaking. So I took a deep breath and did-- and as I walked over the creaky spot, a patch of very cold air hit me, and the hair on my arms went up and I freaked out and drove across the room back into bed!! I didn't know what to do, since I don't really believe in ghosts, but I did say "Please leave me alone, I'm not here to bother you" for good measure. And the creaking stopped. I had crazy dreams while I stayed in the hotel (not in a scary way), and I think it helped make me love the city even more! I will be back for sure!
So, all in all, I highly recommend the Royal British Hotel for its location, facilities, breakfast, and possible unseen guests.... :)
my husband and i stayed at this hotel feb 2006. Iwas a little worried as had read some negative feedback on this hotel, but on arrival was pleasantly suprised! the staff were very friendly and the room was very comfortable and spacious. the view from the window was fantastic, overlooking princes st. and the castle, an excellent base for touring edinburgh. Although the bathroom was extremely clean, there was a smell that was similar to "damp umberellas"!!!
Although obviously an old building this only added to its charm.
We will be visiting edinburgh again later in the year and will be re booking to stay at this hotel.
Great Location, very friendly staff, nice room, good food> Perfect!
Date visited: 24 march-26 march. This is the perfect place to stay for a visit to the wonderful city of Edinburgh! Its located at Princess Street and for those who love to shop...its just next door with for Disney fans the Disney Store as its neighbor! Just cross the bridge and youre at High Street/Royal Mile!
The hotel is typically Scottish decorated and staffed by friendly helpfull people, that make you feel at home right away! Its very good money for value if you consider that youre so close to shops and the Royal Mile and all the things you can do and visit in Edinburgh! The hotel restaurant and its 'pub' are a good addition to it all with a broad range of cool things to drink and to eat. The rooms are quite standard, not tooo fancy but clean and good beds, and thats all you need cause after all you will spend most of the time in the city doing things. The windows are single pained, so there is some noise comming from teh street below and its traffic but thats part of the city life I guess and we didnt find it something that kept us from falling asleep...The bathroom was simple but clean and complete with a good showerhead and a firm powerfull stream of water comming out of it...Breakfast is served and very reasonable priced especially if you book it together with your room at the same time. You can choose continental or scottish and its very good and with alot of things to choose from...
I can recommend this great hotel to everybody old and young, single married, with or without children, you will have a wonderful time in this hotel!
Better than expected
After reading some of the reviews I was unsure about booking this hotel but the price was OK and location seemed great.
On arrival there was no sign for the lift so we had to carry our cases up flight of stairs to reception. Rooms were adequate with large bathroom in the twin room and shower (quite small) in the single room. However view was great looking over Princes St. and the castle.We were on the third floor so the noise from the traffic was not too bad .
Resturant/bar again has lovely views over Princes St. Staff were very friendly and helpful. We asked for another blanket for our room and it was delivered within 15 mins.The hotel is being redecorated and I assume this is why some rooms may be better than others.
Food was good and I was pleased to see that breakfast was included in the price. I am not used to breakfast being charged extra which a lot of the hotels in Edinburgh seem to doing now.
Friendly staff more than made up for any shabby decor etc.
I booked this hotel through [--] at a very reasonable rate (£60 for a twin room including scottish breakfast). Check in was 2pm but as we were going to the playhouse at 2.30 I emailed them to ask if we could check in earlier. They replied the same day to say that it would be okay to go straigh there from the train and if my room was not available I would be able to leave my baggage.
On arrival the receptioist was very friendly and helpful and luckily our room was ready so we were able to freshen up before leaving for the show.
The room was on the third floor overlooking Princes St, this was slightly noisy in the morning but not really a problem. The room was small but clean and tidy with a small bathroom with shower.
The drinks in the bar were reasonably priced and the service was excellent. Breakfast was plentiful and service again excellent.
On check out we left our baggage and returned to collect it a couple of hours later, again the receptionist was very friendly and helpful.
The tarrif displayed in the hotel was a LOT more expensive I would have paid, but at a reasonable price, I would definately reccommend it.
Location, Location, Location
Other than that, there's not too much to add. Possibly not fair to review a stay from over 18 mos ago (during festival in 2004), but two not-very-fussy golfers in town for a short stay between rounds found the place this way:
- Great staff -- very helpful. Got us last-minutes tickets to Military Tattoo. Bellman very helpful with our golf gear.
- Decent, quiet little pub. Nice place for a pint after long day.
- GREAT location. In new town, but short walk to old town.
- Traditional Scottish breakfast just OK. Had much better elsewhere
- Common areas in better condition than rooms
- Tiny, cramped, dated rooms. Granted, we had lots of golf equip strewn about, just made matters worse
- Linens worn. Bath shabby
- Not cheap due to premium for fantastic location
- Rather shabby is probably most accurate description. Whole place could use a face-lift, or at least a new coat of paint. But a multi-million pound rehab would be best.
- It felt like the staff was really trying to do their best with limited resources
- Would find another hotel next time
Nice location, kind staff, but some disappointments
Staff were quite sweet, but the hotel needs some attention to bring it to its full potential. My room was on the 3rd floor (4th floor by US method) facing the front over Princes Street. The view across to Old Town and the Castle was lovely but the room was very noisy as it faced the train station and a series of bus stops. The room had no A/C and felt stuffy. An Edinburgher who is a friend of mine came to the hotel and remarked on how stale the air felt. Opening the window alleviated this somewhat in my room, but brought in more noise from the street below. The wall behind the door had a hole where the doorknob had hit it -- this really should have been fixed before a guest was sent in. Water was not available briefly one day, and there were two days where the fire alarm went off for no apparent reason. I did not use the hotel's restaurant or room service so cannot comment on those. The restaurant area looked quite nice, though. The hotel's location is directly across from Waverly Station and easily accessible from the Air Link bus that runs from the airport. Calton Hill, Old Town, New Town and St Andrews Square are all 5-10mins walk or less. GLBT travelers will be happy to know that these bars/clubs are just around the corner from the hotel, just on the other side of St James Centre, at Greenside Place.
Beware of using the phone and wireless internet at the hotel. They are *very* expensive. I had about 20mins of phone calls which cost me just over 10 Sterling. Internet access was a hefty 17 Sterling per 24hr period.
great hotel,very central
Great hotel, very central, just opposite waverly station.
Staff very friendly and welcoming.
Good breakfast, choice of full or continental.
Good size room and very clean. We were at the front of hotel on 6th floor, the only slight drawback was it was a bit noisy but we had a good view and as we were high up it didn't bother us too much.
Overall I would reccommend this hotel if you want a very central hotel, easilly accessable from the station,with friendly helpful staff, and you dont mind a bit of noise at night.
We had a few days staying in this hotel which is great for sightseeing. Very pleasant staff although the breakfast staff looked miserable. Hearty breakfast although on one occasion we had to send it back because it was cold. Rooms clean and comfortable beds although a little bit of decorating woudn't go amiss. If you want to eat a good meal then go to Wildfire in Rose Street, New Town where the food is excellent value and yummy.
Poor Value For Money
OK, lets start by saying that I booked this hotel room during the Edinburgh Festival/Tattoo period. So expected to pay a bit over the odds but 150 pounds per night NOT including breakfast. Sorry but it's a rip off. Another opportunity to fleece the tourists, god alone knows what our overseas visitors make of all this !
This was a very poor hotel for the money. You can get a night in the Bellagio in Las Vegas for less than this !
The hotel is in serious need of renovation. The rooms are looking very tired as are the bathrooms. Our bath was no longer white it was cream where it was so old.
Reception staff were helpful enough but we had to hang around as you cannot occupy until 2pm. Did not experience the breakfast as it was £6.50 continental and £8.50 full would have thought they could have thrown it in with the £150.
Only good thing going for this hotel is it's location right opposite waverley station and within easy walking distance of all the major sights.
So the bottom line is that I would not recommend this hotel, not at the rates we paid, £75 per night would be more reasonable.