If you follow my Instagram channel, you have probably seen that I visited Edinburgh this week and stayed at the Novotel Edinburgh Centre. My mom and I found it on Booking and compared to many other hotels, this one seemed to be the friendliest and best rated in the neighbor. The price for our stay was nothing out of the ordinary, rather ok to be honest, especially for what we got.
The Novotel Edinburgh Centre is located on Larriston Place, only two streets away from the Grassmarket and its many restaurants and only 8 minutes away from St Giles Cathedral and the Edinburgh Castle. As a matter of fact, you can see the castle from the hotel and it's a great landmark to always know your way. So the location is quite interesting if you don't fancy grabbing a taxi or riding the bus...Although both options are 1 min away!
Upon arriving at the Novotel, we were greeted by Rui a nice Portuguese staff member who handled our reservation quickly and efficiently and directed us to our room on the first floor. Rooms at the Novotel are being refurbished at the moment so you may be positively surprised if you visit the Novotel...I know some people did post bad reviews about the bathrooms... Anyway, as I was saying the rooms are nice, fresh and spacious enough with separated bathrooms and toilets. We were located on the street side and we were not bothered by any noise so this is quite positive!
Have a look at the room that we had, we booked a Superior Twin Bed Room via booking with breakfast included:
The hotel itself is modern and well equipped with a pool and a gym in the basement, a conference centre, an internet and game corner, a lounge, a big bar and an enormous restaurant. Another point worth mentioning is that they use fresh products and the toiletry they offer is fair trade. It seems that Novotel Edinburgh Centre is quite active with certifications (ISO) and its environmental footprint which makes it earn extra points and my sympathy!
Now if memory serves, the internet corner can be used freely for 20 minutes at a time (learn to share!) and for this purpose 2 iMac are provided in the lobby. The same rule applies for the game corner, located just before the conference centre, next to the reception. As for the gym and pool, if you want to use any of the two you simply need to fill-in a form and you will be provided with the access code...Novotel obviously doesn't let just anybody enter these areas, you have to be a customer!
The Tap Music Lounge (...in short the resto/bar) is open from very early until very late and welcomes anyone who wants a drink or wishes to eat, this includes non hotel customers. The decoration is a bit industrial with rock touches here and there, it's really nice. The menu proposed isn't too long but well mastered including a variety of starters, sandwiches, main courses and deserts. Prices are correct and similar to Brussels, portions are perfectly sized in my opinion and overall the food is very tasty! Plus the staff is really friendly, chatty, fun and at your service...Another round of extra points earned for customer service here ;)
So as you can see, this hotel is well equipped and looked after with its rooms are getting a redesigned. Now I would be lying if I said my stay had been 100% perfect. Indeed, the first night there was a fire alarm ringing in the entire hotel twice at 11PM...Not so nice... And the room in front of ours was getting refurbished so during the day there was some noise. However, we were mostly not at the hotel during the day so we didn't suffer from this at all.
Yet, since the staff and managers are concerned about your well being and making your stay as enjoyable as possible...We got an apology card written in French and some cake and drinks at the bar because of the noise from the refurbishment. I must say I was impressed by this gesture, some hotels would not care at all. But the Novotel Edinbugh Centre does want what's best for you :)
Now let's talk about something equally important as sleeping tight and feeling taken great care of...Food! Breakfast starts at 6:30AM and finishes around 10AM but you can ask for your breakfast to be prepared earlier and of course it can be delivered to your room like in any hotel. Since we are in Scotland, the breakfast options include the infamous sausages, bacon, haggis and beans in a tomato sauce, potato patties and mushrooms. But it does not stop here...You can also enjoy:
Eggs (sunny and scrambled);
Cereals (many variety for you to choose from) with nuts and fruits;
Bread and jam, marmalade and choco paste;
Ham and cheese;
viennoiseries and baguette;
and more I am sure, just ask!
As for drinks there is lemon water available, juices, milk and upon arrival you can choose between tea and coffee. Note that if you just ask for coffee, you will receive a pot BUT you can be more specific in your request...For example ask for an espresso or americano, they can do it. The last morning of our stay, I asked for an Americano and received a Cappucino, I didn't mind this because that's what I had asked for the previous days and the waiter remembered it :) But the lady in charge of our table noticed and brought be an americano immediately...That's what I call a super waitress!
You might be now wondering what else you can eat besides breakfast right? Well as mentioned above the restaurant and Tap Lounge do propose a short selection of food but they're worth it. So if you arrive to Edinburgh late or just don't want to go out you can enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner at the Novotel. We personally tested the Superfood Salad, the Haggis and the Scottish Salmon and all three were great for a correct price. The portion size is perfect and the balance of tastes is lovely. Plus you can always ask for variations and adaptations to the staff! Kitchen is open 24/7 I believe. As you can see once again, all dishes have a neat presentation...Attention to details is top notch here plus most products are fresh from the day and bio/organic/fair trade from what I could see.
All in all I can safely recommend anyone to stay at the Novotel Edinburgh Centre if you want great service, a lovely stay and a perfect location!