I’ve stayed at Edinburgh First at Pollock Halls University of Edinburgh student residences quite a few times over the years but not since 2008. I thought that the rooms were a good budget option especially for single travellers. I stayed here again for one night over the weekend of 24-25 July 2010 and to attend the Taste of Spain event and the Edinburgh Travel Tweet Up . However on this occasion I stayed in the John Burnett house, a new hall of residence on the campus. That’s because at Â£32.50 per night, including breakfast, it was Â£5 cheaper than a room with shared bathroom facilities in the other halls. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of the communal female shower and toilet room, preferring the four individual toilet/shower rooms per floor in the older buildings, as it offers more privacy. But as it was only for one night and I liked the sound of top floor room with a balcony in the John Burnett rooms (and paying Â£5 less), I booked up there. Ensuite and double/twin rooms are available if you’re prepared to pay a higher price.
Pollock Halls at Edinburgh 1st with Arthur’s Seat in background
I was very happy with my room. John Burnett House opened in 2009, so all the furniture and fittings were in good condition. The room was a good size with a sink behind a partition. The single bed was very comfy. My room even had a TV which I’d never had in my stays in the other halls. It was bit noisy at night and in the morning from all the banging bedroom doors, bathroom facilities doors and corridor fire doors.
It was very light in my room as there was glass along the exterior with a patio door out to the balcony. The views from the balcony were great down towards the Pentland Hills. However I think the views over Arthur’s Seat from rooms at the other side of the building are probably even better.
View from 4th floor room at John Burnett House
The communal bathroom facilities were very clean. As access to the facilities requires your keycard, it’d be easy to get locked out of your room if you forgot to take your keycard with you. Then you’d be stuck in the corridor, unable to get back into your room or into the bathroom facilities.
Each floor had a pantry with a large fridge, a microwave oven, a toaster, an iron and ironing board. However there was no crockery or cutlery.
Pantry at John Burnett House
The campus restaurant has been renovated recently and is more like a cafe now than the previous dining hall layout. You can go for breakfast any time between 7-10am. The food is as good as ever and it’s all self service. I had a vegetarian breakfast with haggis, sausage, egg, tomato and mushrooms. There’s a good selection of cereals, croissants, pancakes, rolls and fresh fruit.
Overall I’d rate Edinburgh 1st very highly; I love the location, free parking, the very good breakfast with long serving hours and the clean, comfy rooms. I’m not a great fan of shared bathroom facilities but wasn’t prepared to pay more for an ensuite bathroom. There’s a charge for internet access, I’m not sure how much, as I was using my mobile internet dongle.
Keep It Real Travel Review – No Fluff