I stayed at the Tune Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket for one night on 26 December 2012. The price was £16.80 for a double room with a window. However, you can’t avoid a card payment fee when booking with Tune Hotels; it’s 1% for Maestro and Electron cards and 1.75% for credit cards. The hotel is directly opposite Haymarket Railway Station, so it’s easy to find. The hotel opened around one week before I stayed and there was an unpleasant plasticy type smell throughout the whole building.
Exterior of Tune Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket
I was allocated a room on the fourth floor, facing Haymarket station. The double glazing was very effective as I didn’t hear any exterior noise with the window shut, despite the fact that there was construction work going on overnight at the station. However, I had to have my window open overnight to try to dissipate the “new build” smell. There are also tram track works going on outside the hotel, which I assume were suspended for the holidays.
When you book at Tune hotels, the cheapest rooms are windowless. I’ve got mixed feelings about this. It could be a positive thing in Summer when sun streaming through inadequate curtains can wake you up early. It could also reduce external noise in your room. At the same time, I don’t like not having any natural light. The rooms do have air conditioning.
View from my bedroom window toward the Pentland Hills
I was glad that I was only staying for one night, as there were only two rather insubstantial coat hangers. The rooms was just big enought to fit in the double bed. The bed was comfortable, but I prefer to have a chair in my hotel room for working on my netbook. The bathroom had a very good shower.
For six weeks from the end of November until early January, Edinburgh’s Christmas Fair brings plenty of festive spirit and bling to the city centre. While parts of the Fair may descend into slightly tacky commercialism, the overall effect, especially after dark, is of a sparkling Winter wonderland.
I had lunch at the Hispaniola Restaurant in Edinburgh with Darren Cronian of My Life in Leeds in July 2012, using a Groupon voucher. Groupon gave me credit, to select and try some of their deals. The Hispaniola voucher cost £35 for a six course taster menu for two people, which included a half bottle wine per person. I was able to book a table for lunch on a Saturday, although the voucher said that there was limited availability at the weekends.
The restaurant was formerly the Rutherford Bar, a favourite haunt of Rober Lewis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island. That’s why the Hispaniola has a pirate theme. There were various life size pirates armed with muskets and swords dotted around, a skeleton in a cage suspended from the ceiling and a skeleton with a treasure chest beneath a glass panel on the floor.
Darren in his pirate hat
There was a separate Tasting Menu for Groupon customers, with a choice of two dishes for most of the courses. Neither of us had the wine, we stuck to water. We started with Minestrone Soup which was served with a slice of bread and butter.
This was followed by a selection of topped breads served with a small salad.
I had lunch with Lola Akinmade Akerstrom and her family at the Mezbaan South Indian Restaurant in Edinburgh in June 2012 using a Groupon voucher. I had previously received credit from Groupon, to choose and try some of their deals. This restaurant deal, priced at £29, included a starter and a main course for four people (although only three of us ate there). The voucher was only valid at lunchtime, so I wondered if I’d be able to get a booking on a Saturday. However, when I phoned to make the reservation, I was offered any time that suited me.
Interior of Mezbaan Edinburgh
The only things not included in the deal were the seafood options which carried a £3.95 supplement on starters and £5.95 on main courses. But that wasn’t an issue, as there were plenty of chicken, lamb and vegetarian options. In fact I was quite bewildered by the choice and asked for recommendations. I started with a Masala Dosa (pancake).
I stayed at the Premier Inn Edinburgh Princes Street for one night in April 2012 on a complimentary basis. This purpose built Premier Inn opened a few weeks ago, so everything is very shinyy and new. The hotel isn’t that obvious as you walk along Princes Street; just a small sign at an entrance doorway.
Entrance to Premier Inn Edinburgh Princes Street
Inside there’s a lift up to the second floor Reception & The Kitchen restaurant, which has views towards Edinburgh Castle.
View from The Kitchen restaurant at Premier Inn Edinburgh Princes Street
The Bread St Brasserie is in the Point Hotel Edinburgh, just off Lothian Road. When I was staying at the hotel in late February, there was an offer (ending 29 February 2012) where two people could have 2 course meal and either a glass of wine or a soft drink each for £20.12. As I was meeting our son Gary for dinner, we decided to try out the Bread St Brasserie. The restaurant normally offers a lunch and pre -theatre (5-7pm) set menu, priced at £9.95 for 2 courses and £12.95 for 3 courses.
I stayed at the three star Point Hotel Edinburgh for two nights in late February 2012. I booked my stay on the Hotels.com site, after finding they offered the cheapest price at the Point Hotel Edinbugh on the Hotelscombined price comparison site. I was able to get an additional 10% off by using a Hotels.com discount voucher. Although I was staying for two nights at the Point Hotel Edinburgh, I’d made two separate one night bookings. The first night I booked a deluxe double room with castle view including breakfast for £31 and the second night (booked two days later) a standard double/twin room for £27. Fortunately, the hotel allocated me a deluxe room for both nights. As I’d booked the room for two guests but ended up staying alone, the hotel very kindly allowed me to have breakfast on both mornings.
Entrance to Point Hotel Edinburgh
The Point Hotel is located just off Lothian Road, close to the Usher Hall and Lyceum Theatre. It takes around 20 minutes to walk from Edinburgh Waverly Rail Station. My room was on the fourth floor and I was impressed with the art on display in the corridor.
Scottish Moutain scene in corridor at Point Hotel Edinburgh
I stayed for one night a the Hotel Missoni Edinburgh in December 2011 on a complimentary basis. The hotel is located just off the Royal Mile, a five minute walk from Edinburgh Castle. I was looking forward to my stay. I’d been in the hotel twice previously, once for lunch and in April 2011 the hotel hosted an Edinburgh Travel Tweetup. So had anticipated that the rooms at the Missoni would be pretty funky.