Review of Britannia Hotel Edinburgh

Written by Karen Bryan

I was looking for a cheap hotel in Edinburgh on a weekday night in mid April 2015, as I had an early flight from Edinburgh Airport the following morning. Although I’d have preferred to stay at the airport, the hotel prices there started at a hefty £90 a night. I decided the best alternative was to stay in a central location in Edinburgh with easy access to the airport express bus.

The cheapest hotel which I could find was through Expedia Secret Saver Hotels, priced at £37 a night and described as being a three star hotel in central Edinburgh.

Upon booking, the hotel was revealed as the Britannia Hotel Edinburgh, formerly the Travelodge Edinburgh West End.

britannia hotel edinburgh exterior

Exterior of Britannia Hotel Edinburgh

Now I wasn’t too happy with this. I was hoping for a hotel in, or closer to, Princes St. Although the Travelodge Edinburgh West End was one of my favourite budget Edinburgh hotels, I’ve read quite a few negative reviews since the Britannia takeover. Plus, the hotel lies right at the north-western border of the Expedia Secret Saver hotel map, which meant a 10-15 minute uphill walk to the airport bus stop. That’s the risk you take when booking a secret hotel.

I arrived at the Britannia Edinburgh at the official check-in time of 2pm. I requested a room with a view of the Water of Leith. The friendly receptionist informed me that my allocated room overlooked the river.

britannia hotel edinburgh view of water of leith

View over Water of Leith from my room

Guest parking now costs £5 per 24 hours. It was £3 when the hotel was a Travelodge.

My ground floor room was basic. It was quite dark in the room, as it only had one window and there’s a steep bank on the other side of the river. The darkness didn’t bother me, I prefer that to a room where the rising sun wakes me up. I imagined that the one small electric wall mounted heater might struggle to heat the room during cold weather.

Strangely, I’d been allocated a triple room, with three single beds. I had said that two guests would be saying when booking, I always do this (as long as it doesn’t make the room more expensive), so that I don’t end up in a cramped single room.

I selected what I judged to be the most comfortable (least soft) and slightly larger of the three single beds. I did notice quite a lot of dust on the skirting board behind one of the beds.

My room was really quiet, I heard no exterior noise and only one bedroom door slamming during the night.

There’s direct access to the Water of Leith footpath from the bottom of the hotel’s car park. The Scottish National Gallery for Modern Art is a two minute walk.

I thought that at £37 a night, the Britannia was good value for money for a fairly central location which offers parking. I can’t understand why the hotel gets such bad reviews.

Click here to check availability and price for the Britannia Hotel Edinburgh.