I made the fourth stop of my European adventure in Edinburgh, Scotland, a city that people can’t stop raving about. I was put up during my four nights in the the city at a hostel called the Westend Hotel. For me this place felt a little bit like a hostel that thought it did a hotel. It featured big open dorm rooms, a clean and professional looking design, and a nice set of features including a bar. In stark contrast with the bigger hostels in Europe, the Westend Hotel is much more of a quiet relaxed environment. If you’re looking for a hard-out party scene you’ll likely want to find another place to stay. However, if you’re looking for something clean, comfortable and quiet then this place is perfect for you.
Positives: As I mentioned in the intro, the rooms are very nice. They are big wide open spaces where they haven’t tried to cram too many beds into. There is plenty of space for everyone’s great to be spread out without making it look like a mess. They also have big windows which makes them feel much less like a dungeon than many dorm rooms. The beds are comfortable, and the showers a phenomenal.
Negatives: There are no power outlets in the room which is really annoying for a digital nomad like myself. Furthermore, if you need to charge anything electronic you have to leave it somewhere else, like behind the bar. I don’t know why they don’t have outlets in the room, but I wonder if it has something to do with trying to get people down into the bar and common spaces. Either way it’s annoying.
The other thing is the lack of lockers in the rooms. There is so much space that there wouldn’t be a problem putting them in. The staff says “no one has ever stolen anything” which is comforting until something gets stolen. The hostel I stayed at next said the same thing but while I was there someone stole a laptop. The hostel said, “well we have signs up saying not to leave your valuables around!” Yeah, I’m going to go everywhere with all my gear. If a hostel doesn’t want to put lockers in, I think they should also make themselves liable for any item stolen. Now to be fair, the Westend Hostel did seem like a very safe hostel, but that being said, telling me my $5,000 worth of electronics will be safe is one thing, but for real piece of mind, just put in some bloody lockers!
The Westend Hotel has a great set up when it comes to the Facilities. It really has everything you would want. The kitchen is very good, there is a nice little TV area with tables, and best of all there is a nice little bar with cheap drinks for guests. The breakfast in the morning isn’t included but I actually prefer it this way. Why? Because I would rather pay 3 Euros for an amazing breakfast than get free bread and jam. The full-Scottish breakfast at the hostel is amazing and easily worth the 3 Euros. There is free WiFi throughout the hostel and it is quite fast.
Although on paper it seems that the location could be better I suppose that all depends on what you’re looking for. The hostel is about a 10 minute walk to the new center, and about a 25 minute walk to the Royal mile. For those wanting to be in the center of the action you can find closer places for the same place. However, if you would like to be in a nice quiet neighbourhood, this is a great place.
You’ll be hard pressed to find nicer staff than the Westend Hotel. From the moment I walked in I felt welcomed. Staff remembered my name, which isn’t unusual since they know I’m coming to review them, but I noticed that they also remembered the names of all the other guests. They are friendly, they are personal, and they’ll do anything they can to make sure that you are comfortable.
Apart from the annoyance of no outlets in the rooms and no lockers, this is a great hostel. I felt very comfortable and at home here and I actually really liked the location. There are loads of choices of where to stay in town and this place is a really good choice for the traveller who isn’t looking to party like a rock star every night of the week.
Overall Score: 85
If you would like to book with Westend Hotel, or you would just like a little more information on the property, click here to do so.
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