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Britannia Edinburgh Hotel 2.5

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Within a 15-minute walk of the New Town and Princes Street
  • Rooms have small flat-screen TVs, electric kettles, and hairdryers
  • Spacious restaurant with breakfast and dinner buffets
  • Bar serves hot and cold drinks, plus small bites during the day
  • Free Wi-Fi in common areas (but limited in rooms)
  • On-site outdoor parking (for a fee)
  • Small pets allowed (for a fee)

Cons

  • Basic, worn rooms with maintenance issues
  • Numerous reports of poor cleanliness, especially in bathrooms
  • Some rooms do not have windows
  • Dinner buffet gets mediocre reviews

Bottom Line

Set overlooking the Water of Leith, the 178-room Britannia is a budget hotel with some of the lowest rates in central Edinburgh. Though not in the heart of the action, this property is about a 15-minute walk from Princes Street and other attractions in the New Town, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is right across the street. The restaurant serves a tasty, varied breakfast every morning, but most guests seem to find buffet dinners lacking in terms of quality and variety. Rooms feature free Wi-Fi, electric kettles, hairdryers, and small flat-screen TVs, but many have maintenance and cleanliness issues. Additionally, some rooms lack windows. In this price range, the Piries Hotel has an overall higher value, as it's in better shape and closer to restaurants and shops. 

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Scene

Budget-friendly property with generic interiors and maintenance issues

Built on a hillside overlooking the Water of Leith, the surroundings of the Britannia Edinburgh Hotel are more picturesque than the property itself. The building used to house a Travelodge, and though updates are carried out every year, some common spaces still have the budget feel of the former property. Hallways have wall-to-wall navy carpets that have seen better days, and the entire property has a dull, basic look that could use a refresh. With its off-white tile floors and blond-wood front desk, the reception -- located at the bottom of a slope that ends in a parking lot and a creek -- does not make for a great first impression. The adjacent bar and restaurant, however, have a more contemporary (albeit generic) style, with round, red ceiling lamps, wooden floors, comfortable seating in dark hues, and red accent walls. Most guests here are couples on a budget, and the hotel empties out after breakfast, in part due to the lack of on-site amenities.

Travelers who can get a good rate and are lucky enough to be assigned one of the more recently renovated rooms may find the Britannia offers a decent value for money. The rest, however, can undoubtedly find better options elsewhere. Hotel Twenty has a more central location, contemporary interiors, and a good Thai restaurant on-site. Breakfast, though, gets better reviews at the Britannia. For about the same price, the Haymarket Hub Hotel has better rooms and is located across the street from Haymarket station. Those wanting to stay within easy walking distance of Edinburgh’s top attractions may want to compare rates at the Ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile or The Inn Place, both featuring newer rooms with better amenities and more pleasant bathrooms. 

Location

Picturesque location a 15-minute walk from Haymarket and the city center

Britannia Edinburgh Hotel is located on a quiet street across the Water of Leith from both the West End and Haymarket neighborhoods. Despite being located a 15-minute walk from the edge of the New Town, the area is rather sleepy, and there are few restaurants and shops in the immediate vicinity. The Britannia is directly opposite the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the stunning St Mary’s Cathedral is just a five-minute walk away. However, most other attractions are more easily reached by bus -- though transfers or 10-minute walks to the right bus are required for the bulk of destinations, including the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and Calton Hill. Edinburgh Airport is a 20-minute drive away. 

Rooms

Well-equipped for the price, but in need of renovations

Rooms at the Britannia are a mixed bag: the hotel renovates a few each year, and while some are cozy and offer good value, most have maintenance issues and feel drab. Decor is dated and dull in most, with a bland combination of navy carpets and office-style dark-wood furniture, and just one small painting decorating the walls. Other rooms have beige carpets, a softer color scheme throughout, and more contemporary artwork. Views vary between rooms, but while most have uninspired views of the parking lot, a few overlook the picturesque Water of Leith. Some Double and Lexx units, however, lack windows.

A range of rooms are available, from tiny singles to spacious Family Rooms, and all but singles and the smallest doubles have enough space for a cot. In-room amenities are good for the price, consisting of electric kettles, small flat-screen TVs, and hairdryers. Wi-Fi is free, though it is spotty at best in rooms and logs out every few minutes. Better Wi-Fi is available in common spaces. Bathrooms have also been renovated in different stages (none recently, though), and all are rather lackluster, with basic tiles throughout, shower/tub combos with plastic curtains, and older counters. There have been complaints of poor maintenance and lacking cleanliness in bathrooms. Only hand soap is provided. 

Features

Basic amenities include a restaurant, a bar, and outdoor parking.

The Britannia is light on amenities, and quality ones at that. Located off the lobby in a big space with many tables, the restaurant opens for breakfast and dinner. The morning buffet (not included in the standard rate) is varied and tasty, with a full Scottish breakfast option of sausages, tomatoes, hash browns, black pudding, and eggs, and an array of cold items such as pastries, cereals, and bread rolls. While the morning spread receives consistent praise from past guests, most find the dinner buffet underwhelming. The bar offers a small selection of snacks during the day, along with a wide choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The hotel also features outdoor parking for an hourly or daily fee. 

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Address

69 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DG, United Kingdom

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