There is no reason the Edinburgh Ibis cannot be a 3- or 4-star hotel. I liked the hotel. It is modern, clean; the staff are friendly, helpful and efficient. I liked my room; while not luxurious, it was adequate and comfortable, clean, and it had a very nice bathroom. The breakfast, for which you pay 7.50 pounds is one of the best we had on our trip to Scotland and Northern England. The location is excellent: right on the Royal Mile, within walking distance from Waverly Station (trains) and the Airlink Bus (to the airport). You can walk to the Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse Castle and Arthur's Seat. I enjoyed the window-front lounge area downstairs. So what's the problem?
The two fatal flaws were not of local hotel management doing; they originated at the corporate level. One is wifi and the other is a neighborhood social problem, both out of control of local hotel staff.
You have to pay for wifi. At the least 1.50 pounds for 30 minutes, or the preferred 4.99 pounds for 24 hours,, for which you must endure 15 minutes of clicking on your smartphone to register and pay the fee - have you ever had to fill out pages of information on a smart phone typing with one finger? If you make one mistake, you are rejected and you must start all over again. I think hotels, in my case charging me an average of $125 per night (83 pounds) for a basic room without breakfast can surely provide free wifi when Starbucks, 5 businesses up the street, can do so for a two-buck cup of coffee. It's just unbelievably cheap to make someone pay for a service that can be provided by the hotel for an investment of less than $100. I refused to pay that, so I walked up to Starbucks twice a day to look at my email, look at the weather, look up admissions and hours of various attractionis and restaurants, and consult my online maps and references used to explore Edinburgh.
To be fair, there are other options: one is to pay 1 pound for 20 minutes of internet access on a computer terminal located in the public hotel lobby, when it is available. The other is to pay 9.99 pounds for 24 hours internet access in your room through your tv set - a keyboard is located in your room. We initially broke down and purchased the 9.99 option, but, in fact, it did not work properly, so after 15 of cursing and groaning, we went to the desk and told them to cancel it.
The second problem is trickier. We had a room with a window facing Hunter Square, in front of the hotel. Across the square is a "Live Music Bar". Starting at 5 or 6 PM, the kids heading to Live Music start hanging out in the Square. They are loud. As the club opens, they go in and out, in and out, all through the night. When they are out they are loud. One night the club opened their doors (and windows?) late so we were treated to the pounding bass of dance music for several hours. When the club closes (1 AM? 2 AM?), all the Hunter Square hangout people go out in the square and literally yell and scream (literally!!) and whoop for an hour to 90 minutes or so. Even with our windows closed (uncomfortable) and even with earplugs in, the sounds of revelry went on until 2 or 3 AM every night we stayed at the Ibis (4 nights).
It seems to me that to fix something like this, the ownership of the Ibis needs to get together with the local authorities and the club owners and work something out. This seems to me to be something that is beyond having a hotel clerk go outside into a public area and tell 25 youths among 50 or so people hanging out to be quiet or over to the club and tell them to keep their doors shut at night.
My tip to the reader is that, if you are easily distracted by noise at night, you should request a room that does not face onto Hunter Square.
My second tip is, if you find it repulsive to PAY for wifi, let the Ibis know, or stay somewhere else. I KNOW many hotels charge likewise. I KNOW many airports charge for wifi. But this is such a ripoff, the public needs to stand up for itself. I put a wifi router in my house, myself, for $75.
With these two issues fixed, the Ibis Edinburgh becomes, in my book, a 4-star rating. If you are a sound sleeper and you don't use internet, give this hotel a 4-star rating. Without the changes I've mentioned above, it is a stretch for me to give it 2 stars, after all, you go to a hotel to sleep, right?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile hotel is located in the old town,just off the Royal Mile, Princess Street and its numerous restaurants are all within walking distance. 5 min from Waverley railway station and 12 km from the airport, the hotel has 99 rooms, including 6 adapted for disabled guests. It has a bar serving snacks 24/24 and Wifi Internet access for guests on a business trip. Public parking is 10 min on foot from the hotel, with reductions for clients. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ibis Edinburgh Centre Hotel Edinburgh
- Accor Edinburgh Centre
- Ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile Scotland