Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Edinburgh Hotel Review: Marriott Residence Inn

Plenty of space to play in the hotel courtyard
You couldn't pay me enough money to stay in this hotel again in the month of July. But for the other eleven months of the year this would be one of my favorites. The entire UK was suffering through a heatwave last July, and I was looking forward to leaving London for the misty highlands of Edinburgh. There was no mist to be found on our arrival, just a hot and toasty hotel room with a window that barely cracked open a few inches.

The Edinburgh Marriott Residence Inn opened in 2011 in the newly developed Quartermile neighborhood and it's the only Residence Inn in the UK. The sleek apartments have hardwood floors, tastefully modern decor, and a small kitchen in the entryway. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with plenty of room to spread out across the couch and desk area. The only negative is the window situation, half of the rooms have windows that open just a small crack, and the other half have taller windows that slide open like a patio door. We were stuck with the single cracked open window and there wasn't an inch of air that blew into the room over our three day stay.

The one window of doom
Heat definitely rises in this hotel so rooms on lower floors are what you want to request. The staff was very apologetic and helpful, bringing up two fans that we kept on high all night. I honestly don't know how a newly constructed building could have gotten approval without some sort of ventilation system. I realize air conditioning isn't needed 99% of the year in Scotland, but with no fan or air system the room was stifling. During the colder months heat comes from a wall radiator, although with no method for air circulation I'm curious how that would work out.

All that aside we truly loved the hotel. The location is perfect, a little out of the way in New Town and just a short walk (10-15 minutes) from the bustling action of the Royal Mile. The University of Edinburgh borders the neighborhood alongside a giant park so there's lots of young energy around the neighborhood. There are three modern glass buildings together in the hotel complex (two office buildings and the Marriott) and the courtyards in between are perfect car-free areas for the little ones to play.

Breakfast is included in your stay, but Peter's Yard (a Swedish bakery) is just next door with delicious baked goods, pizzas, and gelato. A Sainsbury grocery store is also right there, although we didn't find much more than porridge and alcohol in their aisles.  It's been a while since I've been a college student, but that sounds like all the necessities for dorm living.

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