When I travel to Europe as a tourist, and when I don’t want to splurge too much on accommodations, I like to look for a hotel that is clean, comfortable, affordable and within walking distance of all key attractions that I want to visit. The four-star Apex International Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland fits all four qualifications and includes a great view of Edinburgh Castle as well (if you have a room facing the street).
We arrived in Edinburgh at about 10:30 a.m. in the morning after a four hour train ride from London. While we were a bit early for our room to be ready at the Apex International, located in the Grassmarket area of the city, we were pleasantly surprised by our Polish-born concierge.
She managed to get us another (better) room that was available during our requested stay.
And what a view it offered!
The two rooms of our suite were spacious with a comfortable bed, good lighting and plenty of space to store our luggage. It was also neat as a pin with no dust to be found. While the decor is a bit dated and scuffed from use (but so is the famed Ritz Carlton in London), if you are on a budget but want a bit more comfort than a chain hotel, this is the place to stay for its position close to key attractions.
Just a short walk across the street and up a flight of stairs is the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle and the Whiskey Experience. Walking east on Cowgate you connect up to Holyrood Road and visit Holyrood Park and Holyrood Palace. Cutting across from the hotel, going north east, you pass by the train station and find yourself at Calton Hill at the Regent Gardens.
There are some good pubs and eateries just across the road from the hotel including a pizzeria that serves freshly made paninis and panzerottos to die for (particularly after a long day of walking about the city).
The hotel restaurant, Agua, is a good place to dine if you don’t want to leave your hotel but desire something more gourmet than fish and chips at one of the local pubs in the area. Worthwhile is the dinner package which includes a free glass of house wine.
Overall impressions: it’s a hotel I would stay at again
- Location is ideal for tourists – close to all the key attractions
- Clean, comfortable rooms with great view of the castle (if staying street-side)
- Staff is courteous and helpful
- Close to numerous restaurants
- Superior Double Room (in which we stayed in) was approximately CAD $238/night (other four and five-star hotels in the area were closer to $300 a night and more)
The only drawback when you stay in one of the rooms facing the street is the noise of patrons spilling out of the pubs in the early morning hours.
Apex International Hotel Edinburgh (sometimes called Apex City)
Edinburgh EH1 2HS
T 0845 365 0000 (UK)
T +44 (0)131 441 0440 (Outside UK)