The Old Waverley Hotel in Edinburgh is one of those hotels that prides themselves on their amazing location – and not much else.
I spent just one night at the Old Waverley as a base to explore the beautiful city of Edinburgh and in this post I want to share the experience that I had during my stay.
Edinburgh isn’t that big of a city so as long as you have somewhere to stay that offers a central location you can really explore some of the best that the city has to offer in just a few days.
This was actually my first visit to Edinburgh and I definitely plan to return in the future so that I could more thoroughly explore the city without such a strict timeframe.
As for the Old Waverley, it boasts more than 80 hotel rooms so as you can imagine it can get pretty busy during the high tourist season during the summer and just about all of the main sites in the city can be accessed easily on foot.
The rooms are reasonably priced, especially compared to some of the higher-end hotels nearby, and if you’re travelling as a group of two people it can definitely be worth it to split the costs of a room where is comparable to what you would pay for in a 4-bunk hostel.
In this Old Waverley Hotel review I plan on sharing with you some of the more important details of the hotel and what you can expect if you’re planning on staying here.
The Old Waverley Hotel in Edinburgh: An In-Depth Review
Check-In and Interior
I had arrived in Edinburgh from Glasgow by bus and it was a short 10 minute walk from the main bus station to get to the hotel.
As I walked through the front hall through the rickety glass doors up to the main lobby I was greeted by the receptionist who, before asking about my trip or how I was, told me that I wouldn’t be able to check in until 3 p.m.
This really wasn’t a problem and I just left my bags behind and went to explore all of the different things to do in Edinburgh before returning later on.
When I got back I looked around the lobby a little bit and to me it appeared aged and slightly outdated.
The carpet was a little bit run down but at least when I returned there was a much nicer receptionist who provided me all of the information I needed about the hotel and give me some helpful tips on what to do in the area.
There was just a single elevator, that I could imagine getting quite busy if the hotel was more full, and I used it to get up to my room.
Even in the hallways I could still tell that they were in much need of updating and a fresh paint job and new carpet would definitely help to spruce things up a little bit inside the hotel.
In the hallway right as I got out of the elevator was a pile of old towels and bags of garbage left behind from the cleaning staff and I feel that this could have been handled better so that guests don’t have to experience this sort of mass.
Right away when I opened the door to the room I walked over to the window to check out the view.
The lovely view over the Old Town of Edinburgh was definitely the best aspect of the room and I spent a lot of time just staring out the window and enjoying the scenery of the lovely city down below.
The large window also helped to let in plenty of natural light and I could even open it a little bit to let in some fresh air.
In the centre of the room was a large bed but unfortunately it wasn’t that comfortable and I could feel the springs in my back when I laid down.
Right beside the window was a small chair and a table, making for a nice little seating area, and there was also a desk workspace suitable for anyone looking to get some work done with a laptop.
There were plenty of sockets throughout the room so I never ran into any issues with charging my devices and the lighting was quite good as well.
One thing I noticed was that the floor was very uneven and that there were a lot of bumps and lumps in the carpet – I’m not quite sure what this was from and I think it’s definitely an area that could be improved.
Overall, I found the quality of the room furnishings to be quite poor and the room itself was very outdated and in need of a lot of improvements.
Even the window frame was rickety and when I opened it paint was just chipping off and falling onto the frame.
Given the price of the hotel I would definitely expect a little bit more and in my mind the Old Waverley is coasting on their amazing location rather than worrying about updating and modernizing the hotel itself.
I was quite surprised to find a modern and seemingly recently updated bathroom after being unhappy with the overall condition of the room.
Right away I noticed that the bathroom was very clean, well organized, and well equipped for a short-term stay.
There were marble countertops as well as a full size bathtub so it was possible take a bath or a shower depending on your preferences.
The bathroom design was in stark contrast to the state of the room and it was one of the shining areas of the hotel room overall.
Depending on the type of room that you choose and how far that you book in advance you can find rates for the Old Waverley Hotel starting at around $80.
One thing that I really liked about the hotel is that breakfast is included in the rates and the hot breakfast was very well done so you’re able to save time and money by not having to venture into the city and look for something to eat in the morning.
There are plenty of more expensive hotels in the area so I find the rate of the old Waverley to be quite reasonable, especially given the location.
As I mentioned up above, one of the best aspects of the hotel was its great location right in the city center.
The hotel is located right across the street from the Edinburgh train station and many of the rooms after an incredible view of the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle, and even Arthur’s Seat off in the distance.
In less than 5 minutes walking it’s possible to reach the popular Royal Mile and in under 15 minutes you can make it to many of the more popular and major attractions in Edinburgh.
There are also plenty of small shops, restaurants, cafes, and other interesting places worth checking out nearby.
Another benefit of the location is that it’s not actually right in the heart of the Old Town so the prices for things nearby aren’t as inflated and they aren’t as many crowds of tourists walking around throughout the day.
Unfortunately, during my stay I had a lot of trouble connecting to the wireless Internet and I was never able to get on for more than just a few minutes before I got disconnected – if I could even connect at all.
I tried to connect using a three different devices, my smartphone, ipad, and my laptop, but I was never able to get a good connection.
Maybe having a dedicated travel router would help with the connection but given that it’s 2017 and just about everybody is going online for a wide range of different reasons I think that the hotel definitely needs to upgrade their wireless Internet system and make it faster and easier for people to connect.
Parking and Accessibility
As I arrived to the hotel from the bus station I’m not too sure about parking availability, though there are plenty of options for parking in Edinburgh if you’re arriving by car.
The main bus station was about a 10-minute walk away from the hotel and the Edinburgh Waverley Train Station is located just across the street.
Basically all of the main tourist attractions can be reached on foot with the Royal Mile just a 5-minute walk away and the Castle can be reached in under 10-minutes.
I was able to walk all the way up to Arthur’s Seat and back in less than 2.5 hours and I was really taking it slow.
The accessibility and location of the Old Waverley are one of the best things about it and if you’re looking to be in a great location then you’ll find this hotel to be well-suited for that.
Overall, I was not that happy with my stay at the Old Waverley Hotel.
Sure, the location was good but I didn’t find the room to be too comfortable, the internet didn’t work well at all, and I didn’t find the staff to be that friendly or helpful.
Along with the good location, the prices per night are quite reasonable and I also found the breakfast to be very well done as well.
Unless you’re on a tight budget and looking for a good hotel location I can’t actually personally recommend staying at the Old Waverley and I’d suggest checking out hotels in the area or looking on AirBnb for an apartment or private room.