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Motel One Edinburgh-Royal 3.0

Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland

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Review Summary

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  • Excellent location close to Edinburgh's sites, the Waverly Train Station, and bus depot 
  • Rooms with comfortable platform beds and fluffy duvets
  • Many rooms overlook Princes Street Gardens
  • Bar with numerous brands of whiskey
  • Continental breakfast with a wide variety of cold-food choices
  • Free loaner iPads available
  • Free Wi-Fi in the rooms and common areas


  • Bathrooms can be small 
  • No full on-site restaurant 
  • No room service
  • No fitness center or business center
  • Rooms have a lack of electric sockets

Bottom Line

The German Hotel chain Motel One combined 16th- and 18th-century buildings to create its reasonably priced, 208-room Edinburgh-Royal hotel. Located in a quiet section of Old Town, just in front of Waverly Station, the hotel is within walking distance of most major tourist destinations. The lobby interior features Arne Jacobsen ball chairs and tables made from whiskey barrels for a contemporary Scottish take on mid-century modern style. Streamlined rooms are snug and comfortable though the views vary. Some, not all, offer a glimpse of Princes Street Gardens. But families may find the bathrooms to be too small. Travelers could compare rates and amenities with the neighboring three-pearl Grassmarket Hotel, which has fresh and youthful decor.

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A mod interior with a relaxed style more upscale than the typical motel

Built inside two adjoining gray stone buildings, Motel One Edinburgh-Royal fits in well with the rest of Edinburgh's Old Town scenery. Motel One's company colors, light blue and chocolate brown, are featured throughout the interiors. The lobby lounge has plenty of high-backed, cloth-covered chairs to give travelers time to relax with breakfast at the start of the day or settle down with a drink at the end of it. Behind the front desk is a large photographic mural of Edinburgh. Decorative flourishes -- such as swivel chairs covered in blue tartan, Arco floor lamps, and wooden floors -- add high style to the property elevating it above its "motel" moniker. 


Centrally located in Old Town, within walking distance to several historic sites

Located near the foot of iconic Cockburn street, the Motel One Edinburgh-Royal is surrounded by Scots Baronial architecture, which evokes a medieval atmosphere. The thoroughfare was created in the late 1800s and enables pedestrians a leisurely 10-minute walk to historic sites such as the Scottish National Gallery and Edinburgh Castle. Hotel guests planning a day trip outside of Edinburgh will appreciate the five-minute stroll to Waverly Train Station, the second-largest rail depot in the United Kingdom. A drive from Edinburgh Airport to the hotel will take a bit longer, about 20 minutes.


Streamlined decor with flat-screen TVs and electric kettles

The Motel One Edinburgh-Royal's rooms have one basic design with slight variations depending on location and size. All rooms feature the signature coffee and teal colors. Simpler Classic Rooms have platform beds with thick mattresses, comfy duvets, and sconce bedside lighting. The layout is efficient, but it also means the "closet" may be little more than a suspended clothing rod and a few shelves on the other side of the bed, and the wall-to-wall brown carpet is designed to be durable, not plush. There's little furniture beyond box-frame tables with chrome legs and cylindrical ottomans. And given the lack of seating areas, rooms are better suited for a good night's rest versus lounging. The bathrooms have stylish finishes such as white tiles and vessel sinks, yet may be tight for a family with only one small shower stall and no tub. Several guests have complained about the lack of electric sockets in the room. Still, an in-room tea kettles, flatscreen TVs, and free Wi-Fi are all nice perks. Depending on the location, some rooms have a nice view of Princes Street Gardens. And heavy curtains help keep out a good amount of the street noise. The Room with View category has more space, a larger lounging area, and a more expansive view.


Free use of tablets, breakfast buffet, and swanky bar

To make the most out of the free Wi-Fi, the reception offers tablets guests can borrow, depending on availability. Motel One's app also has a free route planner to navigate directly to the hotel. The breakfast buffet (offered for a fee) has several options (mostly cold), including muffins, cereal, Nutella, and juices. The attractive bar has a full selection of whiskey along with light bites like sandwiches, but there is no full restaurant on-site. Motel One Edinburgh-Royal has no business center, yet the common areas are formal and spacious enough for a casual meeting. But the lack of fitness facility may be a concern to some travelers.

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18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1BL, United Kingdom

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