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Stay Central Hotel 3.0

Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland

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Review Summary

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  • Hip and contemporary hotel housed in historic building
  • Set in the center of Old Town Edinburgh
  • Most tourist attractions within easy walking distance
  • Private dorms have pre-stockable Smeg fridges and ping-pong
  • Running, cycling, and "urban gym" clubs
  • Lively and popular bar with live events
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout


  • Area can get a bit rowdy
  • On-site bar gets noisy at weekends
  • Breakfast service is in the bar, so air can be stale

Bottom Line

The Stay Central Hotel is a hip, contemporary hotel housed in a 17th-century building in the center of Old Town Edinburgh. Although the immediate area feels a little rough around the edges, most of the city center's main tourist attractions are well within walking distance. The 37 rooms at this mid-range property have funky decor, along with iPad docks and free Wi-Fi, while private dorms -- which have an upmarket hostel feel -- can be kitted out for parties. With a lively hotel bar and young, up-for-it clientele, noise is inevitable, especially on weekends -- so for a similar though slightly quieter vibe, guests could take a look at the nearby Grassmarket Hotel.  

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Cool and quirky interiors with young, fun-loving vibe and 17th-century heritage

The Stay Central Hotel occupies a genuine piece of Old Town Edinburgh history dating back as far as the early 17th century. Originally built for the Guild of Tailors in 1621, the property has been put to numerous uses since, from notorious playhouse to brewery grain store, opening as its present day incarnation in 2011. Inside, the design angle is very much 21st century, mixing a rustic-chic and post-industrial feel -- think lots of unfinished wood and metal -- with plenty of fun touches and quirky details -- like Leggo figures on the front desk, and a massive world map, to which room keys are affixed, in the lobby -- that lend the place a hip and youthful vibe. The upmarket-hostel-meets-warehouse-gallery feel attracts younger couples and revelers in town for weekend partying, and the attached Three Sisters bar -- complete with beautiful, stone terrace -- provides a convenient venue for some vibrant, and boisterous, nightlife. 


Set in the center of Edinburgh's Old Town close to plenty of nightlife

The hotel has a prime location in the heart of the Old Town in Edinburgh's Cowgate. This relatively uneventful street during the day transforms into one of the city's liveliest areas at night (and sometimes gets rowdy). Its central position, however, means all of the capital's main tourist attractions are well within walking distance; the famous Edinburgh Castle and cobbled streets of the Royal Mile are both just five to 10 minutes away on foot. Edinburgh's main Waverly train station is also about 10 minutes' walk from the hotel.


Many rooms geared up for revelers with pre-stocked fridges and iPod docks

The hotel's 37 rooms are spread across four floors, and come in sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL, and private dorms sleeping up to six in bunk-beds. Decor is fresh and contemporary, with distressed-effect wood, funky art prints, and quirky design furniture. All rooms come with free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, and flat-screen TVs, while dorm rooms are packed with fun extras such as ping-pong tables, PlayStation consoles, dart boards, and full-size Smeg fridges that can be pre-stocked with drinks of guests' choice -- ghd hair straighteners can also be arranged on request. Sleek, contemporary bathrooms are finished in black-and-white mosaic tiles, and walk-in showers have rainfall showerheads. As some rooms are set up for partying, and with a lively bar downstairs, noise is inevitably an issue -- though rooms in quieter parts of the building can be requested, as can late check-out times (for a fee). 


Around-the-clock room service and fitness clubs

A full Scottish or continental breakfast is served each morning, though is not included in the rate. Breakfast is served in The Three Sisters pub attached to the hotel -- meaning there's a danger of a lingering whiff of the previous night's revelry over coffee. However, breakfast and a wide range of food and drink can also be ordered to guest rooms around the clock. The hotel's Three Sisters pub is also a very popular and lively venue for live music and events -- especially at weekends when the revellers spill out into the courtyard. For those needing a detox, the hotel has running, cycling, and "urban gym" clubs, as well as bike hire at a cheap daily rate. 

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139 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JS, United Kingdom

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