I'll admit, inner city Premier Inns aren't usually the fodder of travel blogs, their writers usually tending more towards the boutique hotel end of the market (a girl can dream, hey?), but I'm sharing my recent* experience of the Hub by Premier Inn at Edinburgh Haymarket because a) it's something I genuinely think is good and more people should know about, and b) I wish a blog post like this had been out there for me to read before I booked.
(*I say 'recent' - I stayed there in late July and I'm writing this in October. C'est la vie).
|Not a bad view from my room|
First of all - meet Hub by Premier Inn. It's a new spin-off hotel chain by Premier Inn, located in city centres and aimed more at budget travellers and those for whom a large room is not a priority. The rooms are notably compact, but the low cost and central location are the benefits.
I had a couple of minor concerns before my stay - at such a low cost, I worried that corners would be cut, specifically, whether bath towels and a hairdryer would be provided in the room. I intended to ring and check before my trip, but never got round to it. No need to worry - both were provided.
|The chair, with the desk that pulls out|
A couple of days before my arrival, I was sent an email allowing me to check in online. The process was very simple, but would probably be even more handy for international visitors who can provide their passport details in advance, saving time when they physically arrive at the hotel. I then received a text message from the hotel as I whizzed through northern England on a train en-route to Edinburgh, providing me with a reference number. I was a bit nervous about the arrival, as I'd read elsewhere that the check-in is on automated machines, rather than a manned reception desk. Technology and I don't have a great track record, and I had visions of not being able to access my room and being forced to sleep on Edinburgh's streets. Again, my fears were unfounded. Three touch screen check-in machines were waiting for me in the hotel reception, but so too was a friendly member of staff who was only too happy to help.
It took just a couple of minutes before I had my keycard in hand and directions to my fourth floor room. Both the hallway where the lift is located and the lift itself require keycard access meaning only guests of the hotel can get in - something of a reassurance as a lone female traveller.
The room itself was a lot sleeker than I expected. The cabin-style double bed was very comfy, although having two people sharing may cause problems, as one would have to climb over the other to get out. Storage comes in the form of a hidey hole under the bed, and a small clothes rail, big enough to hang five or so items. A chair sits next to the floor-ceiling window, and the shelf at the end of the bed extends out to create a writing desk - a bonus I didn't expect for the price.
The bathroom is petite but more than adequate, with a choice of two showers in the glass cubicle - a removable, hosepipe shower head or a fixed, large shower head. Both are very powerful but you can't have both running at the same time - believe me, I tried. Again, if you were travelling in a pair, privacy may be an issue, as the windows and door of the bathroom are (partially frosted) glass.
Technology is king in the rooms themselves too. The heating, air con and lights are all controlled by a touch panel by the head of the bed, as is the do not disturb sign - simply press a button by the bed and a light goes on outside your door. The entertainment choice is impressive too - as well as regular TV channels, the flatscreen offers a decent choice of on-demand films and TV shows. After a full day exploring every day, it was rather luxurious to come back to a soft bed and on-demand films to watch while my feet recovered from all the walking.
Downstairs in the hotel, there's a bar and restaurant open all day, and a tea and coffee table which guests can help themselves to free of charge at any time, plus plenty of water available. Being out and about all day every day, I didn't get a chance to try the restaurant or bar (plus, I would have felt like a bit of a lemon sitting here alone). That said, there was a friendly atmosphere every time I walked through, so if you were a lone traveller looking to meet people, you wouldn't have too much of a problem.
|Handy map of Edinburgh on the wall|
Location-wise, the hotel is spot on. It's just a five minute walk from the western end of Princes Street, one of Edinburgh's main tourist roads. The castle is a 15 minute walk away, and Edinburgh Haymarket station is 5 minutes out of town, while Waverley is a 15-20 walk back into town. Once I stepped off my train from London, I didn't need to use any other public transport until I was heading back to London three days later.
In short, if you're looking for a budget hotel, particularly for a city break, where you don't need that much space and will be out of the room most of the day, I can't recommend Hub by Premier Inn highly enough. The rooms are very comfortable, helped along by soft beds, adjustable heating/air con, and lovely powerful showers. Location is excellent for sightseeing, and the TV entertainment system has plenty to keep you busy if you're staying in the hotel - and all for a really great price. If you're travelling in a couple, I'd think carefully about the layout of the bed and that glass bathroom before booking.
Hub by Premier Inn Edinburgh Haymarket. I stayed 28-31 July 2018 and paid £135.50 for a three night stay. At time of writing, there are 10 Hub by Premier Inn hotels dotted across London and Edinburgh, but I'm really hoping they open more in other UK cities soon - it would certainly help me continue visiting a new place every month into 2019.
Disclaimer: I paid for the stay myself, and Hub by Premier Inn had no idea I would be writing this blog post - it is no way affiliated with the company.