THE TIMES | THE COOL HOTEL GUIDE: YOTEL EDINBURGH
In a nutshell
YOTEL, a hotel chain better known for its compact pads at airport terminals, has opened its first European city centre base in Edinburgh, after its arrival in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Singapore. Converted from offices, the new hotel has a prime spot in the Edinburgh New Town on Queen Street, a stone’s throw from many of the city’s big hitters, including the Scottish National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery and the castle.
What are the rooms like?
The rooms are inspired by the space-saving designs used in first-class airline cabins and, for that reason, are known not as rooms but cabins. They feature the chain’s signature “Adjustable Smartbeds”, which can be tilted up like a business-class seat in the day and extended to become flat at bedtime. Bathrooms are smart and integrated into the room, albeit with frosted glass on the shower and loo to protect your modesty. In some of the smaller rooms you effectively walk through the bathroom to get to the bed.
Which is the best room?
It is hard to single out a room — there are 276, ranging from small “Queen” (from £60) to “First Class King” (from £110), which has a small sofa area that can be converted into a second bed. There is also a “VIP King Suite”, which has a separate lounge area (from £160). Family rooms have a queen bed and bunks (from £90). The First Class Kings offer the best amount of space for the price.
What’s the food like?
The hotel’s owners concluded that few people enjoyed eating in hotel restaurants, especially in a city with the culinary credentials of Edinburgh. There is no restaurant, but plenty of yummy light bites in the stylish Komyuniti bar. Pick from yakitori, served with a sweet soy glaze, crispy pork belly bites, halloumi skewers, flat breads or garlic prawn skewers (three for £18). There’s also Kohi, a laid-back café serving all-day breakfast (muffins, bacon rolls) as well as more substantial paninis, wraps and soups (all about £5). Hotel breakfast, served in the open-plan “Imaginex” room with glass ceiling, is a simple but hearty continental affair. Who goes there? Budget-conscious travellers, families and weekend city-breakers. The hotel would make a good base for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, held annually in August — but book early. The highs, the lows, the verdict 8 out of 10 This is a cool city base that manages to shrug off the feeling of an airport hotel chain thanks to the cool bar, smart gym and bigger rooms than you’d find in a terminal. The location is great and the staff friendly.
NEED TO KNOW
Ben Clatworthy was a guest of YOTEL Edinburgh, which has B&B doubles from £60 a night. There are 14 wheelchair-accessible rooms; no pets, except guide dogs