The Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City Centre resulted in a few interesting surprises that I would like to share with you. For some context, when in the UK I often stay in a Premier Inn as they are usually quite competitively priced and are fine for a one or two night stay. I find the Holiday Inn’s to generally be more expensive so I tend not to check their prices when planning travel.

Flash Sale!

A visit to Scotland was in my head and the trigger was an IHG three day flash sale. As a member of IHG Rewards, I was notified of the sale and found the Holiday Inn Express for £49 including breakfast! This is a steal – the normal rate for the same night without the promotional code was over £110. Hotel booked!

Location and Check-In

The hotel is located in the heart of Edinburgh within easy walking distance to everywhere. The best part is it is located about 42 seconds walk from the York Place tram stop. Taking the tram from Edinburgh Airport is a door to door experience with this hotel. It rains often enough in Edinburgh so this reduces time in the wet to a minimum.


Check-in is amazingly efficient. Two staff were on duty and each busy checking-in other guests when I arrived. Seconds later a third staff member appeared to serve me. I was asked for my name and if I was an IHG rewards member. When I replied yes, I was offered a late check-out to 2pm rather than the normal 11am. I declined as I would be leaving before that but it was great to be asked.

Overall my experience at check-in took about one minute as everything had been pre-prepared for me.

Holiday Inn Express Room

Room 327 on the third floor was my boudoir on this visit. It featured a desk, TV, large and very comfortable bed, desk chair and lounge chair plus a gigantic window that was higher than the ceiling! The hotel is in an historic building and these old style windows are very large.

Handily, the room contained tea and coffee making facilities and I also liked how the plastic tumblers in the bathroom were sealed in plastic so you know they are clean.


Lighting is provided by several lights which can be individually controlled and the room temperature was perfect for me. Water pressure in the shower was superior so I enjoyed showering like I was visiting Niagara Falls!

Importantly, the bed is extremely comfortable and this Holiday Inn has a choice of firm or soft pillows. I slept very well and didn’t want to get out of bed the next day. Be aware however – all windows open and there is a fan in the room which indicates there is no air-conditioning here.

Free Breakfast!

All rooms are offered free breakfast at this hotel. Considering I paid £49 or US$60 for a hotel right in the city centre, having breakfast included is icing on the cake. The hotel actively promotes this fact and so they should.

There are coffee machines, juice, cereal, milk, sausages, baked beans, scrambled egg, yoghurt, toast – virtually everything you need to start your day. All items are constantly replenished as time passes so there is no waiting. Breakfast is served across two floors to cater for demand.


Upstairs was quite busy so I sat downstairs by the bar at the front of the hotel to have my meal. Everything was delicious and I washed it all down with copious amounts of orange juice.

Later on it was time to check-out. Once again a friendly member of the team saw me instantly, checked my account and wished me goodbye after confirming the room was pre-paid. Smooth as silk!

Overall Thoughts

Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City Centre is a hotel I thoroughly recommend for a visit to Edinburgh. The rooms are spotless and contain all the amenities needed for a break away. The friendly staff genuinely appear to care for you as well, which is very nice. The location is unbeatable and very convenient for those coming from the airport. I would stay again with no hesitation!

Thank you very much for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image via Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City Centre.