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What is Marriott’s Residence Inn brand like? We visit Edinburgh to try it (Part 2)

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This is Part 2 of our review of Marriott’s Residence Inn extended stay hotel in Edinburgh.

Part 1 of our Residence Inn Edinburgh review is here.

The hotel website is here if you want to learn more.

The bedroom

The bedroom is smaller than you would normally find in a hotel since you also have a large living room (Rob found the same when he toured Residence Inn Kensington recently):

Residence Inn Edinburgh suite bedroom

You also get a TV, Mirror and mini ledge-desk-thingy with stool. To the right of the queen size bed is a large wardrobe with plenty of storage – more than I have at home, to be honest.

Residence Inn Edinburgh suite bed

Connectivity is good, although there are only plugs and USB sockets on the right hand side of the bed.

Interestingly, the suite doesn’t seem to have air conditioning. Instead, you can manually adjust the radiators in each room. This makes a lot of sense, I think – especially when you consider the weather in Scotland.

Bathroom

An interesting approach has been taken to the bathroom. Instead of having the shower / bath, toilet and sink in a separate room, only the bath and toilet are separated, with the sink open to the hallway:

Residence Inn Edinburgh suite bathroom

I’m not sure why this was done, but I equally can’t particularly see a reason why not. The mirror above the sink conceals a large cupboard for storing toiletries etc – another nice touch for an extended stay hotel.

Toiletries are mint-scented by Essential Elements and make you feel like you are showering with a Kendal mint cake! This is the standard brand across Residence Inn.

The kitchen and living room

The largest room in the suite, by far, is the kitchen-living room. This is the size of both the bedroom and bathroom combined:

Residence Inn Edinburgh suite living room 2

It looks like you can connect more than one suite as well, judging by the door in the photo above.

As you can see, there is a ‘proper’ desk as well as a fairly large sofa and armchair with laptop stand. The kitchen hugs the back wall:

Residence Inn Edinburgh suite living room

…. and comes equipped with half-size fridge, half-size oven and full-size dishwasher.

Residence Inn is designed for longer, partly self-catered stays, and so supplies all the basics you might require:

Residence Inn Edinburgh suite pots pans

and

Residence Inn Edinburgh suite cutlery

You won’t be winning Masterchef any time soon but it’s enough to be able to look after yourself.

All Residence Inn hotels have a free shopping service. You can give the hotel staff your grocery list and they will buy it for you from a local shop and deliver it to your fridge.

(To be perfectly honest, Residence Inn should consider partnering with Hello Fresh or similar meal subscription services – it’s exactly the sort of thing that would work well here.)

You also get some basic tea making facilities, although don’t expect anything other than instant coffee, as there isn’t a coffee machine:

Residence Inn Edinburgh suite kettle toaster

Breakfast

Whilst there’s no restaurant, the hotel offers a free breakfast. In normal times this includes a hot and cold selection served in the hotel lobby.

Right now, the Residence Inn Edinburgh is only serving its grab and go bag. All you do is fill out an order form the night before. You can choose from a range of pastries, yoghurt, cereal, fruit, marmalade / cheese and tea, coffee or juices.

This is what I opted for:

Residence Inn Edinburgh breakfast

The pastries are baked freshly on site each morning – mine was still warm.

Conclusion

Whilst not designed for short city breaks – although you are free to just stay for one night if you wish – the Residence Inn Edinburgh is a great option if you need to stay close to the university.

It also makes a lot of sense if you have children. The additional space afforded by the Residence Inn, and a separated living and sleeping area, should appeal to families.

My only complaint – and this is completely out of the hotel’s control – was the noisy builders who, on my first morning, decided it was a great idea to do what sounded like pile driving on the university building next door at 7am.

Rates currently start from £70 per night for a studio or £100 for a suite for Marriott Bonvoy members although current pricing is not necessary typical. In September you are looking at £145 – £175 per night.

(To be frank, £100 for a one bedroom suite here is exceptionally good value for money if you are heading to Edinburgh soon.)

The Residence Inn Edinburgh is a Category 5 hotel, which means you’ll need 30,000 to 40,000 Bonvoy points per night. Given our standard value of 0.5p per Bonvoy point, cash is currently the better option.

You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.

Thanks to Marriott for hosting me. As usual, HfP paid for all of its other costs including my flight to Edinburgh.

Comments (52)

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    Ref separation of basin and toilet, that’s an interesting one – having a door to have to open between the two seems like a backward step from a hygiene perspective? (Unless washing ones hands in the shower which is, granted, a more natural environment for singing happy birthday)

    From personal experience of several RIs you appreciate how much more comfortable you are in theses places once you’re there a few days, it’s the little things that aren’t obvious but lack of claustrophobia is certainly one and fresh milk in you hot drinks another!

    • lumma says:

      It’s a handy “northern urinal” if two people are staying and one person’s taking too long in the shower…

      • Lord Doncaster says:

        If you are staying with someone who needs to shower using the entire water supply of Lake Windermere then common sense says you get into the toilet beforehand 😂

  • Sean Docherty says:

    I have stayed here on a number of occasions and my family were part of the 10 guests in the hotel when you were there. Fantastic hotel for travelling with a toddler and dog, especially being right on the meadows. Royal Mile is only a 5 minute walk away so think it is a great location.

    • Sean Docherty says:

      Only downside is the bathroom – very small and strange layout. Interestingly, our 1 bed suite didn’t have a bath (shower tray only) or a balcony.

      • Rhys says:

        Balcony only on the top floor – which I assumed was reserved for all the 1 beds, but perhaps they are spread throughout the hotel?

        • E says:

          We’ve stayed here a lot. The suites are spread out across all floors. There are two layouts of suites. Rhys had the one with the larger living room area but there is another layout with a marginally larger bedroom and a smaller living room area.

          The balconies are only on the top floor. And none of the rooms have a bath.

          The hotel can be extremely hot in summer (yes, in Scotland), especially the top floors. The heat rises and the sun heats the rooms through the large windows and doors. They don’t open enough to circulate much air and, as Rhys says, there is no air conditioning in the rooms. The will give you a small fan but the only aircon is in the corridors (it was retro fitted a few years after the hotel was opened) and it’s not strong enough to really help the rooms. So maybe be wary of staying in summer if you need a cool room to sleep!

          • Erico1875 says:

            I’ve not been in the hotel, but regularly work in the Quarter Mile apartments. Due to all the glass, In summer, the tempersture within apartments regularly gets 30c +

  • Scallder says:

    Big fan of Residence Inns. Have used a number in the US and very much enjoy the greater space. Have often chosen these over higher end hotels for week long stays for the additional space.

    Often Residence Inn properties are very well located too as well – the one in Philadelphia couldn’t be more centrally located if you tried and stayed in one in DC between Dupont Circle and Georgetown which was a great location.

    In normal times have always been impressed by the breakfast variety as well.

    • Doug M says:

      Agreed, standard in US is good. But typically quite expensive, I guess you’re paying by the sq ft.

      • Rob says:

        Oddly, during covid, the London ones have been – by far – the cheapest Marriott properties in London. They were £89 per night for much of the time and I was told you could do deals for long stays to get it well below that.

  • pauldb says:

    It’s strangely common for these types of hotels but why isn’t the sofa a sofa bed. They aren’t great but I think most families would pay a premium for a split room for 4 (with the kitchen). Instead they are only offered a studio with 2 doubles.

    • Doug M says:

      To deter families from business hotels?

      • pauldb says:

        But then offer smaller rooms for 4?

        • Doug M says:

          No idea. But 4 in one of those rooms would be rubbish for bathroom and any real space. I’d guess that occupancy by 4 is quite unusual.

    • Memesweeper says:

      Some RIs do have sofa beds, and I’ve used them for a family stay.

  • JohnT says:

    Hoping to stay in the Savannah Downtown/Historic one in late Sept. Is it ok?

  • Froggee says:

    I booked a room here for a kinda mattress run (promotion on second stay which was for a fortnight in the Bay Area so pricey) and I don’t think I could have slept in the room it was so stifling. I actually checked and the radiators weren’t on. Sure the windows open but not that wide so I imagine it is pretty unpleasant here in the summer.

  • Harry T says:

    This looks perfectly acceptable but I can’t stand hotels that don’t have air conditioning. I can’t be the only person who needs a cool room to sleep?

    • E says:

      It was originally designed to be eco friendly I understand so they left out aircon…

      • E says:

        Which was also the reason for only one lift (apart from a service lift further along the corridor).

    • Andrew says:

      Companies that play the environmental card to save money really irritate me.

      • Russ says:

        Agree. I see they also have wall soap dispensers brought in under the same excuse.

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      I judge a hotel in three things: quality of the mattress, quality of the bathroom and how cold I can get the room…. So, you’re not alone 🙂

      • Harry T says:

        @Oh! matron!
        We have very similar criteria for judging a hotel room! Great minds think alike

    • exEDI says:

      I wonder if this block was originally designed and built to be private residential units and therefore air con was not included.
      The hotel rooms are basically the same as residential homes in the adjacent blocks. E.g. https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property/106244570

      • E says:

        It was in the original plans as a hotel. In fact the development was supposed to have 2 hotels originally. The other one would have been in the old building where the Caffe Nero is and was to be a luxury boutique hotel. It got changed to more apartments in the end.

    • lumma says:

      My flat gets that hot in the summer that I’ve been known to book the odd hotel night just to get a cold night’s sleep

      • Andrew says:

        +1! I tend to manufacture work overnights when there’s a heatwave!

  • ChrisW says:

    Air-conditioning in Scotland. LOL.

    • Ambient says:

      Stayed here late 2018/early 2019. From what I recall, this was a positive stay overall – liked the space and location – however I remember finding heating/cooling to definitely be a problem and also that the buffet breakfast was quite limited.

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