I can’t believe that 7 months have already passed by since I traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland with my mother and aunt. I’m working on travel plans for 2018. Spring break has been booked. Look for the announcement in tomorrow’s Friday Faves. I’m also working on a trip with my mother. We are still hashing out the destination and details. I’ve received a few questions about my travels to Scotland, so today I thought I’d share about where we stayed during the Edinburgh portion of our trip to Scotland.
Princes Street Suites.
During our time in Edinburgh, Scotland we stayed at Princes Street Suites, which is located at 16 Waterloo Place. We needed a space that would sleep three adults and found this hotel on Expedia. We booked their three bedroom apartment.
Based on its location, I had planned that we would take the tram from the Edinburgh Airport. Unfortunately, there had been a fatal accident involving a bicyclist on the day of our arrival. The tram would not be able to make it to where we needed to disembark. The attendant suggested that we take the bus, which would let us off at Waverly Bridge. From Waverly Bridge, we followed google maps to our destination.
A word of caution: You should familiarize yourself with the exterior of the hotel. We were on the opposite side of the road and could not see the hotel signage due to it being behind a bus stop shelter. I recognized the exterior of the hotel and we crossed to find the entrance.
The location of Princes Street Suites is at Waterloo Place, which is a section of Edinburgh just outside of the heavier traffic.
This selfie was to see how I looked in my mother’s Ray-Bans. We dropped off our luggage and went over to Howie’s Restaurant (which also has a location on Victoria Street) for an outside lunch before heading back to the hotel for showers and a short “jet lag” nap. I’ve included it to give you bearing on the location of the Princes Street Suites.
The clock tower in the background is the Balmoral Hotel. The greenery to my left is the Old Calton Burial Ground. The building to its right is Princes Street Suites. I did not know the hotel was located next to a cemetery, but it didn’t bother me. The hotel didn’t feel creepy and no spirits came to visit me.
So let’s go inside the suite!
Inside the Suite.
We actually stayed at Princes Street Suites on two separate occasions. This was the hotel that we stayed at during the beginning of our journey and also on our return from Glasgow. We stayed in a three bedroom apartment each time, but the layouts were slightly different. This was inside the suite during our first stay.
The suite had a nice layout. After entering through the key card portion of the door, there was a hallway with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom along it. Then you could keep going to the master bedroom or turn to pass through a set of double doors to the living room and kitchen. The fact that these doors closed was nice. That way if somebody arose before the others, they could cut down on any noise from the television or moving about the kitchen.
A word of caution: the door to the left in the photo contains a washer/dryer combo. While we brought enough clothes for the entire travels, we thought “Hey, it has a washer and dryer. Let’s take clean clothes to Glasgow.” After much time in the dryer…the clock passing midnight…the clothes still too wet to pack…somebody having been called up to check that the dryer was indeed working… I had to hand dry our clothes.
Wondering what that means? It means that I used a hair dryer to dry them. Unlike my hair dryer at home, this hair dry did not lock into the “on” position, it had to be held on. After the clock turning its hands round some more, they were dry enough to pack.
I can look back and laugh at it all now, but learn from my mistake. Only use this combo for what I discovered the hard way to be its actual intent. This is for those stains you don’t want to have set into your favorite shirt or because it rained and you went through more socks than you anticipated.
Living Room/Dining Room.
When we were at the hotel we spent a lot of time in the living room/dining room portion of the apartment. I was traveling with my mother and aunt and we would sit here and plan our next day, rehash the exciting parts of the current day, and reminisce on family memories.
The glass door beside the dining table opened onto a balcony. The view out the window to the left (not pictured) was of Arthur’s Seat.
The little touches.
I am a person who appreciates the little touches. Not only were there packets of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate available, but the kitchen counter also included shortbread cookies and there was a pint of fresh milk in the refrigerator.
We did eat out quite often because we wanted to experience all the foods of Scotland, but sometimes we used the benefit of the full kitchen. We walked to Sainsbury’s, which is on St. Andrews Square. South St. David’s Street (which is off of Princes Street and opposite the Scott Monument) turns into St. Andrews Square as you walk along. If you travel to the grocery store, don’t forget to bring a bag!
My mother and aunt dropped their bags into the first rooms they came upon. When I made it to the third room, I discovered it was the master bedroom (it had its own bathroom). I offered to give it to one of them, but they declined since they’d already put down their things. The second time we stayed here, I purposely sought a guest bedroom.
The view from the bedroom is visible on my title photo. There is no air conditioning at this hotel (which I’ve discovered, since beginning to travel, is common outside of the United States). The window opened, but the bars are in place since we are not on the ground floor. I slept with the window open since I like a cool room.
The hotel is located beside Waverly Station, which made our accessibility to travel by train super easy. However, if you cannot sleep with exterior noises, you should know that you can hear the calling of trains from the speakers of the stations. I do think that there is a certain time of night until morning that the trains do not run, but I could not find a place to verify this. I only know that I slept until the sun began to lighten the sky outside my window (which, for me, tended to be around 5:30 a.m….it actually rises earlier than that).
We were there the first week in June and sunset isn’t until close to 10:00 at night, so you can get in lots of sight-seeing.
Or you can head up to the rooftop terrace of Princes Street Suites for amazing views of the city. This was one of my favorite parts of the hotel. You might recall a photo of me sitting up here in my This is 40 post. I actually have so many shots of the spectacular views from this rooftop terrace that you should look for a future post titled – Views From the Rooftop Terrace of Princes Street Suites.
I chose to include this view because I mentioned that the hotel is located beside Old Calton Burial Ground. The Old Calton Cemetery was first opened in 1718. We walked around the cemetery and I will look through my photo archives to see what I have to share.
Rising up in the left of this photo is Nelson Monument. My mother and I climbed to the top of it after our lunch on the first day in Edinburgh. Hidden slightly behind the trees, to the left of Nelson Monument, is the National Monument of Scotland. The obelisk rising in the foreground is the Political Martyrs’ Monument. The building (that reminds me of a castle) rising to the right is the Governor’s House. It is a turreted house and is the only remaining portion of the Calton Jail, which was built in 1817 and at that time was the second largest prison in Scotland.
A few more tidbits about a visit to Princes Street Suites in Edinburgh. As mentioned above, the hotel is located next to Waverly Station. In fact, you can see that sign “A place that only exists in moonlight” (which I loved!) below my hand in the shortbread photo.
We used the train to make a day trip up to Stirling Castle. We also departed from here when we traveled to Glasgow and for our ancestral journey to Airdrie. While we did not take any guided tours, the tours with Rabbie’s depart just a short walk from this hotel.
From the hotel, not only did we use the train, but we had no problem walking to many places. We visited nearby Calton Hill. Later, we walked along Princes Street and in the Princes Street Gardens. During our time, we also made our way over to the Grassmarket and Victoria Street. We grabbed dessert at the Elephant House. We strolled along the Royal Mile.
On our second stay in Edinburgh, we toured on the hop-on hop-off bus. The starting location of the tours is at Waverly Bridge, which was easily walkable for Princes Street Suites. Not only were the buses a great way to get around the city, but we had also purchased the Royal Edinburgh ticket, which got us into Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the Royal Yacht Britannia. One of the bus lines also had a stop by Calton Hill. We took this on a day that we got caught in the rain. We had planned to run from Calton Hill to the hotel. However, there were only a few passengers so the driver pulled into a bus stop much closer to our hotel (how awesome is that!).
I know my doors this week are on the plainer side, but I’m sure if you pop over to Norm’s blog and click on the blue frog, you’ll see some amazing doors from around the world.
I’m sure I’m leaving out many more details, so if you have any questions feel free to comment below or shoot me an email.
Let your light shine!