Swansea, United Kingdom
Jurys Doyle is a hotel and inn chain with its roots in Ireland and 36 hotels in cities across Ireland, the UK and a handful in the US, with another 3 UK outlets opened in the UK in 2005. Their offerings range from 3 star inns to 5 star luxury.
Jurys Inn Edinburgh is just that, an Inn rather than a hotel, and at the lower end of the Jurys Doyle chain, room-wise comparable with the Premier half of the Premier Travel Inn chain. Situated in Jeffery Street, central Edinburgh, a stones throw away from Princes Street and George Street, it is well placed to explore the offerings of this magnificent city.
Unfortunately, my reason for travelling was business rather than pleasure, so once again, I didnt get chance to look around.
LOCATION AND GETTING THERE
As already said, ideally situated for exploring the city, a taxi from the airport will set you back around £18 and take around 25 minutes to half hour dependent on traffic.
Jurys Inn is situated directly opposite Waverley train station, making access easy, but also giving the potential to be noisy.
In common with many city centre hotels, Jurys Edinburgh does not have its own parking, but there is a public car-park nearby, and there is some on street metered parking opposite if you are lucky enough to get one.
MY VERDICT: 4/5
A grand affair that put the former Jurys Glasgow Hotel to shame, it is more reminiscent of a 5 star opulent outlet than a 3 star inn. Clocks adorn the walls showing the time at various major global cities. There is high-speed internet access in reception (10p a minute), and a wide plasma screen telling people what is going on in the world.
Reception also has numerous comfortable seating areas either side with menus for bar-meals, and lots of free newspapers, I would have been quite happy sitting there for a couple of hours watching the world go by, sadly no time.
I think this is the first time I have been to a hotel that seems to have put some forethought into access. Alongside the stairs there were ramps for accessing all the public areas of the hotel. My colleague also stayed in a disabled room, and said it was spacious with support bars and emergency buttons in strategic positions. She did however say that using the shower could have been difficult.
MY VERDICT: 5/5: Pleasing to see a hotel that has actually made the effort and thought about inclusion
I booked throught the Jurys Doyle website, although be aware that the majority of their rates, rack and discounted, do not include breakfast. British Midland (BMI) Diamond club members should be aware that they can claim miles from Jurys outlets for producing their membership card on check-in (customers can have 1,000 points per night of their stay, with a ceiling of 3000 miles per stay).
Confirmation is instant, and your cancellation policy will be clearly spelt out, in my case it was 2pm on the day of arrival, but be aware that this can vary dependent on the nature of the Promotional offer, CHECK BEFORE pressing the button to confirm your reservation. You will need a credit or debit card to hold the room.
We paid £59 room only, whereas the rack rate was £125 per room.
This was OK, but I felt the staff were young and not particularly comfortable with their roles. Although I had booked on-line with my credit card, for various reasons, my company were footing the room bill directly. This, in common with my experiences every time this happens, whatever the outlet, causes major confusion. However, once this had been resolved, the customary swipe of the credit card was taken to cover extras and we were despatched to our rooms.
One thing that did strike me as odd, is that the entrance to our rooms was via a different building, and therefore we had to go outside to access the lifts.
MY VERDICT: 3/5 (I felt the staff lacked confidence and co-ordination making the process slow and cumbersome)
Jurys Inn Edinburgh has 186 classic rooms spread out over 8 floors, and also offers various conference rooms, there are no leisure facilities, but it is so close to the vibrant centre, if visiting for leisure purposes, this would be a minor hardship.
The room could simply be described as clean and functional. There was a double bed which although fine for me, would have caused problems if my other half had been with me. There was also what appeared to be a small bed settee, however, if three of us had been in the room, the words Swing and Cat would have been very appropriate. Bedding was sheets and blankets, 4 synthetic pillows were provided.
There was tea and coffee making facilities with ample supplies but no biscuits, an open plan wardrobe with lots of hangers, numerous wall lights, but no overhead lighting, although there was a large lamp on the work area.
The work area was small, and the presence of a full-size TV and the lamp left little room for actually working.
The en-suite bathroom had the usual facilities and a three-quarter bath and shower. The shower was quite powerful although a little temperamental in the heat delivery department. In common with every other hotel stay in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the water was the usual peaty brown colour.
As would be expected from a hotel of this calibre, there was no air conditioning, however there were two thermostatically controlled radiators which actually worked, (i.e. they could be turned on and off) and two very large double glazed tilt and turn windows. However, rooms on the left hand side as you leave the lift are directly opposite the main train station, I half considered asking to be moved, but decided to risk staying, and I really didnt find it that bad, I specifically heard one announcement and train clearly during my time in the room, even though I had the window open.
The hotel building however did seem to vibrate constantly, and I was awoken at 5.30am, not quite sure by what, but my colleague was as well, so not really sure what happened.
There was vending and ice machines on the third floor, although no mini-bar in the room to accompany it.
Internet access was limited to dial up, it took several attempts for reception to activate my line, and calls were expensive. Simply collecting e-mails set me back some £10s or so, connection speed was 48K
MY VERDICT: 4/5 (wasnt happy with the internet connection)
My room was bright, clean and looked new, my colleague said hers (a disabled room) had definitely seen better days.
This is one area where the hotel did excel, they have a happy hour from 6 to 8pm where certain bitters and lagers are £2 a pint. A bottle of Blackthorn was a staggering £2.95 for the equivalent of a half, but a double Gordons Gin & Tonic was a reasonable £5.75, a bottle of water was £1.25, all in all, quite reasonable for a city centre hotel, probably why it appeared quite popular with the locals.
The weather was absolutely freezing, and therefore entertainment was strictly limited to the hotel bar, where we certainly took advantage of the cheap(ish) drinks and friendly bar-staff.
MY VERDICT: 4/5 (with the exception of cider, very reasonably priced with pleasant service, although there did appear to initially be a language barrier between us and the barman)
I shall split my verdict on bar meals v- breakfast, two totally different experiences.
Proceed with caution; there is a restaurant, which is pricey, £15.95 for a steak meal, and there is a bar offering a broad range of offerings considerably cheaper. I paid £9 for chicken tikka, rice, naan bread and chips. The meal was delivered quickly and the sauce was fabulous, although the presence of peppers of every description, and aubergines did confuse me a little.
SCORE: 4/5 (they lose one for the unexpected appearance of the aubergines in the curry)
This was not included in the room rate and was paid for on entry to the restaurant. At £9.50 a head it was cheaper than many, but dearer than the Premier Travel Inn range. There was fresh fruit, juices, cereals, yogurts and croissants where you could help yourself, and then a hot area with bacon, scrambled and fried egg, black pudding, hash browns, beans, sausage and mushrooms. What did surprise me was this although it was buffet style, it was served by a member of staff, and took me back to miserable years gone by in the school canteen, I really didnt enjoy the experience, and the breakfast wasnt much better. The sausages were unpalatable, one was undercooked, the other evidently sitting around for some time, the bacon was teeth cracking stuff, the hash-browns were undercooked and the beans were definitely not Heinz. The toast has evidently been sitting around awhile, but the filter coffee was quite tasty.
SCORE: 1/5 (reasonable choice, but didnt like the service and the hot offerings werent particularly palatable)
A functional, reasonably priced clean hotel offering sufficient comfort for a short stay, and superbly positioned close to the centre, but without the extortionate charges usually associated with such outlets. I would recommend asking for a room on a high floor, and if possible at the back of the hotel rather than the front, it wasnt particularly noisy during my stay, but the weather had been pretty rough in Scotland and this could have impacted on the number of trains passing through the station, therefore cannot say that it wouldn't be intolerable on future visits.