We stayed at the Ceilidh-Donia for seven days in October, 2011. Having never been to Edinburgh before, and not having the benefit of recommendations from the locals, we approached the idea with a bit of trepidation; the reviews were so consistently positive, however, that we decided to take the plunge.
The hotel is located southeast of the city centre in a lovely residential neighborhood adjacent to Holyrood Park; Arthur's Seat is visible from the upper levels. Most of the tourist sights in the city can be reached within a 25-minute walk; frequent buses can be hailed about a block away, and taxi service is easily available. The location affords a level of tranquility that cannot be had in the more central hotels; after experiencing the ambient noise while walking around the city, the location was an oasis of quiet.
We stayed in Room 2, a double located up a flight of narrow stairs. The room was large, spotlessly clean, and generously appointed, with a comfortable, soft bed, flat-screen TV, full coffee and tea service (with a nice selection of biscuits), and plenty of storage space. One particularly nice touch was the number of electrical outlets--since I travel with a number of electronic devices, this was a huge convenience (I'm used to rooms having perhaps one individual socket, if I was lucky). The en-suite bathroom was completely updated, and, again, spotlessly clean--in fact, I've never seen a hotel bathroom in any category so immaculate. The towel warmer was an unexpected bonus (although caution was necessary, as it does get quite hot), and the "power shower" was a welcome respite after a long day of sightseeing, with excellent water pressure.
Breakfast is excellent, with an extensive choice of hot dishes--not only will you find traditional Scottish AND English fry-ups, but bagels with smoked salmon, an American-style hot breakfast, and more, and cold cereals, breads, yogurt, and juices are also available. If you are unable to eat during scheduled breakfast hours, they will provide you with a bagged Continental breakfast with notice--this came in extremely handy when we had early tours and an early departing flight. Without a doubt, breakfast was the most superlative I've encountered during my travels in the UK and Europe (I tend to skip breakfasts in favor of more sleep, so the fact I actually got up to eat says something), and provided an excellent start every day
Hosts Maxx and Annette provided excellent service, and were extremely attentive to our needs without being cloying. Maxx's self-produced maps of the city are extremely useful, and his restaurant recommendations were spot-on (we only wish that we had taken advantage of more of them). They were extremely helpful--we never waited more than a moment for a taxi, and they were quick to provide needed information. Their generosity always went beyond the call of duty--when we left Edinburgh for a two-day visit to England, they were kind enough to store our excess luggage until we returned--and this extended to their time as well. After Maxx heard that we were fans of Scottish craft beers, he surprised us with a selection of them that evening, and, another night, we spent several lovely hours enjoying a selection of whisky and conversation with him in the hotel bar (he's a Bowmore man, so if you happen to visit Islay, be sure to bring him something!). All of this service came at an extremely reasonable price, far less than we would have paid at the mid-level chain hotels--and we got the benefit of the fantastic service on top of it.
The Ceilidh-Donia is an absolute gem, the type of special place one encounters rarely during a lifetime of travels. If you have cause to be in Edinburgh, make sure to stay there if you can.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A warm Scottish welcome awaits at the Hotel Ceilidh-donia, Edinburgh. Hotel Ceilidh-Donia Edinburgh offers great value three star accommodation when visiting Edinburgh, the historic capital city of Scotland. Max and Annette Preston, together with their children Hayley and Struan, invite you to enjoy your holiday, City break or business trip in Edinburgh at the Hotel Ceilidh-donia with full facility accommodation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ceilidh Donia Hotel Edinburgh
- Hotel Ceilidh-Donia Edinburgh, Scotland