Review Apex Grassmarket Hotel Edinburgh: Two weeks ago we visited Edinburgh for the Christmas markets. We travelled up by train and stayed in the Apex Grassmarket Hotel. The hotel is perfectly situated to explore the city. Travelling with a young family there are things which we look for when deciding where to stay. A central location, on site restaurant, family rooms and value for money. On paper the Apex Grassmarket Hotel looked like it offered all these things. So the question is, did it live up to expectations?
Travelling up by train meant that we arrived in Edinburgh Station just before 8am in the morning. The station is on Princes Street which is the main shopping street in the city, you can’t get any more central. The hotel is around a ten to fifteen minute walk from the station. Thats even with the kids. Its a lovely walk where you pass across the Royal Mile and wander down the cobbled streets. The hotel is in Edinburgh’s historic old town, the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh is located just behind the castle. Its beautifully pretty, full of independent shops, winding streets, brightly coloured fronted houses, bars and restaurants. There are two Apex hotels in the square. We initially went to the wrong one. When I tried to check in they doubled checked both hotels, so I am guessing it happens quite a bit!
After travelling up by train we checked in around 8.30am. I wasn’t expecting the room to be ready but the manager kindly offered to ring us once it was. They took our bags so that they could be put in the room once we returned. There is so much to do for families in Edinburgh all year round. However since we visited in November we decided to head to the Christmas Market as Edinburgh really does know how to do Christmas. The kids had fun playing on the fair ground rides, we enjoyed the festive food and drink, brought a few gifts and we all just soaked up the atmosphere.
Outside the Christmas markets there is plenty to keep a family amused. Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, the Zoo and a fantastic museum to name a few things. Being November the weather started to turn mid afternoon so we decided to walk back to the hotel. When we arrived our room was ready and we had a lovely platter of mini cakes in the room waiting for us.
The room itself is a spacious family room which had two Queen size beds, plenty of storage, a good sized bathroom and floor to ceiling windows. The view out into the square was very picturesque, especially as it started to get dark as you could see the castle all lit up. Both boys were fascinated by the castle. Its the little things that matter to me. The cot had already been set up for Kipper and there was plenty of white fluffy towels folded on the beds. In the bathroom as well as essential toiletries (Elmis which I love) there was also a little purple duck called Austin. A little friend for the boys to take on our adventures they have become quite attached to him.
Not wanting to go back out into the bad weather we decided to have a drink in the hotel bar before heading to the restaurant. Just like the rest of the hotel the bar area was full of festive decorations. The boys loved the huge Christmas tree in the reception area. The bar is located on a mezzanine which over looks the restaurant below. It’s small but functional and acts as the overflow area for breakfast.
The resturant itself was modern with brightly coloured chairs and white tables. The waiting staff could not have been more helpful. We were seated by the window which meant we had a nice view of the castle all lit up in the evening. There was a good selection of kids options and the food was served up quickly and politely. I had arranchi to start followed by steak, both of which were very nice and well priced. We all decided we would happily eat in the restaurant again. With a young family its so much easier to eat in the hotel so its good to know its
After a good meal and such as early morning we all fell asleep pretty quickly and slept soundly until morning. Because of the area the hotel is in it can get a bit nosiey outside at pub kicking out time. Ultimately there’s not a lot the hotel can do about this. I was disturbed a little but everyone else slept through. I suspect this is more a symptom of me going to bed early and not being in a deep sleep. The hotel does provide ear plugs in the rooms so you have them to hand if needed.
Breakfast is in the same restaurant, the hotel was full when we visited and so breakfast was busy. The staff worked hard to ensure that food items did not run out. Downstairs was a continental buffet with a selection of juice. Toast, tea and coffee is table service, along with your choice of cooked breakfast. Again there is a good selection to choose from. Hubby opted for a full Scottish breakfast, I had eggs florientine and the boys both had and devoured pancakes. It was exactly what we needed to set us up for a day exploring.
Since the hotel is so central we left our bags and headed to The National Musuem of Scotland. Which is conveniently only a five minute walk from the hotel, free and you could easily spend the whole day there. Which is what we did before catching the 100 bus to the airport. The bus runs every 10 minutes from outside the train station and it takes you straight to airport in around thirty minutes. It even tells you when the flights are due to leave and how busy security is.
We had a lovely trip to Edinburgh and hope to visit again in the Summer to do some more exploring and go to the castle. We would happily stay at the Apex Grassmarket again since it more than meets all our requirements of weekend breaks with the boys.
Thank you for having us.
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We were invited to stay at the Apex Grassmarket for the purpose of this review all words and opinions are my own.