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Motel One, Edinburgh-Royal

Brand new to the UK is the launch of the Motel One collection of Budget Designer hotels.

This German hospitality brand (with 42 hotels in Germany and Austria) has opened in Edinburgh, right in the city centre just a two minute walk from Waverley Train Station, and the Airport bus terminus on Waverley Bridge.

The tag line for Motel One hotels, is “great design for little money”.  As I come through the door  into the Lounge – Lobby area, the first impression is Wow!.  Furnished with bucket chairs and window seats with soft fabrics in tweed, leather and sheepskin, this is a place to relax day and night.  A recurring colour scheme throughout the hotel is the signature Turquoise-blue and Mushroom-taupe – cool and contemporary.  Johnstone’s Cashmere were commissioned to create the Motel One tartan for the Edinburgh hotel.   The colour links through to the  fashionable staff uniform too. A neat touch.

The Lobby – with two gorgeous Jacobsen Egg chairs – for a welcoming check-in, and up to my minimalist but freshly decorated, white, blue and taupe bedroom on the 7th floor, overlooking Princes Street Gardens.  Furniture is practical with desk, stool and armchair which you can move to where you wish to sit. Brilliant idea. Shower-room, TV (multi-channels), Tea/coffee tray,  proper (not fixed) hangers, soft pillows/duvet, AC controls, and well positioned lighting.

One Lounge, the café bar on the ground floor is where a self service Continental breakfast is served – cereals, apples, toast, croissants, cheese, boiled eggs, tea/coffee machine.  The intimate Bar – good selection of beers, wine, whisky and snack menu –  is dressed in a snazzy style featuring vintage crystal glass lampshades, tartan tweed stools and quirky drinks tables made from old whisky casks. Open to non-residents too, so I shall return!

Like Ryanair, Motel One offers No Frills – no telephone or Mini Bar, but what it lacks in 5 star facilities is made up for by smart design and exceptionally low room rates for the city visitor. (Summer 2014 – £ 69 single/£84 double).  There are 208 bedrooms within this tall, turreted Old Town building, of all shapes, sizes and views, including a spacious Accessible room with Wet Room, alarm cord.

City life and Eating Out?  Restaurants, pubs, prime heritage sites from the Castle to Palace, art galleries, shopping and night clubs are all to be found nearby.

Just open for 6 months, Motel-One Edinburgh Royal has already proved to be an innovative, trendy, affordable concept for international leisure and business visitors.  A second Motel One will open here on Princes Street later in 2013.  Future hotel plans are London in 2014, then other UK and European cities.

Browsing through guest reviews, the recurring verdict is the same: great deal, excellent location, comfort, friendly staff.  A Swiss couple wrote “  We will stay in no other Edinburgh hotel from now on. Love it!.”

Having experience an overnight stay here, Motel One Edinburgh-Royal passes the good sleep Pillow Test.  I also enjoyed a relaxing glass of wine before going out for dinner in the cosy bar, and the casual DIY breakfast was fun.  The smart, savvy world traveller should certainly plan to stay here for a budget tariff and spend the money saved on having a fabulous time around the city.   t. 0131 220 0730.   18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1BL

The exterior of the Motel One hotel on the corner of Market Street and Cockburn Street

The exterior of the Motel One hotel on the corner of Market Street and Cockburn Street

A smartly decorated bedroom at Motel One, Edinburgh

A smartly decorated bedroom at Motel One, Edinburgh


Motel-One Edinburgh-Princes: a cool design concept for travellers on a budget

As featured in a recent news report in The European, Edinburgh is such a thriving and popular city for business and tourism, it’s prime for hotel development. And no wonder!


Scotland’s capital beat London, Paris, Venice and Barcelona to attain the title “Europe’s Leading Destination” at the World Travel Awards. The Guardian/Observer poll named Edinburgh as the “UK’s Favourite City” for the 14th year. Edinburgh Airport was named “Best in Europe” for the third time, as passenger numbers reaching a record high, and more direct flights to and from the USA, Middle East and across Europe have been launched to offer visitors easy global travel connections.

So, it’s clear that Edinburgh needs good quality, well priced city hotels to attract all these global visitors. After the launch of the first Motel-One Edinburgh-Royal in 2013, the doors have just opened to welcome the first guests at  Motel One Edinburgh-Princes.

Edinburgh-Princes at the East End of Princes Street

Edinburgh-Princes on Princes Street

Located at the East End of Princes Street, the purpose built 140 bedroom hotel on four floors offers views of Calton Hill, Princes Street Gardens and up to the Castle. Quick and easy access from Waverley station and the Airport bus is just a five minute walk and the brand new Tram link is up and running on a route from the city centre to the Airport.

The term “No Frills” was coined to describe the low cost airlines such as Ryanair and Easy Jet, giving passengers the basic flight with no extra facilities or hospitality.  The ingenious concept behind Motel-One which was launched in 2000 in Munich, is based around “Viel Design fur wedig Geld” – “Great design for little money.”


The distinctive, cool, clean colour palette of turquoise and cappuccino- brown creates a fresh and fashionable décor. Architectural design is guest friendly: the Reception lobby leads seamlessly into the spacious L shaped One Lounge Bar and Breakfast café, where huge picture windows show off panoramic city views.

George III Royal family artwork

George III Royal family artwork

While there’s a Motel –One Brand Look, the bespoke One Lounge-Bar is inspired by the heritage and culture of each city destination. Princes Street is named after the two sons of King George III., Prince George and the Duke of York. To reflect this, here at Edinburgh-Princes a stunning mural illustrates the grand and opulently dressed Royal family.

Arne Jacobsen Egg chairs

Arne Jacobsen Egg chairs

This multi purpose One Lounge has ample tables and banquette seating to cater for guests from morning coffee to late night drink.  Stylish Arne Jacobsen Egg chairs dressed in a unique Motel-One blue tartan add an ironic Scottish touch. As a modern take on a Highland country house, you can sit beside the “blazing log fire.” Well, it looks cosy, but may not keep you warm.!

Lounge with cosy fireplace!

Lounge with cosy fireplace!

Bedrooms are economically furnished in the blue-brown-cream colours with everything you need for a good night’s sleep: comfortable kingsize bed, quality cotton, soft pillows & duvet, moveable desk-dressing table, armchair, television; Shower room. In a nutshell, expect a smart, compact design which is ultimately practical for the modern traveller.

Practical, stylish bedrooms

Practical, stylish bedrooms

The clever concept behind the Motel-One collection of hotels is based on three simple facts:  central location, affordable prices and high quality in service and design. With a diverse choice of local restaurants with easy access to public transport, no requirement for in-house Dining or hotel car park.

Breakfast is served as an optional extra (£7.50) – a healthy Continental buffet of fresh fruit, croissants, boiled eggs, tea and coffee. The Bar also offers a mini menu of tasty ham and cheese toasties, the ideal homely One Snack, day or night.

motel 6 breakfast

Motel-One currently operates 50 hotels in Germany, Austria and Scotland and this fast growing, ambitious company has a bold vision aiming for 72 hotels by 2016.   Around the UK, London Tower Hill opens this year, followed by Manchester and Glasgow in 2015. The Glasgow hotel beside Central Station will be the largest hotel in Scotland.

One Lounge - Bar and Breakfast Cafe

One Lounge – Bar and Breakfast Cafe

I have had a sneak preview of the Edinburgh-Princes and look forward to visiting soon for an overnight stay. I just love the fun and funky Bar with unique city views. In the meantime, this Motel-One virgin checked in at this brand new hotel and was clearly won over.!

This was the first time I had ever stayed at a Motel One and based on my experience will not be the last. From the moment I arrived I felt welcome. The member of staff on the reception was happy, bright and extremely efficient. My room was cleverly fitted out to maximise the space, fresh crisp linen on a super kingsize bed and a great shower. 10/10 for the hotel, quality, staff and price.”

Motel-One Edinburgh-Princes, 10 – 15 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AN t. 0131 550 9220. Room rate per night from £89.

Review of Edinburgh-Royal