Tune Haymarket had its official launch on 8th January 2013. So I recently decided to take the train up to Edinburgh, prepped with scarves, thermals and gloves to see if it was just as Tune-ful as its London sisters.
After a five hour train ride, you are thrilled to see your hotel and I certainly was. I arrived at Edinburgh Waverley, took a quick two minute train ride over to Haymarket station, walked out of the station and there was my Tune hotel, as conveniently situated as one could wish for.
Although I was ten minutes early, check in was fast and easy. My £8 package included: towel, 24 hour WiFi, Freeview television and a hairdryer. I was given the password for the WiFi, a bag with a towel and my key card.
The staff were super friendly and asked all the right questions without it feeling impersonal. I was in room 119 which is a room with a window and a view of the train station (and the works that are taking place all over Edinburgh for a new tram service). I dropped my bags and flopped on the luxury Hypnos bed which you often find in expensive 5 star hotels.
When I came down half an hour later to ask a few questions of General Manager Ray Chandler (that’s for another blog post), the staff were still smiley and helpful as I took some pictures of the desk and lobby.
I then went back up to the room for a quick shower to feel more human. I love showers way more than baths and the power shower in the room was amazing. I didn’t feel like I was being dribbled on or like the shampoo wasn’t ever going to come out of my hair. Perfect.
I then went off for my first tourist attraction: The Real Mary King’s Close tour. I wasn’t sure what time I’d get back but I knew Tune has a 24 hour reception so wasn’t worried. Whilst with the hotel’s GM, he told me about the amount of security Tune have, with guests needing a key card to get through every door to their room. After midnight you ring the bell.
Being tired from my early train journey, I was thankful that I didn’t actually get back too late. I then fell asleep in total comfort. Although I had a window room overlooking the station, I couldn’t hear a single thing from outside. I woke up at 9am the next day ready to take on Edinburgh.
When I got down to reception, I picked up a hot drink from Tune’s ‘ready to go café’ which was surprisingly reasonable for a hotel: £1.70 for a quality coffee, cheap and cheerful. The Tune lobby is a useful space and has clusters of tables and chairs and sofas with a little island in the middle with some tablet PCs for you to check quick things on. Ray gave me the best scenic route directions for Edinburgh Castle and I also picked up a map and planned to start my ascent up to the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.
Tune runs decidedly modern hotels but with a sense of history and place.
After a day walking around Edinburgh and the endless hills, I was ready to flop in front of a film and hide in my room. Some Tune reviews on TripAdvisor comment on the cosy size of the rooms. Whilst the room was compact, my guest and I felt fine and not at all squashed.
Ray responds personally to all of the TripAdvisor reviews and states that in order to be able to maximise the quantity of rooms and keep prices low for guests, the rooms are space efficient. No desk, no wardrobe, no pointless clutter. Maybe I’m just used to living in London?
By day 3, I was already in love with Edinburgh. Check-out was at 10am but the train not until 5pm, so Tune held onto our bags in a secure luggage room for £2 a bag. Check out itself was quick and easy, you just drop your key-card in a box and off you go – no queues and no waiting around.
So the last day of exploring was totally taken advantage of, investigating the Camera Obscura, the National Gallery and the Scottish Museum. After a late lunch at the superb ‘Angels with Bagpipes’ we were soon picking up our bags from Tune and hopping on the train back to London.
Overall, Tune was fantastic. It gave me everything I needed for a city break. In fact, if you book in advance and get a room for £25, that is actually cheaper than many of the equivalent hostel prices. With the safety and security of the hotel, I wouldn’t even think twice.
The staff were lovely and made my stay all the more enjoyable. I was also given plenty of inside tips on enjoying Edinburgh. I wasn’t bothered by the principle of fine-tuning your stay with add ons since the information is always transparent. The hotel was friendly and modern and spotlessly clean throughout. All I’d suggest adding is perhaps a water cooler to help guests avoid using plastic bottles.
Would I recommend Tune Haymarket to friends and family? I already have.
Photo credits: LHI blogger Saloni.
Disclosure: Saloni was a guest of Tune Hotels.