Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh Review


Modern hotel near to Arthur’s Seat and the Scottish Parliament

Near the foot of the Royal Mile, overlooking the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood and a stones throw from Arthur’s Seat you’ll find the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh.  Outside, it fits in with the eclectic architectural styles of the area, not my personal favourite look but it could be worse!

Inside we were greeted by the receptionist who checked us in pain-free.

The Room

We headed up to our room and were glad to see some fruit and bottled water in the room.


Then we spied the Nespresso machine so we of course, had to have a couple of them to help us relax after the train journey from Glasgow that was longer than usual due to the on-going works at Queen Street (first world problems eh?!)


The room we received was spacious with a huge bed, ideal for sprawling and with plenty of pillows for propping yourself up and watching TV/surfing the net.  As well as the Nespresso, there was a kettle with tea and hot chocolate, biscuits, an iron and ironing board, hair dryer, safe, slippers and air-con. The WiFi connection (provided by the Cloud) was strong enough to play games and stream some Netflix.

holyrood hotel macdonald edinburgh


holyrood hotel macdonald edinburgh

There was a small balcony too with views looking out towards Salisbury Crags and the Scottish Parliament.

holyrood hotel macdonald edinburgh

Into the bathroom

Arran Aromatics toiletries were provided and it’s always good to see Scottish products in use.  There was also a towel warmer, huge towels, two robes and two shower heads, one normal and one rainforest, which both worked well.  The shower was easy to get in and out of as well with a glass partition over one half only and no curb or lip to trip on making it ideal for anyone with mobility issues.

holyrood hotel macdonald edinburgh

As part of the experience, we had dinner at the in-house Acanthus restaurant, a review will be linked here shortly.


A good test of a hotel is how well they fare at breakfast time.  The tables in the restaurant area were all set up with Bonne Maman preserves and creamy butter (I’m a bit of a butter geek!)


Hot dishes, such as porridge, could be ordered and are included in the B&B price, along with regular or vegetarian full breakfasts, eggs Benedict and variants including Royale (salmon) and Florentine (spinach).


We ordered our hot dishes and ventured to the buffet area where we found lots of fresh fruit, fruit juices, compote and yoghurt on offer (both set and drinking varieties).


On the other side of the bar was were cereals, granola, pastries, bread, ham, cheese… pretty much everything you’d hope to find at breakfast!


More Scottish products on show with Graham’s flavoured yoghurts.




Mr Foodie had the full breakfast.  He loved the creamy scrambled eggs – not like the usual rubbery nonsense often served in hotels.  Tasty sausage and black pudding and a good dollop of beans – thumbs up. It would have been good to see more local produce used and highlighted though.


I had my breakfast favourite: eggs Benedict  The toasted muffin could have done with a bit more on the grill for my tastes but the ham was tasty and the poached egg cooked right to be runny.  The hollandaise was a bit of a letdown, it was creamy but bland so more lemon and pepper is required!



After a brief lie-down and read of the newspapers, I decided to check out the leisure facilities.  Large towels are provided by the hotel, all you need to do is bring yourself and your swimming costume, or shorts if using the gym.


The leisure area has hair dryers, the all important swimming cozzie dryer, lockers that don’t need any money and showers with shower gel and shampoo. This area was modern-looking and well-maintained.HOLYROOD_MACDONALD_HOTEL_POOLCHANGING 2


As well as a good-sized swimming pool, there is also a steam room and a sauna.


We enjoyed our stay at Macdonald Holyrood, the staff were helpful, the buffet breakfast was very good, and we had a decent sleep though it was very hot during our stay and the air-con was a bit loud but check out time is 12 noon which is great if you need a few extra hours in bed.

Overall, Macdonald Holyrood is an ideal hotel for seeing the sights of Edinburgh, being right on the doorstep of the Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament, Arthur’s Seat and a number of great restaurants like Wedgwood, 21212, The Gardener’s Cottage and pubs such as Holyrood 9a, Kilderkin and the Canon’s Gait.

Would we stay here again? Yes, very much so! Rooms are available from £250 per night, per room.

+ Excellent location for an Edinburgh hotel, so near to many sights!
+ Spacious bedroom with lots of pillows
+ Strong WiFi signal
+ Impressive shower
+ Leisure facilities are very good
+ Nespresso machine and pods in room
+ Big breakfast selection
+ Late check-out

– Could do with more Scottish produce on show at breakfast i.e Stornoway black pudding or Ramsay’s bacon
– Air-con was loud

To find out more, or to book, visit their website here.
Disclaimer: we stayed the night courtesy of Macdonald Hotels but Fred sez dis is an honest review.

fred purr of honour




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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