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“Basic but fine”

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Cowgate Tourist Hostel
Ranked #144 of 212 Speciality Lodging in Edinburgh
Croydon, Victoria, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Basic but fine”
Reviewed 14 August 2014

As a fifty plus year olds my wife and and I went here with low expectations. These were initially met at check in when they were unable to accept guests due to a computer issue. After 30 hours in transit you don't want to hear that. Chloe under immense pressure with numerous guests waiting assured us if we came back in an hour it would be fine. She was right.
We had room 104/5 with shared bathroom
The rooms are basic but we were really only seeking basic bed and shower close to all attractions. We got what we were after. Noise from the pub over the road was noticeable but as it is a backpacker are we were expecting that especially as it was the Fringe Festival.
We would go back again if our circumstances were the same.
Big thanks to Chloe for her help and professionalism.

Room Tip: To avoid street noise get an inside room
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kevin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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335 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Czech first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Any
English first
Cork, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Stayed here with my boyfriend for three nights. It's cheap, really central and the rooms/bathrooms appeared to be clean. Our double room shared a bathroom and kitchen area with two dorm rooms, I think all of the apartments are like this. Were kept up all night for two nights in row by extremely loud, drunk groups sharing the apartment with us. It was really annoying and the hostel was full so, we couldn't change rooms. However, the staff were relatively helpful about it. Wouldn't recommend this hostel if you're taking your girlfriend/boyfriend on a nice weekend away, but it seems pretty perfect if you're on a drinking/partying holiday!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NimmyC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

I thought I'd write a review because I don't think these negative reviews reflect cowgate accurately. From what I can see most people who had a bad experience at cowgate is mainly because of the people also staying there at the time and that's the luck of the draw with any hostel. I'm here now and I'm quite happy with it. Rooms are spacious, I like the fact they are all separate apartments with their own kitchen and lounge area, free coffee, internet and computer usage. Yes there is only two toilets and one shower in each apartment but it hasn't been a problem so far and I believe there is others located else wear in the hostel. Location is perfect, smack bang in the middle of everything and the staff are fantastic. Sure it is noisy, especially since I'm here at Fringe but that's just the way it goes and what you expect anywhere in the centre of town . Bring ear plugs :)

Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
2 Thank Dacaressa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2014 via mobile

Perfectly fine and you get a clean and comfortable bed for relatively low cost. On that basis this is great value for money.

But for the fact some obnoxious staff member walked into our room unannounced at 8.30am I would have no qualms at all. When I challenged her on this as I checked out she was very rude and said she was doing her job. I do not believe that her job is to walk unannounced into hostel rooms early in the morning but please be warned if you stay here as it is apparently their job. If I were you I would try every other option first and only stay here if it is your only option.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank SweetHomeBalahama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sian28, Manager at Cowgate Tourist Hostel, responded to this review, 17 July 2014
I would like to agree with you that it is clean and comfy and cheap!! :) Thank you!

Regarding the staff member,she was just doing her job and it's a shame you have to see it in a negative way. We do hostel checks in the mornings to make sure it is clean and safe. The staff member saw you door wedged open with a piece of wood so came to investigate why this had happened. After further checks she found you had been smoking in the apartment and dealt with this also correctly, which I see you did not mention on your review. It is an offence to smoke onsite of the hostel and I feel she dealt with this correctly. I am sorry if you found her obnoxious in anyway, this was not her intension and she is a very happy, bubbly staff member. She was doing her morning checks and discovered something. That was all!
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Travellers are raving about these Edinburgh hotels

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Stayed here for one night before the Edinburgh marathon last week. Booked a twin room with shared shower and kitchen facilities. Got to the room and found it only had a bunk bed and a bin in it, that was literally it. Smelt very strongly of bleach, but seemed to be reasonably clean. Bunk bed was missing the ladder, so i had to help my friend up onto the top bunk, bed wobbled violently and slats were missing - looked like it was about to collapse. Showers, sinks and toilets clean but ceilings covered in mould due to poor ventilation. The staff at reception were friendly enough, but that's about the only positive to the whole place. We went to bed about 11 in preparation for the early start for the marathon and expected to hear some noise when other guests came in, but nothing could have prepared me for the night of hell that occurred. Some guests came in at about 12, shouted, fell over a bit and then ultimately went to bed about 12.30 - fair enough, there are always some idiots. More guests came in over the next few hours, were screaming, shouting, throwing glass bottles, thumping on our door and the flat door itself - i considered ringing the police at one point because i feared for my safety. I had no idea how to contact the hostel staff- this information was not provided at check in and there were no notices around asking guests to be considerate, or detailing contact numbers if there was any problems. The hostel is a magnet for those who want to get wasted and act like complete idiots. Runners, DO NOT stay here before the marathon - I ended up getting an hour of sleep maximum. if you want to get wasted in Edinburgh, this will probably do. Price was way too high for incredibly basic facilities. Have stayed in a lot of youth hostels, particularly in European Cities and this is definitely the worst overall. Avoid, there has to be better places in Edinburgh. Terrible shame too, as they could do a lot with this old building, the amount of space they have - high ceilings, good location. Missed opportunity.

Room Tip: Don't go here. Bars on the windows too, so god knows what you would do in a fire!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rkenyavic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sian28, Manager at Cowgate Tourist Hostel, responded to this review, 3 June 2014
I am so sorry you did not have a good stay with us. As you will see we do have some great reviews, however over the marathon weekend there is a big mix of marathon runners, stag parties and rugby supporters for this particular weekend. We do have a contact number for emergencies which is displayed in the reception window. We do not put the number in all the flats as people miss use it. During the weekends it is busy and the city is vibrant. During the week the hostel is quieter. Festival times are always very busy.

It sounds like you had some very inconsiderate people in your apartment and I did display signs in the hostel to say we had marathon runners staying and please be quiet, however the group were not considerate to this. When staying in a hostel you can not always predict your room mates/hostel mates but I can assure you overall people do have a good time here and find it great value for money. There will always be situations out of your control wherever you stay.

I hope you did well in Marathon and enjoyed your day! Again massive apologies your stay was ruined by this group!
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014 via mobile

There of all the I have nothing to say about the staff, they were great.

Dont stay here more than an overnight.There are 3 rooms for 6 to 8 people in each flat, they share 2 toileta and 2 showers. There is no area to relax like in every hostel... just your room and the kitchen where you can find 3 chairs and a couch siting on 2 printera.


I ve been in a lot of different hostels and this one wasbone of the poorest.

Safe travel!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ivan9973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sian28, Manager at Cowgate Tourist Hostel, responded to this review, 22 May 2014
I am sorry you did not like our hostel. We are unique in the way we have an apartment style with 3-5 rooms per apartment with shower and toilets to share and a large kitchen area. This may not of been something that suited you, however we do find people really like the set up and for large and small groups it is perfect with a very cheap price to make it even better.
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Newcastle, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

The location of the hostel was great, in Old Town and everything within walking distance, pub across the road. Royal Mile was less than a 5 minute walk.
The room itself was gross and old. A refurnish wouldn't go astray. Out of 4 power outlets only 2 worked with a room of 6 people who didn't know each other. Kitchen was a good size and had everything you needed which was good. We were two young girls put in a room with 4 men over the age of 40. Yes, we did select a mixed dorm but it was still a little intimidating. The staff were really helpful and nice. Not the best place i've stayed but hey it's just somewhere to sleep.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Klarisa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sian28, Manager at Cowgate Tourist Hostel, responded to this review, 22 May 2014
We do have only mixed dorms in our hostel and we try our best to put people together that may suit, however it is sometimes impossible. If you book a mixed dorm you must be prepared to share with any age or gender. I will speak with maintenance and ask them to look at all plug sockets and get these fixed. I'm glad you found the staff friendly!! :)
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Additional Information about Cowgate Tourist Hostel

Property: Cowgate Tourist Hostel
Address: 96-112 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JN, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Old Town , Cowgate
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #144 of 212 Speciality Lodging in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Cowgate Tourist Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 168
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A hostel with a difference! Our 168 bed hostel contains 12 individually lockable apartments all fully fitted with their own toilet, shower rooms and kitchen/lounge including an oven, microwave, fridge freezer, toaster, plates, dishes, cutlery and cooking pots. An apartment sleeps between 8 and 22 people in a combination of 4 and 6 bed dorms and twin or double rooms. That's 12 fully fitted kitchens and 17 shower rooms with toilets plus 12 separate private toilets! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cowgate Tourist Hotel Edinburgh
Cowgate Tourist Hostel Edinburgh, Scotland

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