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The Ben Doran Guest House

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Here's the thing, I've never stayed in a European/UK 'guesthouse' before and I really wasn't so sure what to expect. The guesthouse is charming and the rooms are spotless. Alexandria and Allie (I think - but I might have that wrong) are WONDERFUL and helpful! That's the positive. Breakfast doesn't have very many options - If I drown on about the quality - I'll sound like a snob and factually you aren't staying here because of the breakfast- One tip I can say is hard-boiled eggs aren't your thing - just ask, and they will make you another style more to your taste (I really don't like hardboiled) I don't know what your situation is but if you can manage to get an en suite room, do it and for this reason - upon check in Alexandra told me there is a cord in my bathroom you need to pull down and wait 5 minutes (more like 10) in order for the water to heat up. I can't imagine the inconvenience of that situation in a shared bath situation. The water pressure is HORRIBLE - and getting the hot water to 'behave' takes a light touch to get in between scalding to freezing. The bed was moderately comfortable but the mattress needs changing or a 'topper' there were a couple of spots I felt springs poking up. I am going to mention this - I stayed in room 9 - top floor ... pack light or be strong if you stay here - there is no one to help you with bags but you. I wasn't aware of my neighbors except 2x - once when I was heading down to breakfast and I saw a woman waiting for the public bathroom - she wasn't wearing anything but a t-shirt - I feel it unfortunate that I knew that suffice it to say - and the second time I was awaken in the middle of the night by someone in room 8 snoring like a chainsaw. There was no A/C. Now you might think 'this is Scotland, it's always cool, I'll be fine'. Maybe that's true - but you cannot (maybe you can) survive without the window being open - which is what I did - because the room gets stuffy with no ventilation. That means windows open, I'm from NYC originally - so I am ok with street noise- this may or may not bother you ... on one hand it's not the city center - on the other - don't expect to hear crickets either, And then there's the rain. Keep in mind though - because of the rain and the humidity - this is an old building - the windows do stick- you might need to ask for some help getting them to close. While it is not in the city center - truly the bus is right outside the door and will take you there in about 7-10 minutes - or a 20 minute walk straight down the road. Super easy! The bottom line is that this hotel is very inexpensive and you really aren't in Edinburgh for the hotel - but for the charm of the city. Would I stay here again? I would prefer a better bed, not to wait for hot water and to have water pressure but an A/C. - but there is a certain charm to it all and the ladies are so sweet and helpful. It was a definite experience and did not ruin my time at all!

The Ben Doran was very easy to find and on a main bus route into the city which made it easily accessible. Upon checking in, we were sent to the top floor only to discover our room number didn't exist. This turned out to be because the room was underground!! We were in the basement room which was amazing. Huge bed, sofa, chairs, coffee table, wardrobe, flat screen tv and ensuite. The door to the bathroom was very stiff but otherwise, the room was beautiful! We contacted reception as our heating wasn't working and the room was freezing and it was dealt with immediately. A staff member came to check that we had turned the radiators on correctly and then called on the owners for help. They arrived within 10-15 minutes and changed the battery in the thermostats which fixed the problem. They were very apologetic. The bed was very comfy. Breakfast the next morning was a buffet style and was absolutely delicious. Only issue we really had was because being given a bill when we were checking out. We had booked online via and used a credit card. Our email confirmation stated that payment would be taken the night before we arrived in case we didn't turn up. So this bill was completely unexpected!! We explained this to the owner and she assured us that we had not been charged and that we would have to pay. Unfortunately, we didn't have the credit card on us due to being told the payment would be taken automatically which meant we had to use a debit card. £138 that we hadn't budgeted for put us into our overdraft on our debit card which is annoying to say the least. Apart from the payment error, the rest of our stay was wonderful and I would definitely return.

Bed Doran was booked as part of our Superbreak Mini-Holidays deal to see the tattoo. Compared to the other B and Bs we stayed at on our trip up and back to Edinburgh we found Bed Doran rather old fashioned and reminiscent of childhood visits to the seaside. We had an "executive" bedroom with an en suit which had obviously been fitted into the corner of the room and a "shower"which just about fitted the description. When we enquired on our departure how much our room was if we had walked in off the street, we were told £205 per night! Obviously inflated because of the Tattoo and fringe. Parking was a bonus and breakfast was acceptable, but I guess all the hotels take full advantage of these three weeks in their prices. In spite of the price we had paid for our accommodation, unfortunately the management were less than cooperative when I discovered I had left my iPad in the room and were just not interested in making any effort on our behalf to arrange for its return, despite our offering to pay for the expense involved, thus leaving us to arrange for a courier from Edinburgh to our home in the south of England.

Arrived very early and hotel was only to pleased to keep our suitcases until booking in time, welcoming was very good, hotel very clean and relaxing, staff very helpful, breakfast excellent. Bus outside the hotel straight to centre of Edinburgh day ticket was £4 excellent value.

Spacious hotel and room ,all kept very clean,superb breakfast, extremely attentive and pleasant staff. This hotel is on a main road that leads to the city centre and is very easily reached by buses that run every 3 to 5 minutes whether going into town or coming back.

I was a little surprised when we checked in and the lady who greeted us (who was very nice by the way) took us back outside and down to the basement. But we had a huge room with a king size bed and ensuite bathroom. We faced the street but did not notice much noise. It was nice to have our own private entrance. We did have to ring the bell to get inside the main door in the morning for breakfast though. The room was very clean. The bathroom was a little small but fine. There was no counter space in the bathroom so we ended up using the counter space in the hallway outside the bathroom for all of our things. This place is technically walking distance from downtown, but it is a good 20-30 minute walk. Or an 8-9 pound taxi ride. The bus stop is right outside the door if you prefer that option. We found a great pub only a few blocks down and over. Breakfast was tasty. The lady who check us in was very busy serving the tables. She was able to call taxis for us and answer questions. I would probably stay here again.

The Ben Doran was located on one of Edinburgh's main roads which had very frequent buses into the city.It took us about 35mins to walk to Princes Street from the Guesthouse.Unfortunately,the photos made the accommodation look quite chic but in reality it was old fashioned.However,it was very clean and offered a good breakfast - although it was not made clear to us that if we required an alternative to the boiled eggs in the heated dishes we had to ask.Also,I had booked an en-suite room and on our first night discovered our shower was not working.We therefore had to use the communal shower room on the landing for the duration of our stay. We were not offered any money off our bill to compensate for this

We have just returned from a week staying at Ben Doran. As those who have stayed in Edinburgh before know public parking is a nightmare, particularly as they seem to have closed off loads of roads for repair at the moment! It was therefore useful that Ben Doran is situated with easy walking distance of the centre of Edinburgh ( approx 25mins) or there is a regular bus service stop into town right opposite. The guest house itself is full of character, particularly the staircase but some areas could do with updating. Our room was spacious but old fashioned, not that I minded that but some guests might! We'd asked for an extra large bed which we got but the mattress was a little too firm for my liking ( a mattress topper would solve this). Where this guest house scores is with the lady who does front of house, she seemed to be everywhere at once and was very helpful and friendly. When we had to leave for an early morning day trip and the breakfast room was not open she packed us up a generous picnic to take with us! Breakfast itself was hot and plentiful but if you wanted eggs other than boiled you had to ask for them which wasn't made clear until we saw other guests ask for alternatives. All in all I would recommend this guest house for its proximity to town and value for money - and definitely for its front of house lady! We had a comfortable stay and would definitely stay again.

Ideal for getting in and out centre of Edinburgh. Bus stop opposite £4 for a day ticket. Breakfast is excellent good choice. Very helpful staff even printed our boarding passes for us on return flight and booked taxi. The only flaw would be sandwiches and room service these were below par but when we challenged the owner he didn't charge for them. Overall a lovely place to stay beautifully clean and tidy. There is also parking at front of house.

Nice friendly hotel clean and tidy rooms ,not all en suite ,on the main bus route into city centre ,recommended day ticket for bus no need to use car ,bell inn pub near by good for drinks and meals . Twenty minute walk into city centre . Ocean terminal at leith well worth a visit with the royal yacht there number 22bus runs there every ten minutes pick it up on princess street

Room options

Standard Double Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Executive Double Room, 1 King Bed

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Standard Single Room, 1 Twin Bed, Shared Bathroom

Twin 1 | Sleeps 1

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

51% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 211 reviews