Skip to main content
Beginning of main content

The Ben Doran Guest House

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Excellent stay,would recommend and stay again,within walking distance to town although alternatively,buses are frequent and bus stop directly facing! Ensuite room with adequate storage and facilities in room.Breakfast was plentiful,the staff were friendly accommodating and informative.

Stayed for 2nights found our room very comfortable and clean and had all you needed from tolietries to tea coffee facilities.The breakfast was excellent and if you wanted anything not laid out on the buffet just ask nothing was a problem to the very friendly staff who where very accommodating and professional .I would recommend this guest house .Also handy to the city and right on the bus route .

They couldn't be more accommodating. Bed so comfortable. Food fab. Would defiantly do again . Not to far out of the city centre. Buffet breakfast but a lovely choice available. Made porridge to order on top of the lovely breakfast selection

Recently, I stayed a few nights at the Ben Doran Guest House and it was great. The staff are friendly and the place is kept clean. The shared bathroom is also clean. However, I found the water in the shower to be either cold or scalding hot. As much as I would adjust the dial, there didn't seem to be a warm setting. The faucets in the sink are the older style that I use to see as a kid in the 1980's: one tap for hot and one tap for cold. I never understood this set-up as a kid or as an adult as one hand burns and the other freezes. Also, there is no elevator to the upper floors (only stairs). I was on the top floor and I found the wifi connection was a bit spotty from up there. The included breakfast was delicious and is served with piping hot coffee. As for location, it is about a 30-40 minute walk to the main train station or the Royal Mile. There is also a bus stop right across the street from the guest house which can take you to these places. I also walked to Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill from here which were also long walks. Overall, I had a great stay and I would stay here again.

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.

11 Mayfield Gardens Edinburgh Scotland

Hotel highlights

  • Walking distance to Royal Commonwealth Pool
  • Free hot/cold buffet breakfast
  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking

Located in Newington within a short walk of Royal Commonwealth Pool, The Ben Doran Guest House is within a mile (2 km) of other popular sights such as University of Edinburgh. This 11-room, 4-star guesthouse welcomes guests with free breakfast, free in-room WiFi, and free self parking. In the historical district, it's also near Greyfriars Kirk and St. Giles' Cathedral.


Free hot/cold buffet breakfast is offered each morning. Order from room service to satisfy your hunger without leaving your room.


The Ben Doran Guest House's 11 air-conditioned rooms provide coffee makers and phones. 22-inch LCD TVs come with digital channels and DVD players, and guests can stay connected with free WiFi. Bathrooms offer hair dryers and designer toiletries, and beds sport Egyptian cotton sheets.

Property features

At The Ben Doran Guest House, guests have access to free WiFi in public areas, a business center, and a computer station. If you drive, put free parking to good use. The front desk has multilingual staff that can help with concierge services, luggage storage, and securing valuables. Additional amenities include a library, express check-in, and express check-out.

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 217 reviews