Last Week Chris Davidson, Managing Director at Haggis Hostels, invited me for a tour
I readily accepted, and we set a time for me to tour the Edinburgh location.
The hostel is tucked away in a side street just off of Princes Street across from Waverley Train Station. I nearly walked right past the front door as the Haggis Hostels sign was overpowered by the bright “Princes Street Backpackers” one. There are several hostels in this building, so be sure you stop at the right one! Haggis hostel is on the third floor with no elevator, (the lack of accessibility for disabled folks was the only thing keeping Haggis from a five star rating, Chris told me) but the colorful drawings and fun-house characters painted in the stairwell will keep you entertained for your climb. (For most Edinburghers, climbing this many stairs is just a fact of daily life).
In the stainless-steel kitchen, Chris treated me to tea
“I have a background in the food industry,” Chris said, “so having a well-equipped kitchen for our guests is very important to me.” And well-equipped it is. Though small, they make use of every corner. There’s two of everything (stovetops, ovens, microwaves, kettles, fridges, etc) to make appliances more accessible to guests when the kitchen is busy.
“A lot of hostels don’t offer a free breakfast, so we started putting out fruit, then we added breads and porridge and other things,” Chris told me. He pointed out the Haggis Hostels stickers on several different bins. “Those indicate communal food items,” Chris explained. These included cooking oil, butter, milk, tea, rice — the bulky items that would be a pain to have to buy when you’re only staying somewhere for a few days. It’s this kind of thoughtfulness that sets Haggis Hostels apart.
Haggis is a small hostel, only 34 beds
The hostel is divided into:
- 4 “Family Rooms” with four beds each
- 1 room of ten
- 1 room of eight
The hostel can also be rented in its entirety, which is great for school groups. Unlike many backpackers’ hostels, Haggis Hostel is kid and family-friendly. Between their two common rooms, there is seating available for 34 people, another convenient feature for large groups on a schedule.
In fact, the hostel is so kid-friendly, they are even developing their own children’s book featuring different Haggis characters designed by KA-POW’s Barry Davie. The book should launch sometime next year.
Features I love
Often when you stay at a hostel, you assume you’ll be sacrificing on amenities. But this is not the case at Haggis Hostels. Some features unique to Haggis include:
- Laundry Service (Wash/Dry/Fold £10 or £6 self-serve)
- Lockers, lock and key included
- Towel hooks in each room
- One power outlet per bed (with built-in adapter)
- Free-to-use PCs
- A guitar, board games, library/book swap in common area
- Each shower has a door (not stalls with curtains)
- Foam-topped mattresses
- Welcome package, including bottled water, map, brochures
- Small herb garden in the kitchen
- Sheets and towels included
- They have their own registered tartan. ‘Nuff said.
What Others are Saying:
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Disclosure: There are no affiliate links in this post, and I was not paid to recommend Haggis Hostels.