What’s it like? Hotel Novotel Edinburgh Park is a modern new-build, with staff who are attentive and helpful. Perhaps the most architecturally striking point is the panoramic windows in the dining room, although the proximity of the rail line which serves Edinburgh and Aberdeen means that train noise is a factor. A fairly basic bar is nonetheless perfectly acceptable and is divided from the main Elements restaurant, which serves excellent food. Public transport links are extremely convenient, just a five-minute walk from the hotel, and although there are no signs on arrival, the hotel is clearly visible from the train platform. One oddity is that, at the time of writing, there was no official hotel-transfer facility to the airport, although taxis are frequently available.
Where is it? Located next to the Hermiston Gait Retail Park and Edinburgh Park railway station, the Novotel is a brand-new facility, just ten minutes from the airport and near the M8 to the west of the city. Listen to any UK traffic bulletin and invariably the M8 will crop up – the Edinburgh Park district is a way to escape the jams.
How many rooms? There are 170 rooms including eight suites (all non-smoking) in this four-star property. There are two types, Executive and Superior, both able to accommodate two adults and two children.
Room facilities All rooms have a smoke alarm, safe-deposit box, satellite/cable television, minibar, wifi access, pay-per-view TV and a bath with a separate shower. Beds are extremely comfortable and, although trains pass by regularly, the noise is not intrusive.
Restaurants and bars The Elements dining and drinking area feels very new, and although the bar is modest, the restaurant has the facility for guests to have meals as either an entrée or a main course. The bar serves a selection of light meals and, in the future, small televisions may be installed in individual cubicles to provide entertainment for the lone diner. Open 6am-11pm, a self-service breakfast is also available here, with a variety of hot and cold options, while the panoramic windows give the large room an airy, bright feel in the morning.
Meeting and business facilities There are five conference venues at this property. Meetings can be organised for up to 170 people theatre-style in the 172 sqm Hermiston room, which can also be divided into three smaller ones. There are dedicated meetings co-ordinators on hand, and equipment available on request includes wifi access, internet connectivity, video, TV room-service ordering and overhead projector.
Leisure facilities There is a heated indoor pool, gym and steam room.
Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in September started from £139 (plus £12.50 for breakfast) for a Superior room with queen bed and convertible sofa.
Verdict The modern design of the hotel is tasteful throughout, and staff are overwhelmingly helpful and rooms perfectly adequate and comfortable. The generously sized restaurant serves decent food of a high standard with light pouring through the huge windows. No formal transport to the airport is puzzling given its proximity, although this is really the only grumble. The closeness of the railway station means it’s just a ten-minute hop into Edinburgh, while the M8 allows for easy motorway access. A solid option for air passengers, while if central Edinburgh accommodation is busy, the property is close enough to the centre to be viable.
Contact Hotel Novotel Edinburgh Park, Lochside Avenue 15; tel +44 (0)131 446 5600; accorhotels.com.
By Simon Warburton