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An Overnight in Edinburgh | Bedtime Stories With Novotel

Posted on 9 Comments Location: 5 min read

[AD: This post is sponsored by Novotel]

Last week, Terry, Max and I headed into Edinburgh for the night, to sample the family package at the city’s beautiful Novotel Hotel.

With Max newly recovered from his Hand, Foot and Mouth ordeal, and Terry and I… er, not quite so recovered from Max’s Hand, Foot and Mouth ordeal… a night away seemed like the perfect end to a pretty horrible week, so we were very excited as we checked in: yes, even Max:

Novotel Edinburgh Centre

Max in the lobby at Novotel Edinburgh Centre(Yes, we are wearing matching camel coats. Well, would you seriously expect any less of me?)

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ocated right in the city centre, the hotel is just a short walk from attractions like Greyfriars Bobby and The National Museum of Scotland, and it’s an area that’s very familiar to me from my university days, so I really enjoyed being close to my old stomping grounds, and think it would make an excellent base for someone new to the city, too.  With the Novotel family offer, accommodation and breakfast are free for up to two children under the age of 16, and there’s also a ton of other family-friendly features, like play areas in the lobby (I really wanted to steal the tiny Eames chairs from this one…), balanced children’s menus, and late checkouts on Sundays. Max loved the little soft toy he was given on arrival, and there were more surprises waiting in our room, so it felt like a real treat for all of us.

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ur suite was on the top floor of the 6th-storey building, and I loved everything about it, from the giant murals on the walls (Which made me mentally start redecorating my house as soon as I saw them…) to the panoramic views of the city from the balcony. Had we been staying here in summer, I’d probably have spent all of my time out on the balcony, taking in the view: unfortunately for me, the weather in January is just a little bit too cold for that, but luckily the room itself was nice enough to more than make up for it:

Family suite at Novotel Edinburgh Centre

family suite at Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Novotel Edinburgh Centre: ReviewMy favourite bit? The shower: which, from the outside, looked like a regular shower cubicle, albeit one with mirrored sides*, but which, from the inside, was completely clear glass, looking directly out onto the doors of the balcony, so I got to shower while looking out at the twinkling lights of the city.  Very cool, and only slightly freaky for the first few seconds, until I’d gotten over the, “If I can see OUT, surely other people can see IN?” feeling. (Answer: no, they definitely couldn’t: I checked…)
 
(*My other favourite bit, meanwhile? ALL THE MIRRORS. This suite had loads of them, and, yes, they all had power sockets next to them, so I didn’t have to attempt to style my hair using the reverse camera on my phone to see what I was doing…)

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nce we’d finished checking in and exploring the suite, we decided to head down to the hotel bar for a late lunch/early dinner. There’s also a restaurant on site, but we figured the decor of The Tap bar was probably going to make it the most appealing option for a two-year old, and yes, we were right about that: in fact, we ALL loved the giant egg chairs and other little touches that made it a really fun place to eat, with lots of choice for Max and for us.
The Tap Bar at Novotel Edinburgh Centre
lunch at Novotel, Edinburgh centre
The hotel also has a swimming pool, gym and spa, so there’s plenty to do if you want to stay in: in our case, though, by the time we’d finished eating, the sun was already starting to go down (Sunset is painfully early in Scotland at this time of year…), so there was just time for a quick stroll (During which we introduced Max to the famous statute of Greyfriars Bobby), before we headed back to our suite to wind down a bit before bed.

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s part of our collaboration with Novotel, Max was also gifted with a selection of Wonderbly personalised books, which were waiting for him when we checked in. Wonderbly recently  partnered with Novotel on a study which revealed that a quarter of parents rarely read to their kids before bed and 4 in 10 read to their children at bedtime less than three times a week. I was a little surprised by that: bedtime stories have been part of Max’s bedtime routine since he was a baby, and they’re something we both really look forward to – although, in his case, I suspect part of that enjoyment revolves around his attempts to delay bedtime with just one more book

reading with Max at Novotel Edinburghbedtime stories for Max at Novotel EdinburghThis time, though, he was actually looking forward to bedtime, because, well, just look at where he was sleeping:

Bedtime at Novotel Edinburgh Centre

We made the transition from cot to toddler bed back in December (When we happened to look at the video monitor during naptime one day, just in time to catch Max straddling the top bar of his cot, in the process of climbing out of it…), so this wasn’t his first night in a ‘big boy’ bed, but it WAS a particularly special big boy bed, so we were pretty sure he was going to be waaaay too excited to sleep. Thankfully, though, the promise of some new “bookies” to read was enough to calm him down a little (Our favourite: ‘Bedtime for Max‘, which I’ve been reading to him every night before bed. Not only was this personalised with his name, I was also able to personalise the illustrations, by choosing hair and skin colour, so the little Max in the book looks just like our own little Max: so cute!): never fails! (OK, it does sometimes fail, tbh. Not this time, though, luckily…)

Reading to a toddler

Bedtime story with Wonderbly booksEven more amazingly, once he was asleep, he did actually stay in bed until morning, albeit with a fair bit of middle-of-the-night rambling from him.  We were absolutely convinced he’d get up and have a good rummage around the room (So much so that we put everything movable out of reach before we tucked him in…), but, much to our amazement, he stayed in bed until just before breakfast arrived next morning:

breakfast in our room at Novotel Edinburgh CentreSpeaking of breakfast, as I mentioned, it’s free for children aged 16 and under, and obviously be eaten in the hotel restaurant, if you prefer. While Max’s behaviour in restaurants has definitely started to improve over the last few weeks, though, we figured breakfast in our room might make for a slightly more relaxing start to the day, so we filled out our menus card before we went to bed, hung it on the front of door, along with our preferred delivery time, et voila: not quite breakfast in bed (That would be a little ambitious with a two-year-old in tow…), but lovely all the same.

After that, though, it was time to check out, and head home to look at giant wall murals and funky chairs on the internet. Watch this space, people.

Short though it was, we all thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Novotel Edinburgh Centre, and it was lovely to be able to bring back some mementos of it in the form of Max’s new favourite books, plus some additions to his extensive stuffed animal collection.  Huge thanks to Novotel for hosting us: and if you’re travelling to Edinburgh and looking for somewhere to stay, I can definitely recommend them!

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9 Comments
  • Mary Katherine
    January 28, 2020

    Wow!
    1. Those.murals. If I can’t BE there, I want them.
    2. You look fabulous.
    3. Max is adorable as usual. Extra points for the matching coats.
    4. I am ready to book in to that hotel. It looks like they’re doing everything right.
    5. Food looks wonderful (or am I just hungry?)
    6. Did I mention how much I love Edinburgh?

    • Amber
      January 28, 2020

      I can definitely recommend the hotel – such a great base if you want to explore the city!

  • Brenda
    January 28, 2020

    I was in Edinburgh about 1 1/2 years ago. I loved loved loved it. It is such a cool city and so easy to get around. I missed the Christmas Market by a couple of weeks, so it is a goal to go back during that time. The Novotel Hotel looks like a really great place to stay! I’ll add it to my list!!!

    • Amber
      January 28, 2020

      The Christmas market is lovely (Although SO busy!): we didn’t make it this year either, but we do normally make the time to have a wander around – I actually wish they had something similar all year round!

  • Claire
    January 28, 2020

    The Novotel looks like great base for a stay in Edinburgh – I love all the murals too <3

    G is for Gingers xx

    • Amber
      January 28, 2020

      I’ve been looking at murals online since we got back: so tempted to get one in our living room now, even although I suspect it would lose some of its impact with a TV slapped in front of it, somehow!

      • Myra
        January 29, 2020

        I painted them in our first house in Blackpool. The living room had a simple landscape of green land, blue, and yellow sun. I loved the kid who said it was great because the sun was, always shining in our house. The second was in Darren’s room where he, wanted our star, system. It was really good, but I somehow managed to miss our moon. Good fun to do.

  • Myra
    January 29, 2020

    It looks great

  • dubliner in deutschland
    January 29, 2020

    What a fun little mini break! I can’t get over how like Terry Max looks in some pictures. Glad to hear the transition to toddler bed went well!