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When I’m planning a trip, the first thing I focus on, even before checking flights, is accommodations. Where I stay is important, especially since I’m on foot during most of my stay.
My ideal accommodation is located near the area I most want to explore, has a kitchen or mini kitchen and is unique.
As I searched in Old and New Towns, in Edinburgh, I browsed through many hotels. I found several that met my criteria, however the price per night was high for all of them. I hoped to spend 5 – 7 days in Edinburgh so I kept searching.
I’m not sure how I ended up on the CoDE Boutique Hostel sites. I apparently clicked a link or a photo and rather than click away, I kept scrolling through their info. CoDE features sleek, comfy pods in dormitory style rooms, similar to Japanese hostels. Intrigued, I considered booking a pod in a female only room.
And then it happened. CoDE operates two hostels in Edinburgh, one off of the Royal Mile and the other on Rose Street. Rose Street felt perfect, location wise. As I looked at the dormitory rooms I discovered that the Rose Street location offered a top floor “penthouse” with a full kitchen, private bathroom, incredible floor to ceiling windows AND a balcony.
My heart beat faster, a sure sign that I’d found my accommodations. And, the price was incredible. I could stay a full week at CoDE for less than the cost of 3 nights at the hotels I’d been perusing. My trip to Edinburgh came together quickly after that remarkable find.
CoDE Boutique Hostel
With their private pods, ear plugs and sleeping masks, this luxury hostel offers a great night’s sleep with an emphasis on privacy and security.
They provide cozy common rooms to encourage social interaction among the guests and the CoDE Court Hostel off of the Royal Mile offers waffles for breakfast every morning. Amenities include free wi-fi, storage lockers, toiletries and a place to stash luggage if you arrive before check in time.
The Court in Old Town is so named because the building formerly served as a courthouse and jail. The cells are now individual rooms and the courtroom a sleeping studio with pods.
The pod beds feel private with curtains that close at the foot of the pod. The pods contain a shelf, LED lighting, hooks and USB ports. Each pod has a corresponding locker with a digital lock that securely holds luggage and personal items. Female only and coed dorms are available.
The CoDE name comes from the fact that each guest receives his or her own unique personal code for access to the building and dorm room or apartment.
CoDE Boutique Hostel Loft
The hostel I chose, located at 50 Rose Street North Lane, provides long term living options in a beautiful old building in the heart of New Town. This hostel offers discounts for stays from a week to several months, making it ideal for my trip.
There’s also a family room at this site, with a double pod and two single pods, perfect for parents with kids who want to share the same space. Each of the floors contain two pod rooms with shared bathrooms. The penthouse, a cozy and cute studio style apartment, sits at the top of the building. My guess is that this is a recent add on.
On the ground floor is a full kitchen for guests to prepare meals and a common room for social interaction, watching tv or working on laptops.
The spotless apartment contains a spacious bathroom with walk in shower, a kitchen with mini fridge, full size electric range, microwave, plates, glasses, mugs and silverware and cooking essentials, dining area/workspace and a double bed. The large windows look out over charming buildings in the area and at the end of the apartment, a sliding glass door opens onto a large private balcony.
Take a tour of the penthouse apartment with me as I point out some of the amazing features!
Common Room and Shared Kitchen
Using the personalized code, I entered a hallway that leads to storage lockers and stairs going up to four floors of rooms. There isn’t an elevator.
Immediately inside the entrance and to the right is the common room with a shared kitchen, tables, sofas and a television mounted on the wall. I don’t believe the pod rooms contain a tv although the apartment does.
The kitchen is stocked with cooking essentials and free coffees and teas.
There isn’t a check in desk. Arrangements are made online and my card was charged right before I arrived. There are helpful staff onsite. The young man working the day I arrived graciously carried my luggage to the top floor!
I met several of the other guests although I never used the shared kitchen or hung out in the common room. Everyone seemed kind and thoughtful.
CoDE Boutique Hostel Apartment Hallway
The industrial style door opens onto a hallway with storage, hangers and cubbies for clothing. At the end of the hallway is the bathroom. The living area/bedroom opens off of the hallway as well.
A perfectly placed full length mirror made the clothing storage area a wonderful spot to get dressed and don coat, hat, gloves and scarf before heading out to explore. I really appreciated this handy area.
CoDE Boutique Hostel Apartment Bathroom
I loved the large bathroom! Subway tiles, an awesome shower, dual mirrors, the ledge near the sink for toiletries and the cheerful orange rug all enchanted me. Plus, it absolutely gleamed!
CoDE provides two hand towels and two bath towels, shower gel and a hair dryer, which meant I didn’t have to pack one or use electrical adapters.
A small wall radiator kept the bathroom cozy. Also, blue mood lighting installed along the baseboards served well as a nightlight.
CoDE Boutique Hostel Apartment Sleeping Area
A double bed, two bedside tables and lamps and a wall mounted television occupy one end of the studio style apartment. The thick, comfy mattress provided the BEST night’s sleep after a day of exploring.
Above the bed, the words “Wake up and be awesome” inspired me every morning.
Charging ports built into the walls made it easy to plug my phone in for charging and again, I didn’t have to use the electrical adapters that I brought.
The two exterior walls contained large windows and a sliding glass door opening onto the balcony. I loved the light and the views.
CoDE Boutique Hostel Apartment Kitchen and Dining Area
At the other end of the apartment an island with four stools provided dining and work space near the windows.
And the kitchen offered a full sized stove/oven, a microwave, mini fridge, toaster and my favorite, an instant water kettle for making hot tea. The kitchen contained everything I needed to create meals. Because I’m plant based, it’s easier for me to make my own breakfasts and dinners and eat lunches out at various vegan restaurants. Cooking saves me money and I know I’m eating healthy. A corner grocery store a few blocks away made shopping convenient.
My Experience in the CoDE Boutique Hostel
I immediately fell in love with this apartment!
Yes, at least twice a day I climbed four floors to reach my apartment. By the third day, I made that climb easily without feeling out of breath. And oh, that climb was worth it!
I raised the shades first thing every morning, ate my oatmeal and berries sitting in front of those windows, watched the sun rise, the snow swirl, the clouds gather, darkness fall. The views from that top floor apartment melted my heart.
In fact, my first evening in the apartment, after exploring for a few hours, I stood at those windows and said aloud, “I’m in Edinburgh!” And I promptly burst into tears. It was such an emotional experience.
I loved everything about the apartment: location, beauty, kitchen, balcony, dressing area, bed. By nature I’m a tidy person, so I kept the apartment clean… picked up, bed made, dishes washed, clothes put away tidy.
One thing the apartment does not have is an indoor chair. There are the stools at the island and the bed but no chair. So I brought in one of the eight outdoor chairs on the balcony and set it up in front of the window. It became “my place” to greet the day, eat meals, plan for the next day and meditate.
And on the day of heavy rain and snow, that comfy chair served as a drying rack near the radiator for my coat, hat, gloves and scarf!
Who Might Not Like This Luxury Hostel
CoDE Boutique Hostel perfectly fit my needs and exceeded my expectations.
I’m aware, however, that not everyone would appreciate this type of accommodation.
Why you might not like this hostel:
- you can’t climb stairs
- there’s zero parking for a rental car…the location is ideal however for walking
- while staff are onsite, there’s no check in/check out desk
- instead of a room key, you receive a unique to you code to punch in on a keypad
- there’s no daily room cleaning service in the apartment…it’s cleaned between guests
- pod rooms share bathrooms
- Rose Street is a busy pedestrian street, which means you might hear some noise late at night as people walk down the street (this didn’t bother me or keep me awake)
- guests come and go at all hours of the day and night (again, this didn’t bother me or keep me awake, since I was at the top of the building)
- there’s no gym, pool, business center or complimentary breakfast at the Rose Street site
Would I Stay at CoDE Boutique Hostel Again?
So…would I stay here again?
Yes! I absolutely would. The apartment became my home base as I explored Edinburgh. Its convenient location made it easy to stop by after lunch to drop off any purchases and refresh before heading back out.
The staff answered all my questions and when the heat didn’t kick on the first night, a quick email resulted in an even quicker fix. They were able to turn on the radiator remotely.
I so enjoyed my stay at CoDE that I felt genuinely sad when I left for the last time, to catch a flight home. For a glorious week, that little apartment WAS home and it served me well.
I can’t really say I experienced a traditional hostel stay, since I had my own private space, but I loved this new to me type of accommodation, nonetheless. My stay at CoDE contributed to my Edinburgh trip in very positive ways. I’d definitely stay here again or even consider a stay in the females only pod room.
Would you stay at CoDE Boutique Hostel? Why or why not?
Other Unique Places I’ve Stayed:
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