Staying at The Baxter, A Cool Boutique Hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland

Staying in the Baxter, a cool Boutique Hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Staying in the Baxter, a cool Boutique Hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland.

You might have read that I was recently back in Scotland for the first time in 6 years. Perhaps even more surprisingly it was my first visit to Edinburgh, the capital city. These days mixing up guest houses with night trains with hotels with hostels has its crazy diverse travel moments. But here in Edinburgh, I knew I wanted to get back into backpacking mode to explore this place. After a quick online check, it was easy to choose the hostel I wanted.

The Baxter Boutique Hostel Edinburgh Scotland

The Baxter Boutique Hostel Edinburgh Scotland

I found out about a cool new boutique hostel – The Baxter and after checking out the Baxter website and their Facebook page I knew this was the perfect spot. Run by a well travelled local guy, Mike, the Baxter is centrally located and ticked more backpacking boxes than your average hostel. This place is a boutique hostel and sets a high standard which would be hard for other hostels to replicate. You want 10 reasons to stay here? Here is why this is the best hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland. Tartan Army!

The Baxter Hostel, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Baxter Hostel, Edinburgh, Scotland.

1. Location
So where do you want to stay in Edinburgh? Hmm…how about a hostel opposite the train station, a few minutes walk from the bus station, 5 minutes from the Royal Mile, has a pub downstairs and is only 10 minutes walk from the entrance to Edinburgh Castle. Sold!

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

As hostels go on planet earth, it’s hard to think of a hostel that is in a better location than the Baxter. On my walks around Edinburgh, I walked past some other hostels too and they were all just that bit further out from the main sights and amenities, even the football stadium at Easter Road is a mere 20 minute walk.

Watching Hibernian at Easter Road.

Watching Hibernian at Easter Road.

2. Staff
I was looked after by the staff here. Mike knows how to pick his staff. They aren’t just cool staff, they will chat away to you and take an interest in your travels. I met Luke (from Canada), Kinnaird (from Scotland), Dasha (from Ukraine), Veronika (from Poland), Genevieve (from Brighton, England). I enjoyed late night chats with Luke and Kinnaird and the three girls were extremely enthusiastic over breakfast.

Mike Baxter - the guru who planned it, built it and of course runs the place!

Mike Baxter – the guru who planned it, built it and of course runs the place!

3. Wi-Fi
The Baxter is a small and compact hostel and therefore the Wi-Fi works almost everywhere in the building. Surprisingly awesome for the travel writer. I’d sit for hours on snowy days typing stuff up.

View from my Baxter Wifi lair.

View from my Baxter Wifi lair.

4. Soundproof Rooms
My room was cosy and cool but one thing Mike told me – the rooms are soundproof. On Friday and Saturday nights the beats are pumped from the club and you don’t hear a thing! Sleep in peace, like hostels intended.

My soundproof room at the Baxter.

My soundproof room at the Baxter.

5. Pub Downstairs
Scottish pubs are just as much fun as Irish and English pubs and right downstairs is the Guildford Arms. A pub with some great ales to try, a bit of ambience and a real mix of Scottish and international flavour. Plus it’s a 30 second walk back to the hostel just in case you indulge in too many Scottish whiskeys…

The Guildford Arms - the local.

The Guildford Arms – the local.

6. Cosy Lounge
Somewhere for you to relax, chat to people, drink tea and get some work done. The Baxter Lounge is cosy, warm and sociable.

In the cosy lounge at the Baxter.

In the cosy lounge at the Baxter.

7. Lockers
Safety and security are essential when you backpack the globe with passports, laptops and Northern Ireland football shirts. Lock them up here at the Baxter but remember to carry your own padlock. Quirky fitted rooms with safes (saves?) for every bed.

Lockers next to the beds.

Lockers next to the beds.

8. Scottish Feel
The name of the country is Scotland. Capital City is Edinburgh. With Tartan on the wall and Mike and Kinnaird working, the place has a Scottish feel to it. I didn’t want to be in a chain hostel or a hostel with no character. Edinburgh is a proud cultural Scottish city and the Baxter reflects this in its decor and ambience…and name.

A Scottish feel in the Baxter.

A Scottish feel in the Baxter.

And for the girls – if you see a guy in a kilt, lift it up and you’ll get more than haggis balls. Scottish lads don’t wear underwear with their kilts. Don’t be scared – have your camera phone at the ready!

9. Breakfast
Do hostels include breakfast as a standard? Not always, but the Baxter doesn’t just do tea and toast. You get cereals, juice and scrambled eggs. Tea and coffee is also available all day long!

Scrambled eggs on toast at the Baxter.

Scrambled eggs on toast at the Baxter.

Breakfast time at the Baxter.

Breakfast time at the Baxter.

Breakfast in the Baxter.

Breakfast in the Baxter.

10. Information on Travelling
With Mike and Kinnaird on hand and local you have all the information you need here for your travels. If you want any information on Edinburgh, like where to try haggis they’ll have it. if you want to leave your backpack here while you head to Aberdeen or the Highlands, they’ll keep it safe for a small charge. Trains across the border into England too – all the information a backpacker could want is here – mostly from chatting to the staff!

Goodbye the Baxter. Where to next...

Goodbye the Baxter. Where to next…

So you’ve heard how ice cool Edinburgh is, now you know where to stay when your travel lusting backpack and wandering heart diverts you into this culture zone. The Baxter is waiting, for you, for me and for you.

The Baxter Hostel, 5 West Register Street, Edinburgh, SCOTLAND, EH2 2AA
E-mail – info@thebaxter.eu
Agoda – The Baxter

Here are a couple of videos from my stay at the Baxter:

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
This entry was posted in Accommodation, Edinburgh, Europe, Hostels, Scotland. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Staying at The Baxter, A Cool Boutique Hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland

  1. Looks like a great hostel, Jonny. Good call. Soundproof rooms sound amazing, too – why haven’t more hostels thought of that? The only thing it doesn’t have is a curtain round the bed. I’ve stayed in a few recently that have them, and they’re my new favourite thing to look for in a hostel. That added bit of privacy is priceless! But maybe that’s just me. Hope you’re enjoying being back in the UK 🙂
    Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog recently posted…Why Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Left Me ColdMy Profile

  2. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Katie – wow – curtain round your bed? Where was that – that is something I’ve never had in a hostel before but seriously the Baxter is a cool cool spot – loved it. Booked 2 nights and stayed 3. As you do! Safe travels. Jonny

  3. Pingback: Backpacking in Scotland: Top 10 Sights in Edinburgh - Don't Stop Living

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