Scottish Chic 2: Five Luxurious Edinburgh Hotels
Edinburgh’s reputation as a world-class destination rings true. You only have to take a walk along Princes Street to drink in the imposing views of Edinburgh Castle, The Scott Monument and Arthur’s Seat.
The city also has a formidable reputation for being home to some of the finest hotels in the UK. Now the Edinburgh Festival is over and the dark nights are drawing in, it shouldn’t be too difficult to check into one of these five fabulous hotels in the “Athens of the North.”
Recent winner of the 2012 Scottish Hotel Awards and currently ranking at No.1 on Tripadvisor for Edinburgh Hotels is the Chester Residence. This gorgeous gem of an apartment hotel is located over five floors of 4 four townhouses in Rothesay Street and you’d be forgiven for walking right by it!
In total there’s a choice of 23 stylish apartments all of which are decked out in the finest fripperies with scrupulous attention to detail. On the walls you’ll find Zoffany wallpaper and artwork by Scottish artist Anthony Scullion, and on the beds you’ll have a choice of your favourite pillows. With furnishings by Andrew Martin and Armani Casa, no expense has been spared. Decorative touches aside, it’s the staff that helps to set this hotel apart from the humdrum. You’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome and the general feeling that just for once, nothing is too much trouble.
Taking the concept of a restaurant with rooms to new, luxurious and dramatic heights, The Witchery ranks as an experience in its own right. Owned by James Thomson, Scotland’s renowned restaurateur and hotelier, The Witchery by the castle is built upon the site once owned by Mary De Guise, mother to Mary Queen of Scots, and let me tell you, many, many ‘witches’ were burned at the stake here. To reach the rooms, it’s required that you climb a twisting turret, untouched since the 1500s. And once inside you’ll find a series of eight breathtaking suites lavished with layer upon layer of Gothic antiques, historic detailing and luxe effects. It’s impossible to take it all in. In fact you might find yourself eyes agog as you survey your surroundings. Once you’ve composed yourself, you’ll understand why the rooms can be booked out almost a year in advance. So take my advice and bag yourself a room before the next visiting celebrity does!
With some hotels, it’s all about the location, with others, it’s about the décor, with Fraser Suites you might find yourself walking by the not-at-all-ostentatious entrance, but don’t let that put you off. Once inside this fabulous five-star apartment hotel, you’ll realise this place has it all. The location is on St Giles Street, inches off The Royal Mile and some of the views are of Princes Street Gardens below. The interiors? Sumptuous! All of the rooms boast little fitted and functional kitchenettes and down the hall there’s an American style launderette where you can wash your own smalls. Ideal for families, the suites have enough room for the kids to play a game of hide and seek! My favourite is The Princes Suite. Open the voluptuous curtains and all will be revealed.
The Prestonfield Hotel
Nestled in royal parklands on the outskirts of the city centre, stepping into The Prestonfield Hotel is kind of like how I would imagine Alice felt stepping into Wonderland. There’s room upon room, all wondrously decorated in the theatrical style synonymous of the owner, James Thomson, he of the Witchery. Built in 1687 for the then Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Prestonfield is home to 23 luxuriously decorated rooms and suites, and no two are alike. From velvet upholstered walls to battered leather sofas and toile de jouy, the owner has used this hotel as a template for his visionary imagination, and you, you lucky guest, you get to stay here and wallow in the wonderfulness of it all!
Effortlessly elegant, glamorous and discreet, The Howard is a five-star hotel located right in the heart of the city’s New Town. Armed with its own team of butlers, who will meet and greet, make the tea and shine your shoes, the tranquil ambiance of The Howard envelops you the moment you step behind the olive green door. Inside, there’s a choice of 18 rooms and suites throughout the three classically proportioned Georgian townhouses, so no two rooms are the same. You can choose from a luxury bedroom, a superior room, or splash the cash on a junior or terraced suite where you’ll soak in your claw foot tub and slumber in the magnificence of your four-poster bed. Bliss!