Ideally located between the old and new city (that is to say, the medieval city and eighteenth century extension), The Balmoral is the figurehead of luxury hotels in Edinburgh. Its position above the train station might bother if the luxury of the rooms and suites was not there to reassure any concerned traveler. There is nothing quite like a beautiful view of the castle overlooking the city at sunset to enjoy the comfort of the (admittedly a bit outdated but lovely) rooms. No showboating here: the cozy aspect is the highlight.
Only a few steps from the main road that connects the medieval castle to Holyrood Palace, the Hotel Missoni seamlessly integrates with the surrounding medieval houses. It is only upon entering that the shock occurs.
With flashy colors, luxurious fabrics, a contemporary and chic atmosphere – the hotel is a UFO design in Edinburgh, a city more accustomed to the classic chic. But the real draw of the hotel is its spa. Yellow floors and greenish-blue walls combined with purple doors create a unique space to find relaxation and calm.
The Scottish jeweller Rox has opened its new store in the upscale neighbourhood of the Assembly Rooms.
In this amazing space, furnished with large grey sofas and an impressive collection of crystal chandeliers, guests can now choose jewellery and watches by the best brands while sipping on a glass of champagne at the Laurent-Perrier bar, the only of its kind in the United Kingdom.
In Scotland, The Scotsman is the national newspaper. A bible conceived and created in a magnificent building from the early twentieth century until 2001, before being transformed into a luxury hotel. Today, the spa is located in the old newsroom and some of the rooms and suites occupy the offices of the former editors. With carved wooden balconies and towering marble pillars, the luxurious past of the Scotsman has been carefully preserved and now offers a quiet kind of charm, but with undeniable comfort. And of course, every morning you receive your daily copy of the Scotsman…
Paul Kitching is one of the culinary stars of Scotland. After working in the most prestigious houses in the UK, he and his wife Katie opened a hotel-restaurant in Edinburgh in 2009, the 21212.
Voted best restaurant in the UK in 2009, he was awarded his first Michelin star in 2010, less than a year after its opening. Set in a beautiful Georgian house in the new city, the 21212 has also been offering four rooms for a few months with breathtaking views of Edinburgh. Each one is decorated in a different style, whilst maintaining a sober and warm colour palette with maximum comfort.
Located in the heart of the Old Town, on the Royal Mile, the Radisson Blu building is reminiscent of a fairytale castle. But inside, it is nothing like this. The contemporary design of the 238 rooms and suites helps to create an elegant and chic appearance, punctuated by photos of the city taken by a Scottish artist. It is an ideal starting point for long walks in the old city or a shopping spree on Victoria Street. It is also possible to enjoy a drink at the Itchycoo Bar in a lounge atmosphere before savouring some typically Scottish dishes in front of a warm fireplace at the Restaurant.
The chance to take tea in an antique shop – this is what is being offered in Anteaques. In this treasure trove that houses antique dishes, silverware and fine tapestries, it feels as though you have been transported into an Agatha Christie novel.
This merry mess of a shop creates a unique environment in which teatime is a magical time.
A comprehensive selection of the best teas in the world and infusions ensures that everyone is happy and no one ever wants to leave this quirky little place.
THE CAFÉ ROYAL
In the corner of a small square behind Princes Street, away from the noise of the main shopping street in Edinburgh, lies the legendary Royal Café – the kind of pub all visitors to Britain dream of finding here. With no television screens or noisy gaming machines here, you are simply able to enjoy good company in relative calm. Set around the huge central bar or around a table, forming an alcove, you can enjoy drinks from the lounge bar, which opened in 1863, and still sports the décor of the original design. And if the pub atmosphere really does not suit you, you can always take refuge in the quiet, refined restaurant which adjoins the bar, and sample some traditional Scottish dishes.
With skills cultivated in the kitchen of pubs as well as in famous starred restaurants, Paul Wedgwood proposes an ambitious cuisine that showcases seasonal and local ingredients in his eponymous restaurant. Simultaneously refined and precise, graphic and tasty, his dishes showcase Scottish specialties in the style of “slow food”, prioritising leaves, herbs, flowers and mushrooms. He earned his first Michelin star in 2010.
SHERATON GRAND HOTEL & SPA
After being completely renovated last year, the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa has regained its luster. The spacious rooms exude an atmosphere of serenity and luxurious calm and those that open onto the medieval castle have a stunning view of the historic heart of Edinburgh. But one of the main advantages of this hotel is undoubtedly its One spa, one of the largest in the United Kingdom. Personalised treatments, a spa pool and massage rooms create a haven of well-being to relax in after a day of shopping.
GEOFFREY TAILOR KILTMAKER
Were you thinking coming back from your stay in Edinburgh without a tartan souvenir? If this is the case it means that you are clearly not familiar with the work of Geoffrey Tailor. This “Kiltmaker” is the last to make his own tartan in Edinburgh, in the purest tradition. As for making a custom kilt, if you have no particular affiliation to a clan – and therefore have a mandatory pattern – you can choose from dozens of fabric patterns before you make your own traditional Scottish skirt or, the more difficult to wear, “Breacan Feile,” a subtle system of tying the fabric around the waist with a piece worn on the shoulder…