- Linda Macdonald, Destination expert
The hotel scores points for its genuinely quiet setting that’s less than a five-minute walk south of the Royal Mile and a 10-minute taxi ride from Waverley Station. It’s handy for Old Town attractions, the Festival Theatre and several major Festival venues.
Style & character
Marketed by Best Western Premier Collection, the hotel is still owned by the Royal College of Surgeons (it’s next door to the fascinatingly gruesome Surgeon’s Hall Museum). It may be heavily used for conferences, but there’s nothing spartan or sterile about this hotel. It’s all rather cheerful, with a décor heavy on stripes - lots of stripes - and bright, clear colours. They take their environmental commitments seriously, too, as well as using Fair Trade products and local suppliers.
Service & facilities
The hotel has 24-hour room service, and a laundry service. There’s an arrangement with the Holyrood Hotel (10 minutes’ walk away) for use of their health club and spa. Staff are pleasant, if a bit under-committed at breakfast when there can be a wait for a table if the hotel is busy. Beware the £3 surcharge on credit card payments.
- Room service
77 bedrooms - all featuring lots of purple, green and gold (you guessed it) stripes - have big, bold headboards and king-size beds (choose between soft or firm mattresses with six pillows in every bedroom). There are safes and iPod docks and a list from which you can select a complimentary treat - from popcorn to hair straighteners. Brightly lit lime-green and white bathrooms with citrus Arran Aromotics are a bit like showering in a Mojito. Avoid the dreary outlook of rooms at the back unless you are booking the ‘Skyline’ suite, where you have fabulous views of Arthur’s Seat and can ride your exercise bike in your hotel bathrobe and slippers.
Food & drink
The turquoise and bright green foyer wine bar serves lights meals and late breakfasts (until midday), while the restaurant - all deep red and warmly flickering candlelight in the evening, cleverly distracting from the breakfast buffet serving area – offers unexpectedly sophisticated cooking: tartare of venison with confit egg yolk and aioli to start and spoonable ox cheek with celeriac and parmentier potatoes. Terrific puddings too, like salted caramel mousse with chocolate aero, whisky jelly and banana ice cream. Shame about the hideous muzak (and the buffet breakfast).
Value for money
Double rooms from £89 in low season; and from £135 in high (from £230 in August). Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Four fully accessible bedrooms.
Interconnecting rooms, cots and foldaway beds (at an additional charge).