As a resident Edinburger, I adore this time of year. We are teased with pockets of sunshine amidst the countless overcast days of July, yet we don’t mind. Why? Because August is almost upon us, which means only one thing, the Fringe Festival is coming.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s a few local chaps about town who believe it’s a hotbed for tourists to take over our wonderful, traditional stronghold but to them I say (and allow me to quote Stormzy for probably the only time in my life) ‘Shut Up.’
On a more serious note, when one attends the festival it’s imperative they find a suitable place to call home. Yes, there are many hotels throughout the city that boast chic interiors and contemporary styled lobby’s, however why not embrace a bit of Scottish heritage and stay somewhere, a little more ‘traditional; a little more Edinburgh (with a hint of Orkney on the side).
I recently attended the re-launch of the Dunstane Houses; a group I have known and been fond of for many years. So, I ask that you take my word for it when I say that on the evening of their unveiling I was rather blown away. The hotel is split into two houses, Dunstane House and Hampton House, situated directly opposite each other. A dapper chap would be fortunate to stay in either but for the purpose of this piece i’m focusing on the Dunstane House.
This family-run, boutique hotel brings something extremely unique to the heart of Scotland’s capital. Sumptuous and sophisticated but with an obvious touch of humility, it really encourages guests to revel in the luxuries but also make themselves at home. It’s an amalgamation of Edinburgh’s neoclassical design and the owners Orcadian roots; and it works extremely well.
The Dunstane’s Ba’ Bar plays host to a quite wondrous whisky cabinet, as well as a warm and luxurious lounge area where one could easily (and trust me I’ve done it) kick back with a drink and let time simply pass you by.
The bedrooms themselves endorse the concept of timeless tradition and modern comfort, and are exactly the kind of chamber you’d be privileged to return to after the hustle and bustle of touristic activities or a day out at the rugby (BT Murrayfield only 10 minutes walk away).
However, I cannot stress enough, it’s the dainty touches and soft features that make these rooms so brilliant. From an old school wireless (and I mean radios not Wifi dear boy), to tasteful décor and Scottish-inspired furniture. And to top it all off, the odd copper bathtub (you know where to find me)!
May I add that on top of this place being elegantly decorated with a mix of traditional and contemporary styles, which provides a real wow-factor, the staff are extremely welcoming and deliver a home-from-home experience within Scotland’s capital.
Whatever the season, when you walk through the doors of The Dunstane Houses, you just know Edinburgh is going to deliver the goods.