Family-run hotel set across two Victorian townhouses
Each guestroom is different and individually decorated
Plush and stylish interiors with contemporary feel
Luxury Molton Brown bath products and Egyptian bedclothes
Popular Orcadian restaurant, The Skerries, serves foodie-approved British cuisine
Whiskey bar offers single malts, wines, local microbrews, and artisanal gin
Room service during limited hours
Smoke-free property (a con for some)
Free parking and free Wi-Fi
Away from the city center (pro for some)
No elevator; the hotel is four stories high
No fitness center or swimming pool
Buildings separated by busy road
Basement rooms lack natural light
No free breakfast
Check-in location can differ from property location; check-in past midnight is discouraged
The 38-room upscale Dunstane Hotel is a family-owned boutique hotel built in two luxury Victorian townhouses, circa 1852, that face one another across an Edinburgh street. The owners come from the Orkney Islands, and take pride in infusing elements of their heritage into the property, creating a quirky, classy atmosphere with plush fabrics, elaborate period-style wallpaper with a twist, and, of course, fine Scotch whiskey. Individually designed and decorated guest rooms combine modern luxury and period character. For a hotel within walking distance of Old Town attractions, consider Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor.
boutique vibe with plush homey interiors in two typical period townhouses
The Dunstane Hotel is an authentic Scottish experience, built in a pair of facing townhouses dating from the Victorian era. The family-owned Dunstane combines modern luxury and amenities with an homage to the Victorian age, with its ornate wallpaper patterns, plush fabrics, and elegantly funky color combinations.
Check-in takes place at the main building -- Dunstane House -- which has a small lobby, because the building's architectural integrity has been maintained. The front desk sits in the foyer, beside a winding stairway to the main building’s (four) upper floors. Guests of the annex rooms must cross a busy road to reach their accommodations, housed in a pleasantly typical Victorian property with weathered sandstone facade and bay windows. Inside, decor is tastefully rendered in a contemporary palette of earth tones with floral print wallpaper and plush furnishings while original features such as ornate coving and wrought iron balustrade add period charm. Although finished with a stylish modern touch, the ambience remains intimate and homey, a log fire warming the inviting lounge area while a rear conservatory overlooks the hotel's paved garden.
Twenty minutes' walk to downtown Edinburgh, near Murrayfield Stadium and Haymarket railway station
The hotel is situated overlooking a relatively busy road five minutes' walk from Haymarket train station in the west of the city. (The proximity to the station is convenient for those interested in a day trip to Glasgow, which is an hour away.) The location isn't super central, with most of the main city center attractions a couple miles from the hotel -- a bus stop opposite, however, connects to the heart of Edinburgh in under 10 minutes. It is well-positioned for those hoping to take in a game at Murrayfield Stadium half a mile away (which hosts rugby, concerts, football, and more), while the pretty woodland river walk along the Water of Leith is just minutes away on foot. The hotel is within a mile of many tourist attractions, including St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, the Edinburgh International Conference Center, the Royal Lyceum Theater, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The location also means easy access from Edinburgh Airport, less than 20 minutes away by car.
Individually decorated with Victorian-influenced modern furnishings
Rooms at the Dunstane Hotel are spacious, clean, and individually designed, with modern amenities and Victorian-inspired decor. Some have a garret feel; others have lovely bay windows; all are done in rich colors, dynamic wallpaper, and luxe upholstery, with modern bathrooms that feature rain showerheads, heated floors, and Molton Brown toiletries. Though the look skews more modern than traditional, original period features such as ornate coving and high ceilings have been preserved. All guest rooms have free bottled water, free Wi-Fi tea/coffeemakers, and flat-screen TVs, but no minibars. Beds, some four-poster, are made with Egyptian cotton sheets. Rooms vary in size. The street between the buildings gets busy early in the morning; late risers may want to request rooms on the side or rear of the hotel. Some rooms are located at basement level with poor natural light.
Excellent Scottish restaurant, whiskey bar, and meeting facilities
The Dunstane House Hotel is home to Skerries Restaurant, serving British cuisine with an Orkney Islands twist. Fresh, seasonal produce, locally sourced seafood, and meat and steaks from the Orkney Isles are served, and the restaurant is popular with foodies and locals, as well as hotel guests. The dining room is intimate and sophisticated, with large gold-framed oil paintings (one of Stonehenge at sunrise), ornate woodwork, and picturesque views of the lawns and village streets. Breakfast, not included in room rates, is high-quality, Scottish-themed, and plentiful, though guests staying in the annex building have to cross the busy road to partake. The small, clubby bar off the lobby has an ornate fireplace and marble bar, and specializes in single-malt whiskey (there are over 70 scotches available), and offers tastings hosted by qualified “whiskey ambassadors." Scottish microbrews and Botanical Gin & Tonics are also on the menu. The annex building has its own welcoming lounge bar with log fire and soft seating, while a pleasant, bright conservatory overlooks the rear garden, which has picnic tables for guests' use.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and on-site parking is also free of charge (though spaces can be limited). The Dunstane has a meeting room, and private dining and wedding planning services are available.
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