City chic with history
Where: The Rutland Hotel, Rutland St, Edinburgh. 0131 229 3402; www.therutlandhotel.com
First impressions: Walking through atmospheric Edinburgh, it’s the welcoming glow of the Rutland Bar that greets you first at The Rutland Hotel. Drinkers and diners sit at the large windows overlooking Princes Street, the castle and New Town, and it’s tempting to pop in for a quick drink before you head to your room. Entering the reception, you’re greeted by modern-baroque silver chairs and cool red low-lighting in reception, which makes you feel like you’ve stepped off the streets of Edinburgh into a New York city bolthole. Staff are hugely welcoming and you already know you’re going to enjoy your stay before you even step into the glass lift.
Room for romance: We stayed in a Castle View room (No 5), which, as the name suggests, has stunning views of the monument, dramatically lit up at night. The room is touched by the same drama: gigantic black baroque bed with tons of sumptuous cushions, sexy mirrors and dark walls. The homemade welcome muffins that sit on the bed are a cute touch (delicious, in case you’re wondering). All the rooms are individually decorated, so you can also choose a chic modern pad with a white headboard and colourful décor, but all rooms come with plasma TVs, surround sound systems, iPod docks and mini bar treats arranged temptingly around the room.
Time to dine: If you’re looking for a stunning meal (and even if you’re not staying at the hotel) you have to eat at The Restaurant at The Rutland. With its gorgeous design (think strands of bubbles hanging from the ceiling into the bar below, and sumptuous velvet and leather seats), super-helpful staff and great wine list, it’s an absolute must. We loved the scallops with chorizo and locally-sourced sirloin steak – my other half pronounced the chips ‘the best ever’. But if there’s one thing you have to try, it’s the Scrabster Cod – tender, amazingly tasty and on a bed of local seafood, it’s foodie heaven.
Cool for cocktails
Best of the rest: Thanks to its position at the end of Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare Princes St, The Rutland is a destination for locals and tourists alike and comes alive in the evening. Sink a few whiskies or local beers in the buzzy bar, where the atmosphere makes you want to stay all night. The best seats are in the cubbyhole near the door, where you can watch people coming and going outside from the huge windows. But The Rutland has another surprise up its sleeve: The One Below, a super-luxe underground cocktail bar, open until 3am, with a DJ spinning cool tunes. It’s achingly stylish, with a funky light-up bar, and the cocktails are to die for: try a Real Cherry Hemingway, a daiquiri packed with Havana rum and fresh cherries. The whole place has a really cool, upmarket feel: city chic at its best.
Jacuzzi for two?
Don’t leave without: purchasing a bottle of celebratory champagne from the bar, heading up to your room with two flutes, and taking full advantage of the Jacuzzi bath. Plenty big enough for two, it’s a first night moment you wouldn’t want to miss – and the perfect way to unwind post wedding. With luxe Scot-themed toiletries from the likes of Arran Aromatics, you can enjoy the bubbles and rainfall shower to your hearts’ content.
Visit The Rutland Hotel
Go there: Rooms from £125 per night.
Nearest train station: Edinburgh Waverley is a five-minute walk away. Edinburgh Airport is approximately 25 minutes away by shuttle bus.
The Rutland Hotel, 1-3 Rutland St, Edinburgh, EH1 2AE, Scotland. 0131 229 3402. Visit www.therutlandhotel.com