Edinburgh Hotel Reviews
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"The Dunstane City Hotel is a smart boutique property with just 18 rooms. For a four-star hotel with sleek, minimalist interiors, the £99 room tag, which includes full Scottish breakfast, seems surprisingly small. It is just five minutes' walk from Haymarket train station and 20 minutes from the castle."
The Guardian Newspaper 21st June - Morwenna Ferrier
Edinburgh's Haymarket district is quiet and shady, filled with cobbled side roads, B&Bs and Costcutters but, according to our taxi driver at least, it comes alive at festival time. We were staying at the 18-bedroom Dunstane City, which opened last year as a little sister to the older Dunstane House across the road. From both hotels, you can walk to the city centre (about 15 minutes), take the train or one of five buses or a taxi (around £6).
Ours was a good size, with Molton Brown toiletries, complimentary Quality Street and a large bay window facing on to the busy road. One curious commuter definitely saw my bra. The room was stunningly clean. My friend even started foraging for dust under the bed while trying to locate the remote. Neither was found.
The building started off as the home of a merchant called Archibald Shearer and was allegedly built in 1867. I say allegedly because in our room, good and clean though it was, every historical detail had been covered with chenille fabric or wallpaper. The bedrooms are decked out in four shades of milky coffee, shot with a dizzying pattern in either gold, navy or platinum, and various textiles, my least favourite being the platinum "sharkskin" (rough one way, smooth the other) throw on the bed. Even the checked carpet resembled a Magic Eye picture.
The breakfast was very reasonable. Hot, salty, Scottish porridge, proper fruit salad and eggs with optional haggis all arrived efficiently. But it's not a patch on dinner at Skerries restaurant in over the road in Dunstane House, which was packed with jovial locals enjoying haggis. I liked the non-ironic Spandau Ballet soundtrack, and loved the pagan artwork because the hotel's money and time had clearly been pumped into sourcing the food rather than paying for designer furnishings across the road.
The plump, Orkney mussels paddled in a moppable cream sauce; my salmon, also from Orkney, was surpassed only by sweet carrot sticks and perfect mash, while my friend's monkfish and wild mushroom risotto met with her approval. Details aside, we ate well and slept soundly afterwards. Chenille, it transpires, is an excellent light-blocker.
Smart, ritzy and ultra-clean with an excellent restaurant next door. The hotel's busy decor might be a bit much for some tastes, though.
Double rooms start from £99, including breakfast. Skerries Restaurant at Dunstane House offers a two-course dinner from £26.95. Morwenna Ferrier travelled with National Express East Coast (0845 722 5225; nationalexpresseastcoast.com), which offers return fares from London to Edinburgh from £33.
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