A few weeks ago, Mr Man and I went to Edinburgh to enjoy an overnight stay at Radisson Blu, located on the historic Royal Mile. We arrived in Edinburgh mid afternoon on a sunny but cold Sunday, driving straight to the hotel to drop off our bags. Luckily, the Radisson has its own car park, which is great because parking in any city centre can be a bit of a nightmare. We got a space easily and made our way upstairs until we found ourselves in a stone hallway lined with windows overlooking a tiny side street in the Old Town. It felt as though we were walking through a very posh cave, as if the Radisson had been built into the stone and carved beautifully from the rock itself. A few more steps and we passed by a lounge area with chic seating before arriving at reception which, despite the stone hallway, appeared quite futuristic with just three stand-alone reception desks. The staff were all smiling and the decor, customer service and furnishings gave the impression that every guest at the Radisson is a VIP – but then, it is a luxury hotel. Our receptionist was really helpful, really professional and really friendly, casually mentioning that the South African rugby team had booked out the entire hotel that week – Mr and Mrs Daydreamer instantly felt like VVIPs!
We were shown to our room and, as soon as we entered we were immediately blown away by the view: Edinburgh’s Old Town, the buildings dotted everywhere, leading the eye to the magnificent view of Salisbury Crag, Arthur’s Seat and the North Sea beyond. Truly inspirational and a view that I wish I could look out on every day. Once we got over the incredible view, we noticed the room details; plaid cushions and throws, oh-so-fluffy gowns and slippers, luxury bath products and yummy snacks in shot glasses, including Bombay mix and THE MOST DIVINE CHOCOLATES. Then I spotted it: the Nepresso machine. Can you believe it? An actual Nespresso machine, just for us! Very, very nice. Obviously, I made the most of it, enjoying rather a few coffees in the short time we were there. Coffee might be a seemingly insignificant factor, but the Nespresso machine was a tiny detail that made a huge statement about Radisson Blu’s commitment to the finer things.
After a quick freshen up, we decided to go for a stroll up the Royal Mile, which I adore – the cobbles and intriguing buildings are just beautiful – the architecture and St Giles Cathedral are breathtaking. It’s great fun wandering around, up and down, people watching and looking in all the shop windows, from cashmere and tartan shops to novelty gift shops and coffee shops, which play host to all types of people from all across the world. I just love it. We wound our way down some steps, through tiny lanes (aka closes), across more cobbles and past vintage shops, stopping by an independent gallery before finding ourselves nestled in front of an open log fire with a glass of red. Another glass later and we snaked our way back to the Radisson. As we approached, it dawned on us why the interior is so, well, medieval; from the outside, the Radisson Blu is a 16th century-inspired building with its very own turret – yes, turret – and looks a bit like a small castle. Fitting, considering it’s just a short walk from Holyrood Palace and the famous Edinburgh Castle.
We went in the hotel’s front entrance this time, turning right into Itchycoo Bar & Kitchen, the hotel’s bar and restaurant, where we had a reservation for dinner. Mr Man ordered a Long Island Ice Tea (yep, as strong as its reputation but equally as delicious) and I had the best Mojito of my life – fresh, zesty, not too much sugar, just the right amount of rum. It really was perfection in a glass! Dinner followed and we each had three courses, all of which were yummy but the starters were particularly good. I’d go so far as to say next time I would simply sit down and immediately order a Mojito and two starters! A few more cocktails later and it was off to a feather pillow and goose down duvet for us…. until we awoke the next morning and it was, sadly, time to go home. We didn’t have time to try out the spa, but all guests are welcome to use the spa and fitness facilities, which is probably a good thing considering how good their cocktails are! However, before we left we did sample breakfast in The Restaurant, a stylish space downstairs in hues of dove grey, white and black. A full Scottish breakfast was just the ticket after those cocktails, followed by a coffee and a pastry, setting us up for the rest of the day.
Radisson Blu is one of those rare hotels that marries grandeur with homeliness. I felt totally put at ease by the staff (one of whom was a dashing young man in a kilt, who appeared to be employed purely for Scottish decoration) but I also felt completely absorbed in luxury. And that’s just the kind of place I like to be.
A huge thank you to the team at Radisson Blu Edinburgh for having us to stay and for looking after us so well. An amazing team, who are efficient and hard working. Thank you!