I recently stayed at the Nira Caledonia hotel in Edinburgh and I would highly recommend it to anyone who plans to visit Scotland’s capital city, whether for business or pleasure (ahem!).
I was there on business (with a bit of fun thrown in at Jane Davidson) and, rather than experiencing a dull, boxy hotel room with no personality (which can often be the case when travelling on business), I enjoyed a room packed with character and interesting ornaments, without feeling cluttered. From the fur throw over the foot of the bed to the Oriental box on the coffee table, I fell in love with my room as soon as I walked in. Not long afterwards, a glass of champagne arrived (not on legs – courtesy of the concierge) just in time for me to relax and take in my surroundings; a sofa for lounging (or throwing clothes on, if you’re me), a very stylish desk with even more stylish Nira Caledonia personalised stationery (I love that) and a huge bed that gave me the second-best night’s sleep of my life (the best was at the Radisson Blu at Manchester airport after a day of travelling). The bed had the perfect ratio of fluffy pillows to crisp white linen. The decor was really modern but had personality – it wasn’t too linear – with just the right amount of light and dark features. A changing screen separated the bedroom/living space from the bathroom, which contained a shower and sink, etc, while the main feature – the jacuzzi bath – sat in the middle of the space against a wall of mirrors. Being the Jacuzzi Suite, you can image that the bath was really quite special. So special that I immediately had to Instagram a pic of me sipping my champers on the edge of it! It was so enormous it could potentially have fit around four people in…. although I didn’t actually even get in it myself because I had a lack of indulgence time due to meetings.
I even had my very own rubber duckie to share the bath with. I wanted to take him home but didn’t want to be one of those people who take everything that isn’t chained to the floor… such as the Nespresso machine! Oh, how I love a Nespresso, and not just because George says it’s great. I was delighted to find the super stylish coffee machine in my room, complete with pods and complimentary milk. I had two large coffees the morning after the night before (the Grey Goose party) and it took me all my self control not to have a third. Which is lucky because I went on to have a further two iced lattes later that day….
As for the rest of the hotel? It was just as quirky. Nira Caledonia is a boutique hotel (hence its character, charm and personality), which was evident as soon as I arrived outside on Gloucester Place (off India Street and near Heriot Row). I absolutely adore this area of Edinburgh, with its cobbled streets and beautiful buildings, which made for a beautiful view from my three windows.
Nira Caledonia is actually split over two buildings. So, on arrival, you step inside to reception where you are greeted by a receptionist and the concierge, who takes your bags to your room. Which is great because when I walked over to the other building where the rooms are housed (just a few steps along the road), there was a very grand, but very large staircase to climb – I was pleased it was only myself I was lugging up to the top floor! To eat and drink, you return to the first building where you’ll find the bar/restaurant. It’s a versatile and well used space; at night, it’s dimly lit and serves the most delicious Bellinis, but in the morning it’s bright and chipper and does a buffet breakfast with the option to order eggs, as you like them. I can’t fault the service one bit. The staff were very friendly, always on hand (but never being in the way) and happy to help with anything at all, offering advice, information and knowledge at any opportunity.
I would highly recommend the Nira Caledonia to everyone because, for those staying just one night, you really will love looking around the room (and being in that incredible jacuzzi bath tub). But I’d especially recommend the hotel to those who might have to stay a bit longer. It’s incredibly peaceful at the Nira Caledonia and yet there’s no sense of isolation or loneliness. I was actually very sad to leave because it really did feel like a home-from-home; with all its little nooks and crannies, elegantly housed in the beautiful old building with modern, globe-trotter interiors, I could have stayed there for days, weeks, months…. well, forever! I’m glad to have discovered (and shared with you) this hidden gem in the heart of Edinburgh.