Scotland Sunday Travel | Scottish

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Dunstane Houses, two Victorian villas close to Edinburgh’s West End.

Dunstane Houses, Edinburgh

It’s time to revisit the World Heritage Site of Edinburgh, home to the castle, art galleries and museums, Georgian and Modernist architecture, Michelin-starred restaurants and sizzling street food, clubs, pubs and the new St James Quarter shopping center – something to entertain everyone staying in the capital. If you’re looking for an upscale place to stay, check out the Dunstane Houses just beyond the West End and get a taste of Orkney while you’re there.

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Derek and Shirley Mowat, the owners are originally from Orkney, and there are touches everywhere in The Dunstane Houses, a small luxury 5-star boutique hotel in the laid-back Haymarket district of Edinburgh.

The hotel is housed in two stunning Victorian houses with a total of 35 beautifully appointed rooms; 18 rooms at Dunstane House and 17 rooms across the street at Hampton House.

The typical Edinburgh stone mansions are impressive from the outside, but it’s when you step inside that you are transported to Orkney, through walls covered in memorabilia depicting the island and through the fresh ingredients delivered daily .

Dunstane Houses has 35 beautifully appointed guest rooms; 18 at Dunstane House and 17 across the street at Hampton House.

Room service is available from the favorites menu in the hotel bar during service hours. The warm and helpful staff will go out of their way to make your stay special. My bedroom walls were adorned with exquisitely designed peacock wallpaper, with handcrafted Vispring king-size double beds dressed in 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens. At the foot of the bed sat a deep Loaf Chesterfield sofa resting on Persian rugs that exude quality. On the walls are original works of art by artists from Edinburgh and Orkney.

Orkney on a plate… fresh ingredients are delivered daily direct from Orkney Islands and include cheeses, fish and meat. The fabulous A Wee Taste of Orkney platter features hand-cut smoked salmon, smoked mackerel pate, a selection of Orkney cheeses, dill mayonnaise and a mixed salad (£ 16.50 larger, 19 , £ 50 to share). Breakfast is served in the restaurant (or room service), and you can choose from a continental breakfast, eggs benedict, pancakes, Scottish breakfast or porridge among other delicacies. Try the fabulous dessert wine or drink from the whiskey bar and malt gin with 80 fine Scottish single malts, and a chance to try a 40 year old Highland Park whiskey.

The Stroma Lounge at Hampton House is ideal for private dining and other events or gatherings.

The bedrooms make the most of the original features of the villas, with decor inspired by the colors of the Scottish landscape.

To get to the city center, there is a local taxi service or a bus service right outside the hotel which takes 10 minutes, or it’s a 20 minute walk.

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel can organize tours in one of its classic cars in town or in the countryside. Golf can also be arranged, while Edinburgh Zoo is a short walk away and Murrayfield Stadium is nearby if you’re in town for a concert or game.

There is an abundance of world class stores to suit all tastes and budgets. You’ll find a cornucopia of all things Scottish along the Royal Mile, where store shelves are stocked with tartans, woolens, homemade fudge, shortbread and whiskey galore. The old town’s cobbled streets and wynds are teeming with history, while its quirky nooks and crannies beg to be explored.

Fresh ingredients are delivered direct from Orkney daily and include cheeses, fish and meat. The fabulous A Wee Taste of Orkney platter features hand-cut smoked salmon, smoked mackerel pate, a selection of Orkney cheeses, dill mayonnaise and a mixed salad.

Located under Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens are teeming with blooming flowers and exotic plants.

Climb the 287 steps to the top of the Scott Memorial, one of the largest monuments to a writer in the world. The Victorian Gothic monument topped by a spire was built in honor of Edinburgh writer Sir Walter Scott, renowned for his historical novels; it stands proudly in Princes Street Gardens. Celebrate the lives of three great Scottish writers, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, at the Writers’ Museum located in Lady Stair’s Close. The

The Scottish National Gallery houses paintings, sculptures and photographs illustrating the city’s past and present. (Admission fee.)

A royal park since the 12th century, Holyrood Park is a historic, windswept and spectacular open space encompassing a five mile radius with mini lochs, steep paths, volcanic rock faces and an unspoiled fort. The top of the park is Arthur’s Seat and at 251 meters above sea level it offers those who are adventurous enough to climb to the top spectacular views of Edinburgh.

The Museum of Scotland is an incredibly well-organized museum that features both historical and new exhibits of Scotland’s extraordinary and colorful history. It is one of the 20 most visited museums in the world.

Romantic copper freestanding tubs and Noble Isle toiletries are the perfect place to have a relaxing or romantic time… ideal for honeymooners. Plush bathrobes and slippers, bottled water, minibar, Nespresso machine, high-speed Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, radio, and vintage telephone are provided. Ask owner Derek to take a look at his collection of vintage cars housed in specialist garages next to the hotel. Free parking is available subject to availability. The airport bus stops right outside Dunstane Houses. Dog-friendly hotel!

Much thought and love has gone into the design and service of this unique hotel.

For current prices, see website and exclusive breaks.

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