Originally built as the Edinburgh home of Lord Provost in 1687, Prestonfield is still every inch the lavish baronial retreat it once was. Drawing up the long gravel drive though 20 acres of estate land to its grand, double gabled exterior and setting foot in the plushly carpeted entrance hall genuinely feels like stepping back to the 17th century.
Once inside, forget minimalism, Prestonfield is maximalist to the hilt, and from the gilt-edged doorframes to the ornate ceilings, it’s a hotel that doesn’t do anything in half measures. There are overwrought Baroque flourishes at every turn in the 24 bedrooms along with richly coloured, intricately pattered wallpaper, deep sink-into velvet chairs, handsome antique furniture, and enormous wooden beds dressed in crisp, high-thread count linen. Bathrooms are lined in Venetian glass mosaic and marble, and feature huge roll-top baths, heated towel rails, giant bathrobes and a very handy pair of GHDs to make sure your ‘do matches the digs. It’s not just the drama of the rooms that makes Prestonfield so special, however; it’s the little touches, such as the chilled bottle of champagne and petit fours that are waiting on arrival.
If you can manage to tear yourself away from the cocoon of your suite, then you can head downstairs to dine in the equally dramatic Rhubarb restaurant where a menu of typically Scottish, seasonally inspired and locally sourced food is paired with a wine list of over 800 bins. If you’re after something a little more private, though, you can book in at one of the four theatrical salons that have, at one time or another, played host to Prime Ministers, royalty, rock stars, and even the Dalai Lama. If only the walls could talk…
- The feeling of total opulence and grandeur
- The view of the acres of surrounding grounds (keep an eye out for peacocks...)
- The antique furniture in every corner
- The complete privacy
- It can be pretty pricey, but it’s certainly luxury worth paying for
Need to Know: Prestonfield
Number of rooms: 24
Check-in/check-out times: 3pm and 11am
Room service: Yes. There’s 24-hour room service
Swimming pool: No
Dogs welcome: Yes
Eating and drinking: The award-winning Rhubarb restaurant offers seasonally-inspired fresh produce with a wine list of over 800 bins. There are also four theatrical salons that you can book for more private dining.
Near to? Surrounded by over 20 acres of parkland, it’s hard to believe that you’re actually only five minutes away from the city centre and Edinburgh Castle.
Getting there: It’s a five-minute taxi journey from Edinburgh Waverley train station and a half an hour drive from Edinburgh International Airport; if you really want to arrive in style, you can be collected from the airport in one of the hotel’s sleek black Range Rovers.