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Edinburgh, Scotland

October 7, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox Travel Agent

Three new swank hotels in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh are upping the young, hip and luxury quotient of this ancient city. Here’s the skinny on these properties.

Hotel Missoni

In June, the Rezidor Hotel Group opened its first property in conjunction with the Italian luxury fashion group, Missoni. Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh  has 136 rooms and suites—and naturally, the three premium suites are the most popular: The Lawnmarket Suite, with a modern design, windows on both sides and a presence on the Royal Mile itself, is at the top of the 300-year-old section of the building; the Rosa Suite has a bank of windows overlooking Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns, and the Firth of Forth; and the top suite, the 720-square-foot Suite D’Argento, has panoramic views of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat, and from the Firth of Forth all the way out to Fife.

Cucina Missoni, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is being heralded as a hotspot among locals. In creating the menu for Cucina, Creative Director (and co-founder of the fashion line) Rosita Missoni worked with London restaurateur Giorgio Locatelli to shape her family recipes for the hotel’s seasonal Italian restaurant. Some favorite items include Barolo & Castelmagno cheese risotto, baked sea bass with a salt crust, and roasted rabbit served with polenta and radicchio.

Shoppers will especially appreciate the hotel’s proximity to Multrees Walk, the so-called Fifth Avenue of Edinburgh. Mulberry, Armani, Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols complement the beautiful older local stores such as Jenners. Edinburgh’s Old Town also has a number of independent boutiques and artisanal shops.

Top tip: Edinburgh’s popular summer Festival Season tends to fill the hotel. This August, the hotel had limited availability throughout the festival—and this was right after the opening!

Travel agents can contact General Manager Carina Williamson (011-44-131-220-6666) [email protected].

The skyline of Edinburgh’s Old Town, with the historic castle in the backgroun

Getting there: Edinburgh International Airport is approximately eight miles west of the city, and about a 25-minute drive from Hotel Missoni.

Radisson Blu

On the Royal Mile, Radisson Blu has 238 rooms, including Business Class Rooms, Classic Suites and Turret Suites. There are six family rooms that can accommodate up to five guests; these, as well as the suites, are best for families and groups. The best suite in the hotel, our sources say, is the Turret Suite Room #429. Its views of the bustling High Street area add to its appeal.

The property’s spa has three treatment rooms—one double and two single. The most requested spa treatment, we are told, is the Aromatherapy Body Massage, which detoxifies body and mind, and tightens the skin and muscles. There are no dedicated children’s or young adult treatments, but the spa offers manicures, pedicures, facials and 30-minute massages (half the standard length) for younger guests. (A parent or guardian must be present for the treatment.)

Nice treat for wedding guests: Ask for the Pamper Day Package, which includes full use of the spa facilities, robe and slippers for the guest, a 30-minute treatment comprising either a massage, facial or salt scrub, and lunch. This package starts at about $82 per person and does not include manicures and pedicures, but they can be arranged for a “scotch”
(or little) extra. Agents should contact Spa Director Mark Burke (011-44-131-473-6512, [email protected]).

The Restaurant serves more than 120 breakfast dishes, including all the ingredients of a traditional Scottish breakfast. It is also open for lunch and dinner. Itchycoo Bar and Kitchen provides an array of platters and tapas to mix or share, as well as an all-day bar-food menu. Just to keep things fresh, the restaurant’s menu changes every three months and it offers weekly specials. The chef suggests the steak dishes on the specials menu, and we are told that “tower dishes” are very popular, especially for sharing (couples will find it romantic). Diners can choose from Indian, Mediterranean or Scottish dishes in three different layers. (Note: The best tables offer views of the Royal Mile. Agents should request tables #9 and #10.)

Travel agents can contact Reservations Manager Hazel Reid (011-44-131-473-6546, [email protected]).

The Scotsman Hotel

The Scotsman Hotel, a five-star boutique property, is a member of Small Leading Hotels of the World. Housed within the former Scotsman Newspaper building, it has maintained the classical ambiance for an elegant retreat from the bustling modern city.

Housed in a former newspaper building, the five-star Scotsman Hotel is ideally located in the heart of Edinburgh

The names of the suites hark back to the building’s origins. Families should book the Publisher Suite, #804, which can accommodate two adults and two children. The duplex Penthouse, #905, is the hotel’s best suite, with views of the Edinburgh Castle.

The popular Scotsman Spa is built into the former printing room of the newspaper. It spreads out over three floors with seven treatment rooms.
All guests of the hotel get a pass to use the spa and gym. (Hint: Be sure to try Lindsey Smith’s Rest and Recreation facial.) To book treatments for clients, agents should contact Spa Manager Rachel Mashford ([email protected]).

The hotel’s restaurant, North Bridge Brasserie & Bar, with its elegant old-world decor, evokes the building’s Victorian origins. Head Chef Spencer Wilson serves modern Scottish cuisine—sample the Rump of Perthshire lamb with crushed potatoes, tomatoes, olive and broad bean jus. The best seat in the house, we are told, is table 59. For reservations, contact Brasserie Manager Simon Fraser ([email protected]).

A prime pick for shoppers, the hotel is a five-minute stroll from Multrees Walk, and the property’s 49-seat private screening room makes it a good choice for film clubs and other cinematic gatherings.

Travel agents can contact Angela Brown, revenue manager ([email protected]), or General Manager Daniel Pereira ([email protected]).

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