I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Edinburgh is without a doubt one of the most charming and impressive cities in Europe. As Edinburgh-based author Alexander McCall Smith quotes, it is “a city of shifting light, of changing skies and of sudden vistas”. After embarking on a 4-day road trip through the Scottish Highlands, we ended our adventure in the glorious capital, and were incredibly lucky to call Nira Caledonia our home away from home for the night.
Located in the centre of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Nira Caledonia is nestled in the heart of the New Town in one of the most exclusive addresses in Edinburgh and is mere stroll from the main sites of the city and the energetic Princes Street.
As the former home of literary figure John Wilson, the building was designed by notable Scottish architect William Playfair in 1823. Nowadays, it is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection and stands as a luxury boutique hotel positioned inside two grand adjoining Georgian townhouses on Gloucester Place in the New Town. With dramatic swirling staircases, the hotel comprises of 28 lavishly furnished rooms and suites, with each room offering unique and differing modern touches whilst maintaining their traditional Georgian features.
I was completely in awe of the intricacies of the décor and unique personality of each room and suite. After a fire tore through a major part of the building, the hotel underwent a nine-month restoration and complete transformation and reopened in June 2018. A testament to the local design team Jeffrey’s Interiors of Stockbridge, the hotel manages to effortlessly blend Georgian magnificence with all the 21st century luxury comforts guests could ask for.
SUITES & ACCOMMODATIONS
We spent a cool January winters night in the Dean Suite, situated on the garden level of the hotel. Now, I rarely rave about hotel bathrooms; however, in this case it would be rude for it to go unmentioned. Equipped with a luxury body jet shower; a whirlpool bath; and deluxe L’Occitane products, finished with a modern slate and floor to ceiling mirrors, this bathroom dazzled. The flawless suite includes a substantial open plan lounge area with an attached bedroom featuring a queen-sized bed and stunning French windows which lead to your private garden area.
There are 28 bedrooms, each of varying sizes and specific styles filled with rich textures, artistic wall paper and luxurious textiles. There are five room categories to choose from; the Jacuzzi Suite, a Suite, the Executive Room, the Petite Double and the Single. Covering up to 41 square metres, the four Jacuzzi Suites exude opulence and romance, with sumptuous furnishings. All suites feature king beds and original sash windows.
WINE & DINE
After a big day, return for an intimate and superb culinary experience at Blackwood’s Bar & Grill. With a menu consisting of the finest and freshest Scottish produce, each dish is delectable, with specialties including the Shetland mussels which are smoked in the hotels Josper Oven.
WHY WE LOVED IT
LOCATION – Nira Caledonia is ideally located in the New Town of Edinburgh and is a short ten-minute walk to all major sites and landmarks of Edinburgh. You really couldn’t ask for a more ideal location.
STAFF & SERVICE –Service is at the very heart of the Nira experience. We encountered some of the warmest, attentive and friendly hotel staff during our stay.
CHARACTER – Every aspect of this hotel has been meticulously chosen and has a story behind it which benefits someone around the world. Being boutique means that the hotel can be selective to pick the best suppliers who can deliver optimum products and comfort for guests. From the local whisky distillery and wine supplier to the hand-stitched 2000 pocket-sprung British-made beds; all products have been locally sourced to reflect its charm and character.
It truly is a secret gem and is perfect for travellers looking for a special and memorable place to stay in Scotland’s capital.
Visit their website directly here or visit their Instagram page @niracaledonia.
I was hosted as a guest of Nira Caledonia, but all the opinions expressed in this article are, as always, my own.