Sense Of Home
The first thing you’ll inevitably notice as you enter The Dunstane Suite is the stunning roll-top copper bath situated right in front of the bay windows for maximum impact. “Oh yes, we do get calls about guests forgetting to close the curtains when they’re in the bath!" laughs Samantha Wright, General Manager of The Dunstane Houses, which is composed of 35 suites and rooms spread between two Victorian townhouses.
But perhaps that’s what comes of staying in a luxury boutique hotel in the residential heart of Edinburgh that prides itself on the warmth of its service. As Wright explains, “The most important thing for us is to provide an authentically Scottish experience with true hospitality. There are so many lifestyle hotels that don’t focus on service anymore – it’s often all about the facilities, whereas for us, we’re still very much service-led so that people feel welcome. They can ask for anything because this is their home away from home."
Like any self-respecting home – albeit a beautifully decorated and efficiently run one –The Dunstane Houses brim with character and charm, thanks to details both big and small. Each bedroom, from The Dunstane Suite (priced at £650/RM3,535 per night) to a Luxury Wee Double (£274/RM1,490 per night in either house), has its own individual aesthetic, but always with suitably sumptuous touches. Here, that means 300-threadcount Egyptian cotton bedlinen, Persian rugs, Noble Isle bath products, Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin in the minbar, and homemade shortbread that melts in your mouth.
Dunstane House, which sits across the road from its sibling property Hampton House, boasts the added benefit of The Ba’Bar – an all-day dining lounge and bar that serves dishes crafted from premium Scottish produce alongside an impressive vintage whisky cabinet. Not only does it offer the ultra-exclusive Highland Park 40 Year Old (the hotel’s owners, Derek and Shirley Mowat, are proud Orcadians), but you’ll also find treats like a Bladnoch 1988 on its top shelves. For those who – whisper it – aren’t particularly partial to Scotch, the hotel produces its own limited batch DunGin in partnership with The Old Curiosity Distillery.
Beside the siren call of The Dunstane Houses’ craft spirits selection, there’s plenty to ensure that you needn’t ever leave the hotel – even if it does sit just down the road from Haymarket Station and the Old Town. In the spacious confines of The Dunstane Suite, you can have a pillow fight on the king-size Vispring bed with heritage Orkney tweed cushions, or admire the views of the Pentland Hills and Edinburgh’s cityscape from that magnificent bath.
A word to automobile enthusiasts: Derek is also a respected classic and prestige car dealer whose office happens to be next door to Dunstane House (photographs of his most beloved Bentleys, Aston Martins, and Rolls-Royces adorn the main staircase). Ask to pay him a visit, and you may end up – as previous guests have – leaving with an extraordinary car that no other hotel gift shop could ever rival.