Recently, I headed to the Scottish capital for the first time, spending three days exploring this beautiful and richly historic city with Festivals Edinburgh. Darting between the iconic sights of the city and the various venues of the Jazz and Blues, Art, and other major summer festivals as I explored the cultural festival city, I finished each day totally exhausted and in need of serious relaxation – which thankfully I had in buckets at the beautiful B+B Edinburgh.
I grew up in a seaside town full of budget B&B’s – I even worked in one for a while – so I had pretty low expectations. But B+B Edinburgh was nothing like any bed and breakfast I’ve ever known; providing the stylish and modern alternative to a style of accommodation I’ve always thought of as old-fashioned and uncomfortable. Think sexy, vintage-inspired décor in a beautiful 19th century townhouse, light and airy rooms, and impeccable service… it’s no wonder that this gorgeous boutique b&b has just been ranked number 6 in the whole world in the 2015 Expedia Insider Select Awards.
As with all the B+B Collection properties, B+B Edinburgh is housed in a seriously spectacular listed building, originally built for John Ritchie Findlay, the newspaper magnate behind The Scotsman. About as grand and historic as you could hope for, this stunning terraced building in iconic Edinburgh stone is ideally located on Rothesay Terrace, in the quieter, upscale district of Edinburgh’s West End. Ideally situated not only for peace and quiet, but also for stunning views of the city from the upper floors, the Bed and Breakfast is still within easy reach of the Edinburgh’s main attractions, with Princes Street just a short walk away. Also nearby is the picturesque area of Dean Village and the Water of Leith, offering a tranquil respite from the busy city centre; a walk around this beautiful neighbourhood is highly recommended.
Inside, B+B Edinburgh was as grand and historic as the exterior, with a stunning entrance hall and a lavishly decorated library lounge with open fireplace and classic, vintage décor. But upstairs on the top floor, my bedroom was sleek and contemporary, a perfect setting for relaxation. Tastefully decorated, with a pale colour scheme and simple but sumptuously comfortable furnishings, my double bedroom was dominated by enormous windows, filling the room with light and offering a staggering view across the Water of Leith and out towards the Firth of Forth and Fife in the distance. The room was overwhelmingly luxurious, with plenty of modern touches and an amazing king sized bed, but there were still a few classic touches to remind me that I was in a beautiful antique building in Scotland; from tartan cushion covers to vintage taps in the en suite bathroom. Stylish, luxurious, and breathtakingly historic… could this really be a b&b?
A boutique bed and breakfast with a calm and quiet atmosphere and stunning contemporary design – I was in heaven. But one whole half of a b&b is, well, the breakfast, so it was really important that B+B Edinburgh delivered. Which they did. The dining room was airy and light, with huge windows overlooking the gardens and classic décor that harked back to the glory days of British hotels. A simple but flexible breakfast menu greeted me; no greasy buffet tables here, everything is cooked fresh to order using locally sourced organic ingredients when possible, and the difference that makes is incredible.
In short, B+B Edinburgh completely subverted my expectations of tacky seaside b&b’s, with a luxurious and beautifully decorated boutique bed and breakfast housed in the grandest possible setting. Even more exciting was my discovery that a similar experience is also on offer in my hometown at B+B Weymouth. A true convert to this new style of 21st Century b&b’s, I’ll definitely be visiting again soon.