I am always on the search for unique and relaxing staycations, and last month I was lucky enough to find just that in the form of The Four Sisters Boatels. Tucked away in Lochrin Basin on the Union Canal these four-star luxury canal boats are located right in the centre of Edinburgh. Guests can experience the relaxed vibes of the canal whilst being close to the action of the city. Consisting of two canal boats, The Four Sister Boatel and The Camillia Boatel, both have been meticulously decked out to provide the perfect self-catering holiday for all to enjoy.
The Camillia is their most recent project which opened to guests in May 2021, and after previously visiting its sister boatel I couldn’t wait to stay and see what it had to offer. Painted in a striking green hue, it’s not long before you get a glimpse of both boats which sit majestically in the still water of the canal. I was welcomed by the lovely Natalie who kindly showed me around this unique accommodation.
What initially surprised me as I entered the boat was just how large and spacious it was. The Camillia is an impressive 60ft by 11ft and 6ft 4 inches in height making it very easy to walk around without having to duck and dive like the more traditional canal boats. As soon as you step down into the body of the boat and close those small swing doors behind you, it’s almost as if the buzz of the outside world drops away to reveal a sense of calm.
The first thing that captures your attention is the stylish vibrant colours of green and yellow backed by the warm tones of its wooden interior. The open plan kitchen, dining and lounge is really impressive and has been cleverly laid out to give you everything you could need without compromising on space.
The forest green exteriors of the kitchen cabinets open up to reveal an array of modern appliances, cooking equipment and basic condiments. It has all you need to create a slap-up meal for you and your guests and an adjacent breakfast bar is a perfect way to enjoy your meal onboard whilst taking in the views towards the canal.
If the Scottish weather is on your side, an outdoor dining table and chairs, along with a BBQ is another option, allowing you to take advantage of the boat’s excellent facilities whilst enjoying its own outside space. Of course, if you choose not to dine onboard then there are an array of fantastic restaurants right on your doorstep.
The cosy lounge area has a large L-shaped sofa and two occasional chairs strewn with cushions and throws so you can enjoy the comfort of that home away from home feeling. I especially loved the small turning table which made it easy to munch on those snacks whilst watching the boats large plasma TV, which also includes an Amazon TV Fire Stick. A range of games is also provided along with an Amazon Alexa allowing you to have fun and enjoy all your favourite tunes on board. As a nod to the nautical surroundings, there are numerous rope designed lights throughout adding a quirky yet ambient addition to the decor of the boat.
As you wander up the length of the boat along its quaint passageway you come across the boat’s sleeping quarters. These are segregated into three different cabins suitable for up to eight people. Pulling back the sliding doors, the first cabin you reach is the snug bunk room, equipped with two bunk beds which are probably most suited to children.
Next is an impressive double bedroom with a large comfortable bed adorned with the luxury bed linen. The bed is slightly elevated, so as you lay back and look out the small window, it feels almost as if you are floating above the water. The room is also equipped with TV, straighteners/hairdryer and bathrobe and slippers.
Getting washed and ready need not be a problem on this canal boat as it also includes a stunning bathroom. When I pulled back the door I couldn’t believe how spacious it was, as in my naivety I expected something so much smaller. With a toilet, sink and large walk-in shower, you wouldn’t think you were in a canal boat at all. The only difference is that you are unable to flush anything down the toilet and you are required to press a simple button to drain any water you use. A selection of Eco-friendly toiletries and fluffy towels are all included throughout your stay.
Wandering further along to the end of the canal boat is the impressive and generous Captain’s Cabin. This room felt more like a master-suite if the boat and had all the amenities of the previous double room with the addition of its very own outdoor space.
I had the most comfortable sleep on the boat and it was quite soothing to feel that occasional gentle sway. Although the surrounding area isn’t noisy, I am a very light sleeper and was a tad worried about getting to sleep in a city-centre location. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet it was onboard the boat.
It was a particularly chilly night when I stayed ,but the addition of electric blankets and onboard heating kept the boat snug and warm. The attached outdoor space is perfect to sit back and relax, enjoy a glass of your favourite tipple and watch canal life pass you by. After my coffee in bed I enjoyed some items from my hamper which you can add to your stay for an additional cost.
I must admit, before I stayed in this canal boat I had conjured up images of enclosed claustrophobic rooms, dark interiors and uncomfortable sleeping quarters. Although I knew the previous impeccable standards of The Four Sisters Boatel, I was pleasantly surprised with my first stay on board this exceptional canal boat. It truly gives you a taste of what it is like to stay on a canal boat whilst experiencing the luxuries of high-quality self-catering accommodation. I already reside in Edinburgh but staying on the Camillia made me feel as if I wasn’t in the city at all and it truly felt like a much-needed escape, so much so I didn’t want to leave. Whether you are looking for a unique relaxing stay or a fun get together with friends and family this boat has everything you need to experience both. A true floating gem with excellent amenities and exceptional customer service.
Blu Blazer Guy Rating:
Location – 5/5 – Centrally located in Edinburgh
Customer Service – 5/5 – Friendly, Informative and Helpful
Accommodation – 4/5 – Unique, Contemporary, Excellent amenities.
Cleanliness – 5/5 – Spotless and immaculate.
Food and Drink – Self Catering – Basic Condiments provided, Good Quality Hamper Available (for an additional cost)