7 Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary

7 Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary

The Amalfi Coast has been on my radar for years and it was a dream come true when I eventually got to visit in 2019. The stunning stretch of coastline in southern Italy impresses with its lemon groves, sparkling azur waters, rocky cliffs and scattering of spectacular towns and villages that cling precariously to its edge.

In order to explore this area to the fullest, I recommend staying in the nearby town of Sorrento. Not only is this charming town in close proximity to Naples airport, it is also less expensive for accommodation than most of the towns along the coast.  Sorrento has fantastic transport links to all areas along the coast and also has its own treasures to discover.

I have created my very own Blu Blazer Guy 7 day Amalfi Coast itinerary to ensure you get the best out of your trip to the region. (The itinerary is based from Sorrento)

Day 1 – Explore Sorrento

Piazza Tasso is the main square of Sorrento and is a bustling hub with an array restaurants, cafe’s and shops. The beautiful Church of Carmine with its Baroque clock tower and a statue of Sorrento’s patron saint Antonino Abbate are notable points of interest.

Although the square is a fantastic place to sit and watch the world go by, wander into the surrounding narrow streets and you will find a wonderful selection of shops, especially on Via San Cesareo.

Marina Grande is a rustic and laid-back fishing village set around a small bay on the coast of Sorrento. Numerous restaurants, bars and cafe’s are dispersed around the shore and are a perfect places to soak in the views of both the water and the cliff sides.

I especially loved wandering along the wooden decking and seeing the colourful changing rooms that line the beach. 

The Amalfi Coast is known for its lush green gardens, fragrant flora and extensive lemon groves.

Sorrento has the some of the most stunning groves that you can wander through and witness the production of the famous local drink, Lemoncello. I recommend I Giardini di Cataldo, a beautiful and relaxing lemon grove located on Via Correale 27.

 

Sorrento boasts fantastic views over the bay of Naples. One of the best places to experience this is from the Chiesa di San Francesco which is only a short walk from the main square. On a clear day you can watch the sun sparkling across the water and of course the stunning Mount Vesuvius emerging from the horizon.

Bellevue Syrene hotel provided a relaxing yet luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of the town.

Wander under its tunnel of hanging wisterias where you can sit back and enjoy a light lunch and cocktails with the breathtaking views.

Il Buco

This Michelin starred restaurant housed in a former monks wine cellar is a must when visiting Sorrento.

The intimate and cosy restaurant sells a range of delicious simple food that will ignite your tastebuds and give you a taste of delicious local cuisine.

Day 2 – Visit the world renowned archaeological site Pompeii and then experience the best pizza in Sorrento

Pompeii

Pompeii is the renowned Roman City that was buried under meters of pumice and ash after nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 70 A.D.

This well preserved and excavated site is very impressive and certainly deserves a full days attention. Stepping out of Pompeii-Scavi train station there are an abundance of tour guides trying to sell you tickets, but doing it on your own is a much more affordable option (see tip below).

Directions to Pompeii: Take the train from Sorrento towards Naples and stop at Pompei Scavi – Villa dei Misteri. Train time from Sorrento: 20-25 minutes

Blu Blazer Guy Tip: Pompeii is a very large archaeological site and can take hours to walk around. Wear comfortable shoes, carry lots of snacks and water and apply plenty of sunscreen. Download the Discover Pompeii app which allows you to wander around whilst experiencing your very own guided tour on your phone.

Duration: 2 – 5 hours
Entry Price: 15 Euros 

Pizzeria Franco – Sorrento

After a long day sightseeing you may to want to replenish your energy with Italy’s most famous meal, Pizza! Travel back to Sorrento and head to Pizzeria Franco, located within walking distance from the station. This little establishment is a hive of activity from the chatter of customers, most of which are Italians (which is always a good sign). You can witness the chefs in the kitchen churning out pizza after pizza to satisfy the hunger of its guests. Its hectic vibe may not be to everyone’s taste but I guarantee once you taste their delicious selection of pizzas you will be in heaven!

Day 3 – Climb Mount Vesuvius, visit another spectacular archaeological site and eat some authentic Italian Food

Mount Vesuvius

If you are up for an energetic morning then why not take a trip up to the summit of the famous Mount Vesuvius. Mount Vesuvius is a towering volcano that casts its shadow over Naples and the surrounding towns below.

Buses depart from outside Ercolano Scavi train station every 40 minutes between 9.30 and 3pm. These buses transport you up a very narrow and winding road which are not unusual for this part of Italy. Once you arrive at the carpark,  you can take the 20 minute walk up to the summit. Make sure you try and pick a day where the weather is clear so that you can take advantage of the views, but even on a cloudy day it makes for an eerie experience.

Directions to Mount Vesuvius: Take the train from Sorrento to Ercolano Scavi station. When you arrive at the train station there is a small office to the left where you can purchase your Vesuvius ticket. Train journey time from Sorrento: 45 mins

Blu Blazer Guy Tip: Bring warm clothes as it can be much cooler and windier on the summit.

Duration: 2 Hours
Vesuvio Express Bus Price: 20 Euros (includes entry to Vesuvius)

After your tour of Mount Vesuvius, head back in the direction of the station for a great selection of places to grab a snack or something to eat nearby before you head on your next adventure. 

Herculaneum

Herculaneum is another archaeological site which is much smaller than Pompeii and more preserved due to being buried in mud instead of volcanic ash.

I must say I preferred this small site as it was quieter and easier to walk around. 

Directions to Herculaneum: From the same station as Mount Vesuvius, walk straight down Via IV Novembre and you will arrive at its entrance.

Train time from Sorrento: 45 mins

Duration: 2-3 Hours
Herculaneum Entry: 11 Euros

Ristorante O’Murzill’

Head back to Sorrento to experience a really delicious yet affordable meal. This great little restaurant is located down a narrow alleyway and is the perfect place to escape the crowds with friendly service and enjoy some simple Italian cooking. friendly You may have to queue but I can assure you that it’s worth it.

Location: Via Accademia, Sorrento
Price Range: £/££

Day 4 – Capri

You cannot visit the Amalfi Coast without taking a trip to the stunning island of Capri. I advise that instead of doing an organised tour, which can cost a fortune and where you are hustled from landmark to landmark, just arrange it yourself. There are many boats which leave on a regular basis from Marina Piccola in Sorrento that take you to the island in around thirty minutes. On arrival it can seem quite hectic and confusing. I advise using the small local buses which are very cheap (you can purchase tickets on the bus) and will take you to all parts of the Island. 

At the port there are a number of companies who offer boat tours which is a great way to see a different side of Capri. The boat tours take around an hour and visit numerous points of interests such as the infamous Blue Grotto, a sea cave where the water illuminate in different hues of blue. Please be aware though that sometimes this is inaccessible due to weather or tides, so you can check this prior to arrival.

If you are into your luxury retail shopping then Via Camerelle in Capri is the place for you. Filled with the likes of Armani, Versace, Bulgari, Dolce Gabbana and Valentino you can shop until your hearts content. 

If you fancy a more authentic experience then you should head to Anacapri which is located higher up on the island and can be reached by local bus. Its far less crowded than Capri and you can wander the streets or sip on a drink in one of the many quant restaurants, bars or cafes. 

Giardini di Augusto is a beautiful series of panoramic flower-decked terraces which overlook the bay. Take in the views of the sparkling water or the famous Via Krupp, a pathway of hairpin bends cut into the rocks which lead down to the shore. 

Carthusia is a renowned perfumer in Capri and their store and small perfumery is located near the Giardini di Augusto. Head to my previous blog post for more information. 

For a delicious lunch or a refreshing cocktail with the most amazing views, I recommend Capri Rooftop. This contemporary establishment has panoramic views across the bay and has fantastic customer service. 

Directions to Capri: Head to Marina Piccola (Sorrento) , ticket office slightly below street level (boats are very regular and around 17 Euros).

Blu Blazer Guy tip: Ignore the blue tour buses on the right side of the port on arrival, these are specifically for tourists and are expensive. 

Day 5  – Positano

Positano is a chic and stunning cliffside village on the Amalfi Coast and is a renowned tourist destination. Again you can arrange a specialised tour to this town however it is very expensive and time restricted so I advise going on your own by bus or boat.  

Spiaggia Grande is the famous beach that hugs the shore of this village and provides the perfect photo opportunity where many an instagrammer (including myself) stand on its pebbles and pose in front of the rising hillsides and cascading buildings. 

Its most notable architectural point of interest is the spectacular Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta which dominates its skyline. Its gorgeous tiled dome can be seen from many points in the village.

If you are looking for a unique view of Positano whilst experiencing some elegant surroundings with delicious food and drinks then I recommend Le Sirenuse. This luxurious hotel perched above the sea, provides a birds eye view of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta.

It is a great place to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing cocktail and to take some photographs but be prepared to pay the price.

Directions to Positano: Go to tobacconist at the bottom of Sorrento Train station and purchase an all-day bus ticket. Buses are located against the wall opposite the station. When on the bus advise the driver that you are going to Positano and validate your ticket. The bus journey will take around 1 hour. 

Blu Blazer Guy Tip: Sit on the right hand side of the bus when travelling to Positano for the best views. Please be advised that the road to Positano is winding, narrow and clings to the side of the cliffside, if you suffer from travel sickness or frightened of heights I advise taking a boat instead. 

Day 6 – Amalfi and Ravello

Amalfi 

Amalfi is a small town located a half hour away from Positano. On arrival to this seaside gem you will immediately notice the stunning Duomo di Sant’Andrea.

Its towering steps lead up to this architectural marvel and once inside you can experience its moorish style arches and decoration.

The crypt is even said to contain some of the remains of Saint Andrews, whom is the patron saint of Scotland!

For a delicious sweet treat head to a little patisserie on the main square called Pasticceria Andrea Pansa. Open since 1830, it is renowned for its delicious selection of pastries, sweets and chocolates. Try and grab a seat outside and enjoy your treat whilst enjoying the hustle and bustle of the square.

There are also numerous small seafood stands where you can sample the freshest fish, delicately battered and served straight away at a very affordable price. 

Ravello

Located an additional half hour from Amalfi via a narrow, winding and almost vertical road is the stunning village of Ravello. Sitting 365 meters above the Tyrrhenian Sea this breathtaking town has a number of stunning villas and gardens to explore. 

The main square Piazz del Vescovado is small and quant and has a few restaurants and bars to enjoy. It’s main attraction is the Duomo erected in 1086 which also has an accompanying museum which houses a marble bust of Sigligaida Rufolo from the 13th Century. 

Villa Rufolo and Cimbrone

To the south of Ravello’s cathedral, a 14th-century tower marks the entrance to Villa Rufolo. Created by Scotsman, Sir Francis Neville Reid in 1853 the Villa is famed for its beautiful cascading gardens.

The second of the two Villas, Villa Cimbrone was my favourite due to its numerous gardens and views.

I especially love the view from the ‘Terrace of Infinity”, a terrace lined by marble busts with the uninterrupted vista of the sea below.

Directions to Amalfi/Ravello: Go to tobacconist at the bottom of Sorrento Train station and purchase an all-day bus ticket. Buses are located against the wall opposite the station. When on the bus advise the driver that your going to ‘Amalfi’ and validate your ticket. If heading to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello on the same day you can get a hop on/off day pass. Hop on/off bus pass: 10 Euros

Blu Blazer Guy Tip: The road to Amalfi and Ravello is winding, narrow and climbs to quite high heights, perhaps avoid a window seat on the bus if you don’t wish to look outside, although the views are exceptional.

Day 7 – Farm by day / Cocktails by night

Fattoria Terranova Shop 

After a relaxed morning in Sorrento I recommend a visit to the wonderful Fattoria Terranova on Piazza Tasso. This is a fantastic shop in the corner of the main square, who sell the best lemoncello, liqueurs and produce made with ingredients from their local farm.

They also have a stunning area at the back of their store for tastings which is decorated with the most beautiful fresco. 

Agriturismo Fattoria Terranova

For a great lunch or dinner with a difference Agriturismo Fattoria Terranova can take you to their local rustic farm outside Sorrento and can be booked in-store. Private transportation will pick you up at your chosen location and whisk you into the nearby countryside. On arrival, you step through the wooden doors and are met with the most stunning rustic restaurant decorated with flowers, hanging fruits and quant furniture.

The smell of the local flora scents the air and you immediately feel relaxed. After a refreshing glass of Prosecco, you can then choose from a delicious range of local foods and fresh fish.

After lunch you can enjoy a walk around the grounds of the farm and enjoy the beautiful elevated views that look over to the Amalfi Coast. 

Price: ££-£££
Location: Via Pontone, 10. 80061 Massa Lubrense

Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

For your last evening I recommend a lovely cocktail on an amazing Terrace with fantastic views.

There is no better place than Terrazza Vittoria at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria  which is located off the main square in Sorrento.

If you are lucky you may stumble upon the many music inspired evenings that they have but if not you can still sit back and watch the sun sink beneath the horizon as you sip on one of the many delicious drinks served here.

Keep your eyes peeled on the next issue of Guild Magazine for an exclusive feature on this hotel. 

Price: £££-££££
Location: Piazza Torquato Tasso, 34, 80067 Sorrento

Visiting the Amalfi Coast was a dream come true and I loved every minute of my time there, so much so that I returned with my friends a few months later. With its mystical charm, great food and its rustic architecture, the Amalfi Coast will always hold a special place in my heart. Once we are able to travel again I hope you can use this itinerary to enjoy the Amalfi Coast to its fullest and experience the magic that continues to entice me back to its shores.

I love you Italy! Andrà tutto bene.

East Haugh House Hotel

East Haugh House Hotel

Located on the outskirts of Pitlochry in Perthshire is the 17th Century built East Haugh House hotel and restaurant. Originally erected as part of the Atholl Estate, it was converted into a hotel in 1989 by the McGown family who still run the four-star hotel today. Their personal and dedicated approach has won the hotel numerous awards including fishing hotel of the year for 7 years running, best country sports hotel and Best Hotel In Scotland (under 50 rooms). Having previously stayed in the hotel over Hogmanay I couldn’t wait to go back in order to share my experience with you.

Driving into the hotel grounds you immediately notice the hotels stunning stone Victorian façade with turreted roof and quant sash windows. As soon as you walk into the entrance you instantly feel the relaxed and comfortable ambience. The thick tartan carpet leads you to a small reception area where warm and friendly staff check you in to one of the lovely rooms. There are numerous rooms to choose from; Small double/twin, Classic double/twin, Superior double/twin, superior room with Jacuzzi bathroom, Four poster room with Jacuzzi bathroom, Superior suite with movie room and Jacuzzi bathroom and Deluxe superior with open fireplace and Jacuzzi bathroom.

Superior Room with jacuzzi bathroom

As the hotel is surrounded by some of the best areas of fishing such as the River Tay and River Tummel, each of the rooms are named after classic salmon fishing flies. On this occasion I stayed in their recently renovated Superior Suite called the Red Drummond located on the top floor of the hotel.

The Red Drummond Suite

The Red Drummond Suite was open and spacious and was split into three large rooms over the one floor. The first room was the beautifully decorated bedroom which oozed the traditional charm of the surrounding countryside along with some contemporary touches. The slanted roof, dark ceiling beams and unique shape of the room gave the room a quirky style and the décor cleverly accentuated these original features.

Double Bedroom

Two ceiling windows allowed light to flood into the space allowing you to enjoy the view outside and catch glimpses of the turreted roof that brings so much character to the building. The room contains a large super king double bed, lots of storage space, bottled water and tea/coffee making facilities.

View from Suite

Off the landing is a very large bathroom with a luxurious Jacuzzi bath. Again the sloping roof adds so much charm to the space and the addition of a vibrant print wall covering carries the fish theme and also adds a touch of humour.

Large bathroom

The small window allows you to take a bath while looking out towards the expanse of green and I thoroughly enjoyed the selection of luxury toiletries along with the fluffy white bathrobes and towels.

It’s all in the detail

What makes this suite stand out is the addition of a separate movie room which contains a 49’’ TV, DVD player and is connected to Netflix. The room also has its very own sofa bed and a fully stocked mini-bar and is a great space to chill out and relax before heading to your bed. There is also a TV in the bedroom but trust me you the bed is so comfortable that all you will want to do is sink into it and enjoy the quiet surroundings of the hotel. 

Movie room

 

What really stood out for me in this hotel is the food, and it is no wonder that the restaurant is recommended in the UK’s Michelin Guide and gained numerous awards. Their Chef Patron, Neil McGown along with Sous-chef Steven Fleetham heads a team of very talented chefs who produce dishes with ingredients that are both locally sourced and freshly cooked to order. The restaurant itself is located both in the bar area and a larger space that has been added to the building.

Restaurant

The bar area is small and cosy and a roaring fire makes it the perfect place to relax, enjoy one of the many delicious drinks and of course make your way through the tantalising selection of food.

Bar area and restaurant

We started off with one of their renowned cocktails, the aptly named kilt lifter! Not being a huge fan of whisky I was pleasantly surprised with this cocktail, so much so that I had to get the ingredients so I could make it myself.

Kilt Lifter

For the first course I tried the Seared west coast scallops with Chorizo, Cauliflower puree and pickled Cauliflower which were succulent, fresh and full of flavour.

Starter – West Coast Scallops

I then opted for the delicious Roast best end of Perthshire lamb, Champ potatoes, crushed minted garden peas and rosemary jus. The lamb melted in the mouth and the infusion of flavours were simply to die for.

Main – Perthshire Lamb

To finish I had a refreshing take on Eton mess, this time with banoffee. It was light and creamy and the perfect dish to finish such a beautiful and varied dinner. 

Dessert – Banoffee Eton Mess

 

Although I didn’t experience it the hotel also offers an array of activities and country sports, so much so that it has gained the accolade of Best country Sports Hotel at the Scottish Hotel Awards. With numerous packages available to suit everyone’s taste, you can take part in shooting, hunting and fishing to name but a few.

East Haugh House hotel has that traditional highland welcome and customer service that I long for when travelling around Scotland. Its relaxed ambience and comfortable rooms provide an excellent base to explore Perthshire and the surrounding areas. I love that it’s a family owned business and you can truly feel the passion from each and every one of them. It’s no wonder they have so many returning guests and I myself wouldn’t hesitate to book again when visiting the gateway to the Highlands. 

Blu Blazer Guy Rating:

Location – 4/5 – Easily reached by car and close to Pitlochry.
Customer Service – 4.5/5 – Warm and Friendly.
Accommodation – 4.5/5 – Traditional, comfortable and quirky.
Cleanliness – 5/5 – Spotless and immaculate.
Food and Drink – 4.5/5 – Varied menu and fantastic quality.

 

Luxury Hideaways – Crieff

Luxury Hideaways – Crieff

Located near the town of Crieff in Perthshire is a new kind of glamping experience from Luxury Hideaways. Set within acres of the countryside are two luxury stunningly designed eco-friendly pods that provide an idyllic and relaxing escape. Driving down the quaint farm road I didn’t know what to expect. I have to be honest and admit that i am not a huge fan of the glamping scene. That being said I thought I would give it a go, and let’s just say I’m so glad that I did.

As soon as I arrived and walked up to the pod I was completely taken by surprise with its stunning and serene location. Using a unique code given at the time of booking and handprint to enter (just one of the technology quirks) I immediately fell in love with its unique and contemporary design.

On opening the door you are transported into a capsule of beautiful interior design and comfort. The first thing you notice is the sumptuous looking bed that appears to float majestically below a large circular window that provides an Instagram worthy photo of the landscape outside.

The luxurious and deep king size mattress is draped in high-quality linens, embellished with a cosy grey alpaca throw from the White Company and heavy sumptuous scatter cushions. On each side of the bed lie wireless chargers, sleek bedside touch lamps and an array of switches to control the lighting within the room. A pull out TV allows you to lie in bed and enjoy all the latest Netflix, Amazon of iPlayer programmes have to offer.

I do have to admit, as the automatic window blind came down and I slipped underneath the sumptuous duvet, I didn’t want to leave. The bed was extremely comfortable and actually better than some five-star hotels that I have stayed in. That combined with the silence of the location provided me with one of the best sleep ever.

Technology plays a huge role in making this pod as chic and contemporary as possible and each detail has been meticulously thought out. The pod contains underfloor heating, air conditioning/ heating and a heated towel rail which can all be operated from a screen located on the wall. Mood lighting, up lighters and outdoor lighting can also be controlled, providing the perfect ambience to relax and unwind.

Wi-Fi is also included so you can remain connected and your bluetooth device can be connected to the pod so you can listen to your favourite music.

Every nook and cranny of the pod has been designed to fully utilise the space and this carries on into the compact WC area, where a sink, shower and toilet are located.

Concealed wardrobes illuminated by LED lighting enclose fluffy bathrobes and white towels and small drawers provide great quality cutlery and dishes.

A small seating area in the pod provides an area to relax and eat.

The pod also contains a state of the art Nespresso machine and kettle with an array of coffee pods and teas to choose from.

An impressive hamper and fully stocked fridge containing an array of high-quality goods were provided, which was a very thoughtful idea. It’s these small personal touches that make this place stand out.

Outside the pod is a large decked area and even though it’s located adjacent to another pod it has been cleverly designed to be as private as possible taking advantage of the countryside.

There is additional rattan seating outside which allows you to take in the serene views. If that’s not enough, the pod also contains its very own 30-jet Jacuzzi hot-tub. I especially enjoyed sinking into the warm hot-tub, laying back to watch the stars and sipping on a glass of bubbly that is also provided during the stay.

I found my stay at Luxury Hideaways truly unforgettable and surprisingly relaxing, I can’t recommend this accommodation enough. The combination of unique and quirky accommodation, technology, location and friendly communication with the owner prior to arrival all added to a very special stay. I arrived not knowing what to expect but left with a newfound appreciation of the luxury glamping experience. Whether it be for a romantic getaway or simply to disconnect from the world, you certainly won’t be disappointed with a stay at Luxury Hideaways – Crieff.

Head to their website or Instagram for more information and keep your eyes peeled for future locations such as Turnberry in Ayrshire, Delamare Forest in Cheshire and Appin near Oban.

Blu Blazer Guy Rating:

Location – 4/5 – Stunning location but may be difficult to reach without a car.
Customer Service – 4/5 – Easy to book and excellent communication.
Accommodation – 4.5/5 – Unique and contemporary with luxurious touches.
Cleanliness – 5/5 – Spotless and immaculate
Food and Drink – 4/5 – Great quality luxury hamper and supply of bottled water.

 

Radisson Collection Hotel – Royal Mile

Radisson Collection Hotel – Royal Mile

Situated in the heart of Edinburgh’s iconic old town, Radisson Collection Hotel Royal Mile takes pride and place near some of the city’s iconic sites. Surprisingly its contemporary exterior blends perfectly into the historic surroundings. If you are visiting Edinburgh then this hotel is definitely placed perfectly for you to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer. Not only are you located near the beautiful Royal Mile but just around the corner is the stunning Edinburgh Castle which sits majestically overlooking the city. 

From the historic streets outside, the foyer of the hotel is a complete contrast, displaying many contemporary elements. A stunning sitting area with neutral table and chairs and metallic lights is backed by a beautiful modern fireplace which adds warmth to the space. This is perfect place to sit and relax before exploring the city.

Lounge Area

A long marble table lined with lights is backed by an open shelved wall displaying works of art, sculptures and candles. The reception area echoes the same decor with metallic desks which appear to float above the ground. 

There is an abundance of room types to choose from, including; The Collection Room, Collection Superior Room, Collection Premium Room, Collection Premium Room – Skyline View, Family Room, Junior Suite and the indulgent Designer Suite. I stayed in one of the Junior Suites which was located on the upper floors. As you enter the room the first thing you notice is the stunning uninterrupted views of the city.

The floor to ceiling windows makes it feel as if the room was floating above the city and it allows you to see aspects of the city that are truly unique. Being a longstanding resident of Edinburgh and having stayed in many Edinburgh hotels, this was one of the most striking views that I have ever seen. 

The room is extremely spacious, bright and separated into two separate areas, the lounge/dining area and the bedroom/bathroom area. The neutral decor of white and grey is accentuated with a wall of artwork and prints.

Dining Area

A large circular seat with printed material is the perfect place to sit back and relax and enjoy the huge projector and screen that’s provided in the room.  

The large and comfortable bed is backed with a smoked mirror which adds depth to the room but also reflects the beautiful views from the outside.

Bedroom

What I loved is that you can simply lie back on your bed and look out the window, admiring the historic skyline of Edinburgh.

Bedroom View

The bathroom is separated by a heavy mirrored door and is a complete contrast to the neutral decor, surprising you with a colour tone of bright pink and black.

A relaxing monsoon shower, a bath, fluffy bathrobes, comfy slippers and lots of bathroom amenities are the perfect way to start or finish your day.

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If its food and drink you are looking for then look no further than the hotel’s award-winning restaurant called Cucina which provides a range of seasonal dishes. Although I didn’t eat dinner at the hotel this time, I did opt for a few cocktails in the hotels Epicurean Bar. The bar sells an extensive range of outstanding cocktails created by some of the best mixologists around. The bar carries on the contemporary feel with low mood lighting and highlights of red leather seating.

Epicurean Bar

I experienced breakfast at Cucina with a range of continental breakfast options including cereals, fruit, pastries, meats, cheese and also a menu with hot food choices. I opted for the smoked salmon and scrambled egg which was a fantastic warm and tasty way to start the day.

 

Overall I had a brilliant stay at Raddison Collection Royal Mile. I loved the decor, the staff were extremely friendly yet non-intrusive and the beautiful views from the room made my stay truly exceptional. 

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View from Window

The hotel is perfectly placed to enjoy the best parts of the city yet was extremely quiet being located so close to the centre. If you are looking for modern facilities and decor in a historic setting then this is the place to book.

Blu Blazer Guy Rating:

Location – 5/5 – In the centre of historic Edinburgh.
Customer Service – 4/5 – Friendly and informative but non intrusive.
Rooms – 4.5/5 – Spacious and unique with stunning views of Edinburgh.
Cleanliness – 4.5/5 – Spotlessly clean
Food and Drink – 3/5 – Atmosphere in the bar and breakfast area could be better.

Christmas Gift Guide 2019 – Hotel Stays

Christmas Gift Guide 2019 – Hotel Stays

I hope you enjoyed my previous unisex fragrance Christmas gift guide. The next part of my Christmas gift guide is Hotel Stays. One gift I love to receive at Christmas (or at any time of the year) is a surprise night away in a hotel, even if it’s within the city I stay in. Edinburgh has an abundance of stunning hotels catering for everyone’s needs and I have been lucky enough to stay in some of them. Staying in a hotel for the night allows you to escape day to day life and create memories that will last a lifetime. So go on, treat your partner, friends or family to a lovely evening in the Scottish capital and if you’re finding it difficult to choose, here are my top favourite hotel choices.

Lane Hotel – Bruntsfield Boutique

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Situated in the exclusive area of Morningside in south Edinburgh is The Lane Hotel; an exquisite boutique hotel owned by Mark and Amy Kerr. Housed in two beautifully renovated Victorian buildings, there is a choice of individually designed classic, deluxe and luxury rooms to choose from. This small but impeccably formed hotel makes the perfect base for a city trip, whether you are a tourist, business traveller or simply need a little treat to escape the hustle of everyday life.

Read more on my previous blog post.

Price rating: £

House of Gods – Beige Is Blasphemy

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Boutique hotels are not usually synonymous with the Cowgate area of Edinburgh’s Old Town. A new addition to the Edinburgh hotel scene has set to change all that. House of Gods celebrates the dark mysterious side of Edinburgh with an unapologetic decadence. This hotel takes pride of place in Edinburgh’s old town with its exterior housing a large neon sign inviting you in and giving you a playful glimpse to what House of Gods has to offer.

Read more on my previous blog post.

Price rating: £

The Bonham – West End Elegance

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Overlooking the elegantly leafy and picturesque Drumsheugh Gardens in the West End of Edinburgh is one of the city’s hidden gems; The Bonham Hotel. Originally constructed as three separate townhouses in 1872, the 19th Century property has witnessed many transformations over the years. It wasn’t until 1998 that it was turned into the lavish Bonham Hotel, introducing the city to the boutique hotel concept.

Read more on my previous blog post.

Price rating: ££

Market Street Hotel – Old Town meets New

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Situated on the fringes of Edinburgh’s iconic old town, Market Street Hotel takes pride and place in its new home. Surprisingly its contemporary exterior blends perfectly into the historic surroundings. Stone sourced from within 90 miles of its location was used in order to create this seamless integration of old and new. As it towers above nearby Waverley station you cannot help but notice this crowning glory.

Read more on my previous blog post.

Price rating: ££

Fingal – A Floating Luxury

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Fingal, a former Northern lighthouse board ship is a new £5million development by The Royal Yacht Britannia’s trading company: Royal Yacht Enterprises. Set in the historic Port of Leith this beautiful ship has been meticulously transformed into Scotland’s first luxurious floating boutique hotel.

Read more on my previous blog post.

Price rating: £££

Yotel – Contemporary Queen Street Marvel

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Located centrally in Edinburgh on Queen Street is the newly opened YOTEL. This contemporary hotel is located only a stones throw away from the city centre and is a perfect choice if you are visiting for business or pleasure.

Read more on my previous blog post.

Price rating: £

Thank you for reading and keep your eyes peeled for my next Christmas Gift Guide.

 

House of Gods

House of Gods

Boutique hotels are not usually synonymous with the Cowgate area of Edinburgh’s Old Town. A new addition to the Edinburgh hotel scene has set to change all that. House of Gods celebrates the dark mysterious side of Edinburgh with an unapologetic decadence. This hotel takes pride of place in Edinburgh’s old town with its exterior housing a large neon sign inviting you in and giving you a playful glimpse to what House of Gods has to offer.

As you enter the hotel, you walk through the exuberantly trendy bar. Here you clearly notice the cleverly constructed decor merging together different styles to create maximum impact.

Dark wooden panelled walls are brought to life with Japanese style art, all framed by neon lights and it’s very own disco ball dripping in pink. House of Gods somehow manages to capture the essence of Edinburgh and the Cowgate area, yet blends it seamlessly with a little smudge of Amsterdam and Japan thrown in for good measure.

As you arrive at the quaint reception area, friendly staff check you in. Wandering along the hallway towards your room feels as if you have stepped into the Edinburgh underground scene. The dimly lit corridor is adorned with rows of doors embellished with lavish decorative material.

There are 30 rooms in the hotel split into three categories: The Cabin, The Classic and The Suite. I stayed in the classic room number 106 which was cosy and intimate. The hotel’s motto is “Beige is Blasphemy” which is clearly evident throughout. The interior decor is dark, opulent and sexy exuding a naughty but extravagant side. The first thing you notice is the beautiful four-poster bed which is draped in a deep red velvet lined with an elaborate floral design.

The ambience is ramped up by the switch next to the bed, which when flicked, illuminates the bed with red neon light.

Neon Nights

The bed was small but very comfortable and due to the fact that there was no exterior window, I felt like I was in my very own cocoon and managed to have a perfect sleep.

The flow of the interior design is undisturbed by modern technology, cleverly camouflaged to utilise space as much as possible. Within the adjacent mirror is a cleverly concealed TV, the bedside cabinet doubles as a minibar, a safe is located under the bed and behind a small mirror is a Nespresso coffee machine.

Bedside cabinet

A custom hand-built bar in beautiful dark wood contains all you need for a delicious in-room drink. Pre-made cocktails, a bottle of wine and gold bar accessories really add a special flair to the room.

In-room bar area

The bathroom is more of a contemporary affair, all clad in marble with stainless steel accessories. The underfloor heating is an added bonus and the monsoon shower was to die for. I must say I was a tad disappointed that the bathroom didn’t continue the elaborate decor of the bedroom, however, the contrast provided yet another quirky side to the many personalities that House of Gods has to offer.

Other rooms in the hotel offer the same opulent vibe, each with a slight twist so there is something new to explore each time you stay.

The Suite

The suite even contains your very own brass roll top bath and a few additional cheetah friends to keep you company during the night.

The customer service perfectly represents what the hotel is all about; friendly, laidback and professional. A clever touch, which I personally liked, is that you can simply send a message via WhatsApp to the hotel reception if you require anything. I used the service and it was quick, easy and very convenient.

There is no restaurant located at House of Gods, but due to its proximity to the city centre, you are surrounded by an abundance of great places to eat. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff were happy to recommend different places for an evening meal.

Nearby restaurant, OX 184.

The cocktail bar; Lilith’s Lounge is definitely a cool place to hang out! It serves a range of cocktails ‘inspired by the fables of Rock n’ Roll’s hotel debauchery’. Mixologist Joey and his team are great at whipping up one of the many cocktails in no time at all.

My favourite was Rock N’ Rosé which includes Tanqueray No. Ten, Pomegranate & Rose syrup, Lemon Juice, Belsazar Rose and Brachetto D’Acqui.

House of Gods is certainly different from any other Edinburgh based hotel that I have stayed, which is one aspect I really liked about it. It has a unique and interesting style in both its interior design and customer service. House of Gods doesn’t conform to the norms of the Edinburgh hotel scene. Like marmite, it may not appeal to everyone’s liking or may not be your first choice but all I can say is give it a go and you will be thoroughly surprised.

Blu Blazer Guy Rating:

Location – 4/5 – Located in Old Town within easy reach of all tourist attractions.
Customer Service – 4.5/5 – Friendly and laid back. 
Rooms – 4/5 – Unique, cosy and full of character. 
Cleanliness – 4/5 – Spotless
Drink – 4.5/5 – Fantastic range of unique cocktails 

The Bonham Hotel – Edinburgh

The Bonham Hotel – Edinburgh

Overlooking the elegantly leafy and picturesque Drumsheugh Gardens in the West End of Edinburgh is one of the city’s hidden gems; The Bonham Hotel. Originally constructed as three separate townhouses in 1872, the 19th Century property has witnessed many transformations over the years. It wasn’t until 1998 that it was turned into the lavish Bonham Hotel, introducing the city to the boutique hotel concept. 

The hotel recently went through extensive renovation and in 2019 it revealed its brand new look to its awe-inspiring guests. Interior designer Nigel Howard, who has also worked with other boutique hotels such as The Dylan Hotel in Dublin and New Road Hotel in London, had the task of designing The Bonham’s new style. Although every room caters to the modern market, there is a specific nod to the past where each has been decorated to reflect the Georgian and Victorian history of the building. I was keen to visit the hotel to explore its new design and to experience the rooms and facilities that The Bonham Hotel has to offer.

Being situated in the elegant area of the West End and only 10 minutes from the citycentre, the hotel is perfectly placed. As a resident of Edinburgh I have lived in many areas of the city and the West End has to be one that resonates with me the most. Its refined crescents, tall elegant buildings and cobbled streets are exactly what your mind conjures up when you think of Edinburgh. Therefore this hotel couldn’t have a better location for me. 

As you enter the intimate hotel foyer you can’t help but be enchanted by the beautiful architectural features of the building. The calming decor, beautiful ceiling cornicing and wooden panelled staircase gives you a glimpse of what’s to come.

Hotel Reception

Due to the property being three separate townhouses the layout of the hotel is very quirky as this adds to the charm of the place. Whilst you walk around the corridors to your room you are greeted with numerous pieces of art that fit perfectly with the ambience of the hotel. Although the hotel has been recently refurbished you would almost think that it hasn’t been changed at all. This goes to show the interior designers ability to sensitively update the decor whilst respecting the surroundings and maintaining The Bonham’s historic charm.

There are 49 en-suite bedrooms in the hotel which are divided into different categories; Classic, Superior, Junior Suite and Executive Suite.

 

I stayed in one of only two executive suites known as the Rothesay Suite, named after Rothesay Terrace, a street located close to the hotel. As i entered into this first floor suite, It took my breath away. The lounge is an elegant space with a neutral palette accented by blue velvet sofas, dark antique furniture and a stunning wooden fireplace.

Rothesay Suite Lounge

A large bay window fills the room with light, brightening the expansive space, even on a typically cloudy day in Edinburgh. The traditional sash windows are elegantly framed by luxurious floor to ceiling drapes and a large dining table is perfectly placed to sit and gaze into the nearby gardens.

Through double doors is the impressive king size bedroom attached to a very large bathroom. Again the room is beautifully decorated and manages to exude the perfect blend of both traditional and contemporary. A small desk provides the perfect area to work and a large cupboard gives plenty storage space.

Rothesay Suite Bedroom

The Hypnos bed is the focal point of the room, adorned with heavy embroidered cushions and luxurious throw. I can confirm that it was extremely comfortable and I especially loved the plump pillows which leads me to wonder where do they source these from?

The bathroom was a more contemporary space with white metro tiles, large mirror and separate bath and a shower. Although spacious and modern, I felt it did lack some of the elegance and tradition that emanated from the rest of the suite. That being said, extra luxurious touches such as robes and slippers were provided as well as a range of toiletries from The White Company. The monsoon shower was the perfect wakeup call in the morning before breakfast. 

Bathroom Toiletries

The Bonham’s restaurant named No 35 provides a range of European inspired food with a slight Scottish twist using local suppliers. There are lots of lovely design features in this space, most noticeable the parquet flooring with a central carpet of monochromatic tiles.

No.35 Restaurant

Again the restaurant houses a beautiful collection of art which is enhanced by the soft dusky lavender walls and dark wooden panelling. The occasional chandelier bestows a slice of glamour and the rich purple velvet of the chairs provides a pop of colour. I opted for the Bonham Burger which was moist and succulent and also the duck breast which was rich and full of flavour. If you are staying for a few days its good to experience what the hotel has to offer to its fullest.

The bar area of the hotel is intimate and cosy and has a sleek art deco design. It’s the perfect place to sit back and enjoy a pre-dinner drink as their is an extensive wine list to choose from. 

Hotel Bar

The hotel also boasts many areas to relax and enjoy afternoon tea or to escape and read a book. The lounge area is cosy and is filled with dark furniture highlighted with a stunning shade of blue velvet.

 

Located just off the reception area is an intimate library with tranquil shades of green as if nature has been brought in from outside, the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Next morning I opted for breakfast in the room, why have a beautiful suite and have to leave for breakfast? The food promptly arrived at the time requested and I had the pleasure of sitting at my very own dining table looking out to the autumnal trees in the garden. We had both a vegetarian and meat breakfast which were equally delicious, along with pastries, toast and numerous condiments.

 

If you can prise yourself away from the hotel, guests have access to nearby private Drumsheugh Gardens which are the perfect place to relax and unwind. In the midst of the leafy trees it provides a perfect inner city sanctuary, so much so that you almost forget that you are stone’s throw away from the hotel and Edinburghs iconic West End buildings.

Autumnal leaves of Drumsheugh Gardens

My stay at the Bonham Hotel was pleasantly surprising.  After all these years in Edinburgh I have not visited the hotel, so I didn’t know what to expect. The hotel oozed a special charm and captured the very essence of what Edinburgh is about. The staff were extremely friendly, the room was exquisite and the whole ambience of the hotel was welcoming and warm. My only regret is not visiting The Bonham Hotel sooner. 

Blu Blazer Guy Rating:

Location – 5/5 – Centrally Located and easy to get to. 
Customer Service – 4.5/5 – Friendly and non-intrusive. 
Rooms – 4.5/5 – Charming, spacious and stunning interior design.
Cleanliness – 4/5 – All areas of the room were spotless 
Food/Drink – 3/5 – Food was okay. 

 

 

Market Street Hotel

Market Street Hotel

It teased us with its highly conceptual marketing on social media and whispers of its arrival spread across Edinburgh like wildfire. Market Street Hotel, Scotland’s first design hotel from Carlton Hotel Collection opened its doors in August during the Edinburgh festival. I was invited to experience this new and exciting addition to Edinburgh’s hotel scene and could not wait to see what it had to offer.

Situated on the fringes of Edinburgh’s iconic old town, Market Street Hotel takes pride and place in its new home. Surprisingly its contemporary exterior blends perfectly into the historic surroundings. Stone sourced from within 90 miles of its location was used in order to create this seamless integration of old and new. As it towers above nearby Waverley station you cannot help but notice this crowning glory. 

 

Photo by Carlton Hotel

Market Street Hotel has turned  the typical hotel concept on its head by cleverly locating the reception on its seventh floor instead of the ground. The mirrored and amazing lit elevator whisks you up, where you are greeted by lovely welcoming staff in the open and airy foyer with views of the Edinburgh skyline.

Hotel Foyer

There is an abundance of room types to choose from, including; Cozy, Roomy, Roomy Bath, Vista and the indulgent Alba Suite. I stayed in the Vista room and as its name suggests this room was located on the upper floors having stunning views of the city. In order to take full advantage of these views the room contains a handy pair of binoculars, so you can take in the striking architecture of Edinburgh.

Vista Room

The rooms in Market Street Hotel are beautifully designed to get the best out of the space. A large king-size bed provides a sumptuous place to lay your head at the end of the night. Providing you with a pillow menu, they make all attempts to ensure you get a good nights sleep.

It’s all in the details

The heavy wooden shutters allow you to close yourself off from the city and be cocooned in your very own luxurious room. I must say it was one of the most comfortable beds I have slept in and the room was surprisingly quiet being so close to the city centre. 

The ante-bathrooms are a fantastic design aspect, providing guests with separate toilet, shower and sink areas. A relaxing rainfall shower, fluffy bathrobes, comfy slippers and Votary bathroom amenities are the perfect way to start or finish your day. In all honesty, I didn’t want to leave my room.

Everything, even down to the rooms amenities all exude contemporary design elements, an aspect that runs through the hotels DNA. From Dyson hairdryers, GHD straighteners, smart tv and even the option of a clothes steamer. 

What I especially loved about the room was its complimentary indulgence cabinet, with Nespresso machine and Aeroccino milk frother, locally roasted coffee and even a mini-bar which is so often not included within the price of a hotel stay.

Its iconic glass-fronted champagne bar on the top follow is called Nor’ Loft; named after the Nor’ Loch that used to lie beneath Edinburgh Castle. This exquisite champagne bar allows light to flood the space and provides uninterrupted views across the Edinburgh skyline.

The design is chic, laid back and contemporary. There is no shortage of seating and designated spaces have been cleverly segregated using a selection of sofas and chairs in an array of colours and textures. Its modern angular design provides perfect nooks and crannies where you can sit back and enjoy your sparkling glass of champagne.

If the weather is lovely you can head out to their spectacular terrace and enjoy a drink al fresco whilst taking in the views of some of Edinburgh’s iconic monuments and buildings. What I especially adored was its wall adorned with flaming bowls each placed at a height to represent the first notes of the Scotland national anthem… Cue “Of Flower of Scotland!”

Although there is no formal restaurant, the Nor’ Loft provide numerous small plates which are the perfect accompaniment to their selection of drinks. I especially loved their soy-marinated quail eggs and smoked chicken rillettes.

The talented and enthusiastic Ollie who is Nor Loft’s head barman is always on hand to recommend the perfect drink or cocktail. The bar of course has an exceptional selection of champagne and while staying in the hotel each guest is treated with a complimentary glass during their stay. 

It’s in Nor Loft where you also get to experience breakfast. It was such a treat to head up in the morning and be greeted by the gorgeous views of the city of Edinburgh. The staff go out there a way to make you feel very special and their enthusiastic and friendly nature is a breath of fresh air. Breakfast begins with a lovely section of pastries, cereals, fruits, hams, cheeses and bread for you to choose from.

My favourites was their vegan croissant filled with blueberry jam. Also included is a selection of hot food from the chef’s menu. I opted for the full Scottish breakfast of course which contained a selection of the best Scottish produce and was absolutely delicious.

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Other options included crushed avocado and poached eggs, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon and even grilled grapefruit. 

Overall I had a fantastic stay at Market Street Hotel. I loved its interior design, the staff whom were extremely friendly yet non-intrusive and the beautiful views from the rooms and Nor’ Loft made my stay truly exceptional. 

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Market Street Hotel is perfectly placed to enjoy the best parts of the city by directly straddling both the old town and the city centre. Being only across the road from Edinburgh Waverley train station and airport bus stop makes this hotel extremely accessible. All in all it is a fantastic design led addition to Edinburgh’s expanding hotel scene and one that I would highly recommend to everyone!

Blu Blazer Guy Rating :

Location – 5/5 – Centrally located
Customer Service – 5/5 – Friendly, welcoming and informative.
Rooms – 4/5 – Contemporary and spacious. 
Cleanliness – 5/5 – All areas spotlessly clean. 
Food/Drink – 4/5 – Great choice of drinks and food with stunning views over the city.

Yotel Edinburgh

Yotel Edinburgh

Located centrally in Edinburgh on Queen Street is the newly opened YOTEL. This contemporary hotel is located only a stones throw away from the city centre and is a perfect choice if you are visiting for business or pleasure. I was recently invited to stay at the hotel to check out its cabins (Yotel’s lingo for rooms) and the hotel’s amenities. 

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Queen Street, Edinburgh.

Firstly I was welcomed by a fresh and contemporary designed foyer. The self-check-in kiosks provided a quick and easy way to check-in without all the hassle of waiting in queues. I was very impressed with how efficient it was. All I had to do was enter a few details and before I knew it my room and key cards were ready. Don’t worry if you’re a technophobe, their mission control (Yotel’s lingo for Reception) is located directly across from the kiosks and the staff are there to help you 24/7 if needed. 

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Self Check-In Kiosks

The hallways leading up to the rooms give you an insight into the contemporary design that YOTEL is known for. Their design and concept of geometric carpet and slick white walls provides a modern flare.

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On entering the cabin, the first thing that surprised me was the size of the room. It was bright and airy with a relaxing palette of whites and greys, which was right up my street. The large windows flooded the room with light and I loved how the use of mirrors gave the elusion of more space and light. I especially admired how the old historic buildings outside contrasted against the modern interior of the room. 

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YOTEL’s signature adjustable smart bed was the focal point and I couldn’t wait to jump into it… lets just say I wasn’t disappointed! The cosy white duvet and plump pillows were luxurious (I’m all about the thread count) and the fact you could adjust the bed made it even more special.

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The large smart TV and adjustable mood lightening were also a fantastic way to chill at the end of the night. Small reading lamps and USB ports meant that you had everything at your fingertips,. The only thing I needed was my YOTEL Butler…okay they don’t have that yet but you never know! 

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I liked that the shower, toilet and wash basin were all located separately, making it more convenient when you are sharing a room with someone that takes ages to get ready in the morning. Don’t worry, both the monsoon shower and toilet are encased behind frosted glass.

 

The wash hand basin takes pride and place in the room with the added bonus of a large illuminated mirror and luxury toiletries from Urban Skincare Co., specially selected by YOTEL to help guests counteract the impact of urban living on their skin and hair.

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KOMYUNITI is a central area in the hotel where you can lounge around, socialise, eat and drink. Their reliable WiFi would make it a great area to work as well.

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It’s a large open space located off the foyer echoes the playful design of the rest of the hotel. Its large front windows allow lots of light to stream in and it has a fantastic ambience at night.

If you opted to have breakfast (which of course I did) then head through the sliding doors through to a designated area. The breakfast is a self service buffet style of continent style and also traditional scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages etc. The highlight of breakfast was not the food but the 360 degrees projections under the ceiling. 

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Also attached to the hotel is the very Instagrammable Kohi Coffee shop which runs along the front of the hotel. Again large windows allow light to flood the area providing a bright and airy space to enjoy their seasonally selected coffee.

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I didn’t try it during my stay as I enjoyed my coffee at breakfast, however I can’t wait to head back and try it in the near future. 

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I had always known of the YOTEL brand but never stayed in any of their hotels before and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I had one of the best nights sleep and was very impressed that the room was so quiet despite it facing onto the busy Queen Street. From the funky contemporary design, the excellent amenities and the great customer service, I wouldn’t hesitate to book into one of their many hotels around the world in the future. 

YOTEL’s mission statement sums it up perfectly “We are social to the core, refreshingly inclusive and actively create a sense of community for work and play. We disrupt the world of hospitality through technology, design and our people. We deliver extraordinary value in sought after places.” 

Edinburgh Festivals – 5 Festivals in 1 Day

Edinburgh Festivals – 5 Festivals in 1 Day

You may have noticed the slight buzz  and electric energy around Edinburgh this month. Guess what? It’s time for Edinburgh festivals!!! I was invited to spend a day with Festivals Edinburgh who do a fantastic job in ensuring that Edinburgh remains the world’s leading festival city. Eleven festivals take place throughout the year, five in August alone, so I set out to explore these five fantastic festivals all in one day.

Edinburgh Art Festival – 25th July to 25th August

If you looking to ignite your creative mind and or have a fond appreciation of art, then look no further than Edinburgh’s Art Festival. This festival is the largest visual art celebration in the UK and attracts an astounding 250,000 people each year. It encompasses work from established to emerging artists, providing a creative outlet to showcase their extraordinary work. The festival includes over 40 exhibitions, most of which are free to attend and include an assortment of contemporary, fine and abstract art. 

Firstly I visited the historic Parliament Hall for the exhibition called ‘The Future is Inside Us, It’s not Somewhere Else’ by Nathan Coley. This was a series of large-scale custom made lightboxes which merge original wallpaper from Zuber & Ice and phrases chosen by the artist. The stunning Parliament Hall provided the perfect backdrop to these thought provoking pieces.

My favourite had to be ‘Looking For Luck’ which was inspired by a story about a South American man travelling with his family across the Mexican/American Border. He was stopped by a journalist who asked him why we was travelling to America and the man replied “I am looking for luck”. 

Next I visited Dovecot Studios to explore a selection of tapestries created by the artist, Grayson Perry. The series is called ‘Julie Cope’s Grand Tour’. I absolutely loved this exhibition, the tapestries were vivid, intricate and full of life.

I concluded the Edinburgh Art Festival by visiting the much talked about ‘I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On’ by Alfredo Jaar. The piece is located on a bridge above West College Street and is said to articulate a perfect metaphor for the era we live in. 

Edinburgh Fringe – 2nd to 26th August

The Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world where performers take to the numerous stages and venues (317 in 2018) scattered all over the city.

 

 

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Unlike the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe has no selection process and is therefore open to anyone. Performers can present any type of work and then pay a fee to the Fringe. This makes the Fringe an exciting and unpredictable festival, as you never know what to expect. Due to its thrilling manner, The Fringe has given rise to several stars throughout the years.

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The central area for this festival is located on the Royal Mile. On this charming and historic street you will find an abundance of street performers trying to grab your attention, pop-up stages showcasing some acts and copious amount of promoters handing out leaflets enticing you to the many shows available.

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The Royal Mile

Edinburgh International Festival – 2nd to 26th August

Founded in 1947 to bring people together through culture in the wake of conflict, Edinburgh International Festival invites people from all over the world to perform shows in theatre, dance, music and opera. Over the years this spectacular melting pot of creativity has continued to grow, showcasing some of the finest talent around the globe. These hand-picked shows are spread throughout a number of venues in Edinburgh. 

I visited Church Hill Theatre to watch the charismatic show ‘Roots’. The show blends animation and storytelling with a live musical score all whilst telling the fascinating folk tales. This show was very intriguing and cleverly put together. The timing of each of the characters was impeccable and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the musicians who at some points were playing three instruments at the same time. What made it even more impressive is that there were only four people in the whole show, multi-tasking was definitely one there best skills. 

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – 2nd to 25th August

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is Scotland’s biggest outdoor spectacle, attracting a staggering 220,000 people each year. Located on the esplanade of the iconic Edinburgh castle, over a 1000 military and civilian performers from around the world congregate to perform a show of a lifetime.

With a prime position on the forecourt, I was able to experience this up close and personal. With its multiculturalism effortlessly mixed with traditional Scottish dancing, I must admit it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever witnessed. I especially loved the performance from the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Orchestra who brought a touch of sunshine and vibrancy to the show and the New Zealand Army Band performed their impressive Haka display.

This year’s theme is called Kaleidoscope and is a series of performances with colour and light, comparable to the optical invention which was created by Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster in 1816.

The display of music and dance against Edinburgh Castle is a sight to be seen and should be on everyones bucket list. At the end of the evening I had exclusive access to the roof to witness the spectacular firework finale.

Edinburgh International Book Festival – 10th to 26th August

Edinburgh International Book Festival is a celebration of the written word in all its forms and brings together writers from over 60 Countries.

I attended ‘Unbound’, a free event in the Spiegletent which explores poetry in all its glory. All the readings were passionate and witty, taking you on a journey of different emotions.

As I sat in the mist filled ambience of the tent, I looked back on this fantastic day and couldn’t help but feel truly blessed to stay in the heart of the best festival city in the world.