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.

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.” 

Point A Hotel – Edinburgh

Point A Hotel – Edinburgh

I recently had the chance to stay at the latest addition to the Point A Hotels family group, Point A Edinburgh. This hotel aims to bring low-priced stylish rooms to the centre of the Scottish capital – which unsurprisingly is the most visited destination in the UK outside of London. Point A Edinburgh is located close to Haymarket Station which is only a seven-minute walk or four-minute cab journey to the hotel, making it a perfect base to explore the city.

As soon as you arrive at the hotel you are greeted with the most amazing staff and even though the hotel has only been open a short while the check-in process was slick and highly professional. The 24-hour reception is bright and welcoming and connects to a spacious and relaxing lounge area which has numerous comfortable seating.

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Lobby Area

It’s here where they serve Point A’s signature Brekkie and if you are feeling peckish throughout your stay, refreshments are also available 24/7. There is also free WiFi throughout the public areas and the guest rooms which I must say was fast and efficient.

Lounge Area

The hotel has 149 guest rooms, ‘cosy rooms’ being smaller and coming with or without windows and ‘comfy rooms’ for those seeking a more spacious room. Some of the rooms enjoy breath-taking views over Edinburgh’s iconic buildings. I stayed in one of their cosy double rooms which I thought was compact but perfectly formed. The addition of a floor to ceiling window allowed light to flood into the room and provided those views towards the city.

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The luxurious Hypnos bed was extremely comfortable and I had one of the best nights of sleep I have had in a while. I especially loved the attention to details with fabric headboards embellished with colourful buttons and throws from the Isle of Bute.

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I am a man who loves gadgets so their high-tech mood lighting was right up my street, you can opt for a simple white light or change it whatever colour your heart desires. The addition of a 43-inch Samsung Smart TV along with Google Chromecast provides some in-room entertainment, perfect after a long day of sightseeing.

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The bathrooms are clean, bright and well-appointed with a fantastic power shower to set you up for your day in the city. The room also includes basic toiletries and a hairdryer perfect for saving that valuable space in your luggage.

I was pleasantly surprised with my stay at Point A Edinburgh, it has managed to perfectly amalgamate budget and boutique accommodation providing guests with stylishly appointed rooms at very affordable prices. Being a resident of Edinburgh and a blogger I am constantly asked for recommendations of affordable accommodation within the city and I would not hesitate to recommend Point A hotel for a comfortable and relaxing stay.

Blu Blazer Guy Rating :

Location – 4/5
Customer Service – 4/5
Rooms – 4/5
Cleanliness – 5/5
Food/Drink – 3/5

The Bridge House – Ballintuim

The Bridge House – Ballintuim

Only a few hours north of Edinburgh is the picturesque area of Perthshire; often referred to as the gateway to the highlands. This area of stunning natural beauty has been a favourite of mine since childhood. From its rolling hills, endless woodlands and meandering rivers, Perthshire is truly a captivating and mesmerising area. I often travel up at least once a year in order rekindle old memories and ignite new ones.

I recently visited the village of Ballintuim, a place that I had never been to before. Once again I was completely taken aback by its beauty. The destination this time was Blackcraig Castle, but it wasn’t the castle I was staying in, it was the unique bridge house located on its approach. As I drove along its tree lined road i couldn’t help but feel like I was in the middle of nowhere. The Bridge House dating back to 1870 was a unique and tranquil escape that can be rented out as a whole house or two separate apartments.

As I arrived to the baronial covered bridge it felt like something out of a fairy-tale, its unique structure straddling the trickling river below it. Looking at the property from the outside was highly deceiving as its small red door opened up to a beautifully sized living/dining/kitchen area.

The room was adorned with antique furniture which fitted the room perfectly and the kitchen had a traditional stove perfect for lighting a fire and warming up the space.

Its most noticeable feature is a relaxing swinging chair in the corner where you could sip on your warm drink as you stare out the quaint sash windows. As you can imagine, this was one of my favourite places to relax.

In a beautiful adjoining turret was a unique spiral staircase that led up to the upper floor.

Here I found a small but perfectly formed bedroom with a stone fireplace and a lovely window overlooking the river.

This room allows you to lay back in bed and listen to the relaxing sound of the water below. The space had numerous windows and skylights allowing light to seep in and brighten the room. Again it is filled with lovely antique furniture and the original window shutters that finished of the room perfectly.

If that’s not enough, I then climbed the stairs again to reach the outdoor space of the accommodation providing the perfect place to relax and a view of the river below. In the tip of the turret was the sauna, perfectly sized for two people with a large window looking out across the landscape allowing you to sit back and admire the beautiful countryside around you.

Adjacent to the property through was small iron gate leading you to descend down the stairs into a fantastic large garden area with numerous seating areas.

It is here where I would wander down to the edge of the river and truly take in the full view of this special building.

The surrounding area is fantastic for walking and there are numerous trails that run by the property. If you are looking for something more sedate then there are numerous traditional pubs in the nearby villages of Bridge of Cally and Kirkmichael. Further afield and within an hour’s drive is the renowned town of Pitlochry (one of my favourite places to visit) and of course the neighbouring town of Dunkeld, famous for its approaching bridge and my favourite interior design store, Jeffrey’s interiors.

So if you’re looking for a unique stay in the heart of Scotland that is both rural and peaceful then this is the place for you. I was completely blown away by its style and location and it will be a place that I will be visiting again soon. It definitely gets the Blublazerguy seal of approval.

Blu Blazer Guy Rating :

Location – 5/5
Customer Service – /
Rooms/Accommodation – 4/5
Cleanliness – 4/5
Food/Drink – /

Fingal – Scotland’s Luxury Floating Hotel

Fingal – Scotland’s Luxury Floating Hotel

Since Fingal’s official launch in the beginning of 2019, I have been longing to stay at this unique hotel.

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. I was delighted to have been invited to stay on board, so let me share my Blublazerguy review with you!

As you walk towards this impressive nautical marvel you are struck by its sleek design. Its slick black exterior with contrasting red stripe and gold writing gives you a sense of what to expect on board. A red carpet leads you into its small reception area where you are greeted by the most friendliest of staff. It is here where you first get to experience the uniqueness of this hotel. Its bespoke glass cylindrical lift, that is one of only five in the world, transports you towards your luxury cabin.

Fingal’s 23 luxury cabins are each named after Stevenson lighthouses, inspired by Fingal’s rich maritime heritage. There are numerous cabin types to choose from; classic & luxury, classic & luxury duplex and their impressive Skerryvore Suite with its exceptional private deck.

Luxury Duplex

I stayed in one of their luxury cabins named Hyskeir.

Luxury Cabin

What first struck me about the room was the attention to detail with regards to their interior design. Locally made tartan bed throws, leather clad wardrobes and bathrooms with bespoke brass detailing are all cleverly connected to Fingal’s journey from land and sea. Each bed is backed by a gorgeous custom leather headboard embossed with nautical maps showing the location of the Scottish lighthouse from which each cabin takes its name. The bed was extremely comfortable and I must admit I had one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a while in any hotel.

To make it even more special you are provided with tea, coffee and water throughout your stay and I loved the mini fridge and bar filled with local goods. I especially loved that each of the cabins have direct access to the deck, allowing you to head outside and explore every beautiful detail of this ship unprecedented design.

The lighthouse bar offers a luxury yet relaxed restaurant vibe with sumptuous leather seating and floor to ceiling windows. It’s a great place to unwind at night and enjoy some light food and one of their many delicious cocktails. The rippled ceiling is a fantastic addition as its reflective and metallic design provides a touch of decadence and emulates the waves that once lapped against this majestic ship.

The Lighthouse Bar

It is here where breakfast is served in the morning, providing you with a fully cooked breakfast or a continental style buffet. I recommend their home-made granola which is simply delicious, followed by their traditional Scottish breakfast.

The restaurant is connected to a spacious outdoor deck which provides a great place to sit and admire the quayside setting. I definitely feel that this aspect will be a great hit in the summer.

As you wander around Fingal you will find art, photography and tiny details that link to its past. A unique area of the ship that I loved is its engine room where you can walk along its glossy red floor. The surrounding glass walls allows you to peer into its depths and discover the engines built in 1963 by Blythswood Shipbuilding Company in Glasgow.

The Engine Room

Another impressive area is Fingal’s spectacular ballroom which can house up to 80 guests. This space took me by surprise as I opened the small entrance door acting like some kind of Tardis. It opens up into a beautiful space with sweeping staircases and the area is flooded with natural light by the skylight above.

The Ballroom

I was pleasantly surprised by my stay on Fingal and didn’t want to leave. It’s unique and luxurious design provided a fantastic escape and I almost didn’t feel like I was in Edinburgh at all. I was also extremely impressed by its friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable staff who made my stay extra special. There are an abundance of fantastic hotels in Edinburgh to choose from but I am sure nothing will compare to the unforgettable experience of Fingal.

Stay on board Fingal from £300 per night based on two people sharing, including VAT and a full Scottish breakfast.

Check out my IGTV video for a little tour of my stay.

For bookings, call +44 (0)131 3575000 or visit www.fingal.co.uk

Blu Blazer Guy Rating :

Location – 3/5
Customer Service – 5/5
Rooms – 5/5
Cleanliness – 5/5
Food/Drink – 4.5/5