Stylish, fashion-forward and Instagram Haven. With an enviable central location by the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh rightly embodies all these attributes.
I’ve visited the west coast of Scotland so many time but never managed to go to Edinburgh until now. I had heard so much from my friends and family about the charm and character of the city and wanted to see it for myself, so I was excited to go on this press trip to check out Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh.
Journey to the hotel
We hopped on the train from London as the train advanced closer and closer, panoramic landscape, beautiful coastline and castles gave a glimpse of what to expect in Edinburgh. As soon as we came out of the Edinburgh Waverly station, we saw dark stone buildings that surrounded the station giving us an insight into the history of this incredible city. Our taxi was waiting to whisk us away to the hotel.
Just four mins’ drive from the train station Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh is the only 5-star luxury hotel right in the centre of the famous Royal Mile.
Walking into the lobby of the hotel I was immediately struck by the sense of glamour and elegant decor; the Scottish traditional blends perfectly with the new age contemporary style. The hotel went through a major transformation over last few years with suites designed by Scotland’s best upcoming artists including likes of fashion designer Judy R Clark, artist and textile designer Hatti Pattisson and furniture designer Holster. The nine suites are striking and are a delight of colour and style.
Previously a Missoni hotel, it has 136 rooms and feels more like a contemporary boutique hotel. With doormen wearing designer kilts, suites with statement rugs, bright coloured quirky furniture and modern facilities; the Missoni origins have been gracefully incorporated into modern Edinburgh style.
In September 2016 the hotel started an initiative to support the local bee population and welcomed more than 180,000 bees to its rooftop whose honey is used in Cucina restaurant’s dishes. The Cucina restaurant was refurbished the same year by famous Scottish design brand Timorous Beasties and is now one of the top places to dine in Edinburgh. The end of the same year the hotel also opened a new bar called Epicurean which created drinks with homegrown flowers and herbs. In addition to fantastic bedrooms, bar and restaurant there is on-site parking, dry cleaning facilities, concierge serve, spa and a gym.
My home for few nights was the Judy R Clark Studio Suite on the 4th floor overlooking the Royal Mile. The interior of the room has been cleverly designed to indulge a wandering spirit.
The room was luxurious with a dark colour scheme, hand –painted Victorian beams, antique desk, Moroccan lamps, velvet chairs, beautiful rug and windows providing a perfect spot to view the old town’s charming beauty.
A set of two side tables stood next to the fluffy bed which paired well with the classic elegance of the room. The suite blends opulent furnishing with minimal modern amenities like Nespresso machines very well. The Bathroom was a good size with black and purple accents, huge inner-lit mirror and a walk-in rain shower. The walk-in shower was one of the best I have ever used in a hotel. The room was charming and comfortable one, and I felt even more special receiving a tray of chocolate and handwritten card soon after our arrival.
The central location of the hotel makes it a perfect place to explore the city on foot as everything you might want to see or do is very close. The Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Scotland, Victoria Street and St Giles’ Cathedral is just within walking distance.
The lovely team organised quite a few activities for us and suggested the must-see places to visit in Edinburgh.
On the day we arrived, just after checking in to our suites it was time to get out and explore the beautiful city. We trotted off with our Guide from GetGuided Tour and started our exploration.
Our guide was not only knowledgeable but was very personable and humorous. We started off from Royal Mile and went up to the castle. On the way, we came across endless nooks and crannies and got lost in the history. From buildings with stunning architectural details, hidden courtyards, narrow alleyways of the old town to the pretty new Georgian town, Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Edinburgh built on seven hills is divided into two parts, one side is the medieval old town, and the other side is the new town full of Georgina architecture. We decided to explore a bit further than our local area, and on day two we headed to Calton Hill making our way to the Botanic Garden, Circus lane and Princess Street where there are numerous independent shops, boutiques and small galleries and then went back to the hotel for our evening cocktail master class.
Because Edinburgh is built on a human scale and is so compact exploring further than the city centre is quite easy. On the day we were leaving we went to Dean Village.
Dean Village is a tranquil, picturesque village built around Water of Leith just 5 minutes from Princess street. It felt like we are back in time, traditional houses with a small stream flowing next to them and birds chirping the surrounding trees. It felt so far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We took a walk along the Leith and stopped for a photo on the picturesque Dean Bridge.
10 minutes from Dean village is the suburb of Stockbridge which is home to the cute little food market on Sundays. We were lucky to be able to visit the market, and I ended up buying some treats for my family.
Cocktail Master Class
While at the Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh, we enjoyed, a fantastic cocktail making masterclass at the Epicurean bar where the cocktails are made with hotel’s own hydroponically grown flowers and herbs. Under the gold-toned lights and upbeat atmosphere of the bar, we flexed our muscles and clasped our hands around the cocktail shaker to make some classic cocktails.
Being a cocktail lover, it was an excellent opportunity to learn about some concoctions myself. I discovered how to mix, muddle and mash a French Martini. One of my proud moments from the masterclass was to make a good foam and integrate into a cocktail. We refined our bartending skills and mastered new techniques.
Honey Master Class
The hotel has partnered with one of UK’s leading beehive adoption and management company Plan Bee Ltd. and set up three beehives on the roof of the hotel. The bespoke honey produced is used in the dishes offered to guests.
I was excited to attend the masterclass and learn more about Beekeeping. The lovely Beekeeper from Plan Bee Ltd explained us the basics of the hive, honeybee life cycle and honey production process. We are also shown the beehives on the roof of the hotel which was an interesting experience to see beehives so up and close.
Live Art Workshop
Fashion designer Judy R Clark started the session talking us through her collection. After that, the art workshop began with Judy’s sister painter Christine giving us a demo on charcoal drawing exercises which followed with an introduction to her thought process when approaching a live subject.
I haven’t drawn in years, Christine patiently showed me how using the charcoal in different ways I could gauge the angles and shape of the portrait.
Drawing or painting takes time, demands attention and makes one concentrate so much that it felt so therapeutic.I enjoyed the session as Christine was encouraging all the time pointing out my strengths which have built my confidence to try drawing again.
Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh is a place to enjoy 5-star luxury in style. The hotel’s proximity to tourist locations makes it the perfect spot to start the city tour. It is one of the best city hotels I have ever stayed at; I can’t wait to go back.
Click on the link here to book your stay! Stay tuned for another feature on the food and beverage offering at Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh soon.