Perched on the end of a world heritage site at the heart of Edinburgh's beautiful New Town, One Royal Circus is sitting on an extremely prestigious address. Not that you'd know, there are no flags or plaques to mark the spot. Ring the doorbell to be greeted like an old friend, and enter the beautiful high-ceilinged entrance hall, where you'll be instantly blown away by the elegance of this boutique guesthouse. The property is exceptionally well-decorated, with stylish contemporary furniture sitting alongside original Georgian features. It's impossible not to feel chuffed when you're told recurrently to make yourself at home, knowing that most of us can only dream of a home half as beautiful! The modesty of this inner-city pied-à-terre makes it even more attractive. Guests are given a tour of the property on arrival, handed over a front door key, and left to their own devices. Staff mobile numbers are pinned on a clipboard in the kitchen, should you need further assistance.
The guesthouse is situated, as its name suggests, on Edinburgh's celebrated Royal Circus. The first of a row of terraced houses surrounding a gated communal garden, One Royal Circus is as discreet as it is grand. Sitting on the fringe of the city centre, the chic residential neighbourhood is home to many nice cafés, bars and restaurants. The guesthouse is ten minutes' walk from Edinburgh's main shopping area (George Street and Princes Street), and about 15 minutes' walk from the more touristy Old Town, where you'll find the Edinburgh Castle and Royal Mile. Nearby bus services run regular services to the town centre and train station. Take a taxi to the airport in around 15 minutes, or catch the direct airport bus from Waverly Station.
One Royal Circus is an elegant building with a stylish, contemporary touch. Everything is spotless and in perfect working order. The guesthouse has an abundance of communal spaces, including the enormous billiards room/library, the communal kitchen the drawing room and honour bar, not to mention the vast corridors and stairwells in-between. Sunlight streams through the towering Georgian windows in the drawing room and lingers on the keys of the baby grand, which guests are allowed to play until 10pm. TVs in the communal spaces have the addition of sky channels, but games, books, magazines and newspapers are also at your disposal. If there's no pianist at hand, guests can enjoy their own choice of music from the pre-loaded I-pod. In fact, as long as you're respectful of others, pretty much anything goes. Guests are invited to help themselves to a drink at the communal mini-bar (the hotel is not licensed to sell alcohol), or to bring along a bottle to enjoy in the chilled drawing room. If weather permits, a key to the gardens over the road is also available.
One Royal Circus only has six bedrooms, meaning the guesthouse remains intimate and the common rooms are never over-crowded. The beautifully decorated guestrooms are spacious and airy, a mixture of original period features with an elegant contemporary touch. Many of the rooms feature sweeping windows with French shutters, and when the room isn't flooded with daylight, there are plenty of ambient lights and lamps to choose from. Aside from the crisp white décor, highlights include the espresso machine, iPod dock and the amazingly comfortable crisp and spacious beds. Decked-out in marble and wood, bathrooms are as chic as they come, and the addition of complementary mini l'Occitaine products the cherry on top.
Staff are happy to recommend local restaurants (which are plentiful). If nobody's about to ask, find recommendations on the community pin board in the large kitchen, and if it's gloomy out, order in. Breakfast is served in the sun-flooded drawing room at a time that suits you. The guesthouse lays out an impressive continental buffet (including delicious freshly-baked pastry goods), and a cooked menu is also available. Coffee is fresh, the room is beautiful, and service is fast, personalised and friendly ? a lovely way to start the day.
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Mark out of 10 for geographical location
flights May : average price