Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, and one of our most favorite locations for a city staycation. We have stayed at various hotels dotted around the capital and G & V (George & Victoria) recently acquired by the Radisson Collection looks like it will become a firm favorite.
This is the Royal Mile’s only five-star hotel and is in the heart of “old town” Edinburgh. It is a ten-minute walk from Waverly Train Station (Edinburgh’s main terminal), and its central location is perfect for a long weekend of sight-seeing.
Upon arrival we are greeted by the kilted doormen who were happy to help with our mountainous luggage, despite only staying in the city for two nights, we have packed enough for a week’s worth! Well, one never knows with the Scottish weather, it can be snow at breakfast and raining by lunchtime, in the afternoon the sun may even show its face! Four seasons in one day is pretty much the norm.
Check in was pretty swift and we were shown to our rooms by the reception manageress. Sweet treats and board games were a lovely welcome gift for our teenagers. Board games? Yes, we thought it was an interesting touch, and left our tech-crazy teenagers somewhat baffled!
The rooms were both pretty spacious and very modern. Ours had a projector screen so you can imagine that this is where we spent the majority of the time. There is a small dining area, adjoining bedroom and ensuite bathroom. The views are spectacular; the Firth of Forth is clearly visible as is Arthurs Seat.
Loathe to leave our room, we thought we should make the most of being in Edinburgh and in such close proximity to fabulous local sights. Deciding to ease ourselves in, we opted to walk to Calton Hill, which has been included in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Approximately a twenty-minute walk from the hotel, it sits at the edge of the city and has divine panoramic views. It is a very popular tourist spot and is usually overcrowded. Home to the Collective contemporary art gallery and the Athenian Acropolis, you will also find the city’s observatory here. It was designed by William Henry Playfair in 1919 and he was inspired by Greek temples, which he successfully recreated.
Back to the hotel and I headed to the children’s room for some peace and quiet, and a soak in the tub. Whilst hubby and the children chilled in front of the projector screen watching an old movie.
Suitably refreshed we headed to the hotel restaurant Cucina for dinner. The menu is the combined efforts of a Scottish and an Italian chef who teamed up to bring the best from both their native cuisines. The menu has a wide range of dishes to suit all tastes and the service is first class. Suitably stuffed we were happy we didn’t have far to go, as we rolled back to our rooms for a good night’s sleep.
The breakfast at Cucina is outstanding, and the piece de resistance is the honey, fresh from the beehives which are kept on the hotel’s rooftop. Attention to detail is what makes this breakfast stand out from the usual fare at five-star hotel’s breakfasts.
After our gentle stroll to Calton Hill, we decided to go big or go home and headed out to attempt the dizzying heights of Arthurs Seat, 251m above sea level. Not one for the faint hearted or the unfit Robert Louis Stevenson described it as “a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design”.
The concierge had informed us that the easiest and simplest ascent was from the east, valuable information, given our current fitness levels. Fair dues though, we attempted it, succeeded and lived to tell the tale. The views alone were worth all the huffing and puffing!
Back to the hotel for our final night and we were sad to leave the G & V. The staff treated us well, and the service and hospitality were wonderful. We will be back.