Hotel du Vin Edinburgh is a superb city centre hotel located roughly on the boundary where Edinburgh's old town becomes its university quarter. It combines comfortable and quirky public areas and guest accommodation with outstanding service from a highly enthusiastic and able young team. It also offers excellent food and (of course, given its name) wine: you can read our dining review for Hotel du Vin Edinburgh here. The hotel forms part of the UK-wide Hotel du Vin group of hotels, and it is a sister hotel to Malmaison Edinburgh, which can be found on the waterfront in Leith.
Hotel du Vin Edinburgh stands close to the National Museum of Scotland, and immediately behind (assuming you are coming from the direction of the Royal Mile) the converted church now home to the Bedlam Theatre. The hotel occupies a range of restored and converted stone buildings dating back to the mid 1700s, which were neatly married with a large modern extension after Hotel du Vin acquired the building in 2007. There is a clue in the name of the Bedlam Theatre to the origins of the hotel, as the building was originally erected as Edinburgh's poor house before being used as its lunatic asylum until the early 1800s. It later served as science laboratories and a blood donation centre.
The main entrance is through a passageway into the courtyard that forms the central core of the hotel and which, when the weather is good, offers outdoor dining. From here you pass into the reception with its small lounge area, where your attention will probably be grabbed by the magnificent chandelier made of inverted wine glasses. Beyond the reception is the split level bistro, offering a really comfortable environment in which to sit back and enjoy the food and the wine on offer. On a mezzanine level raised above the bistro is the hotel's bar, complete with a remarkable pewter bar top. Also at this higher level is the glass walled wine cellar, home to some 350 different wines, complete with a Laroche tasting table for tutored wine tasting.
Close to the reception is the lovely whisky snug, which can be used as a lounge or for functions and events: and is where the hotel's afternoon teas are served. Here you can also sample the hotel's collection of 250 whiskies. Rounding off the public areas are two rooms for functions, meetings or private dining. "Burke & Hare" can seat up to 26, while groups of up to 10 can use the "Bedlam Room" in the old part of the hotel. These make the hotel ideal for small and intimate functions, ranging from board meetings to wedding receptions.
There are 47 en-suite guest bedrooms at Hotel du Vin Edinburgh. They have a nice boutique feel and are highly individual in style. Certain themes are carried through the hotel (and, indeed, across HdV hotels more widely), including the naming of guest rooms after wine producers: some of which are easier to remember and pronounce after sampling their products than others. The hotel has 25 standard rooms, which are double rooms with showers over baths. Then there are 12 superior rooms, with walk in showers and with separate roll top baths in the bedroom. The 7 studio rooms add an open plan seating area into the mix, and there are three suites, including a superior suite offering exposed beams and an 8ft bed. Equipment levels are high, as you would expect from a four star hotel; beds are comfortable and generously sized; and the level of soundproofing of rooms seems very effective.
Disabled access is good. Public areas are accessible either on a level or via a lift, and disabled facilities are provided. Three rooms are adapted for the use of disabled guests and include level access showers.
The Hotel du Vin concept is one which successfully attracts people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds. The obvious success at Edinburgh is in large measure down to the friendly professionalism of the staff. Everyone you meet, whether in reception, in the bistro, or simply in a corridor, gives the impression of being proud to be part of a close knit and highly effective team. Meanwhile the combination of high quality and well cared for surroundings and a complete lack of stuffiness or pretension goes a long way to help explain why the hotel feels "just right" and superbly comfortable.