The Bruntsfield is a 72-room hotel enjoying a superb location overlooking Bruntsfield Links, part of the swathe of parkland that runs along the southern edge of Edinburgh city centre. This gives it an oddly secluded feel: yet it is within easy walking distance of everything that - in our view - the best city in the world has to offer. The hotel combines its ideal location with comfortable and beautifully cared-for accommodation; with great service; and with outstanding and excellent value food. You can read our dining review for The Bruntsfield here. With an introduction like that, it will come as no surprise when we say that we were highly impressed by everything about The Bruntsfield during our stay: and we would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone thinking of spending time in Edinburgh.
The hotel started life as three very grand town houses built in 1861 which, in the early part of their lives, were operated as competing doctor's practices. They were later linked together to create a hotel, and the way the houses were stepped down the slope of the road reflects in the internal arrangements and character of the building. In the 1980s a "new" wing was added, running back from the south end of the existing hotel. The history of Bruntsfield Links goes back rather further with, it is said, golf having been played here since 1456. The links remains home to a 36-hole short hole or pitch-and-putt golf course.
The focal point of the hotel is the large, airy and comfortably modern reception area that greets guests beyond the main entrance. The main public rooms are on the lower ground floor, reached by stairs or by lift. Here you find the Neighbourhood, which has three different elements. At the front of the hotel, and directly accessible from outside as well as from the rest of the building, is a bar area that combines considerable character with an excellent cocktail list. Towards the rear of the hotel is the Kitchen, the split level main restaurant. This in turn leads out onto the Garden, which offers an outdoor eating and drinking area: quite an unusual feature for a central Edinburgh hotel.
The Garden extends across the rear of the lower ground floor of the hotel and is also accessible from - and available to - functions being held in the Cardoon Suite, a function suite ideal for weddings or other events of up to 60 people. This, too, has its own entrance from the front of the hotel as well as being accessible from the rest of the building. When we visited it was being dressed for a wedding, with an area being prepared for the ceremony in a large conservatory at the rear of the suite plus dining, dancing and bar areas towards the front of the hotel. A second function room can accommodate up to 8 people.
The 72 guest rooms are divided by room size and by number of beds into standard, family, executive and superior rooms. Those we saw were well equipped and, like the rest of the hotel, spotlessly clean. The one bed we can comment on was extremely comfortable. It goes without saying in this day and age, but Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and the password is given to guests with their key cards as they book in. This saves what is otherwise an inevitable call or walk to reception afterwards. Having said that, 5G is now available in parts of Edinburgh, with our provider's coverage including The Bruntsfield: so Wi-Fi was unnecessary for our phones.
Accessibility is good. There is wheelchair access from the car park into the bar and from the bar you can access the ground floor reception and all floors by lift. There are also ground floor bedrooms for guests with mobility difficulties.
The hotel has 26 car parking spaces which are not bookable and are available on a first come first served basis. One space has an associated EV charging point.
We're not really sure what we expected from our stay at The Bruntsfield. City centre hotels, especially in a city like Edinburgh, need to cater to many different markets and often have a high turnover of short-stay guests. This can sometimes lead to a functional and impersonal feel. It was great to find that The Bruntsfield takes a completely different approach. Every member of staff we came into contact with gave the sense that they enjoyed being there and wanted to make sure that guests had the best possible experience during their stay. We also had the sense that a fair proportion had been there quite some time: quite an achievement in a city where the competition for good staff is high and turnover often equally high. You can read our dining review for The Bruntsfield here.