Nira Caledonia is a boutique townhouse hotel in Edinburgh New Town. My wife and I enjoyed a superb weekend break there. Our first impression was of a comfortable well-furnished hotel with impeccable service. This feeling was endorsed throughout our stay.
The hotel consists of two protected Grade A buildings, numbers 6 and 10 Gloucester Place. Number 6 holds reception, public rooms and some bedrooms. Our room was a suite on the first floor of number 10. The assistant manager who showed us around joked, “There’s enough space to swing a tiger in here!” We certainly agreed. Furniture in the suite was in the Thai style. The room and bathroom contained all the facilities we could wish for. Although the suite looked out over Gloucester Place it was very quiet and peaceful.
Saturday dinner in the Blackwood’s Grill was a superb culinary experience. Following a small amuse bouche I enjoyed Shetland mussels smoked in the hotel’s Josper Oven with a well-balanced cream sauce whilst my wife chose a confit beetroot, baby spinach and goat’s cheese salad in lime dressing. We each savoured a rare breed pork chop as a main course, again cooked in the Josper. We closed the meal with lemon brûlée tart. The main focus of food in the restaurant is local and regional produce. The Josper is a charcoal-fired combined oven and grill. The theory is that because the oven is so hot, food is rapidly sealed and remains tender and juicy during cooking, whilst the charcoal introduces a delicate smoked flavour. The flavour and tenderness of our pork chops certainly endorsed this theory.
Following a good night’s sleep it was time to visit Blackwood’s again, this time for breakfast. We found an extensive cold buffet plus a good choice of cooked breakfasts. Much to our pleasure our Scottish breakfasts were freshly cooked to order.
Outside in Gloucester Place we noted that number 8, between the two hotel buildings, was for sale and under offer. We were not surprised to learn that the potential buyer was indeed Nira Hotels & Resorts which is a London-based boutique hotel management company (launched by hotelier MPS Puri in March 2009). The building will make a great addition to the hotel.
Although none of these items caused us any concern or inconvenience, you should bear in mind the following:
- The hotel has no car park. Whilst weekend parking in Edinburgh New Town is relatively easy to find, the nearest long-stay weekday parks are around 0.8 miles from the hotel. We travelled by train.
- Because the hotel buildings are protected Grade A, there are no lifts. However, staff are readily available to help with stairs.
- The hotel is just over half a mile from the west end of Princes Street. This was ideal for us but could present difficulties to someone with a mobility problem.
- Blackwood’s Grill is closed on Sunday evenings, but there are a number of nearby restaurants that are not.
The best measure of a leisure break is that, upon leaving, you want to return. We have no doubts. We look forward to our next stay at the Nira Caledonia.