Recently, my husband and I were guests of Prestonfield House, a five star, boutique hotel, located, south east of Edinburgh’s city centre. Our research had led us to expect an unusual, luxurious hotel, what we found exceeded all our expectations! A mix of history, individuality, stylish glamour, luxury and impeccable service has created a unique and very special place to stay.
Prestonfield House is situated just a few minutes’ drive from the Royal Mile and the shopping streets of Edinburgh. The twenty acres of parkland that surround the hotel create privacy and tranquillity make it a perfect retreat after a day exploring the many attractions of Scotland’s bustling capital city
Reaching Prestonfield House is easy, there are excellent road links with Edinburgh Airport and is just nine miles away or less than ten minute taxi journey from Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station.
Built in 1687 as the grand baroque home for Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Prestonfield House later became a hotel. It was purchased in 2003 by Scotland’s best known hotelier-restaurateur James Thomson who transformed it to the exceptional hotel it is today. Many original features of this grade A listed building have been retained, whilst once faded areas have been brought back to life in a spectacular fashion. The hotel is decorated in rich colours, fine fabrics and filled with antiques, art collections, curios and ornaments. Minimalism is banned here!
Arriving by car, we were delighted to see ample free car parking in the hotel grounds, with valet parking also offered.
The check-in procedure was swift and soon we were taken to our suite. Service was impeccable.
The hotel has 18 luxury bedrooms and 5 suites. We stayed in the four room, Benjamin Franklin Suite, a spacious suite, tastefully furnished with antiques. Modern technology such as the large TVs, DVD players, safes and well stocked mini bars were discreetly hidden in enormous, antique media cabinets. Where old did meet new, such as the sound system alongside statues, they mixed well. Large windows in the sitting room and bedroom ensured constant parkland views. Overhead lighting, colourful floor and table lamps created a warming atmosphere.
Our Living Room was decorated in gold, large pictures hung from the walls. Books and magazines on coffee tables gave a homely touch. Complimentary champagne, confectionery and fruit, placed on the dining table made an extra welcome.
The blue and grey decoration in our bedroom created a relaxed atmosphere. The extra comfortable bed was dressed with superb linen. I was delighted with the plentiful wardrobe and storage space!
The suite was completed by two bathrooms containing a bath, shower, quality tiling and fittings, extra fluffy towels, toiletries, robes and slippers.
Free, open access Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and there are CD, DVD and book libraries.
The usual hotel bar area does not exist, instead there are individually styled, beautiful Sitting/Drawing Rooms, where staff will bring you whatever you want. The service is wonderful, staff do not hang around waiting for orders but they do seem to know when you require something, they just appear, serve you, then leave the sitting room.
We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks in the warming, relaxed atmosphere of The Yellow Sitting Room, decorated in gold with luxury drapes and subdued lighting. Seated on a comfortable sofa, beside a crackling fire we sipped our drinks whilst watching snowflakes fall by the window.
Other public rooms include the Whisky Room, where a wide range of Malts are served from the antique drinks cabinet. The Tapestry Room with its beautiful tapestries, has an exquisite ceiling created in 1687, by the craftsmen of Holyrood Palace. The Leather Room has a wall decorated with leather panels which pre-date the house.
The Rhubarb restaurant, with its excellent reputation for fine dining is housed in two lavishly furnished, oval shaped rooms. Subdued lighting creates a romantic atmosphere. We enjoyed a wonderful, evening meal here, under the watchful eyes of portraits of former owners and family. We selected wine from the very impressive and extensive wine list.
Breakfast was also served in The Rhubarb Restaurant. The Cold buffet displayed on a table in the centre of the room offered a fantastic choice. I found the fresh fruit to be delicious, it tasted as if it had just been picked. The home- made juices and smoothies were irresistible. Hot food was freshly cooked to order.
There are a number of private dining rooms. We visited the stunning red and black Stuart Room, then the larger Garden Room with French windows leading to a private terrace. There is the spectacular green and gilt Italian Room. Private dining just for two, is provided at The Salon Privé, hidden away off a stone stair.
Outdoors, the gardens, parkland and woodland offer walking and cycling opportunities. Prestonfield Golf Course adjoins the grounds. The gardens are sheltered by Arthur’s seat, which is a dormant volcano and the highest peak of the hills which form part of Holyrood Park.
We enjoyed a lovely walk in the gardens. We noticed the Croquet lawn and Putting green, then the the Gothic Tea house, and we imagined how lovely it would be in summer to sit in the Tea House, Rose Garden or The Terrace and enjoy Afternoon Tea. We saw highland cattle grazing in a field, peacocks wandering over a lawn, whilst a dove watched us from the safety of a tree. It was hard to believe we were so close to the city.
All too soon it was time for us to leave. The elegance and luxury of this historic hotel, its relaxed atmosphere and wonderful hospitality will bring us back to this very special place..
Accessibility: Despite the restraints of a 17th century building, Prestonfield House welcomes everyone. There is disabled parking and access. Lifts are installed. Accessible bedrooms have a level entry wet-room with double rainfall showers, rain bars and body jets. Some public rooms could prove too difficult to access but staff are very willing to assist.