Having arrived into Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, slap bang in the middle of all the action (and the fog) after a five hour train journey, we couldn’t wait to stretch our legs and see what Edinburgh had to offer.
First impressions? The city is one of the most gorgeous places in the world. Brimming with old stone buildings, centuries of history are woven through each little street and secret pathway. We were enchanted, left speechless by the sheer beauty of the place.
As we left the station, we planned our route to the Glasshouse Hotel. Admittedly, as mentioned in the intro feature, we didn’t really know what to do, where we were going or even what the hotel looked like. So after meandering through a few little streets with suitcases dragging behind, we approached a newly built cinema and family-friendly entertainment complex. Next to a rather rowdy looking place called The Playbar. And the Mood Nightclub. Followed by The Glasshouse Hotel’s church facade.
Glasshouse Hotel review
We were worried. If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel next to bar, you know to expect noise, vomit, and potentially lewd behaviour outside your very window.
The Glasshouse Hotel check-in
Putting our fears and judgements aside and stepping through the glass doors, we were greeted by a polished receptionist, Karolina, who welcomed us and offered us a seat at her desk in the cavernous reception area.
We ran through check in at super speed, and Karolina was happy to get out a map to introduce us to the area. The hotel is within walking distance of all the main tourist hotspots (aside from the zoo) and she was happy to recommend shopping areas, as well as places to drink. With that sorted, all that remained was the ransom: a £50 deposit is taken from your card, as in the money is taken from your bank and refunded should the mini bar remain untouched.
Once all the paperwork was done and dusted, Eduardo appeared as if from nowhere to take the room key and our luggage. We were staying on the third floor, at the end of what seemed like a mile-long corridor. The hotel’s rooms all seemed to be based off two long dimly lit corridors, taking us further and further away from the worrisome bar and club. We passed the rooftop garden, however the terrible weather would mean we only really saw it at a glance. In summer it would be a great place to have champagne in the sun.
When we reached our room, Eduardo took our cases in, introduced us to the main features and said a well-timed goodbye.
The Glasshouse Hotel room: Executive Double
I can’t help but feel Edinburgh is a real rival to the capital city I know so well. While London has its patches of beauty, everything in Edinburgh just seems to be so well designed, including this hotel. The room was gorgeous. Although modern and newly built, the high ceilings, central bed and shared balcony were beautiful.
The bathroom was polished and new with a huge walk-in shower, bathtub and all the little extras you’d expect from a top hotel (scented loo roll? Check).
The main room had the bed itself dominating the space, facing the wardrobes and the television. Dressing gowns and slippers were provided, as was a little welcome selection of chocolate treats and strawberries on the table. Nespresso coffee on demand was another luxurious touch. No freeze-dried packets of Nescafe for us, thanks.
The huge floor-to-ceiling windows were gorgeous – even if the view on offer was an office building and the shared nature of the balcony meant anyone could walk past at any moment.
I think the main testament to the hotel was that, although we were in a new city, we didn’t want to leave. It was Just. So. Comfortable. So instead of putting on our glad rags and heading out for a drink and a dance, we put on the fluffy gowns, plumped up the feather pillows and settled in for a night of junk food and Will Smith movies. Bliss. We slept through the night with absolutely nothing to disturb us, and woke up refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
Prices for this room start from £85, which is amazing. Choose your own pillow, the room location and even a hypo-allergenic feather-free room for those with sensitive skin.
The Glasshouse Hotel Breakfast
Dragging ourselves out of bed, we got as presentable as bed head and no make up would let us be, and traipsed down to the observatory for breakfast. The host greeted us, checked our names off the list and set us a table near the window overlooking the steepest hill.
A continental breakfast was included in the room rate, but as we’d arrived towards the end of serving time there wasn’t much left on offer aside from a little bit of ham, cereal and yoghurt. Plus, we felt like sampling some of the chef’s offerings and went for a Scottish Breakfast (minus the black pudding) and pancakes, bacon and berries.
Breakfast was served in good time, although there wasn’t any toast with the Scottish Breakfast despite it being offered.
Although the rooms had us blown away, it’s sad to say the breakfast seemed a little lacking, especially at £18.50 each. The portion sizes were quite small – for someone who can never finish a meal, I polished off every crumb – although it tasted delicious. In all fairness, it probably would have tasted a bit better had we asked for breakfast to be delivered to the room, but with a £5 tray charge per person for room service, we weren’t too sure what the rules were when breakfast was included.
After signing the bill we retreated back to the comfort of the room, had a warm soak and got ready to check out.
The Glasshouse Hotel check out
Check out was simple. Sat at the desk again, we handed in room keys and the £50 deposit was refunded promptly. As we planned a day on foot, we checked in our luggage to collect it later. And that was it. Simple. Quick. Efficient.
Our overall opinion
Stay here. Seriously. It’s a hotel that oozes style, luxury and comfort and would be just as perfect for a group of friends as it is for a couple celebrating a special occasion. They have some great room rates if you book in advance. In all honesty, we’d probably give the breakfast a miss, especially if you’re a late sleeper and like to meander down to grab a bite towards the end of breakfast serving time. Save the £37 and head over to one of Edinburgh’s little cafes for a traditional bite to eat.
The location is amazing, right in the heart of the city. We spent a day wandering around the area, never really feeling that far away from The Glasshouse. We’ve already recommended the hotel to a couple for a special event, and we know we’ll definitely be returning the next time we’re in Scotland’s capital.
We liked...The rooms
Luxury. Pure, unrivalled luxury.
You're a stone's throw from the major sights and sounds, and only a short taxi ride if you're not up to walking.
If you need a bit of TLC and want to be treated like royalty, this is the place.
It's not overly arty, but this is one seriously stylish hotel.
The Glasshouse Hotel | 2 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA