In the heart of the old town and right beside the university, this area is buzzing during term time, and with some of the biggest fringe venues on the doorstep it's a great spot for festival goers too. With the Meadows, a huge expanse of grass nearby, there is open space to lie down and watch the clouds as well. And the Scottish museum is directly across the road.
There are 47 rooms and suites, with monsoon showers in all but standard rooms. Rooms are decked out in faded Scottish heathery colours; modern, stylish, tactile and comfy. As the hotel is a conversion of an ancient building rooms do vary in size and shape quite a lot. Pack ear plugs to avoid late night noise, which can be an issue from late night revellers wandering home and from the air conditioning, which is a little loud.
The cobbled courtyard at the entrance is a great place for a drink weather permitting. In the corner is the cigar shack which for smokers is a boon. They can sit in this specially constructed wooden shack puffing away to their hearts content - well maybe not their hearts content but certainly their heads.
Eating and drinking
The dining room is a warm ochre colour, stone-walled room and very atmopsheric with great food. Try the souffle: it makes Mount Vesuvius look a little on the small side.
The whisky snug is a leathery comfy place to sit and take a tipple from a huge choice of Scotch in the country where it all started.
In August there's a barbecue – weather permitting – every weekend.
Cigar Shack - is that a leisure facility? It is if you like smoking. Normally smokers lurk outside bars and restaurants in Scotland suffering all weathers but Hotel du Vin has a cute wooden shack where you can puff away to your heart(?)'s content.
Unconnected to the hotel but worth mentioning, as it is literaly next door at 18 Bristo Place, is Napiers (www.napiers.net), which offers a great array of treatments from aromatherapy, to Swedish massage and acupuncture. Booking ahead is essential.
Service is fine but there have been issues in the past of staff being offhand.
Who stays there
Groovy people from their 20s up….wine buffs and souffle lovers.
- Culture vultures
Pros & Cons
- Food and wine
- Excellent party location
- Room size can vary from huge to small
- A bit higgelty pigglety and dark for minimalists
- Noise from air conditioning or late night revellers