The Queen Street property, situated directly opposite the neo-gothic grandeur of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, does not disappoint. The location, less than five minutes’ walk from Princes Street, is a major selling point. And once inside, the high glass windows that stream light into our two-bedroom apartment’s living room offer unparalleled views of one of Edinburgh’s grandest museums. There are also views available to the Firth of Forth from the upper floors.
Security and safety have been thought out in careful detail. A six-digit code issued within 48 hours prior to arrival provides access to the bright, well-maintained lobby as well as the main door of our apartment. There are no attendants or reception staff waiting as we enter, with self check-in minimising unnecessary interactions. The apartment itself, accessed either via lift or a short flight of stairs, is impeccably pristine, having been professionally cleaned and disinfected before our arrival.
Budget or boutique?
Reopened in 2015 after an extensive refurbishment programme, the mix of 30 one and two-bedroom apartments are firmly in the boutique category. In our apartment, two generously proportioned bedrooms connect off the apartment’s well-lit long hall. The main bedroom has an en-suite bathroom decked out with stylish white subway tiles. Art Deco gold bedside lamps scream modern elegance, while floral wallpaper and framed New Town artworks add to the decorative touches. Both bedrooms are noticeable for being particularly bright and inviting. There is also a second stand-alone bathroom, helping make the apartment child friendly.
Wining and dining
A spacious open plan living, dining and kitchen area comes with a full range of amenities for those wanting to bed in. A built-in induction top oven, microwave and dishwasher offer the complete self-catered experience, allowing guests to cook without leaving the apartment’s home comforts. There is also a dining table capable of seating up to four guests. A Delonghi filter coffee machine is on hand for caffeine lovers, alongside a wide selection of herbal teas. Those wanting to eat out will find themselves just minutes away from the high-end restaurants circling St Andrew Square or several trendy eateries at the top of Leith Walk.
Worth getting out of bed for?
The location comes into its own when we venture out on foot. It’s a gentle ten-minute walk to the John Lewis department store at the nearly completed St James Quarter. The apartments also have access to Queen Street Gardens – a secluded hideaway in Edinburgh’s heart first established in 1822 for the exclusive use of home owners in surrounding streets. It is a rare treat worth exploring.
Creature comforts have not been overlooked. The wide-screen cable TV is complemented by high-speed wifi – there’s no lag time to speak of when using either the phone or laptop around the apartment. A remote heating system adjusted by the touch of a hand also keeps the apartment nice and cosy. Both bathrooms come with a decadent selection of Gilchrist and Soames toiletries, while the bedding and towels are soft and luxurious. The bus, tram and traffic noise that comes with such a central location has also been considered, with a personal set of ear plugs and a white noise machine left sitting on each bedside table. In saying this, the noise never feels like too great an intrusion – we all enjoy an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Stylish, elegant and with all the mod cons, Royal Garden Apartments delivers for those seeking an escape from normality. It is a home away from home that will allow you to explore Edinburgh at your own pace – or just lie in and enjoy a little bit of luxury.
Prices start at £115 per night at Royal Garden Apartments, 2 York Buildings, Edinburgh EH2 1HY (+7403 925 488, [email protected])
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