Reflecting the grandiose surroundings of Edinburgh’s Georgian city centre thoroughfare, the entrance to new Eden Locke in George Street is as classic as it is understated. Indeed, strutting confidently towards my destination for the night, I had passed Tigerlily and it wasn’t until reaching the familiar facade of Browns that I realised I had missed the entrance.
With a shiny new plaque embedded in the stonework and a collection of bright primary yellow chairs, fanfare to announce George Street’s newest aparthotel is as minimal as the décor. None the less, the doors, when located, open into an oasis of calm-inducing design. Frustrations don’t stand a chance as they dissipate into the fronds of expertly placed plants and understated sorbet shades of the airy social space.
It is a true departure from the chaotic modern design of the street’s more recent additions and was the perfect antidote to the usual post-work Friday night bustle.
Budget or boutique?
The six-storey former Dutch consulate has been transformed by New York architects Grzywinski+Pons and design is at the heart of this boutique experience.
Every room offers carefully thought-out amenities, including cocktail kits, natural body care from Eden Locke’s own brand Kinsey Apothecary, as well as teas from T2 and organic, wholegrain granola from Rude Health. An L-shaped sofa dominates the living space, while the bed is deeply fluffy.
In a relatively small square footage, designer wizards have waved their magic wands and provided all your kitchen needs without compromise. The dishwasher and washing machine are tucked away under a marble worktop and sleek cupboards, leaving the compact open-plan apartment room clutter-free. An ample bathroom leads off the bedroom, which mimics the minimal theme without compromising on storage or cosy ambiance.
Wining and dining
Take your pick from a plethora of seating options – huge floor cushions included – in the downstairs bar Hyde & Sons. The partner enterprise is snuggled at the end of the check-in desk, and is hosted by expert bartenders who will pour you anything you like and let you unwind in the soft surrounds of the social area.
If the sanctuary space seems too quiet, you barely have to fall out of the front door to choose from the wealth of bars, restaurants and clubs in the centre of town. And with eastern Mediterranean restaurant BABA, by the people behind Ox and Finch in Glasgow, open across the road, guests will have no problem finding somewhere to match the upmarket boutique stay.
Worth getting out of bed for
You can start the day pottering in your room and preparing breakfast to your own exacting standards in the well-equipped kitchen or nip downstairs and grab a pastry from Haymarket-based bakery Grams, accompanied by a coffee from Hyde & Sons, which also runs a day operation in the Scandi-inspired lobby. Led by head of coffee and 2017 London Coffee Masters Champion James Wise, the brew is given the same level of passion and attention to detail as a sommelier does wine, in a space that values the social experience as much as it does the quality of the coffee, teas and juices. It is a kick-start for everything else on offer in the heart of the city.
Although Eden Locke rubs shoulders with plush hotel choices such as The Principal Charlotte Square and Tigerlily, it differs in that there is no room service, breakfast option, concierge or turn-down service. But, as well as thoughtful little cartons of milk in the fridge and the breakfast bags, they do offer guests a little something more. A yoga class was running at 8am the Saturday of my stay, free for all guests, and if you’re more of a night owl, recent events included funk and soul nights with a guest DJ. Potential future activities include wine tasting, DJ training, cooking classes and acoustic sessions.
Comfort and convenience, with an oasis of calm at its core.
Rooms start from £110 (low season), £210 (high). Eden Locke, 127 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4JN, 0131-526 4190, email@example.com