Earlier in the month I mentioned of my excitement at adding another great feature to The Gentleman Select website in the form of the first travel and hotel review. Delightfully I have been on more travels, this time experiencing the hospitality and delights of an astounding boutique hotel in the heart of Edinburgh the details of which I couldn’t wait to get started writing about. The establishment I speak of is the Radisson Collection on the Royal Mile.
As hotels go, The Radisson Collection Royal Mile is pretty special. One of five dotted around the world in the Collection under the Radisson Hotel Group, it is a five star complex that is the ultimate expression of luxury and detail from the moment you arrive at the front door. I stepped out my car to be met by the doormen who were both more than happy to assist me with taking my bags into reception and also taking the car keys off my hands to go and securely park it for the evening, a lovely touch to start off the stay.
On entering the reception itself I was amazed by the lavish and flamboyantly brilliant interior throughout. From cool metallic orb lighting, to grand vases and quirky spot lights which changed colour, gleaming down upon sleek, cool marble, this reception has it all. I actually found myself taking photographs here for quite some time to the point I’m certain there was a cue beginning to form at the check in desk. Whilst feverishly snapping away, something which caught my eye at the opposite end of the foyer was a glowing hydroponic cabinet. Essentially this a climate-controlled, indoor plant growing system, enabling the hotel to grow herbs and flowers all year round for use in its restaurant meals and delicious cocktails in the bar without having to rely on artificially created, out of season produce. It was something I actually first read that Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal was doing in New York City, really a brilliant idea with the Radisson being the first hotel I have seen really embracing self sustainability.
Many photographs and a good bit of chatting later, we began making our way up to level five where our room was situated. Going up in the lift and with the doors opening at various floors, I noticed each had a slightly different colour theme with quirky little mirror and lighting details, something which added even more character to this splendid place. On level five there was warming flashes of pink as its signature colour and as we made our way down the corridor to a boldly coloured door, I don’t think anything could have quite prepared me for the visual treat which lay behind. The receptionist opened it to what was perhaps the most picturesque and stunning room I have ever seen. A panoramic view across most of Edinburgh and some of its iconic landmarks, this chic junior suite was packed to the brim with many beautiful touches I couldn’t wait to explore.
Starting from the cosy cuddler seat in the corner, it featured a quaint, stylish print of old Edinburgh with the theme continuing on to the wall which housed both a very generously sized wardrobe and a well stocked mini bar. Next to the window in this seating area was a lovely contemporary table and chairs that merged in with the room perfectly and allowed you to sit and gaze at the incredible view of St.Giles cathedral, the water down at Leith and Arthur’s Seat. Walking round the room, when I managed to actually stop looking out the window for a second, I found the very cool bathroom with its brilliant pink colouring, generously sized shower and very well positioned bath which you could again, sit and admire the view from the panoramic window. After unpacking I actually found the next little feature by surprise. A drop down projector, easily 70 inches in size it was the perfect accompaniment for sitting on the sofa seat with a nice glass of wine and chilling before getting ready to head downstairs for dinner.
Cucina, Italian for kitchen, is what the Radisson Collection’s award winning restaurant is called. Orchestrated by the brilliant head chef Andrew McQueen I had heard so many great things prior to my visit. The tasty Italian dishes which have a homely Scottish twist, are served up in surroundings which reminded me of a mixture between a Jackson Pollock painting, and a hippy-esq tie-die colour process. An explosion of colours with fashionable interior decor. Simply stunning.
Combing over the menu I must admit I struggled to make a choice, it all sounded delicious. Some time later and with great help from our waiter, I settled on a selection of Italian charcuterie, olives and breads to start, and a yummy tagliatelle with traditional pork ragu for my main course. At this point Cucina’s in house sommelier arrived to help us select a wine which would best go with our meals. I loved this attention to detail. The fusion between the wine, my starter and the gorgeous rich pork ragu was astounding with his knowledge for wine very apparent. The meat was soft and pasta expertly cooked. Overall I really couldn’t have asked for better. Of course just when I thought this wine and culinary delight was over, I was wrong. After being easily coaxed into trying one of the mind blowing desserts, the sommelier returned to offer up two dessert wines of which each again paired with our “dolci” perfectly. As overall taste experiences go, my visit to Cucina was out of this world, an utter gem of a restaurant and even better still it is within the Raddison Collection Hotel itself.
Although suitably stuffed at this point, I still had room for a little cocktail or two and I couldn’t think of a better way to cap of an incredible evening than a visit to the hotel’s very own bar, Epicurean. Situated directly opposite the main door as you walk in, this upbeat bar is a real fun place to be. When I arrived at around 11pm it was vibrant and buzzing with energy. I loved the decor as well, comfortable leather seating and mosaic style tiling, whilst bringing in elements from the hotel itself such as the lighting which changes colour. Being a huge whisky fan I naturally ordered an old fashioned to try however the drinks menu itself I found was very diverse in which if you can’t find what you are looking for, then I’m certain the hugely talented mixologists behind the bar will happily make it for you. When it arrived the cocktail itself was delicious, went down very easy indeed and served as the cherry on top to what was a wonderful evening.
I know when visiting Edinburgh it can be very tricky deciding where to stay, even more so if you are coming from much further afield. What I can say with confidence however is that if you are looking for an ultra cool, modern hotel in the heart of the city then the Radisson Collection Hotel should be at the top of your list. For me having stayed overnight, it really ticks all the boxes. From the moment you arrive, friendly staff greet and assist you. The rooms are spacious, well equipped and luxurious with very comfortable beds, an integral part of a hotel stay. What further elevates the Raddison Collection is how you have an award winning restaurant, Cucina and a exciting, happening bar in Epicurean all under the one roof. I throughly enjoyed staying here and my recommendation is to make this hotel the base for your stay on your next trip to Edinburgh.