A Tub to Remember at the Dunstane Houses in Edinburgh

Set on the edge of downtown Edinburgh, the Dunstane Houses are two 150-year-old homes that make up one of the city’s most beautiful boutique hotels. Between the two buildings (Dunstane House and Hampton House) there are 35 rooms, with 16 in the original building, the Dunstane House. Each room is kitted out with details like intricately tiled floors, custom Art Deco wallpaper, and tweed and velvet accents. And in the Dunstane House, several of the suites have exquisite copper tubs big enough for two.

My husband and I were in Edinburgh at the tail end of his birthday trip to Scotland. We’d booked into the smallest room, a Wee Double, but upon arrival, we were asked if we’d like to upgrade. I expected we might be offered the next best room, but it turned out to be the Dunstane Suite, the hotel’s largest room and namesake suite. “Is that the one with the tub in the window?” I asked, remembering the image from the hotel’s website. It was, and at the price of just £75 extra per night, it was too good an offer to turn down.

The room was incredibly spacious, with tall ceilings and crown moulding, and a large bay window that let in ample light. In front of the window stood a beautiful copper roll-top tub, where my husband and I would take turns soaking for hours with a dram of whisky in hand. A small desk and multiple sitting areas, including a plush Chesterfield sofa at the end of the king bed, gave us plenty of room to spread out.

In the room, there was a large flatscreen Samsung smart TV, radio, vintage telephone, free wifi,  in-room safe, Nespresso machine and kettle, and a mini-fridge stocked with water, beer, wine, and snacks.

On the main floor, there was a cozy lounge where complimentary breakfast was served each morning and a decanter of whisky beckoned guests to linger with a dram. Adjacent to the lounge was also a small bar with an extensive selection of whisky, gin, and other spirits, and an all-day menu of Scottish fare, with an emphasis on ingredients from Orkney island. One afternoon, we snacked on smoked salmon paired with a gin and tonic. Another day, we sampled several drams, which we had sent to the room so we could enjoy them in the tub. And on our last night, we enjoyed late-night sticky toffee pudding at the bar. Everything was fresh, delicious, and served with a smile.

Outside, there were several seating areas and there was free parking in the back of the house. While the bus picked up right in front of the hotel, when we went exploring, we chose to walk the 15 minutes from the hotel to the heart of Edinburgh.

The Dunstane House was exactly what we needed after a whirlwind celebratory trip around Scotland. Service was warm and welcoming, but impeccably professional. The space was cozy and comfortable, with plenty of wow-factor to end our trip on a high note. And, it was close enough to the heart of Edinburgh that we could easily go exploring, but it also offered enough services that we found plenty of excuses to stay inside—and especially to enjoy our upgraded room and the relaxing tub.

If you go: Room rates start at around $200 per night. You can compare rates at Travelocity or Expedia.

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