“It’s just the right combination of executive luxury and quirky home comforts, which include cartoon strip soft furnishings, an eclectic choice of bedroom wallpaper and a very funky patchwork chair…”
You may already be familiar with the comfortable surroundings of The Rutland, which is undoubtedly one of Edinburgh’s foremost luxury boutique hotels.
But you might not be quite as au fait with The Rutland Street Apartments – a relatively new offering from The Signature Group, whose string of pubs, clubs and hotels is run by a pair of brothers in their mid-30s.
In 2008, owners Nic and Garreth Wood gave The Rutland a £3.5 million overhaul, but the progression didn’t end there. 2011 saw the opening of Kyloe Restaurant & Grill – Edinburgh’s first gourmet steak offering – and, two years later in 2013, the introduction of the fiercely popular and uber-trendy hangout that is The Huxley.
Heads & Tales gin bar closely followed and launched in 2014 – which brings us bang up-to-date with The Rutland Street Apartments, The Signature Group’s newest addition, which opened its doors to the public earlier this year (2015).
Just a few doors down from The Rutland Hotel, lies the apartment complex – a gorgeous Georgian townhouse typical of Edinburgh’s New Town; comprising five luxury serviced apartments, each of which is different and unique.
We stayed in Apartment 15/2 on the upper ground floor and have to say that, if you’re looking for a little extra privacy, space and maybe somewhere to entertain, this is a great pied-a-terre in the heart of the West End.
It overlooks The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian’s Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, a Parisian-style bistro, on Princes Street and is just a crossing away from House of Fraser and the other attractions of Edinburgh’s main shopping precinct.
There are scores of nearby pubs to choose from, such as the atmospheric Ghillie Dhu and the popular sports venue, Ryan’s Bar – a prime place to watch the rugby.
But, if you enjoy a good steak and bottle of vino, you might not want to stray far. We dined at Kyloe, where our waiter for the evening, Vincenzo, couldn’t have been any more attentive if he tried.
So passionate is the team about good cuts of meat that Vincenzo offered to showcase the options for us at the table before we made our final choice.
We couldn’t have been more impressed with his knowledge of breeds, origins, cooking times and accompaniments but spared him the meat parade – even though we were intrigued by the select breed Argentinean steak of the week.
Two prawn and brown shrimp cocktails, sirloin steaks and bottle of Cotes du Rhone later, we were very happy business travellers indeed.
The service – and the food – really was first class and Kyloe’s apt surroundings only amplified how well award-winning head chef John Rutter and his team know beef.
Kyloe itself is an old Scots word for Highland beef cattle and the restaurant is adorned with quirky cow artwork and faux cowhide seating making it an overall steak experience rather than just another place to dine.
We weren’t going to mention the cow’s derrière, which we’re sure is still a sticking point for the hotel after the City of Edinburgh Council ordered the removal of its head and torso from the front of the building, but it’s also part of the overall atmosphere (and Kyloe’s history), if not a great conversation starter.
Our only regrets dining at Kyloe are that we didn’t stay longer, share another bottle of wine and leave enough room to sample the dessert menu.
During our meal, we couldn’t help notice we were surrounded by other business travellers – dining, doing business and enjoying a unique social and culinary experience in the exciting financial hub of Scotland’s capital.
And we found the same at breakfast. There were business people tapping at tablets, interviewing potential candidates and closing deals, this time sitting comfortably alongside families with babies, tourists and students in for their early morning espressos – testament, perhaps, to The Rutland’s overall ambience of being a place of all places and with no particular target market (although I’m sure there is).
What I mean by that is, unlike other high-end venues, neither the luxury accommodation or fine dining alienates any particular demographic. There is no clique or pressure to be part of an elite jet-set troupe of clientele. Everyone is welcome and it shows.
Breakfast at The Huxley, in particular, is a very laid back affair. The full Scottish breakfast is another meat feast and, again, the bovine theme reigns supreme.
The apartment itself has been lovingly restored to its former Georgian glory – highlighting all of its period features, such as the cast iron fireplaces and sash and case windows – yet with a contemporary ‘lick of paint’.
It’s just the right combination of executive luxury and quirky home comforts, which include cartoon strip soft furnishings, an eclectic choice of bedroom wallpaper and a very funky patchwork chair.
And when it comes down to some serious work, there’s a traditional writing bureau and all the mod-cons you would expect, including easy-to-access Wi-Fi.
Complimentary bottled water and traditional shortbread come as standard and the hotel has a special arrangement with the NCP car park on Castle Street making it the cheapest place to park during your stay.
All you have to do is park and take your token to The Rutland for validating. Afterwards, you’ll be charged just £10 for 24 hours on exiting the car park.
The only other charge to note is that a compulsory pre-authorisation £10 will be deducted from your credit or debit card at check-in to cover any incidentals and later credited back to your account.
While The Rutland Street Apartments might not be the most inexpensive choice of digs when working away, it offers real value for money, as well as an experience you’ll remember fondly for years to come.
It’s ideal when travelling with a group and there are other apartment options, such as a two-bed or exclusive use of the whole building.
If budget’s not a constraint, or if you’re looking to impress – or even take the family while you take care of business – we can’t recommend this highly enough.
How to get there: Car or train
Where to eat: Kyloe Restaurant & Grill
Where to meet: Over a meal – check out private dining at Kyloe
Where to shop: Sainsbury’s Local, Shandwick Place
How much to spend: Two-day packages staying at the apartments, including breakfast at The Huxley, start from £450
How to book: Call 0131 229 3402 for hotel or apartment reservations, email email@example.com or book a table online.
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