EDINBURG, SCOTLAND: The Dunstane House, with its sister property the Hampton House, have guarded the gateway to old town Edinburgh, Scotland, dating back to the 1860’s. This Victorian beauty dressed in layers of grey has been home to a variety of owners from distillers to newspapermen over the past 150 years. Gifted with its prime placement, Dunstane has witnessed the evolution of the Scottish capital. The home relishes history while welcoming modern-day Edinburgh.
What is Dunstane
Misty mountains and cobblestone streets create a sense of mystery. Crisp winter air, early sunsets, limitless dram, and new friends, all lead back to Dunstane. Within its wall’s guests find a romantic, inviting and elegantly cozy retreat.
From the moment you step inside Dunstane House a spell is cast and will stay with you long after the journey has ended.
What sets the greatest boutique hotels apart are not only the experiences but the moments made by the team behind the curtains. “Orkney Fresh air” has indeed found its way into the bonnie fairy tale that is Dunstane House.
Get lost and found in this mystical Scottish Love Story- from Orkney to Edinburgh.
The Dunstane Houses Love Story
Once upon a time, there was a young newly married couple filled with dreams of the big city of London. The decision was made to depart their home of the Orkney Isles, an archipelago made up of 70 islands at the northernmost tip of Scotland. Armed with suitcases filled with endless possibilities, they waved goodbye to the green-capped isles carved out by wind and sea, but it was a stop off in Edinburgh that changed everything.
Shirley and Derek fell in love with the intrigue of old Edinburgh; it was the perfect blend of what they were looking for in London with the comfort of their Orcadian roots. The talented couple envisioned a plan of growing their brand and business in hospitality that would reshape the mold of the boutique hotel.
The pieces fell together when they found the Dunstane Houses in 1998, made up of two grand heritage homes that sit across the street from each other. The 5-star boutique hotel holds 35 rooms ready to offer a one of a kind, timeless retreat.
Cozily tucked away in West Coates, the residential area of Edinburgh, Dunstane sits in a prime location, within easy reach of all the attractions of old-town Edinburgh.
Arriving at the Dunstane Houses, your fairy tale has begun. The magical feeling of the façade pulls its guests up the staircase and inside the grand foyer. Surrounded by warm décor and lavish design any stress melts away. Guests seem to forget that they are checking in when greeted by the front desk host. This is not a typical check-in, this is welcoming you, as Laird and lady, home.
Like all the finer things of life, it is all in the details
Every detail of the hotel is interlaced with Orkney’s influences. The design is a blend of modern and neoclassical inspired by old town Edinburgh.
Hallways and stairwells are covered with artwork – from delicate sketches by a group of local students inspired on an Orkney excursion, to pieces from the Red Door Gallery on Victoria Street in Edinburgh.
The Main house is made up of 16 uniquely themed rooms, with suites named after the majestic Orkney Isles.
The Dunstane Houses Scapa Suite-
The Scapa Suite is named after the Scapa distillery, located on the Isle of Mainland Orkney. As guests enter the Scapa Suite, or “chambers,” senses are in overdrive with royal rich colors. The soft navy hue with hints of rust marry beautifully to the Orkney tweed picked for the pillows and throw.
The modern design peacock feathered wallpaper with hints of metallic redefines what is an accent wall.
A 4-poster grand carved canopy bed is fit for any Laird and Lady. This bed was carved to be in this room. Bookshelves with built-in lighting surround the plush pillows luring you to get immersed in Scottish folklore as you drift to sleep with the fairies.
Shirley Mowat and her design team have been extremely resourceful and have left no detail uncovered to create the ultimate experience of sanctuary and escape.
Luxury is reimagined with modern influences disguised in vintage delight.
Every piece has a story and was picked specifically for the room. An example is the wardrobes, which are over 100 years old and have been refurbished to fit the needs of guests.
The staple of Dunstane Houses’ unique décor is the copper bathtub that is placed in the center of the room, becoming a dramatic invitation for a luxurious soak at the end of your day. With smoky scents of whiskey and warmth in the room, it is no wonder the soaking tubs are an immersive draw.
Crisp and modern bathrooms are stocked with Noble Ilse products, just another touch of Scottish local love.
The details of modernizing the home but maintaining an air of mystery deserve every accolade. Lucky guests may get the chance to chat with Shirley or her right-hand General Manager, Samantha. Both women radiate serene and lovely energy which carries through their beloved Dunstane.
The Ba Bar- Story of the Ba
Step into another era in the seductive and vampy Ba Bar. The “ba” is a traditional football game played in the streets every Christmas eve and on Hogmanay, the Scots word for the last day of the year. In Kirkwall, the rival teams are the Uppie or Doonie based on what side of the hill they grew up on.
The ba’s earmark is the endless Scotch and clan pride, making ba a very fitting name for the bar of Dunstane.
The walls are once again coated in the deepest shade of blue akin to the water in one of the many mysterious lochs. Plush mustard yellow velvet chairs match the golden hue of the backlit vintage whiskey cabinet.
The floor to ceiling whiskey cabinet is a spirit lover’s dream house. Ba Bar offers one of the widest selections of rare and vintage single malts and blends, topping over 90 choices.
Ba Bar is the only bar in Edinburgh to carry the gem of Highland Park’s 40-year single malt Scotch whiskey.
If Scotch is not on the menu, then aim for Gin. The Dunstane House offers Gin tasting sessions from an introduction to Gin to the full Scottish Gin tasting experience. They showcase the best distillers in Scotland with their vast artisan gin collection, including their own DunGIn.
Dinner at the Ba
The dining experience is ultimate romance thanks to the crackling fireplace and cozy décor. Guests will be delighted with the new take on Modern Scottish cuisine given by Chef Anthony who was recently welcomed to the helm of the Ba Bar.
The seasonal menu features the best sourced local and Orcadian ingredients. Chef will take guests on a culinary adventure with timeless dishes as well a seasonal ‘classics’ menu.
The results of this fusion are smoked Orkney salmon, Orkney Grimbister cheese and Campbell’s Haggis Fritters.
Chef Anthony has created a new spin on Lamb loin; roasted in garlic and rosemary, with baked celeriac and fried kale, partnered with a side of game chips.
However, his favorite dish on the winter menu is lime cured Mackerel, pleasingly packed with flavor.
Breakfast at the Ba
Start the day with Mature Java Cafetière coffee served in an adorable French press, or a wide selection of St. Andrew’s TLC tea. The option of healthy, sweet and hearty are on the breakfast menu and nothing disappoints.
Traditional Scottish breakfast is always a must-try, however, Chef’s eggs Florentine poached to perfection will rival the home-made pancakes. Whatever adventures the day has in store, The Ba Bar Breakfast is there to guide you on the right path.
The Scotland Experience
Dunstaners pride themselves on working with local businesses that truly reflect the elements of Scotland.
Experience the misty highlands, with Andy the Highlander, appearing as if he walked through the standing stones at Craigh na Dun from the 18th Century. Complete with Jacobite attire, he will take guests to some of Scotland’s most infamous spots and share loads of Outlander filming locations.
Explore Edinburgh like a local with The Caledonia Job. Mini Mack Tours takes guests on a two-hour adventure of Edinburgh behind the wheel of a mini cooper. Go off the beaten track like a local Scott and hold on tight.
Once back at Dunstane, share tales of your inside job experience over a whiskey and cheese tasting.
When you visit:
5 Hampton Terrace
Edinburgh EH12 5JQ
RESERVATIONS – [email protected]
PHONE – +44 (0131) 337 6169
Walking Distances from the Dustaine Houses
Haymarket train station – 5 mins
Murray field Stadium – 5 mins
Edinburgh City Centre – 10 mins
International Conference Centre – 10 mins
Edinburgh Castle – 20 mins
All images courtesy of the Dustane House Property