The Edinburgh Grand
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Think of accommodation in Edinburgh and you tend to think of hotels. The apartment sector has been under represented in the city until now.
The arrival of the Edinburgh Grand brings 5 star apartment accommodation right into the heart of the city. Situated in St Andrew Square only minutes away from Waverley train station and Princes Street, the apartments have some posh neighbours such as Harvey Nichols and The Ivy.
Opened in June the Edinburgh Grand's respectful renovation has taken place over two years, resulting in 50 individually designed luxury apartments. The building is a famous Edinburgh landmark - it was formerly the global headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The apartments come in a gaunt of shapes and sizes from Grand Studios to a three bedroom rooftop Penthouse with an outstanding 360 panorama of the city.
We stayed in a One bedroom Grand Apartment situated on the 6th floor which had views over the southern side of the city. From left to right you could see the walkers ascending Arthur's Seat, the clock tower of the Balmoral Hotel and the old town reaching right up to the castle. With a view such as stupendous as this you definitely knew you were in Edinburgh. A small terrace outside with a table and chairs was an inviting breakfast spot.
The apartment was clean, well designed and furnished to a very high standard. Consisting of an oven and microwave, a Siemens dishwasher and Washer Dryer, Toaster, Nespresso Coffee Machine, a large LG television (there was also a smaller one in the bedroom) and a Bose speaker system so that you could stream your favourite music from your phone or iPad. The free Wi Fi worked well right across the apartment and the signal never dropped.
The large bathroom was beautifully fitted with a drench shower and a Victorian roll top bath. I liked the luxury bath and beauty products by New York beauty brand Malin + Goetz. Another bonus was that you could enter the bathroom from either the bedroom or the corridor leading to the bedroom. For ladies though you might find that the absence of a vanity mirror is not ideal. Apart from that all was 5 star, just like the rest of the apartment.
A large king size double bed ensured a very comfortable night's sleep. The free safe and plenty of hanging space in the wardrobe had been carefully thought out.
The apartments are serviced daily which is something that you do not always get in these types of places. Beds are made, rubbish emptied and the bathroom is given a quick tidy with towels replaced - I could do with this service at home!
The sound proofing in the room meant it felt like you were the only people staying in the apartments.
On the fourth floor there is the reservation only Register Club which offered a bespoke cocktail list and simple dishes. The running of the Club has been out sourced and to be honest the hype and description did not live up to the expectation: staff seemed to be too busy talking amongst themselves to notice guests, so much so that we got up and left after waiting over 10 minutes from our order being taken for the drinks never to arrive. The service and standard did not compliment the high standard set elsewhere throughout the Edinburgh Grand.
The experience could not have been more different in the Hawksmoor restaurant which sits on the ground floor of the building. Situated in the old banking hall of the National Bank of Scotland it certainly had character. The staff can wear what they want - there is no uniform. It might seem odd but with their hustle and bustle mixed with attentive service you soon know who is who.
The staff were very knowledgeable about the menu and were happy to describe the items in a friendly enthusiastic manner. Apparently they have come from the London restaurants to launch the Edinburgh branch - their experience shone and made the visit extra special.
The drinks menu is extensive but the soft drinks did not extend to Iron Bru!
My starter of Yorkshire Puddings served with potted beef and bacon was very meaty and tasted like it had been cooked in Yorkshire rather than North of the border. My partner's smoked mackerel salad was said to be delicious.
The Sirloin Steak I chose for my main was cooked to order and was wholesome and very satisfying whilst my partner's Monkfish grilled over with charcoal was plentiful and very pleasing.
The Sticky Toffee Sundae I had for dessert was layers of indulgence with tons of ice cream and cream. My partner's Pineapple and Coconut Pavlova was a blissful end to a satisfying meal.
Relaxed dining in beautiful surroundings complemented the 5 star service and food.
Once you have experienced the Grand at Edinburgh it would be hard to return to anywhere else in this beautiful city. Edinburgh needed some grand apartments and with the Edinburgh Grand, now they finally have.
The Edinburgh Grand, 42 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD
Telephone 0131 230 0570
The Hawksmoor, 23 West Register Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AA
Telephone 0131 526 4790
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The Edinburgh Grand, 8th October 2018, 10:08 AM