Concierge.com's insider take:
Edinburgh is many amazing things, but fashion destination it ain't. So Italian label Missoni's decision to open its first hotel here in June 2009 came as a bit of a surprise. (We'd guess there was some appeal to being a big fish in a small pond, since it would be harder to attract attention with the same concept in Milan.) The hotel—spearheading Missoni's global charge into South Africa, Oman, Kuwait, and Brazil—has bagged a prime spot on the corner of the historic Royal Mile and George IV Bridge, a five-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle. The six-floor modern sandstone building rubs shoulders—rather brazenly—with the Old Town's narrow medieval town houses. But you don't expect understatement from Missoni. Indeed, the brand's trademark vivid stripes and zigzags are spread throughout the public spaces and 136 guest rooms, in geometrically patterned artwork, jewel-toned bedspreads and upholstered chairs, black-and-white floral rugs and drapes, and even a seven-foot reel of yarn in the lobby. Judicious doses of neutral shades help prevent sensory overload, however, and a few Scottish pieces—such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Ladderback chairs—serve as a reminder that you're not in Italy. The bathrooms are a sultry study in dark Vitrex mosaic tiles and purple or red walls, with spacious glass-paneled showers (five out of the seven suites also have tubs). Missoni's own colorful toiletries complement the decor, as do the cool, patterned robes. Fourteen rooms are housed in an adjacent older building, but with the exception of the Lawnmarket suite—accessible by a spiral staircase—they're not worth booking: The charm of period features such as exposed beams is offset by small windows and a lack of soundproofing (the drone of bagpipes on a loop from outside can get aggravating). Stick to the new building with its 21st-century fittings, like AC and floor-to-ceiling windows with postcard-ready views. A hip little lobby bar and Cucina, an authentic Italian restaurant, complete the most stylish addition to Edinburgh's hotel scene. If you want to bed down somewhere cool and contemporary in this ancient city, the Missoni hotel is your place.—Nicola McCormack
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:In a city where hotel options tend to be renovated medieval buildings or practical chain hotels, this debut property from Italian fashion house Missoni is a dose of spirited style. It's not just the doormen outfitted in red-and-black Missoni kilts, nor the ultra-modernist interior with its opaque teals, violets, and greens mixed with black-and-white stripes, chevrons, and checkerboards (but no plaid)the 136-room Missoni, which replaced a brutalist government building on the city's central Royal Mile, defies the historic gray of Edinburgh. Dramatic, mosaicked floor-to-ceiling vases flank the entrance doors, and a buzzy espresso bar with low banquette seating serves creative cocktails. The rooms, which have odd shapes and varying views, are colorful and compact but come with all the right elements: a Nespresso machine, Pierre Paulin Tulip Chairs, a complimentary minibar, and best of all, wonderful graphic cups, saucers, sheets, and textiles from MissoniHome. Scottish hospitality is evident by the "nae problem" attitude toward anything that comes up. Don't expect to eat Scottish lamb here, howeverthe food at the restaurant, Cucina, though delicious, is straight out of Italy.2010 Hot List
Which room to book: Ones on the fifth floor in the modern wing on Victoria Terrace and George IV Street offer the best views. The wing on the Royal Mile can be noisy, as the historically zoned windows are thinner.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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