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Edinburgh Marriott Hotel Holyrood: A Whirlwind Trip To The Scottish Capital

The former established Holyrood Hotel has very recently relaunched as Edinburgh Marriott Hotel Holyrood

The former established Holyrood Hotel has very recently relaunched as Edinburgh Marriott Hotel Holyrood, marking the completion of an extensive £10m refurbishment. The transformation of the property is exceptional from the moment you walk through the door into the Greatroom Lobby to the newly appointed rooms and suites, spa, gym and meeting areas. Rachel McAlley checks in…

Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic old town, the hotel, under new ownership, has been brought up to Marriott Hotel standards with an extensive refurb. Marriott’s signature style is found throughout all facets of the property and guests can now enjoy an enriched experience with modern, inviting spaces.

We were invited to the launch following the rebrand, for an evening of fabulous food, drink and entertainment. The invite was for 24 hours in Edinburgh to experience a hosted lunch with the General Manager, Michael Falla, followed by an exclusive tour of The Scotch Whisky Experience. Also, the visit included tickets for the official Edinburgh Marriott Hotel Holyrood party, overnight stay, and traditional Scottish breakfast. Who could say no to that?

The Low Down

With nearly 600 hotels and resorts in over 65 countries and territories around the world, Marriott Hotels continues to elevate the art of hospitality. The new-look Holyrood property is synonymous with Marriott’s commitment to delivering enriching experiences, modern design, heartfelt service and timeless hospitality.

Rachel’s journey began with a heartfelt welcome into the new Greatroom lobby, the pulse of every Marriott Hotel. It was a hub of activity with the team getting ready for the night’s planned festivities. With space to connect, work, and unwind, this is a key feature of the refurbishment, a relaxed and sophisticated lifestyle space, bar, dining area and lobby.

The city’s vibrant arts scene is reflected in the art on display and carpet designs throughout. The interiors are inspired by the late Scottish artist Edinburgh-born Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi CBE RA, who is known for his sculpture and graphic work and is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of pop art.

The local influence combines with Marriott’s modern design aesthetics, with interiors based on a cool neutral palette featuring intricate multidimensional patterns and layered textures of natural materials. These materials such as marble, sand, onyx and water include rich patterns and an intriguing design tension that provides visual interest and invites reflection.

The General Manager’s lunch was taken in the Greatroom, with views over the entire hotel lobby, it was a great location to enjoy Head Chef Andy McRobert’s specially curated menu. We dined on San Marzano Tomato and East Coast Buffalo Mozzarella salad to start.

This was followed by Slowly Braised Scottish Short Rib of Beef with Haggis, Neep & Tatties, turnip fondant, and Aberfeldy 12-year-old jus. The dessert was Limoncello Cranachan with Scottish Shortbread.

The piece-de-resistance was the mouth-watering short rib, which was cooked to perfection. It fell off the bone, melted in the mouth, and when matched with the haggis was simply divine.

All of these dishes will make an appearance on the hotel’s Market Menu whenever they are in season. Keep your eyes peeled for the regular seasonal menu changes.

The Scotch Whisky Experience

Post lunch we ventured to the top of The Royal Mile to spend an hour at The Scotch Whisky Experience, which certainly was an experience.

We were taken through the history of whisky, how it is distilled, what the casks are made from, and how to correctly taste Scotch Whisky. Furthermore, we even learned that there are five different areas across the whole of Scotland where specific whiskies are produced. These areas include Speyside, Highland, Islay, Lowland, and Campbeltown.

The Scotch Whisky Experience holds over 4,000 unopened bottles of whisky for every visitor to look at. They are housed at the end of the experience in glass-fronted cabinets and showcase the smallest bottles in the world to the most unusual bottles in the world.

We sampled one whisky from one of the five areas of Scotland and were taken through the correct way of drinking. Firstly, you raise the glass and look at the colour, it may be a deep amber colour or a light amber colour. Secondly, you swill the glass around to see how long the whisky line lasts.

Thirdly, you smell the aromas, as you might find it oaky, smoky, or fruity. Fourthly, you taste and smell at the same time. Finally, the long drink, where you taste the whisky and get its full flavour.

The tour was taken by an expert from The Scotch Whisky Experience, he knew every answer to any question put his way. Moreover, we ended the tour by sampling a small bar of rich dark chocolate and then drinking a matching whisky. The taste was perfection, the bitterness of the chocolate worked alongside the harshness of the whisky and they were a match made in heaven!

We strolled down The Royal Mile back to the Edinburgh Marriott Hotel Holyrood for a night of excellent food including freshly shucked oysters, live piping, and fabulous entertainment. After a night of dancing and possibly some singing it was time for bed.

The Edinburgh Marriott Hotel Holyrood

The 160 sophisticated and inviting guest bedrooms include Junior Suites, Deluxe and King Rooms with sleek wooden floors, and drench walk-in showers amongst other facilities. All rooms boast spacious en-suites, comfortable beds, cosy armchairs and 55-inch wall-mounted flat-screen TVs as standard.

Breakfast is served in the Greatroom with a choice of hot or cold buffet. Scottish Potato Cakes, Scottish Sausage Patties and everything else you can think of are included in the breakfast buffet. It’s one not to miss!

It was time to hit the spa, which is still undergoing an expansive transformation. The pool is a calmness in the midst of Edinburgh’s bustling streets. Both locals and hotel guests are able to use the facilities which include a gym, pool, and treatment rooms.

After spending an hour having an unbelievably relaxing Elemis Full Body Massage, which was then followed by half an hour in the relaxation room it was time to check out. We could have stayed in the spa all day and swam for hours, but the train sadly wouldn’t wait! Therefore, we hot-footed to Edinburgh Waverley Station to head back to England. It was a whirlwind 24 hours in the Scottish capital……. until next time!

Standard rooms at the Marriott Edinburgh Hotel Holyrood start from £209. Our writer Rachel stayed in a Deluxe King, the hotel’s leading room category is slightly more expensive. Book a room here.

An Elemis Full Body Massage is priced at £75. There are plenty more treatments to book, view the catalogue here.

For details about booking tickets to The Scotch Whisky Experience, visit here. Prices vary from £10 for a child to £21 concessions, £23 for an adult to £56 for a family of four.

So, when you next look to visit Edinburgh check out the Edinburgh Marriott Hotel Holyrood.

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