I felt old. Frazzled after that perfect start to a weekend away - delays at Heathrow - I sidled through the pouting throng outside Edinburgh's latest boutique hotel into the dazzling Georgian Room; picture a mirrored mosaic wall, shocking pink bar stools and blinding white bar and giant "cloud" light. After checking in, I fumbled for my sunglasses before climbing the vivid red and pink carpeted staircase beneath the rotating disco balls and hot theatre lighting. It was all starting to look a little scary.
Until I opened the bedroom door. My gaze took in the solid hardwood floor, the bespoke chunky wooden four-poster topped with downy white duvet and flames flickering from the pebbles in the contemporary stone fireplace. And the turquoise sofas and curtains framing the three huge sash windows, mirrored console table and perspex chairs. And I realised that it worked. In a groovy Austin Powers kind of way.
All the fabrics in the hotel are Designers Guild, the wallpaper Colefax and Fowler or Cole and Son (who also supply Buckingham Palace and the White House, apparently). It might be bright but it's cleverly and reassuringly expensively so. Tigerlily - even the name was starting to make sense - manages to be glamorous and fun without careering down the cheesy theme route.
The latest venture from Montpeliers, the restaurant and bar group that owns Edinburgh's Opal Lounge, this Grade A-listed townhouse has been - first impressions aside - sensitively converted. The original Georgian features, such as the ornate cornicing, have been assimilated into the contemporary design.
A few deep breaths and a quick dousing in the sleek wet room and I was ready to head downstairs again. To the lime green booths for a glass of champagne before dinner at a circular table lined with a shimmering steel curtain. Mmm, and then? Should we recline on the Bedouin-style day beds, join the crowd at the main bar or slip outside into the smoking courtyard for a little smirting (smoking and flirting)? It was just a shame that Lulu's, the basement club with its crystal studded wall, doesn't open until September as I felt young enough to dance all night.
Time to international airport: It's around a half-hour taxi ride from Edinburgh airport (£20) or a 10-minute walk from Waverley train station (where the airport bus also drops you off for £3.40).
The Boys' Room (or Black Room) in the eaves on the top floor even has black toilet paper, shipped in from Portugal at a cost of £3.50 a roll. The attention to detail is evident throughout the 33 individually designed rooms. We were in room 12, one of the two Georgian suites. The bedside mats were mini sheepskin rugs, there were straightening irons as well as a hairdryer and an iPod that is programmed every two months by the DJ from the Opal Lounge.
Freebies: White Company toiletries, exotic fruit, mineral water, ice and lime.
Keeping in touch: Bang & Olufsen phones, flat-screen digital TV with Sky and DVD player and "video spa" in the sleek bathroom with waterproof remote control.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Doubles start from £175 excluding breakfast; the Georgian suites cost £295 including breakfast
I'm not paying that: Ibis Edinburgh (0131-240 7000; www.ibishotel.com) has double rooms from £76.95 without breakfast.Reuse content