B&B and Beyond: B+B Edinburgh

An award-winning formula comes to Edinburgh, where the B&B is given a hotel-style makeover. By Lucy Gillmore

Boutique hotel meets B&B: that's the idea which has twice won the team behind the B+B Collection the Visit London award for best B&B. It was pioneered in London's swish Belgravia neighbourhood and followed by Weymouth in 2008. Last August, Edinburgh made up a triumvirate and there are plans to open future locations elsewhere. One of the benefits offered to guests is the B+B Club. If you become a member of Belong + Benefit, for every six nights you stay in one of the properties you get one night for free.

With 22 rooms spread over four floors of a Grade II-listed building, and five more in the basement, B+B Edinburgh definitely feels more boutique hotel than traditional B&B. The building was designed in 1883 by the renowned architect Sydney Mitchell for the owner of The Scotsman newspaper, John Ritchie Findlay.

The grand entrance hall sets the tone. It's not so much a case of period features having been retained, as designer touches added to a heavy baronial pad. There's a touch of the posh private school about the place. Some parts work while others have a contemporary-but-only-temporary air.

The library on the first floor is the crowning glory: original wood-panelled walls blanketed in books, two storeys high. The bar on the ground floor is also a cosy spot for a dram, the walls decked with framed front pages from The Scotsman and a portrait of John Ritchie Findlay, while above the zinc bar there's a healthy range of malts.

The bed

Rooms range from single to family (although the singles are a good size). Each floor has a different colour scheme: the fourth floor is bracken, the third a heathery purple and so on. A small lift offers access. All rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV. There's free Wi-Fi – and you can also bring your dog.

Our room, number 5, on the third floor, sports huge sash windows and panoramic views over Dean Village and the Water of Leith to the Forth and hills of Fife beyond. The design encompasses Perspex tables, funky lamps and bespoke tartan cushions. The room has a free-standing tub, and in the bathroom itself a monsoon shower. The only niggle: the carpets are a bit doctors' surgery in style – rough and serviceable.

The breakfast

The breakfast room is a heavily ornate wood-panelled space scattered with white, plastic designer chairs. The wooden moose's head on the wall is a light touch and the mix of old and new almost works, but somehow the room overpowers it all, making the furniture seem flimsy. The breakfast includes porridge, of course, and the Full Scottish comes with haggis. In the summer there's a small terrace looking out over Dean Village where you can eat outside.

The hosts

A Russian entrepreneurial scientist, Professor Vladimir Kulchitsky, and his British partner Penny Brown – although you don't get to meet them, of course, as this is essentially a boutique hotel. Trevor, the manager, was happily helpful, while Agnes, the pretty Polish receptionist, was, at the risk of sounding like my grandmother, delightful.

The weekend

B+B Edinburgh is in the West End, the city on your doorstep – a city that, with the right footwear (those cobbles can be a killer), is ripe for exploring on foot. You're on the edge of the gracious Georgian New Town and just a short schlep from the higgledy-piggledy madness of the medieval Old Town.

If you want to escape the crowds, wander down to the Water of Leith and the footpath that hugs the river for 12 miles emerging at the now swanky docklands of Leith. Veer off the trail to visit the Dean Gallery and the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art (0131-624 6200; nationalgalleries.org) and the Royal Botanic Garden (0131-552 7171; rbge.org.uk) a 70-acre haven with contemporary visitor centre and magnificent glasshouses. And if you're visiting during the festival (edinburghfestivals.co.uk), there are still rooms available at the B+B.

The pit-stop

There's a folder of local restaurant menus in the library if you're stumped for foodie inspiration. However, a 10-minute stroll away is The Honours (58A North Castle Street; 0131 220 3523; thehonours.co.uk), Michelin-starred Martin Wishart's new brasserie focusing on French classics with a Scottish twist. The creamy crab cappuccino (£7.50) is liquid heaven, while the lamb tagine (£11.50) melts in the mouth.

The essentials

B+B Edinburgh, 3 Rothesay Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 7RY (0131-225 5084; bb-edinburgh.com). Doubles start at £140, singles £99 and family rooms £180, all including breakfast.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

Life and Style
Stefan Gates with some mince flies
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
PROMOTED VIDEO
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital