What We Love
- Modern apartments in a period property near Edinburgh city centre, with late check-out
- The quiet residential location, within walking distance of boutique shops and cafes
- The clever use of space and design in apartment interiors
- The range of modern technology, including a huge TV
What To Know
- Apartments feel like homes-away-from-home with Egyptian cotton sheets, kitchenettes and washer/driers
- No on-site restaurant, but local pubs and eateries are steps away
- Located in a quiet, residential area, 20 minutes outside the city center
Enjoy a sojourn in an elegantly updated Victorian townhouse, on a quiet street that is one of the smartest addresses in town. Merchiston Residence offers you the chance to make like Edinburgh’s elite in a boutique high-spec apartment and explore the city’s myriad attractions that lie within walking distance. The residence is ranked in the top 10 of speciality Edinburgh lodgings on TripAdvisor and sport a Certificate of Excellence.
Behind the stylishly dressed entrance and typical stone façade lies an impressive balustraded winding staircase, spiralling upwards. The eight apartments – ranging from studio to two bedrooms – have a distinctly contemporary feel, in marked contrast to the classic exterior. They are designed and managed by Lateral City, specialists in high-end Edinburgh properties, whose mantra is ‘serviced apartments for living, not just sleeping’, a sentiment that is shared by many previous guests.
The apartments are all open-plan and kitted out in slick, contemporary fashion. Bespoke walnut panelling houses modern technology, large modern artworks hang on plain white walls and bathrooms have roomy walk-in showers. Beds lie snug in Egyptian cotton sheets, while the well-equipped kitchen has a washer/dryer, hob, microwave and more. There’s also a dining area and comfy sofa to kick back on after a packed day.
Recommended restaurants within a 10-minute walk include Peckham’s, with a great deli and luxury basement cafe, plus The Clay Oven for delicately spiced Indian cuisine, Levens (Edinburgh’s only Thai fusion restaurant) and The Merlin for upmarket pub grub. For a cheeky whisky nightcap, try the Canny Mans.
While the Merchiston itself is in a quiet, upmarket residential neighbourhood, after five minutes’ walk you’ll be in the affluent Bruntsfield area, with its eclectic range of boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. The famed Princes Street, George Street and The Royal Mile are further on into the city centre, about 20 minutes’ walk away. Or you can catch a bus round the corner. The whole of Edinburgh has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a fabulous array of museums and galleries. City centre highlights include Surgeons Hall, the National Museum and National Galleries of Scotland and Museum of Childhood.
How to Get There
Booked a 2-night stay for a family of 4 having stayed here a couple of years ago. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to our expectations this time. We were in apartment 4 on the ground floor, so quite noisy with people coming and going through the front door, but it was the lack of heating that really spoiled it for us. There were 2 portable heaters in the apartment but they weren’t enough to heat it. We tried raising the temperature on the control pad but it always reverted back to what was supposed to be 19oC but it certainly didn’t feel it and the radiators weren’t even lukewarm. We mentioned it to the staff member who came to service the apartment in the morning but the second night was just as chilly. We actually had to sit with our coats and hats on in the evenings! There was also no oven glove or a dish towel to dry dishes, so you’ll need to take your own. There was only one water glass in the apartment and, as we were there with 2 children, we phoned to ask for more. We were told to help ourselves to anything we wanted from apartment 6, so we went upstairs and managed to find 2 more glasses there. The crockery and wine glasses that were in the cupboards were soaking wet, likely because of the aforementioned lack of dish cloth! The kitchen tap was hanging loose and in need of some attention. The shower room was lovely and the upstairs bed was a hit with the children again. A great location and the apartments were lovely a few years ago but sadly we’re left disappointed this time and most likely won’t be back.
As a solo female traveller, I can’t recommend this place to other women staying on their own. Security and safety are important to me, and I didn’t feel safe here. Had I been staying more than one night I would have relocated.
The unique door code provided didn’t work, so I phoned the concierge who tried other codes before giving me an ‘emergency code’ which did. As this code also opened my studio apartment door I was left wondering if this was a universal code which opened every apartment door. There was no secondary lock inside, which you get even in the most basic hotel.
The first thing I saw on arrival was that what I presumed was the smoke detector on the ceiling had been wrapped in a plastic bag, literally a supermarket carrier bag, which dangled in an unsightly way from the ceiling. Ugly yes, potentially unsafe also I would suggest. My guess is that this avoids guests accidentally setting off the alarm when making toast etc, but in a building with no additional fire escape can you really take this chance? I’ve never seen anything like it and I travel a lot. I did email the concierge with a photo of this in case they were unaware, but heard nothing back. Just to be clear, I wasn’t angling for a refund as guests leaving bad reviews are sometimes accused of by other proprietors, I’m just concerned about fire safety.
The apartment had a few other issues, the drains smelled pretty bad in the bathroom, and the small breakfast bar in the kitchen had a large kitchen bin right next to it which took up a lot of space in such a small kitchen. This could easily be resolved by placing a smaller bin in the cupboard under the kitchen sink.
Wouldn’t stay again, and can’t recommend.
We loved the Merchiston Residence. It was a beautiful suite with all the amenities. Close to shops and with easy access to transportation into the city. It feels very luxurious but still very affordable.