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Hotel Highlights

  • Location, location, location: castle, shops and hilltops
  • Big and bold boutique bedrooms
  • The hotel’s restaurant and bar

Overview

Be king of the castle and stay at the Rutland Hotel, which overlooks the city’s citadel and boasts a plum location, bold decor and majestic wining and dining. This boutique hotel’s listed building sits pretty on Edinburgh’s arterial Princes Street, with the city’s best shops, sights, eateries and drinkeries on your doorstep. 

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Rutland Hotel with us:

A cocktail each, of your choice

Facilities

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The Rutland hotel – Edinburgh – United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

12, including three suites. There's also a two-bedroom apartment available for longer-term lets and short stays.

Check–out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $331.82 (£200), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates are usually room only. Breakfast, from £10.

Also

Feeling frisky? Find your quirky do-not-disturb sign and turn it to the ‘cock-a-doodle-don’t’ side.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: HD plasma TV, iPod dock, minibar, free bottled water, Arran Aromatics toiletries, GHD hair straighteners, Ian Rankin novel (other titles in reception).

Our favourite rooms

Go with the flow (of the building’s curved front) and book up number 4 or 10, both set in the swoop of the front-facing wall overlooking Princes Street. Room 4 is decorated in winey shades of magenta and blood-red with charcoal accents and 10 offers a contemporary twist on Scottish design, with its blown-up thistle-print wallpaper – tartan, shmartan. The executive doubles both have super king-sized beds and rain showers. Romantics and history buffs will love the castle vistas offered up by rooms 5 and 11. In contrast to 11’s milky white expanse, 5 is kitted out like a dark chocolate and orange crème, in spicy black, amber and gold tones. The heavy floral-print curtains, antique-effect armchairs and sculpted regal bed create a suitably majestic effect. Room 12 is also a popular choice with its tiny window in the eaves overlooking the Castle.

Packing tips

Mrs Smiths, leave your tress-tamers at home, all rooms are kitted out with GHD straighteners. Bring a chunky scarf to combat the windy city’s Gulf Stream breeze.

Also

Smoking and pets are not allowed.

Children

Children are welcome. Cots are provided free of charge, extra beds cost £25 and there is babysitting service for £10.50 an hour (book a day in advance). Little ‘uns can eat in the restaurant, which has a children’s menu.

Food & Drink

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The Rutland hotel – Edinburgh – United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

Tuck into Aberdeen Angus steak supplied by some of Scotland's top farms and butchers at the Kyloe Restaurant & Grill (the name is an old Scots word for Highland cattle). As well as prime beef and the freshest of seasonal produce, Kyloe also serves up spectacular views of Edingburgh Castle.

Hotel Bar

The Huxley – gastropub-style bar is equally suited to work (exploit the wireless facilities) or pleasure. Pull up some cow-hide-covered swivel chairs with friends, spot the flatscreen TVs disguised by gilt frames and watch the locals coming and going; set a prize for the first person to spy Ian Rankin, a Rutland regular.

Last orders

The restaurant is open from 11.30am–5.30pm for lunch and 5.30pm–10pm for dinner (10.30pm Fri and Sat). The bar serves up fruity and fabulous tipples from 8am until 1am and for the early birds, breakfast is served from 8am–11am.

Room service

Room service is available 7am–10pm, with options taken from the restaurant menu.

Smith Insider

Dress code

It’s a relaxed dining den, so you’ll feel equally at home in fancy frock and crisp shirt or casual comfy cool.

Top table

Rally the troops and assemble by the window, around a huge circular table in the curved front of the building. A centrally hung black desk lamp will light up the castle views; come Hogmanay, these tables are prime dining real estate.

Local Guide

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The Rutland hotel – Edinburgh – United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Having wined and dined within the hotel, venture forth to the castle and shop along Princes Street. William Street, just a short walk away, is equally good for flexing the plastic and the quirky little boutiques are a more individual alternative to Princes Street’s dominantly high-street complexion. If you’re blessed with sunshine, have a ramble (and a picnic) in Princes Street Gardens. Culture-vultures will love the National Gallery (+44 (0)131 624 6336) a mere stroll away at The Mound and flora and fauna fans should visit the Royal Botanic Garden on Inverneith Row.

Local restaurants

Eat at The Dogs (+44 (0)131 220 1208) and feast like the gods (or, more realistically, like occasional visitor Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall) on plump cuts of meat, punchy flavours and fresh ingredients. It delivers utterly swoon-worthy fare on Hanover Street. Tired of Dogs’ dinners? Go to their second eatery a few doors down and eat Italian-inspired cuisine at Amore Dogs (+44 (0)131 220 5155) the fennel, orange and anchovy salad comes highly recommended, especially followed by a casual cocktail at below bar Under Dogs.

Local bars

The hotel bar and The One Below lounge club are just seconds away from your bedroom, so you’ve no excuse not to have some alcoholic frolics during your Edinburgh stay. Alternatively, check out Element (+44 (0)131 225 3297) on Rose Street, a stylish bar combining chic design, superior service and an expertly created drinks list.

Local cafés

Café Royal Oyster Bar (+44 (0)131 556 1884) on West Register Street is an Edinburgh institution. The eatery dates back to 1862 and is beloved for its succulent seafood and Victorian elegance. Be sure to admire the hand-painted Royal Doulton tiles and beautiful marble oyster bar, while you deliberate over the Scottish-produce-championing menu. Combine sex and sugar at the Boobytrap on William Street. This saucy lingerie boutique has a café in the back, so Mr Smith can bite into ‘DD cupcakes’ while Mrs Smith slips into something more handkerchief-sized and see-through.

+ Enlarge
Princely Princes Street

The Rutland Hotel

The Rutland Hotel, 1-3 Rutland Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2AE, United Kingdom

Planes

The nearest airport is Edinburgh Turnhouse, a 30-minute car ride from the hotel. A shuttle service runs every 10 minutes, linking the airport to the city centre.

Trains

Waverley station is 10 minutes from the hotel. Services run from all major cities, including London.

Automobiles

There's no hotel parking, but the local NCP is £7. Should you wish to venture further afield, Glasgow is around a 45-minute drive away.

Reviews

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The Rutland hotel – Edinburgh – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Victoria Hogg , Stand-up scribe

Three weeks before our hotel stay, at the start of August, we arrived to contribute our comedy show to the Edinburgh Festival. A month-long run of sketches and stand-up on the Fringe is so tiring you feel wiped out (getting the audience in, a daily performance, dozens of friends’ shows to see), so by the final weekend, we’re ready to weep and/or die. Not quite yet though – Mr Sm…
Read more

The Rutland Hotel

Anonymous review by Victoria Hogg, Stand-up scribe

Three weeks before our hotel stay, at the start of August, we arrived to contribute our comedy show to the Edinburgh Festival. A month-long run of sketches and stand-up on the Fringe is so tiring you feel wiped out (getting the audience in, a daily performance, dozens of friends’ shows to see), so by the final weekend, we’re ready to weep and/or die. Not quite yet though – Mr Smith has one final stand-up gig, a very important one. There will be agents, big promoters and even a scout from HBO. Let’s hope he doesn’t screw it up. He screws it up. He goes blank in front of 150 people. The cupboard is bare. Seconds become hours. Nothing nothing nothing. Thank you and goodnight. If ever a man is going to need some comforting, it is going to be now. If ever a boutique hotel is going to have to do its job – it is going to be now. Enter to rapturous applause: the Rutland Hotel.

Scotland’s capital, history fans, is dubbed the Athens of the North, and is a city of great beauty where the rain dictates that you get wetter than a haddock at the bottom of the North Sea. There are cobbled streets, interesting independent shops, excellent cafes and of course the castle, sitting atop the centre’s heart at its highest point but, bizarrely, often hidden from view, popping up at the oddest of angles from the corner of one’s eye. We are old orienteering hands in Edinburgh by now, yet tramping around it still feels like being trapped in an Escher painting: endless inclines, inviting tunnels and maze-like approaches spit you out where least expected.

The Rutland sits at a five-way crossroads at the west end of Princes Street; Edinburgh’s main drag and where one the city’s tramworks will soon return to life after fifty years. We sidestep the tarmac-drilling into the modernised Georgian townhouse – once the home of eminent bonesaw Sir Joseph Lister – and the serene, plush interior starts to work its magic. Baroque thrones sit under a large mirror in reception. Guided by the super-polite and friendly staff, we head upstairs in the sci-fi glass lift, passing Pop Art nods, highly lacquered lamps and more seating worthy of Posh ’n’ Becks-style nuptials. In room 10, we collapse on the bed in a heap. It’s not a pretty sight. Thankfully our backdrop is. The triangular haven echoes the reception’s purple-on-white decor – from dusty mauve-and-hot-pink curtains to the maroon Charles Eames chair. On the dressing table, glass jars of jelly beans and salt-and-pepper cashews sit alongside two deep indigo-bowled wine glasses and a bottle of Corvina Alpha Zeta emblazoned with a colour-scheme-fitting label. (I recall a friend’s mum who was so proud of her floral-patterned tissues from M&S matching the lampshade and curtains. This would knock her socks off.)

As we drink in the decor, Mr Smith prepares to get off the bed. Problem. It is cocooning his bruised comedy ego. He can’t get up: this king-size piece of heaven is such a grade-one comfort zone you’d have to be Houdini to escape its Egyptian cotton-clad clutches. Luckily, in the cosy bathroom with its Korres miniatures and illegally fluffy white towelling dressing gowns beckon. Mr Smith takes a minute to wash away the smell of defeat – and have a shave – and we’re ready to hit the town, via the Rutland’s bar, a sweeping ground-floor semi-circle with enticing padded stools and deep armchairs. Not only less raucous, stylistically, The Bar also scores full soundproofing marks – only when a thirsty Edinburger enters from the street do we remember there’s any noise outside. A couple of fellow comics join us for drinks to help lick Mr Smith’s wounds, so we settle into an inviting cowhide and chandeliered booth. A couple of Lipglosses (the hotel’s signature cocktails of gin, raspberries, pomegranate juice, lavender syrup), later and we waft up the dazzling steep staircase – all mirrors and sunflowers – to the red’n’black first-floor restaurant. Light bounces from long vertical strings of glass bubbles suspended from jellyfish booths, partitioning circles of diners from the rest of the room with their hanging black tendrils.

The food is properly good (head chef: David Haetzman) and we can’t wait to get stuck in. It arrives as swiftly as the cocktails. It’s a tomato and red onion tart, then salmon on potatoes for Mrs Smith, and leek, potato and thyme soup and an Aberdeen burger for her Mr. We share milk chocolate tart and pecan and maple syrup ice cream for pud. It’s all delish. Staff, too, are sweet and professional, not fitting your typical luxury hotel restaurant mould: young and groovy (a pierced nose here, a streak of brightly dyed hair there), they’re a reminder that the Rutland projects an anything-but-snooty policy that charms you into feeling especially relaxed. Before plunging one last time into the wild, Saturday night Fringe fray, we take our nightcap early with a sampling of the excellent, esoteric minibar whiskies. 

Cometh the morning, cometh the continental brekker: mountains of fruit salad, some good mini-pastries and a brace of coffees and we’re ready to tackle Arthur’s Seat – the hill to the east of Edinburgh that’s a 45-minute hike with routes to suit all levels of climbing proficiency. Donning our ‘L’ plates we idle up, admire the stunning view of the city, high-five each other that it’s stopped raining, then saunter back down, meeting on the way at least three hairy kilts honing their teeth-whitening bagpipe skills. Mr Smith tells us we’re lucky: when it’s really sunny there can be as many as 20. He’s obviously on the mend.

In the centre of Edinburgh again, it’s time to head home; the city’s crazy layout puzzles us anew. Like Alice in Through The Looking-Glass, we seem to walk in the opposite direction to our destination yet still we pop up by the Rutland like rabbits out of a hole. The hotel is hushed and calm in contrast to the madding tourist and festival-goer crowd outside. It’s hard to say goodbye. And if it’d been raining, it would’ve been impossible.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Rutland Hotel's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Staff members were exceptional in relation to their service. The hotel itself had suffered a flood in the suite we were booked in; however, we were efficiently shown to one of the hotel's new apartments, which was beautiful. The location is excellent for shopping and the hotel's bar/restaurant service and food were very well priced. You must try the cocktails! I would definitely recommend this hotel.

Don’t expect

Perhaps the hotel could have attempted to contact us by telephone to advise of the flood rather than surprise us with it upon arrival. However, as I said, the staff efficiently dealt with the problem and were exceptional in accommodating us. Apart from that, the only down side for me is the noise from what appears to be a noisy extractor fan above the hotel's main entrance. The noise could be heard from our apartment's living room even with the windows closed.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This was a very nice hotel, with spacious bedrooms, very good customer service, and nice interiors.

Don’t expect

I would make the sink bigger, it was too small.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the great service, room decor, great bar and room service.

Don’t expect

The shower in the room was not very powerful, but that is a minor complaint.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I enjoyed the large comfortable room with good views, and the excellent location

Don’t expect

Cheaper breakfast would be better, and instant coffee is not acceptable, even in the room.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the location, the view of the castle, the design and the bar.

Rating: 10/10 stars