As city breaks go, we can’t think of many more child-friendly destinations than Edinburgh. There’s an abundance of things to see and do, from castles to aquariums, and the bustling centre is easy to navigate with plenty of restaurant options for families. On top of that, it just so happens that The Chester Residence – a chic, family-friendly bolthole in the popular and peaceful West End – is the perfect spot to enjoy it all from.
This stylish apartment-hotel displays Edinburgh architecture at its most regal: stunning Georgian facades with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping spindled staircases. Add to that a host of luxurious features, well-equipped kitchens and additional kid-friendly amenities, and you can see why it won ‘Scotland Hotel of the Year’ in 2012.
Rooms: The Chester Residence comprises 23 boutique self-catering apartments for 2-4. You can expect all the mod cons: huge flat-screen TVs, thick carpets, and a sleek palette of blacks and greys warmed by pops of aubergine and chartreuse. This is quintessential urban sophistication (with all the gadgets), but it’s far from pretentious. The apartments are also equipped with a host of entertainment and culinary features, so they’re perfect for families looking for an exciting break.
While you can easily add a baby cot or extra bed to all the apartments (except the Luxury 1-Bedroom Apartment, Penthouses and Grands), we’d recommend the Luxury 2-Bedroom Apartments – Club and Mews – for families. They’re very similar in look and design (both have 2 ensuite bedrooms – 1 double and 1 double/twin), but Mews leads into its own private garden, adding that bit more space for kids.
Food: The garden in super family-friendly Mews provides the perfect opportunity for a barbecue, but if you haven’t got outdoor space (or the Scottish weather isn’t being kind), you still have a well-stocked kitchen for rustling up dinner with ease. There are top-of-the-range Siemens appliances, dishwashers, built-in ovens and microwaves, plus a host of crockery and cookware from JosephJoseph chopping boards to Dualit toasters.
If you want to step out for a meal, then there a few better places. Edinburgh is awash with quality eateries and the 24-hour concierge service is there to help you navigate them, arranging everything from takeaways to high-end restaurant bookings. We like Ondine for seafood, Tigerlily for afternoon tea and The Witchery for a romantic evening of excellently executed Scottish favourites (babysitting is available on request). There are a number of recommended family-friendly restaurants just a short walk away, too.
Kids’ activities: Edinburgh is a fascinating city with something for everyone come rain or shine, from the depths of The Dungeonswith their ghost and ghoul tours to the heights of Edinburgh Castle, which overlooks the city and fires a gun every day at one o’clock. There’s also Edinburgh Zoo, the aquarium and the new Museum of Scotland, as well as nearby beaches Seacliff, Portobello and Yellowcraigs.
If you don’t want to stray from your comfy apartment, then there’s plenty to keeps kids occupied there too. You’ll find a DVD library, Nintendos, PlayStation games, toys, board games and books, as well as the private garden if you’re in Mews.
Baby equipment: There are Mamas and Papas cots, high chairs and bedding, plus baby toiletries and door gates. Also, in addition to a play pen, you can borrow toys, books and DVDs.
Customer reviews: “Wonderful stay and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. What a fabulous room we had – we didn’t want to leave it was that good!”
Michael, United Kingdom (15.11.13)