The Rutland Hotel

West End, Edinburgh, United Kingdom Book from

Georgian architecture meets 21st-century glamour at this bovine-themed hotel and steakhouse in the throbbing heart of Edinburgh’s West End
There’s plenty to moo about at this glitzy hideaway, set in a Georgian building bang in the centre of Edinburgh’s West End and just a swish of the tail from bustling Princes Street. At the front door you’re greeted by a model cow on the pavement; raise your eyes and you’ll spot a heifer emerging from a window upstairs. Cows are a bit of a theme here, not just as decorative amusement but also in the form of top-quality Aberdeen Angus beef served in the hotel’s restaurant, which purports to be the Scottish capital’s first gourmet steakhouse. You sit on chairs made from cowhide as you dine, of course.

The 12 rooms exude a similar sense of vibrant fun. Colours and wallpapers are bold, and the overall effect is bright and glamorous without being over the top - with the deliberate exception of the outrageously orange French console table outside one room, and the ornate bed in another. A couple offer dreamy views of Edinburgh Castle, and there’s a 2-bedroom apartment with its own lounge and kitchen if you want to spread out. Downstairs there's a bar and basement nightclub, making this buzzy hotel the perfect bolthole for city slickers, couples and night owls alike.

Highs

  • A plum central location, with bars, boutiques and dining dens at your fingertips
  • Food in the restaurant is impeccably sourced: the beef comes from local farms, the seafood from Scottish lochs - and much of it is seasonal
  • Ideal for girls' weekends - the bar and basement club (The One Below) are gorgeously glamorous, there’s a long cocktail list, and you’ll find GHD hair straighteners in your room to help you get ready
  • Surprisingly family-friendly, too, with cots, extra beds and a special menu for littl’uns. The apartment can sleep 4 adults, 2 children and a baby, and a couple of rooms interconnect
  • Welcoming, helpful staff

Lows

  • Breakfast isn’t included in room rates
  • The glitzy décor won't be to everyone's taste
  • The double-glazed windows don’t open so rooms can get stuffy, but air-con and central heating help to regulate the temperature
  • The club throbs well into the wee small hours, so if you’re a light sleeper request a top-floor room
  • No car park, but there’s an NCP car park 10 minutes’ walk away at the Sheraton Hotel

Best time to go

If you’re a culture vulture, you’ll want to be here for the Edinburgh Festival in August (book well in advance). People also flock to the city for the December markets, Hogmanay (New Year), and the Science Festival in March. But it’s wonderful at any time of year, with plenty to do in any weather.

Our top tips

  • Join an Eat Walk Edinburgh tour, which takes in fabulous cheese shops, a ‘liquid deli’ where you can taste delicious fruit vodka and gin liqueurs, and the Malt Whisky Society for whisky and haggis
  • Science and history buffs may be interested to know that The Rutland was once the home of Joseph Lister, the 19th-century pioneer of antiseptic surgery

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12 rooms + 1 apartment
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Nightclub
Room:

Rooms

Relaxed glamour is the catchphrase in the hotel’s 12 rooms and 1 apartment. Bright velvets (perhaps blood red or turquoise blue), tulip-patterned wallpapers, flocked cushions, crystal chandeliers and under-bed lighting combine to create plush, bold interiors. Several feature tall leather headboards and iconic Mies van der Rohe ‘Barcelona’ chairs, while amber-coloured Room 5 has a Baroque look, with an ornate French bed and luxuriously heavy curtains.

All rooms have generous beds - mostly super-kingsize - with goosedown duvets and Egyptian cotton linen. They’re also kitted out with gadgetry, including wall-mounted flat-screen TVs with surround sound, WiFi, and iPod docks by the bedside. Other nice touches include umbrellas, novels by Edinburgh-born Ian Rankin, GHD hair straighteners, tea- and coffee-making facilities, a mini-fridge with fresh milk, and homemade muffins on arrival. Bathrooms are a mix of shower only or a Jacuzzi tub with an overhead shower, and toiletries are Arran Aromatics.

If views are a priority, choose one of the Castle View Doubles (Rooms 5 and 11), which, as their name suggests, have lovely views of Edinburgh’s historic castle. You’ll also catch a limited view of the castle from Room 6, a Junior Suite with sage wallpaper, a boxed-in bed and a Jacuzzi bath, while on a clear day you can see across the Firth of Forth from Executive Room 4, a deep red affair.

For those needing more space - perhaps families, 2 couples or groups of friends - there’s a 2-bedroom serviced apartment which can sleep (at a push) 4 adults, 2 children and a baby. It has a fully equipped kitchen so you can self-cater if you wish, plus a lounge and a top-notch bathroom with a walk-in rainfall shower and a separate tub.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • GDH hair straighteners
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast (not included in the room price) is served at your table in the ground-floor bar. It’s a simple but tasty affair, using high-quality local meat and fish. I enjoyed the ham and spinach eggs Benedict, which has become justifiably famous in Edinburgh food circles. Also on offer are Loch Fyne kippers, bacon butties and the Full Scottish (with black pudding, haggis and a potato scone).

Come evening, the bar serves a range of wine and beers, as well as seasonal cocktails shaken up in front of your eyes by skilled mixologists. It’s also open during the day for coffee, salads, sandwiches and burgers.

For lunch and dinner, the hotel’s Kyloe Restaurant & Grill - named after the Scots word for Highland cattle and bedecked with cowhide, leather booths and rustic barrel lights - is a good bet. Carnivores can get their teeth into pedigree Aberdeen Angus beef that’s been aged for a minimum of 21 days, and the fish and shellfish offerings are excellent too. I had a delicious sea bream ceviche with chilli, pink grapefruit and a salad of fennel, pomegranate and coriander. Salmon and vegetarian pasta options usually feature on the menu, too.

If you fancy heading out you’re spoiled for choice. For Michelin-starred fine dining try the cooking of Tom Kitchin or Martin Wishart. Both have eponymous restaurants in Leith on Edinburgh’s eastern side, plus more informal bistro-style eateries (Castle Terrace and The Honours respectively) within a few minutes’ walk of The Rutland. Ondine is the place for fresh and sustainable fish, while Earthy’s has wholesome and affordable fare in its 2 shops-cum-cafés.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Treat yourself to some serious retail therapy on Princes Street

  • Pop up to Edinburgh Castle, lording it over the city. Hear the One O’Clock Gun booming from the battlements, admire the Scottish crown jewels, and visit the National War Museum of Scotland

  • Follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter author JK Rowling and enjoy the city’s many cafés - Elephant House was her favourite, and we love Eteaket, Urban Angel and Artisan Roast, too. Literary tours are also on offer through Visit Scotland

  • Get inspired by the old masters at the National Galleries of Scotland (free entry), then treat yourself to homemade scones in the tearoom

  • Catch your breath after walking up to Arthur’s Seat - then have it taken away again by the views

  • Check out the palace of Holyrood House, the royal family’s Edinburgh residence, including its abbey and the Queens Gallery, which hosts visiting exhibitions from the royal collections

  • Watch international rugby at Murrayfield stadium, just 10 minutes’ walk from The Rutland. If there’s no match on, join a walking tour to learn about its history

  • Try Scotland’s national drink with a visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience, housing the world’s largest collection of Scottish whisky

  • Take a stroll in the Royal Botanic Garden and marvel at its Victorian palm house

  • In August Edinburgh throbs to the sounds of its famous festival, or come in December for Christmas markets and the New Year's Eve Hogmanay shindig

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Festivals
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Rugby
  • Shopping / markets
  • Whisky Tasting

Kids

Given its glitz and glamour, The Rutland is surprisingly family-friendly. Children of all ages are welcome, and baby cots (free) and extra beds for those under 16 (charged for) can be added to all rooms except the Standard Doubles and Castle View Doubles. Babysitting can be arranged on request, and there's a children's menu in the restaurant. Note that the bar area is open to adults only in the evening.

Best for:

Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The apartment has plenty of space, with 2 double bedrooms and a sofabed; it can sleep up to 4 adults, 2 children and a baby. It also has a full kitchen where you can self-cater if you wish. Also useful for families are Rooms 1 (a Junior Suite) and 2 (a Standard Double), which can interconnect.

Babysitting:

Available on request.

Children's meals:

There's a kids' menu in the restaurant.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
8/
Value
9/
Overall

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Rates for The Rutland Hotel