Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Five Things To Do When You Visit Edinburgh

At The Dunstane, we love to entertain our guests in the best ways possible, and that includes offering them all the best local advice about things to see when they are here. Edinburgh is renowned for its beauty as a city, and there are so many things to see and do during your visit. We have compiled our own list of favourites for you.

1 – Edinburgh Castle

The ultimate token of Edinburgh, most people who come to Edinburgh do so with the intention of seeing Edinburgh castle. The castle is placed in the centre of the city which means you can see it from many different parts of town. There are tours around the grounds of the castle daily and the views are iconic. There are also featured historic events and activities on throughout the castle, one of our favourites being the Mary Queen of Scot’s event – find out all about her life from 1566.

2 – Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament is based in Holyrood, and the building is fast becoming one of the most visited in the country. Ever since the building was completed, people have come from miles to see and experience. Well worth a visit especially this year with all of the Homecoming activities throughout the summer and autumn.

3 – Edinburgh Zoo

From Panda’s to Meerkats, Edinburgh zoo is one of the best days out in Scotland. See a wide variety of animals in habitats that are as close to their own environments as possible and see daily shows and daily exhibitions which are a fun treat for the whole family. It is only 10 minutes from The Dunstane too, which means getting back to put your feet up is no ordeal!

4 – Trams

Edinburgh is one of an increasing number of British cities to have voted to reinstate her tram system. The Trams have been an ongoing build in Scotland and at the end of May this year they began! The trams run right through the city and are another exciting way to feel the Edinburgh buzz during the summer wherever you are going. With its easy hop on – hop off process you can relax without having to bring your car into the city centre!

5 – Arthur’s Seat

Arthur's Seat is the famous dormant volcano that adorns the Edinburgh skyline, sitting majestically on the outskirts of the city. The Seat is known as such because it resembles a sitting lion with its gently arched back. It is also the home of Salisbury Crags and worth the trip if you fancy escaping from the bustle of the city without having to go too far. On a clear day the views are incredible and you can see over the whole of Edinburgh – it is definitely worth the trek to visit it!

All of the above activities are in the heart of the city – just like us! If you are coming to Edinburgh and are looking for accommodation, look no further than The Dunstane. Our beautifully decorated boutique rooms are perfect for relaxing after a tough day sightseeing! We are close enough to the excitement of the city but far enough away from the hustle and bustle. We have amazing offers on now for the best deals this summer – be sure to call our sales team on 0131 337 6169 and book direct for the best prices.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fun at the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

Edinburgh Festivals 2014


At The Dunstane Hotel we are proud to be ideally placed to accommodate so many of the guests arriving for the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals.  We always like to show our guests the perfect time and when they have travelled from all parts of the globe especially to visit Scotland we want to make their trip a trip of a lifetime and give them plenty happy memories to take home!

Edinburgh International Film Festival

We all enjoyed this year's Film Festival, and hope that next year will be just as excellent and successful as it was this year. The EIFF has been around since 1947 and now a world-renowned event, drawing crowds from every part of the world. Some of the most famous and successful movies from recent years have premiered at the EIFF and no doubt we will see many more. If you were here for this year's festival, we hope you had the best time. If you are planning to come for next year's then give us a call and book your tickets early.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, and the Fringe is one of the biggest draws. We at The Dunstane love the festivals that are available around Edinburgh throughout the year, and we are planning ahead for this year’s fringe, taking place between 1st and the 25th August 2014.

At the end of a busy day in Edinburgh you won’t have far to go to reach The Dunstane. We are in the heart of Edinburgh, but also far enough away from the bustle of the town for a great night’s rest before returning to the action the next day! Our luxury boutique hotel is within two minutes of thirty or so venues and there are plenty of others just a few more steps away.  If you are planning to come and stay with us at The Dunstane in August, for the Fringe, or just a weekend break, get in touch today and we will ensure a relaxing and comfortable stay.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Scotland Welcomes the Ryder Cup Back

Every time the Ryder Cup, or any other golf tournament comes to Scotland, there is cause for extra celebration. Scotland is the home of golf; it is a strong contender for being our national game and we love it accordingly.  This year Paul McGinley is bringing it home with the rest of the European Team to Gleneagles and here at The Dunstane we are rolling up the proverbial—and actual—sleeves and getting ready for it.

Bringing it all back home

Gleneagles is one of the many world famous golf courses in Scotland and this year they are proudly hosting the USA and Europeans as they enter into the battle of the continents—the Europeans trying to retain and the USA trying to win the Ryder Cup back. Gleneagles last played host back in 1973, so it should be a gripping three days and we are looking forward to it tremendously.

Even though the teams are undecided as yet, simply because it mostly depends on ranking, Paul McGinley is rumoured to be choosing three wild cards this year and we are eager to find out all the chosen players. We, at The Dunstane, will be right at the centre of the action and we will be screening the matches on TV for all to see, while we cheer on the Europeans.

Courtesy of Google images

How the Ryder Cup Works

If you are unfamiliar with the way the tournament goes, we can let you have a little background information. Day One is the opening Friday and it starts with four ‘foursome’ matches. These are ‘alternate shot’ matches, rather like a relay race. This is followed by the four ‘fourball’ matches whereby the better ball is the one that is played on the next shot.

Day Two is the four foursome matches, followed by four fourballs again and then on day three—Sunday and the final day—there are 12 singles matches. The winner is determined by the points system. There are 28 available and the winning team will hold 14 ½ of them. The last day often determines the final outcome because the first two days tend to be extra close, so it should be total nail biter. Get ready to hit the edge of your seats with this one!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Dunstane - Meet our Head Housekeeper - Laura Taylor

Another installment of - MEET THE…..Head Housekeeper – Laura Taylor
Photo of Laura

Hi Laura, so you have been at The Dunstane for over 8 years now…. Tell us….

1. You have covered so many different areas of the hotel and learned so many different roles….what do you like the most?

I have enjoyed all my roles at The Dunstane, all of them are different but I love the guest interaction you get when working in the bar and restaurant. I do like helping out when I can in any department as I learn more about the hotel that way. But definitely my favourite department is my own as I am very passionate about maintaining the high standards of cleanliness throughout the hotel that we are well known for! The rooms are my babies! I have a great team too that also makes my job easier.

2. Did you like the guest interaction in your role at the Townhouse?

The interaction with the guests was definitely the best part of working a the Townhouse. Finding out about our guests and what they were doing her in Edinburgh - especially getting to know the regulars was great. I always had a story or two to tell them myself and I now have a long list of place son my list to visit as a result of their recommendations.

3. You briefly did Revive at the Dunstane, tell us about that. Was it a rewarding experience?

I am also a trained beauty therapist and I love working at the Dunstane so I thought it would be a great idea to combine the two roles! I transformed one of the bedrooms into a beauty therapy room for guests and outside clients. Although in the end it didn't work out at the time it was rewarding I am an so glad I had the opportunity to try it.

4. What is your favourite memory in the hotel?

My favourite memories from the Dunstnae have to be the Christams staff parties! Everyone who knows me knows I get a little excited as each one gets close. I have been to 9 parties now and every one has been so much fun! All staff here get on so well which makes them so much better. I think if I ever leave the dunstane I will keep coming to the parties!!

Deluxe Double 108 gold and red theme
5. What is your favourite room in the hotel?

My favourite room has to be room 108 the deluxe double room in the main building. Especially after the refurb - the colour scheme is just so me!

6. Do you prefer the Townhouse or the main building?

I love them both! they are both so different in style, but I would have to say probably the main building as that is where I started all those years ago!

7. What’s the funniest things that’s ever happened to you in Housekeeping at Dunstane?

Has to be when a young couple were staying for their honeymoon - they were obviously in high spirits and decided to play a practical joke. They went out for the day and left a plastic poo in the middle of the bathroom floor. One of the housekeepers came to get me armed with rubber gloves and bags etc and was absolutely mortified. you should have seen her face when she went to pick it up and realised it wasn't real!!

8. If you could make one change to the hotel, what would it be?

Laura and her dog playingA lift! Although I actually dont think I would be as fit as I am now! I have always said I would love to have a conservatory built on to the front of the hotel for the guests to enjoy a glass of wine or two as well. If I had to pick though I would love a god run built somewhere so my dog could come to work with me and I would never be away from the hotel!

9. What is your Housekeeping worst nightmare?

Definatley running out of laundry when we have a full hotel and lots of arrivals! I have never made beds so fast in my life!

10. Describe your perfect day in Edinburgh.

My perfect day in Edinburgh would have to be a nice hot sunny day in August during the Edinburgh Festival. It would start with a walk down to the Royal Yacht Britannia and afterwards I would find a little restaurant with tables outside for a bite to eat and a nice chilled glass of wine. then a stroll up to the Royal Mile to soak up the festival atmosphere and see some street entertainers. Then in the evening maybe a show or two!!

Thanks Laura - its good to see a bit of Dunstane behind the scenes! We really appreciate all your hard work - it wouldn't be the same without you and I am sure our guests agree!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Celebrate New Year with us at The Dunstane

Fireworks over Edinburgh

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Come New Year’s Eve The Dunstane Hotel will be right in the centre of all the fun, excitement and fireworks. After all, it wouldn’t be a Scottish Hogmanay without the proper festivities and celebrations, would it?? The Dunstane proudly opens its doors every year to millions of visitors and guests and Hogmanay is no different. In fact, Hogmanay is more of a reason to open our doors and invite new people in, to share and enjoy the experience of our hospitality.

Four Star Service and a Friendly Smile

The Dunstane is proud of its placing in the local community and the ability to bring guests and new business to the area. After all, tourists who come for Hogmanay stay for the scenery, the excitement and the brilliant Edinburgh shopping. We can promise you elegance and boutique style accommodation, our award winning restaurant—Skerries—where we serve freshly caught Blue Shell Shetland Mussels, Arran Salmon and some amazing cuts of Orkney beef that will literally melt in your mouth.

skerries restaurant the dunstane hotel

Hogmanay Menu and More

Amuse Bouche and celeriac soup are just two of the incredible starters you will find on our Hogmanay dinner menu. If you fancy getting your teeth into a juicy Angus Beef Tartare with quail’s egg, then go ahead; or how about a Poached Halibut or an Angus Beef Fillet for your main course? It’s all there just waiting.  Oh, and let us not forget the whole reason for the meal—the dessert—and you can let your taste buds water with the idea of Chocolate and Highland Park Whiskey tart. If chocolate isn’t your thing, you can finish with a selection of world class cheeses, served with crackers, grapes and fig jelly. End the night with a lovely rich cup of coffee or tea, which are served with a tasty selection of Petit Fours.

Hogmanay like no other

For the highly competitive price of £120 per night, per person, you can enjoy luxury accommodation and all the choices on the Hogmanay menu, plus so much more. You can’t beat Hogmanay in Scotland, so why try? Just come to the Dunstane, stay for the duration and have a Hogmanay that you will not forget for many years to come.       

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Christmas and New Year Delights in Edinburgh

There’s never a bad time to visit Edinburgh but there are some times during the year when it is the perfect place to be. One of those perfect times is during Christmas and New Year and in truth there is no better place on earth to be than the City of Edinburgh. We at The Dunstane appreciate that we are right in the hub of the action and we love that we can share the New Year experience with our guests from all around the world.
Christmas Diner table with Candle
Festive Season in Edinburgh

Our four star boutique hotel is the ideal place to be when the weather outside is frightful. We can offer you something so delightful, so if you have no particular place to go, it is more than likely to snow! See what we did there? Your warm, cosy room will have free Wi-Fi and late checkout options. You can also experience fine dining with a money-off voucher for our restaurant.

Happy Hogmanay!

Hogmanay is a big deal in Scotland and in some respects is more important than Christmas. It has grown in stature over the years because of the growth in media and TV coverage. Years ago, back in the 1970’s when Andy Stewart and Kenneth McKeller used to do skits on the Hogmanay Show on TV, it was seen all over the world. Those nostalgic days are recreated here at the Dunstane and while we have moved forward in terms of our services and technologies, we have also kept our hotel as traditional as possible so that you can appreciate the ideal taste of Edinburgh when you come and stay with us for Christmas and New Year.
When you join us, here at the Dunstane, this Hogmanay you can expect a delightful menu, including Amuse Bouche, Salmon, steak Tartare, fresh halibut, Highland venison, pumpkin and chestnut risotto, poached mulled wine pear and chocolate and Highland Park whisky tart. Now, that is worth coming and spending Christmas and Hogmanay in Edinburgh for if nothing else! How about it, come and join us, but book early!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Indulge your Artistic Sensibilities at the Edinburgh Art Festival

We’re getting excited about this year’s Edinburgh Arts Festival, which takes place throughout August.  It is the perfect opportunity to visit Edinburgh and to indulge your artistic sensibilities! Established in 2004, the Art Festival was conceived in order to pay homage to the visual arts and showcase new and upcoming Scottish artists as well as established ones.

A new festival emerges

So, how did the Art Festival emerge as a distinct cultural event? Essentially it continued the established pattern of the building of relationships between Arts councils, galleries and universities that took place during the larger Edinburgh International Festival taking place at the same time.  From 2005 to 2007 a festival guide was produced, which also included collaborative projects and commissions. This gave way to promotions and a marketing platform whereby artists could showcase their own artistic work. Visitors will find that the Art Festival has grown so comprehensively that there are now over thirty venues and forty-five exhibitions available to see at the Festival.

Edinburgh Art Festival
Image Courtesy of Edinburgh Art Festival

Highlights of this year’s Festival

When you visit Edinburgh during the Festival you will have the opportunity to see the fine exhibitions that they will be holding. This year, there are an estimated 45 exhibitions ranging from the modern and contemporary back to the historical art periods. The Ming: The Golden Empire is an exhibition covering the opulence of the imperial Ming court and illustrates the unique Chinese style.  There is also an exhibition called Alt-W, which gives a voice to new work Chris Helson and Sarah Jackets, among others. Aside from those, you will also experience the American Impressionists exhibitions, the Leon Morrocco exhibition and the Katie Paterson: Ideas exhibition.
What is your favourite style of visual art?  Let us know your opinion on the exhibits from this year’s festival

Book your early bird room offer

At the Dunstane we like to offer our accommodation and our boutique rooms to visitors attending the festival, but you must book early. Have a look at our website and check for our early bird offers and find out how to book your room for the entire festival to make sure you don’t miss out! We can guarantee that you will have the time of your life when you visit us here!