Sophie Ritchie heads to Edinburgh for a cozily contemporary stay at The Glasshouse, a five-star hotel blending fascinating history with voguish style
Originally founded as a free church for Edinburgh’s less fortunate over 170 years ago, The Glasshouse has kept its original impressive Gothic facade – but inside now awaits an artistically boutique hotel full of modern decor, minimalist art and even a tucked away two-acre garden.
Across the threshold, the traces of an archaic past have been replaced with a spaciously contemporary lobby, complete with a stunning seemingly floating light fixture.
Check-in is as smooth as the stone flooring, aided by a welcoming slice of whisky-infused tablet to help settle guests into their Scottish surroundings.
Location here is everything. The Glasshouse couldn’t be better located for an explorer keen to visit all of Edinburgh’s famous sights – Princes Street is a five-minute uphill stroll away, whilst the York Place tram is a tiny two-minute walk.
But despite being smack bang in the centre of the action, you won’t hear a thing. Ironically, The Glasshouse is very private – feeling very much separate and secluded from the city’s outside constant bustle.
This five-star hotel has been designed for guests with busy itineraries and jam-packed plans. Space is cleverly utilised to make rooms feel as large as possible – floor-to-ceiling windows fill the rooms with light, whilst decor is elegantly minimal.
Fresh flowers, colour-coordinated artwork and comfy chairs amplify the comfortable atmosphere, whilst slick bathrooms with rain showers, pampering toiletries and stunning sandstone flooring have a contemporary feel.
For something exclusive, splash out on the Lady Glenorchy suite. Named after Willielma Campbell, the founder of The Glasshouse’s facade over 170 years ago, this incredible 89m space is perfect for seeing the city in lavish fashion.
Enjoy king-size beds, a wrap-around personal terrace and even a complimentary dram of whisky for an added Scottish feel (but you’ll need to bring your own kilt).
The Food & Drink
There’s no formal restaurant at The Glasshouse, but there’s still plenty to whet your appetite. Light bites and luscious cocktails can be found in the Snug, a gorgeously intimate space filled with inviting seating, sultry decor and a copper fire pit.
Settle down, delectable whisky cocktail in hand, and soak up the design details – tartan pillows and an enormous whisky cabinet combine heritage with hedonism for a relaxing evening in.
The menu offers a range of simple dishes, from colourful platters of vegetable crudités to juicy ox and venison burgers. Should you be in the mood for something more substantial, Edinburgh’s eclectic dining scene is a mere stone’s throw away.
Post-slumber, head to the airy Brasserie for a continental or a la carte breakfast. Those seeking an authentic eat can try hearty porridge, kippers or a full fry up – whilst you’ll still find the millennial staple of avocado toast on the menu too. Pre-ordered room service is also available for that prefer the lie in.
It’s hard to believe with its city centre location, but The Glasshouse boasts its own two-acre roof garden. Filled with trees, landscaped spaces and manicured grass, it’s perfect for a spot of peaceful tranquility – as well as gazing across Calton Hill and its iconic monuments.
There’s no gym or spa in The Glasshouse, but fitness fans have no need to fret. Residents can use the excellent next-door facilities at Nuffield Health to their heart’s content – simply visit reception to arrange a voucher for the day.
The Wordrobe Verdict
As Hozier once waxed lyrical, “Take Me To Church”. Cozily contemporary with impressive views and an excellent location, The Glasshouse is perfect for a five-star stay in the heart of Scotland’s compact capital.
Make it happen§
Where: 2 Greenside Place, Edinburgh EH1 3AA
Times: Check-in from 3pm. Checkout is at 12pm.
Cost: Rooms start from £145 per night.
How: Visit theglasshousehotel.co.uk or phone 0131 525 8200 to make a booking.
Words by Sophie Ritchie, Editor