Edinburgh’s Gleneagles Townhouse is ready to welcome you for Hogmanay

(ES Review)

It’s fun being a little sister. On the one hand, life is meant to be a smoother road, paved by the hardships and labors of the older brother. On the other, there are the impossible standards – the universal awe and admiration for all that the firstborn has achieved, which quickly dissipates with the second. This can be a difficult act to follow.

A quick history of origins: The Gleneagles Hotel opened in 1924 and has been hailed as “the eighth wonder of the world”, a playground for the rich, famous (and sometimes royal) to play on a course of Renowned golf and unwinding after a busy London ‘season.’

Almost a century later, in 2015, it was bought by Ennismore (the company behind the Hoxton hotel group and Mayfair members’ club Maison Estelle) for a top-to-bottom refurbishment that caused whispers that Glen would become ` ‘The Soho House of the North’. Not enough; it was better.

So it was hardly a bombshell revelation when the group announced they would be taking over one of Edinburgh’s largest townhouses in St Andrews Square shortly thereafter. A sister property “to bring the magic of Gleneagles to the Scottish capital”. Would the second act live up to the hype?

We arrived at the hotel at the dawn of the city’s preparations for Hogmanay. I had brought my own big sister, Lily, with me because there’s no better plus-one for a footless, kidless weekend. And if we were granted a pink ticket, this was the place to use it. Fabulous interiors are part of Ennismore’s DNA: he has transformed what was once an RBS building into a pleasure palace for modern times.

    (ES Review)

(ES Review)

Moody wood accents and heavy green velvet in common areas imbued the townhouse with a feeling that it was exactly the place to mess around. Cloistered further away was a members-only area – The Note Burning Room – which offered even more privacy. At the rooftop bar, Lamplighters, we had maybe one drink too many (compromising our ability to climb Arthur’s Seat the next day).

The bedrooms were the tonic for our hangovers: the plump pillows like an inviting chest to bury our heads in, the roll-top tubs neatly furnished with bath salts to soak up our sins. I was particularly surprised – okay, maybe a little irritated – that the TVs weren’t scheduled with any streaming service to catch up with The Crown or the latest episode of White Lotus, forcing us to go out and to explore the beautiful city.

Which we did with great alacrity thanks to valuable tips from our Hotel Derva concierge and a handy walking map with QR code. We avoided the hordes of tourists and dodgy cashmere shops on the Royal Mile to find cute cafes in Bonnington and Broughton, shop for antiques in Leith and have lunch at Timberyard, a converted 19th century accessories warehouse. in a chic family restaurant with a Stoke Newington atmosphere.

    (ES Review)

(ES Review)

Back at the hotel, we enjoyed quick massages at the superlative spa, stacked with Glen-exclusive bespoke tinctures plus a handful of hero products from Dr. Barbara Sturm, and dinner at The Spence (which could withstand the dessert cart or baked Alaska). After 48 hours our stay at Gleneagles Townhouse was perfect – proof that there is no sibling rivalry here, just plenty of space and diversion for your mischief to be dealt with.

House rooms at Gleneagles Townhouse on a B&B basis start at £350 (gleneagles.com)

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