BACKGROUND The Edinburgh hotel opened in June, marking the launch of the Rezidor Hotel Group’s new brand in collaboration with Italian fashion house Missoni. Ottavio Missoni’s wife, Rosita, oversaw the interior design of the property, which features the company’s trademark use of vibrant colour and striking patterns. Rezidor is opening a Missoni hotel in Kuwait later this year, with further properties scheduled for Cape Town next year, and Muscat and Bahia in Brazil in 2012.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? The seven-floor property is a stark new-build made from sand-coloured stone with wood detailing, and it has caused a bit of a stir with local residents – Edinburgh is a Unesco World Heritage Site and the architecture around the Royal Mile is rather more traditional. However, pop into the lobby bar in the early evening and you are likely to find it packed with guests and locals alike. The overall feel is young and funky, with black and white carpets, rainbow-striped lifts, patterned furnishings reminiscent of optical art by Bridget Riley, and minimalist use of space.
WHERE IS IT? On 1 George IV Bridge, just off the Royal Mile in the Old Town. It is five minutes’ walk from Edinburgh Castle, ten minutes on foot from Waverley station, and 25 minutes’ drive from the airport.
ROOM FACILITIES The rooms occupy floors one to five, and each level has a different colour scheme –magenta, turquoise, tangerine and lime green. My fourth-floor corner Maggiore room had less space than some of the others, but the floor-to-ceiling window offered great views of the streets below. The rooms are the ultimate showcase for Missoni’s homeware designs – each has a geometric patterned bedspread, an Ottavio zigzag print, black and white curtains, and bright retro-style felt chairs (all available to buy).
Facilities included a Delonghi Nespresso machine, a clothes rail, a Bang and Olufsen flatscreen TV, a small workdesk, air conditioning, 24-hour room service and a large safe. The bathrooms have walk-in rainshowers (most suites also have baths), grey mosaic tiling and mirrored walls, Missoni-branded products, and black and white patterned robes. All the rooms include, as standard, a daily newspaper, the minibar (with two one-litre bottles of water, two Peroni beers, a bottle of fresh milk, a packet of crisps and two bottles of fruit drink), in-room movies and two items of laundry. Internet access is free throughout the hotel – wired and wireless in the rooms, and wifi in the public areas.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS On the ground floor is the lobby bar, which serves food and drink all day, and upstairs on the mezzanine level is Cucina restaurant. Both feel open and airy, and Cucina has a terrace. Breakfast is served from 6.30am-10am during the week and 7.30am-11am at weekends, and includes a high-quality Italian-inspired buffet with cakes and pastries, fresh juice, cereal and yoghurt. Hot options can be ordered from the kitchen and include a full Scottish breakfast for £8. Lunch is from 12.30pm-3pm and dinner from 6pm. I had a very good meal here one evening, choosing seasonal leaf and vegetable salad (£9) to start, followed by ricotta and spinach ravioli with butter and sage (£11.50), and a light and fluffy tiramisu (£6).
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES There are three meeting rooms and a jazzy breakout area with high-backed sofas on the mezzanine level. The private dining room can seat up to 12, the VIP boardroom ten, and Nero Bianco, which can accommodate 63 theatre-style, can be split into two. There is no business centre but laptops can be borrowed on request.
LEISURE FACILITIES A small workout room on the first floor has four Technogym machines and some free weights. A number of treatment rooms are due to open in the future. Edinburgh is a great city to run in, with plenty of green spaces nearby – turn to page 52 for a jogger’s guide.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 136 rooms, including 99 standard Missoni rooms, 30 Maggiore rooms and seven suites.
VERDICT It’s a brave move to use liberal amounts of colour, but the Missoni’s palette is both zingy and tasteful. Having wifi, the minibar, movies and a newspaper included at no extra charge is a plus, and the location is excellent.
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The cityscape views, the free wifi, minibar, movies, laundry and newspaper, and the good-quality bedding.
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in September started from £160 for a Missoni room.
CONTACT Hotel Missoni, 1 George IV Bridge; tel +44 (0)131 220 6666; hotelmissoni.com