Great Places to Stay
- Hotel Missoni Edinburgh
Calling all Fashionistas!
The world's first Hotel Missoni opened in Edinburgh in June 2009, the first of its kind in an exclusive international collection of 5 star Designer hotels as an exciting collaboration between Rezidor and Missoni. Founded in 1953 by Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, the Italian fashion house is renowned for their painterly knitwear and bikini designs in snazzy stripes, geometric waves and abstract florals in a kaleidoscope of colours on wool, cotton, linen and silk, as well as Missoni Home for textiles, fabrics and furnishings.
According to Rosita Missoni, Edinburgh was personally selected as the most appropriate city for their first hotel: "Edinburgh was the first offer we received. We thought it had all the qualities - a city of charm, history, tradition, culture, and the prestigious location of The Royal Mile."
On a prime corner site on the Lawnmarket and George IV Bridge in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, the juxtaposition of 16th century grey rugged stone townhouses colliding head on with the rose-cream brick and glass of Matteo Thun's 21st century Milanese design is architecturally stunning. Walk in the (automatically opening) glass fronted entrance to find yourself in the fabulous, funky lobby café bar, a dazzle of giant lights, pink high stools and monochrome seats surrounding the island bar. But before cocktail hour, first it's time to check in at the reception desk hidden around the corner.
You will be dazzled again by the signature Missoni prints decorating the elevator, and black and white zigzag carpets as you walk along the corridors to reach your bedroom. The intimate, relaxing space of this boutique city hotel is deceptive, which actually houses 129 bedrooms and seven suites, each with individual views over to Arthur's Seat, the Castle or down the curving Victoria Street.
Bedroom design is not only fashionable but also functional for the 21st century traveler. Expect a riot of bright, bold colours: turquoise, purple, olive green, with co-ordinating arm chairs, the whole rainbow effect softened with off-white papered walls and ceiling. While it may sound like a giant box of Liquorice Allsorts, the concept behind the interior design is an artistic masterpiece of contemporary glamour, where fashion is not just about what you wear but a total lifestyle: sleep under a Missoni duvet and patterned throw and sip freshly brewed Espresso coffee in a b & w Missoni cup. A sliding mirrored door leads into the shiny purple shower-room featuring monsoon power shower, mosaic tiles, heated floor, a neat row of multicoloured soaps and luxury Missoni scented toiletries, a pile of soft towels and gorgeous Missoni towelling bathrobes.
A striped rug covers the polished wood floor; a LCD TV sits on the desk/dressing table (currently lacking the essential make up mirror but due to be added soon). Homely comforts include wifi Internet (laptops available to borrow) and a mini bar filled water, fresh milk, fruit juice and beer. The good news? Mini bar drinks are complimentary, part of an "allinc" room tariff, (from £ 210 per night) which includes breakfast, free local calls, internet access, TV movies and laundry (two items). You might be tempted to take away the classy coffee cups, but perhaps better to purchase these, and a bathrobe, towel or T-shirt at the Hotel shop!
Bedrooms come in different shapes and sizes, with 7 suites, the largest being the fabulous Penthouse d'Argento (721 square feet) with beautifully furnished living room, bedroom, luxury bathroom and panoramic views over the entire cityscape, across to Fife and down the coast to North Berwick.
Art and Design
Design features, furnishings and art work around the hotel include the work of designers Rosita Missoni personally admires, such as Marcel Wandes, Eero Saarinen and Arne Jacobson, which blends in and complements the overall Missoni leitmotif. Sit on a pink Tivoli bar stool with Hutton Dandelion lights overhead and Luca Missoni art on the wall. As a tribute to Scottish design, Charles Rennie Mackintosh is represented by his famous Ladderback Chair. Inside the front door are two large mosaic urns, which will be a Hotel Missoni trademark. Every member of staff is dressed in Missoni - T shirt and apron-kilted waiters, grey suited managers with ties and scarves.
Missoni Edinburgh has a small fitness centre, with a Spa for luxury beauty treatments opening later in 2009. Business travellers are welcome with a selection of cool, contemporary meeting rooms and sumptuously comfortable break out lounge.
Missoni Food and Drink
To capture the essence of Italian life, just like the kitchen at home, the heart of the hotel is Cucina, the all-day dining restaurant on the mezzanine level, accessed up a shimmering staircase from the lobby. With smart banquette seating and dining booths, dressed in a mishmash of monochrome fabrics, the atmosphere and style dramatically changes from morning to night: casual for breakfast, a smart leisure/ business lunch, to an intimate mood over dinner. Tables are set with selected tablecloths, (technicolour > white linen), Richard Ginori Missoni crockery, (pink flowers > monochrome) and glassware, appropriate for the time of day.
Cucina offers a short menu of authentic, freshly prepared, favourite Italian dishes which changes seasonally, with the same lunch and dinner menu. Start perhaps with Prosciutto toscano e melone (Tuscan ham and melon), or Insalate di patate e polipo (Octopus and potato salad), a delicious combination of soft juicy seafood and warm potato chunks. All Pasta is home-made such as a classic Ravioli with ricotta and spinach with sage butter sauce. To follow perhaps Scaloppine di vitello al Marsala (escalope of veal), or Dover Sole and finish with Pannacotta, Tiramisu or Italian cheese, and a strong espresso. The quality of food is superb, including freshly baked Foccacia, served with olive oil. The Italian wine list has a fine selection from Veneto, Tuscany, Sardinia and Sicily.
Breakfast is a feast, whether you fancy healthy or indulgent with a lavish buffet of fresh fruit, berries, yoghurt, juices, croissants as well as Italian cakes and Bomboloni - custard doughnuts! Then from the menu choose from a fine range of hot dishes, such as eggs benedict or a mushroom omelette.
Bar Missoni in the centre of the lobby is a welcoming, attractive place to sit, drink and eat. With banquette seating all around the walls for party groups, a neat row of pink bar stools and tiny tables for two, it has been designed as the ideal gathering place for friends in "Passegiata" style to enjoy cocktails, Prosecco on tap, wines and spirits. The bar menu offers tasty tapas and light meals, such as Hamburger di manzo Scozzese al formaggio celebrating the strong Italian-Scottish culture.
Vibrant and vivacious in colour, texture and mood, simply walking into Hotel Missoni will surely put a smile on your face. Staying for a few nights, or visiting for lunch or dinner is an exciting, artistic experience. This is not just a stylish boutique hotel; this is a living gallery of treasures with a hand picked collection of contemporary, retro chic design from the past century. This new brand of Missoni hotels - from Scotland to South Africa - is a brilliant "global travel" concept, created with passion and professionalism by the Missoni family to celebrate more than 50 years as an iconic fashion house. Visit Hotel Missoni Edinburgh for a true taste of La Dolce Vita with fashionable style, food and wine!
Hotel Missoni, is located at 1 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1ADF. Telephone number is +44 (0)131 220 6666 and fax is +44 (0)131 220 6660. For more information or to make a reservation see the Missoni Hotel Web site or email info.Edinburgh@hotelmissoni.com
Vivien Devlin, British Guild of Travel Writers
Return to the Index of Great Places to Stay in Scotland>.
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar>
Places to Visit>