Crowne Plaza, Edinburgh Royal Terrace

On Monday night (though the sun didn’t set for another 2 hours after we arrived) we finally made it to the Crowne Plaza, Edinburgh Royal Terrace. It had been 48 hours since we woke up in Brisbane at the last hotel and we were glad to finally set eyes on a bed.

The room was not as was expected, having previously seen my booking details change to show a very nice upgrade, it seems the hotel had taken a few more bookings as we were travelling and I was downgraded a little. But I can’t complain, I booked a steal of a deal at the time and my room was still impressive and an upgrade on the standard rooms.

It’s hard to show just how big the room is without this 270º panorama, taken from the office desk in the corner. The wardrobe is behind the bed and the bathroom including separate bath and shower unit to the left of the bed. The chandelier that hangs above the bed is a sight to see as well.

Now it’s clearly an old building. There are various cracks in the moulding on the ceiling, only one light bulb in the chandelier works for some reason and the bathroom door is too big for the frame, so cannot be closed. But there are modern features, the bathroom for instance is full of brand new fittings. It’s a lovely building, close to everything, and believe me, we have done a lot of walking in the past few days!

Despite no longer having a club room, I kept my club access for my stay, and found it to be adequate and what a club lounge ought to be. Too many lounges end up offering so many food and drink options that guests don’t end up leaving the lounge for breakfast or dinner due to the free food on offer, and miss out on experiences. Breakfast consisted of some fruit and yoghurt, cereal and bakery items. Evening canapés included a bread, meat and olive board and soft drinks/beer/wine.

The club lounge opens onto a nice patio area bordering on Regent Park. Presumably this is quite popular in the summer, though it can still be a little chilly out there at the moment if not sunny.

Staff were brilliant, especially the concierge who helped with some research on a few things. He also recommended a Michelin-starred restaurant to eat at that we were very happy with.

Edinburgh: Day 2

Not as big a day as yesterday, I only managed 15,000 steps over 12km, however there were a few Uber’s taken instead of very long walks. Among those was a trip down to Leith to board the Royal Yacht Britannia, a major drawcard for tourists. We both felt the Britannia was more interesting than the Castle or the Palace.

As previously mentioned, we followed the Britannia with lunch the The Kitchin (review), which was an amazing experience.

After some canapés in the club lounge this evening we made our way to The Dome to check out the amazing architecture and try a steak, two for £30 with unlimited fries. However, we found the serving of the dinner quite peculiar. We ordered blue, but were served the steaks on heated plates, with the steaks sat on a heated pedestal, and the unlimited fries had to be asked for by a server. If a server came round and saw you were low on steak on your plate they would serve you some more from the pedestal. I almost expected them to help chew it for me!

Following dinner we took a walk up Calton Hill, one of the first public walking trails in the world (or Scotland/the UK… I can’t recall what the sign said exactly). The view was stunning, as you can see. These photos were taken shortly before 10pm, in case you needed any more proof that daylight hours here are nuts!

Edinburgh: Day 1

I’m tired, it’s 19:30 and the sun won’t set for another 3 hours! It’s not jet lag, it’s the fact that today I walked 25,128 steps, totalling over 20km. I enjoyed the walks between the hotel and the various sights, but it has left me burnt out before dark! I couldn’t even survive a walk into town for dinner tonight, so it’s lucky I have club lounge access. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me share with you some photos of my day.

We went for breakfast at The Edinburgh Larder in the old town. We both had a full breakfast and that gave us the energy we needed to power through the day. The black pudding on my plate (Dee-Anne didn’t have any) was delicious!

Following breakfast we headed up the road to Edinburgh Castle where there was a big line of tourists waiting to get in. It was just good timing that we arrived not long before opening time, however the mix of nationalities proved there’s no room for manners anymore, as the line became a mob as soon as the entry opened and we soon lost our good spot. For once, it wasn’t the Chinese that were the worst, though they did like walking in front of me every chance they got. Manners: it’s so simple!

We had a whirlwind tour of the castle. There was a lot of history in various rooms and you could have spent all day there, but I get bored easily, so chose the smarter option of just taking things in and moving on to the next attraction. We got through the whole castle in not much more than an hour.

Following the castle we headed back into old town and chose to check out the National Museum of Scotland, along with far too many school children! Plenty of exhibits to see and a lot of interactive ones to get hands on with. A really cool museum.

We didn’t stay for long though, as while it was chilly outside, they were using every radiator inside. We got far too hot too quickly and longed for the cool air again, something we didn’t think we’d want after stepping out of the hotel this morning. We headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit, before setting out to the Palace of Holyrood, just down the road from the hotel.

Manners were a bit better at this attraction, and we had a good look around the house before the gardens. On leaving, we headed to the Scottish Parliament, located across the road, and we were able to sit in the chamber and watch the gears turn.

We took a walk down Princes Street in the late afternoon (or what I would call such a thing – before 5… but what happens if the sun sets after 10) to check out the new town and trendy shops and that brings me to where I am now, failing to keep my eyes open as sleep takes hold of me. What will tomorrow bring?