Prin­ci­pal choice

This ho­tel ticks off quite a num­ber of boxes, when it comes to fore­most ac­com­mo­da­tions in Ed­in­burgh.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Travel - By S.S. YOGA star2­travel@thes­tar.com.my

I LOVE stay­ing in ho­tels that come with a lot of his­tory. The past as­so­ci­ated with the prop­erty seems to still per­me­ate and im­bue the place with a “pres­ence”. And, no that’s not code for ghostly ap­pari­tions – far from it.

The Ed­in­burgh ho­tel where I stayed, when I toured Scot­land in April, was very lively with the en­ergy of liv­ing, breath­ing peo­ple but there were more than just nods to the his­tory and her­itage of this place.

The Prin­ci­pal Ed­in­burgh is fash­ioned around five her­itage-listed Ge­or­gian town­houses (whose oc­cu­pants were some of the most il­lus­tri­ous in the city) built in 1775. The ho­tel is on where else but George Street (named af­ter King George III), and on the street is a statue of George IV who vis­ited Ed­in­burgh in 1822. But I di­gress. The ho­tel has been tak­ing in guests since 1881.

In fact, one of the town­houses is now the ho­tel’s F&B restau­rant, The Print­ing Press Bar & Kitchen. It was once home to ac­claimed nov­el­ist Su­san Fer­rier (ac­cord­ing to Sir Wal­ter Scott, she’s an equal to Jane Austen – so I dined where lit­er­ary “roy­alty” used to live).

In the 1840s, it was home to one John Oliphant, and a fre­quent vis­i­tor was Robert Burns (that Burns, the na­tional poet of Scot­land). And Oliphant and Fer­rier’s de­scen­dants founded Oliphant, An­der­son and Fer­rier, one of Scot­land’s most pres­ti­gious pub­lish­ing houses.

Pre­sented with the Gold Lau­rel Award, City Ho­tel of the Year, and Scot­tish Ho­tel of the Year at the 2017 Scot­tish Ho­tel Awards, the ho­tel’s in­te­ri­ors com­bine lux­u­ri­ous nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als such as oak, mar­ble and leather with a pal­ette of colours in­spired by the great 19th-cen­tury Scot­tish land­scape painters.

And that is what you get when you walk into the lobby – im­pos­ing white mar­ble col­umns and mar­ble-tiled floors, a re­cep­tion area filled with plush leather seat­ing, and oak ta­bles. Greet­ing you are door­men in full Scot­tish kilts – just in case you for­get you’re a lad­die vis­it­ing Scot­land.

My Sig­na­ture Suite took my breath away with its sit­ting room with high ceil­ings and tall win­dows high up the wall. The many cabinets, a large spa­cious closet and even a com­pli­men­tary mini snack pack (which I was grate­ful for, to sti­fle my hunger pangs just com­ing off a long flight, and which they kept top­ping up) just added to my delight. And the flour­ishes, like the large framed cutouts of dogs on the wall, left a smile on my face.

In the cup­board, I even found a blade­less fan and a heater unit – they seemed to have thought of ev­ery­thing.

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