Edinburgh's Tigerlily hotel is centrally located

Centrally located Edinburgh hotel Tigerlily gets the once over from reviewer Eva Gizowska, who finds the cutting-edge technology a struggle, but rates the buzzy bar.

The minute I step through the door of the Tigerlily hotel, I have a feeling I might not want to leave in a hurry. Discreet and understated from the outside, glamorous and stylishly quirky inside – this is a hotel that you instantly feel at home in.

Tea200Guests can tuck into afternoon tea in West Courtyard.
The staff at reception couldn’t be friendlier. As I’m a bit early to check-in, I wait over a cup of tea in the Georgian Lounge, a cosy, restful space with opulent sofas and a flickering fireplace. This is a great spot to people watch, tucked away as it is, between the Georgian Bar, with it’s shimmering mirrors, mosaics, boudoir red seating and chandeliers – and, the more rustic, wicker-themed, West Courtyard where you can also have tea, drinks or a bite to eat. I make a mental note to come down later for afternoon tea.

Tfront200Tigerlily combines Georgian architecture and modern design
Housed within an imposing Grade A-listed Georgian townhouse, Tigerlily is located on one of Edinburgh’s most fashionable streets, George Street, in the heart of the city centre. From here it’s only a stone’s throw to higher end shops including Jo Malone, Hobbs, Whistles, L.K. Bennett and Harvey Nichols, and bars such as the Opal Lounge and Rick’s. Walk two minutes down the road from the hotel, and you also have the most sensational view of Edinburgh Castle, perched high on the hill above the city. The hotel is also conveniently close to the train station at Haymarket.So, it’s a great spot from which to explore Edinburgh.

Double200There are 33 individually designed rooms
There are thirty-three rooms, each one individually designed in the luxurious, slightly decadent style that is a hallmark of the hotel. The Tigerlily effortlessly combines original Georgian features with bolder more contemporary designs. One of the most impressive rooms is the opulent Georgian Suite (a favourite with newly –weds and celebrities) that boasts a huge four-poster bed, bespoke artworks and unique designer chandeliers.

I’m staying in the somewhat scary sounding ‘Black Room’. Only it’s not scary at all – just an exceptionally cool suite. It’s called the Black Room, because of the black walls. But, the way the light streams in during the day makes it light and airy.

The room has a comfortable, king size bed with Egyptian cotton sheets. There is also a large Plasma TV, well-stocked mini bar, dark hardwood furniture, hanging wicker egg chair and a flickering, modern fireplace. I can’t resist the hanging chair. It’s very relaxing – I imagine like a cross between a hammock and rocking chair. The bathroom is large and spacious. It has a separate power shower and bath, and is stocked with The White Company toiletries. There’s also black toilet paper - my least favourite feature

My main gripe with the room is the technology. It’s slightly too clever for my liking. The light switches for example, are funny little buttons, in pads of eight that you have to keep pressing – where you sort of have to guess which lights you’re switching on and off. These take a bit of playing around with – well, I had to call someone – to work out how they work.

The fireplace is another puzzle. I don’t listen properly when one of the staff explains how it works. Then later that night, I simply can’t work out how to turn it off. I can turn it down – to the pilot light and that’s it. But, there’s no way I’ll sleep easy knowing there’s one raw flame still flickering around in the dark. So, again I call reception for a member of staff to come and show me how to use the gadget that puts it out.

Apparently, Black Room guests find it hard to tear themselves away. So, this is one of the most popular choices for guests who just want to relax for a few days – watch TV, read and unwind. It’s also a top choice for romantic breaks. (And, the good news is that it doesn’t have to break the bank. Book slightly off season, or keep an eye out for special promotions on the Tigerlily website and the Black Room can be yours for a really good price.)

Having got my fix of the Black Room, I make my way downstairs. It’s only Tuesday and early evening – yet, Tigerlily has a buzzy ‘happening’ vibe about it. There’s a mix of guests – stylish, professional types, couples, groups of girl friends, and also Edinburgh locals who have come in for an after work drink.

Rounds200There is a choice of bars and eating places
I meet my friend in the Black Bar and we order Tigerlily cocktails (vodka, rose liquer, pink grapefruit, lemon juice, grenadine and orgeat syrup). She’s staying in a Luxury Double, I had a peek earlier – and the room’s a classic with a king size bed and gorgeous signature Designer’s Guild, Tigerlily-style fabrics on the walls and curtains.

With two bars and a choice of drinking and dining areas, we’re spoilt for choice where to sit and eat. Our options include The Booths, funky yellow diner-style booths; The Longs – low-level Oriental style seats and tables; The Curved Booths, curved tables and chairs or, the more formal Rear Restaurant that serves modern British food with a slight Oriental twist.

After a bit of dithering, we order some tapas-style snacks (Spanish cold meats, cheese, homemade bread) in the booths and then move onto The Longs for some Udon noodles, sea bass and wine. The head chef is Tony Sarton, who only sources organic, fresh produce.

Much later, we wander down to Lulu, the basement nightclub. We’re guests so there’s no queuing. Inside, it’s a labyrinth of visual treats – walls embedded with Swarovski crystals, glitter balls, a lit up dance floor and a choice of stylish bar areas. But, it’s a rather young studenty crowd tonight – too young for us. Apparently, weekend nights attract the more mature types, especially the R&B night on Sundays. But, tonight, with only one more night to enjoy our gorgeous rooms – there’s no contest. The luxury king-size bed, flickering fireplace and late night TV wins hands down.

125, George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JN
Tel: (44) 131 225 5005
Website: www.tigerlilyedinburgh.co.uk
Price: From £195 per night; the Black Room from £295

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