In well-heeled West Coates, Dunstane House is the first port of call for Edinburgh habitués. 15 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the city centre, it's a go-between place. It's also an in-between - in so far as the hotel is split across two properties, with Dunstane's sister hotel Hampton House located across the road. Whichever house you sleep in, it's good to know there's a free-flow policy across both properties; come and go as you see fit.
The Edinburgh bolthole boasts corniced ceilings and a snaking, stone staircase. With no check-in desk, on arrival turn left at the staircase and just say hello - someone extremely friendly will come to get you checked in and show you to your room (which, if you're in the main house, is likely to be no more than a few paces away).
Rooms are cosified with woollen throws, tweed armchairs, four-poster beds and Persian rugs, which disguise dark-wood floorboards. All rooms sit on the XXL end of the size chart, with high ceilings and over-sized beds; at the foot of which you'll find a velvet sofa. Signature walls are clad in peacock-feather wallpaper (and other geometric patterns). In the main house, The Dunstane Suite is particularly appealing, complete with bay window and a copper-soaking tub. Here, drawing straws for rooms is the only diplomatic thing to do.
What's for breakfast?
A continental buffet and an a la carte menu are served from 7am to 11am. By the counter, choose from a range of cereals, fresh fruits and freshly baked pastries. From the main menu, we're ordering the hearty full Scottish is a toppled plate of haggis, Ayrshire bacon, black pudding and tattie scones - a vegetarian option is also available. Arrive early and aim for a table in the bay window.
How about lunch and dinner?
The menu changes seasonally at Dunstane's laid-back, all-day dining lounge and bar with a focus on Scottish Isles produce. Assess your hunger levels and choose from a menu of "wee bites" or "bigger bites". Most dishes are tapas style; you'll most certainly need more than one order of pan-fried Orkney salmon for the table (it's not that it's small, it's just that it is very very tasty). Dessert is a dish best served… well anyway really. The homemade sticky toffee pudding with ice cream from local ice-cream parlour, S Luca, is a winner.
Is there a bar?
Withdraw to the Ba' Bar come evening. Painted a deep blue and strewn with velvet lounge chairs, the vibe here is mellow. The bar's vintage whisky cabinet - stocking the rarest and oldest single malts - is a connoisseur's delight. With more than 70 single malts to choose from, you're likely to be here a while. If it's too hard to settle on your preferred malt, order a G&T, opting for the hotel's has its own variety - DunGin.
Samsung smart TV and Nespresso coffee machines in every room.
Things you should know
Free off-road parking at the rear of the premises (about six spaces) is available for hotel guests. If you're a light sleeper, reserve a room at the back of the house - it's the quieter side.
Within a short walk you'll find
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Edinburgh Castle.