Check-in: We arrived to Edinburgh's Waverley trains station from the Edinburgh Airport transfer bus, and thanks to a steep climb up maybe 300 steps to reach the old district of Edinburgh quickly, we were at the Hotel Missoni in ten minutes, no taxi needed. Its location right at the Royal Mile, and down the street from Edinburgh Castle is ridiculously perfect. This is the first thing we noticed, and as we all know, location is sometimes everything. Dealing with reception and the check-in process was painless, and the very nice James reminded us about the fully complimentary minibar contents, WiFi, and 2-items-per-night laundry service; he even passed us a menu of what would be on offer that evening at the hotel restaurant. We were then handed our key for a standard room on the second floor right above the entrance; room 222. This keycard must be used to make the elevator go and make your room lights work (energy saving!), and it's printed with the smart logo of the blossoming hotel chain: a big "H" made up of the repeated word "Missoni."
Room Reaction: The room reaction begins from the second we set foot in the elevator. Hello, stripes! And then there is the black-and-white striped carpeting with red and purple walls; guests better not mind funky colors, and this is Missoni after all. Luckily, we're all about vibrancy, and were thrilled to find that the room is as packed with Missoni clashing patterns and colors as they advertise on their website. One could make a game of "count-as-many-Missoni-labels-as-possible." Even the toilet paper has a pressed flower pattern.
Speaking of the bathroom, it is our dream hotel bathroom. We were just fine with the lack of bathtub, since the shower was a rainfall one from the ceiling, with an optional showerhead to get in your nooks and crannies, and there's even a seat inside the stall. The size of the shower means there's no need for a door, so washing yourself required as little exertion as possible. Simply walk in and turn on. We also loved the shelf next to the toilet for placing our iPhone, and the large sink with a shelf behind is ideal for organizing travel toiletries. Not to mention that the Hotel Missoni's own toiletries are large, bright, and custom-made. Just watch out for all the mirrors! This is the bathroom of an attractive person, says our friend; it's impossible not to see the reflection of every inch of yourself naked, even while in the shower.
The bed was predictably large, comfortable, and covered in Missoni linens. At turndown, you get a little round (very Italian) cookie on your bedside table. It goes awesome with the free tea and espresso selection in the room. The chair was a bit small and uncomfortable, but we ended up using it as a dumping ground for clothes anyway; the closet arranged like a clothing rack is designed to hold only about ten items.
If you're arriving in the evening like we did, when the dusk has arrived and you're enjoying looking down at the rush hour crowds and traffic below, don't immediately strip and don a Missoni bathrobe. The people on the street can see you too! We tested the opacity of the floor-to-ceiling windows, and found that they are Standard Hotel voyeur-grade.
Amenities: We arrived to the Hotel Missoni after spending four days watching what we touched at a J.W. Marriott, for fear of extra fees and accidental minibar topples. Thus, it was a huge relief to find the free minibar filled with two Peroni beers, 4 bottles of water (2 sparkling, 2 still), 2 cans of Aranciata, 2 cans of Limonata, 1 mini jug of milk, and 1 bag of sea salt & pepper potato chips. Plus, the strong WiFi signal was free (for two devices), the 2 items of laundry per night's stay was free, premium movies on the TV were free, and a pretty great selection of tea and Nespresso coffee was free.
We soon became best friends with the DeLonghi coffee machine once we figured out how to use it, and the Missoni dishes were welcome touches. Now if only they had replaced the coveted Missoni toiletries on our second day, we would have been happy campers.
Internet Connect: Free throughout the hotel! But there is an issue: the strong WiFi signal is only available unlimited for two devices. When we tried to hook up our laptop and two iPhones, the last iPhone wouldn't connect. Turns out that you need to get 2-hour free wifi code cards from reception when you go over the allotted two devices. These are still free, but is a huge pain in the butt to enter the code for two hours of wifi use, and then go get another card. We eventually learned just to ask for a stack of the cards and keep them at the ready.
What we liked: The Hotel Missoni is exactly what they advertise: high design, lots of free stuff, an Italian flair, and an excellent location. We actually ditched some of our own toiletries to make room for the Hotel Missoni ones in our 3-1-1 plastic bag, we liked them so much, and we could have lived in the robes. Even the assistance of the staff (when we were sure we were being asses over the internet code cards) was above average, and when a man wearing a Missoni kilt brought some more up to us, we got light-headed with giddiness.
What we didn't like: Although there are no huge issues, there are quite a few small bits they should really iron out to become a truly great hotel chain, like these: Need electrical outlets near the bedside. Bedside tables are awkwardly low, so much so we felt constantly on the verge of spilling drinks. Unlimited in-room internet should be for more than just two devices, since the code cards are huge annoyances. If guests are staying more than one night, it might be nice to vary the free potato chip flavor. It would also be nice to have directions on the use of the DeLonghi coffee machine, Jacob Jensen phones and Bang & Olufsen remote in the hotel info book (we resorted to the internet for info). The free laundry doesn't include pressing or dry cleaning, when we desperately would have loved our coat to be dry-cleaned. AND bathroom toiletries should be refreshed especially if they're noticeably heavily used.
Bottom Line: We think that tourists are really missing out on the Hotel Missoni, since we spotted very few guests, even if it is the off-season. The ideal location, the value for money and the happening bar scene (more on this coming up later this week!) make the Missoni more than a solid choice. If they take care of a few small issues, we can see the Missoni Hotel chain becoming a player in the game for jetsetting clientele, but right now it still seems like a secret.