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Andy Murray is only 25, but his resume is already pretty full: third ranked tennis champion in the world; first British male to win the US Open since 1936; gold medal winner at the recent 2012 Olympics; sexy Scotsman. But you know what was missing? Hotelier. He hadn't quite crossed that one off the list yet.
Murray announced yesterday that he has taken over the Cromlix House, a 139-year-old Victorian mansion in central Scotland (about 45 miles northeast of Edinburgh), and plans to turn it into a 15-room luxury hotel. Though, don't expect him to be answering telephones or delivering room service trolleys, though. Having purchasing the 50-acre estate for £1.8 million, Murray will contract the services of Inverlochy Castle Management International to actually run the place.
CNN reports that Murray in fact has a bit of history with the Cromlix House, since not only did Murray grow up a few miles from the property, but his brother Jamie (also a tennis player) was married there in 2010. As of now, Murray hasn't commented too much on his specific vision for the hotel, which is set to open in 2014. Though, if he's seeking a creditable interior designer, we hear Venus Williams is looking for new projects to work on…
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In a first for the hotel chain and for Scotland, Tune Hotels opened up their first Scottish property last week welcoming thrifty travelers in the city to check out the umpteen castles, Edinburgh has to offer. It's a first for Scotland and a first in the new design for the hotel chain.
Last summer we told you of plans to bring the discount chain to Scotland, and now everything is official. The brand brings to the city, a la carte pricing for which they have become famous. Want towels? That's £1.50 extra. Room cleaning? £7 per day. Ability to watch some TV? £3 per day.
For those that can plan in advance, you'll see the cheapest rates. Room rates start at £25, but will skyrocket as the cheap rooms sell out. On a recent search in April, we found a double room without windows for £50 ($80) and a room with a view for £80 ($128). Once you start adding any normal hotel amenities, the price is comparable to local hotels.
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Just before the summer, we looked at the many things Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has up its sleeve, with places as far and wide as Jerusalem, Panama, and Berlin welcoming this luxury brand of the Hilton group in the next few years.
This month however it’s time for Edinburgh, where the historic Caledonian hotel reopened its doors after a £24 million ($39 million) overhaul, and officially became The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
With over a hundred years of history, the restoration seeks to bring back the origins of The Caledonian as a luxury railway hotel. Marble flooring, a sweeping staircase, and the vast chandelier you can see in the picture above dominate the reception and lobby. In a nod to its famous New York sibling, the Peacock Alley is the central meeting place of the hotel and the spot to have a drink or meet for afternoon tea.
It's been six years since we first heard rumblings about Donald Trump's grand plans to open a $500 million golf course resort on the northeastern coast of Scotland, near Aberdeen. Along the way, plans got
slightly majorly derailed, with the site becoming, as Donald Jr put it to the Daily Mail, "the most environmentally-scrutinised project in all of Europe, if not the world."
But Trump managed—at least partly— to get his way this month with the grand opening of the golf course component. As for the rest of the hotel? Well, as we all know, the Donald isn't really a fan of people standing in his way...
Nothing says "I heart you boo" more than a romantic getaway, but sexytime isn't just for Valentine's Day. So if you don't have time to catch one of the V-Day packages we're profiling this week, we're also presenting you with some year-round sexy options. Whether you're into raunch, roses, or Rosé, every day this week, we’ll pick a different property that we think will knock your socks—and who knows what else—off.
When it comes to Scotland, Edinburgh usually tops the go-see list. Still, we’re partial to Glasgow, and its louche, devil-may-care atmosphere. The city once had a rough rep, but today there are plenty of pretty spots. Plus, some once-gritty hoods are cleaning up their act, while retaining a bit of flavor.
One such area is the now-trendy West End, which is home to the Hotel du Vin Glasgow. A row of Victorian townhouses were connected to make the place—which has an air of an old gentleman’s club what with the welcome whisky, oak wood panels and a bistro that Gordon Ramsay once owned. In other words, testosterone's in the air.
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While on a recent trip to Edinburgh, we spent our last night gorging ourselves at 21212, a restaurant opened in 2009 by Chef Paul Kitching and his partner, Katie O’Brien, and staying in one of the four upstairs bedrooms in the Georgian house that they renovated.
Whatever you do, though, don’t call 21212 a “bed and breakfast.” That just gets their kilts all a-ruffle. We were told, quite strictly, that 21212 is a “restaurant with rooms.” Hmm...we wish all boutique hotels stateside could be so honest. It would safe us a lot of trouble!
Upon arrival, we checked on our dinner reservation at the Michelin-starred restaurant, and made our way upstairs to the four bedrooms to have a look around. This is a former house, so all the rooms are different.
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Och aye, spring is the time we’d like to visit Scotland, and a newly refurbished hotel in the Highlands is just the kind of excuse we need to start planning.
The Inver Lodge Hotel in the village of Lochinver, by Loch Inver (yes, we’re finding it confusing too), towards the tippy top of Scotland, reopened last weekend. And although the rooms aren’t the sexiest thing we’ve ever seen, the location – you’ve got ocean, you’ve got highlands, and you’ve got loch – is pretty hard to beat.
Most exciting, though, is the Chez Roux restaurant. Yes, Roux as in Albert, the celeb chef of the 80s and 90s.
The lobby at the relaunched Chicago Mart Plaza Holiday Inn
Not only is the huge Holiday Inn chain in the midst of renovating and "relaunching" their hotels, but they're also getting their act together to be the official hotels of the 2012 Olympics in London. For this reason, we're not super surprised that the honor of being Holiday Inn's 2,000th relaunched hotel goes to a UK property: the Holiday Inn Express at Edinburgh Waterfront.
It's a huge milestone for a such a small hotel, and now that the chain has reached 2,000, they're two-thirds of the way through the massive chain facelift, which began back in 2007.
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Mal Edinburgh - the original Malmaison
We’re fans of the British Malmaison chain for decent value in interesting locations (all their hotels used to be some kind of cool old building) so we’d be up for trying their latest package – a Tale of Two Scottish Cities.
It’s no quicky break –you’ll spend a whole week between Glasgow and Edinburgh – but you won’t be stuck for things to do in either of those places. Split seven nights either way (we suggest three in Edinburgh and four in Glasgow, for ease of reaching the Highlands in the day time), and for £500 per person, you’ll get one Brasserie meal at each hotel, a bottle of whisky at one, and champagne at the other.
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We've already taken you on a tour of our room inside of the first (and currently only) Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh, but a look at a hotel with this much detail and vibrancy wouldn't be complete without a tour of the public spaces.
Although we opted not to add the breakfast onto our room bill, we still explored the hotel's Cucina Restaurant, the lobby bar/lounge, and we even made it to the small gym on the hotel's second floor, which is called the first floor in Europe. We were thrilled to see that the Missoni touch was not lost on anything, and even the gym featured brightly-painted walls, Missoni towels, and the quirky addition of a mini Smeg refrigerator. You'll only find our tour of reception and the bar in the video above, but after the jump, we've got a full gallery of all the public spaces inside of the Missoni Hotel Edinburgh.
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Clothe yourself in your best Italian knitwear and hunker down for this story, since we're taking you inside of one of the most anticipated new hotels: The Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, Scotland. After making a special detour to Edinburgh just to get up in the place during a European trip last week, we now have tons of photos and the room tour video above to share; the largest look at this fashion hotel, the first in what will become a worldwide chain.
We stayed for two nights, after scoring an unbeatable advance purchase rate of $130 per night on Orbitz. Considering how their usual nightly price is closer to $250, we already counted this a bargain, but would their interiors and service live up to the hype and our expectations? We broke out our Missoni scarf and headed for Scotland to see...
We know Loch Ness for its mysterious monster lore and tranquil scenery, but not so much for its green environmental efforts. Which isn't to say that the Scottish aren't pioneering eco-saving projects overseas, specifically in the hotel sector, but other well-known chains like Kimpton have been ruling the news lately.
We recently stumbled across The Lovat Arms, an unassuming hotel that offers views of the surrounding Highlands (and maybe that elusive plesiosaur), touts itself as being "eco-conscious," and has earned a Silver rating from the Green Tourism Business Scheme, the UK's "national sustainable tourism certification" organization.