Ibis Hotel Edinburgh • #CaptureIbisStyles Bloggers Event
I recently had the great pleasure of a whirlwind 24 hour visit to the fine city of Edinburgh. Having visited only once before for a sunny hen weekend back in 2008, I could only remember snippets of this cosmopolitan city.
Edinburgh has all the bustle of London but with a sense of fun. And that's what this trip was, from start to finish. I was invited to stay at the centrally located Ibis Styles Hotel at the foot of the famous George Street in St Andrew's Square and was thrilled to be part of their #captureibisstyles campaign to learn more about their commitment to design led interiors and their celebration of this hotel's Scottish heritage.
Arriving at Bristol Airport armed with just my handbag and overnight bag felt like such a treat! No wet wipes, no mountain of non perishable, non sticky snacks to appease the insatiable hunger of a young traveller, no panic when the flight was momentarily delayed. Instead I relished those few extra minutes, with a cup of tea, a magazine that I got to read cover to cover, and soon I was settled into my seat.
Edinburgh is an ideal city break destination, especially from the South West. It feels exciting to jet off on a plane, even though it seems as though the pilot starts the decent as soon as you reach a cruising altitude! I chatted away to the lady next to me and before we knew it it was time to head out onto the metal steps and breath in the fresh Scottish air.
The taxi service from the airport was incredibly efficient, a dual manned kiosk system and a friendly driver helped me with my overnight nags and we set off for the city. You are hit with a sense of history and tradition when you arrive at the St George's Square hotel. Proud of it's location, the hotel is beautifully decorated with contemporary tartan light fittings, exposed brick and furniture with sleek lines, a world away from the comparative "budget hotels" in a city centre that I have experienced before. There is nothing that feels budget about it, despite the very reasonable all inclusive price (Yes that's right no extras for breakfast!) from £62 a night, their stags and thistles aim to make Nessie whistle! I loved the sense of fun and humour within the mix of interior styles.
It exudes contemporary cool without a manufactured look. Original vintage books stacked between modern table lamps. Simple but stylish chairs and an inviting bar. This is not a hotel to use just as a bed for the night like so many other of their competitors. This is a hotel to enjoy.
My room was decorated with giant water-colour thistle paintings spanning each wall, shades of calming purples and green and clever etchings of Scottish slang built into the wardrobe doors on giant friezes. The whisky barrels are a clever touch as rustic beside tables and the bright and cheerful chequered tiles in the pristine shower were a wonderful wake up call. Little details like the traditional telephone mixed with the smooth wood wood furniture appealed to the modern heritage style I love.
We were treated to locally inspired cocktails in mason jars, (A big hit with a bunch of Instagram obsessed bloggers!) the most fabulous dinner in the hotel, and were all widely impressed at a menu that would rival any of the restaurants in the city. Beautifully presented, this was not chain hotel pub type food. Elegant dishes, gaelic inspired courses and a team of staff who are obviously and quite rightly, proud of their part of the Ibis empire. By the end of the evening, after one too many wines, we all said our goodnights and headed back to our rooms for a much needed, uninterrupted night's sleep. There is something almost magical about slipping into cool, crisp white hotel linen!
The morning started with a buffet breakfast, hot Scottish potato cakes, pastries, yoghurts, cereals, meats and cheese, and a coffee and tea station (That is available for use all day.) as well as juices. We enjoyed a tour of the larger penthouse suites, complete with stunning balconies overlooking the city. Cue the perfect opportunity of a wind/white hotel curtains moment to snap a new profile picture! Armed with packed lunches for later we headed out in an open top bus for a whistle stop tour of the city! Ibis and Gray Matter came up with a great way to engage all of us in a set of fun games, all sharing our Instagram snapshots in a series of challenges using the hashtag #captureibisstyles. I even won a prize for the most liked photo so thank you to anyone who liked it! We hopped on and off the bus, raced up the cobbled streets to the castle, met colourful characters and even managed a cuddle with the famous Bobby.
I headed straight off the bus and to the airport to make my afternoon flight home and spent the journey pouring through my photographs. It was a pleasure to make some new blogging friends, Kate, Mandy, Emma, Clare and spend some time with the very lovely Zoe who I met at the MAD Blog Awards 2 years ago. I even got a cuddle with one of her gorgeous twins Harry and shared an ice cream with the adorable Ruby!
The whole experience made me even more sure that we had made the right decision booking an Ibis hotel for our family trip to Paris this Summer. Ironically, we had booked our rooms for my Mum's 60th celebrations in July before I had the invitation to visit Edinburgh. After lots of deliberating and trawling through boutique and independent house share websites, we all came to the same conclusion. That when you book an Ibis hotel you are assured of quality, value and style.
And that's exactly what The Ibis Styles at St Andrew's Square has in abundance. Tradition, heritage and Scottish wit, all beautifully packaged.
Thank you to Gray Matter and the Ibis team for their splendid hospitality. And if you ever want to take your family to Edinburgh I couldn't recommend it more. Perfect for families, with little ones who could be entertained by the toys in the lobby and couples alike. You can even take your dogs!