Prestonfield House is one of Edinburgh’s most stylish and luxurious boutique hotels. This beautiful 17th-century manor house with extensive grounds is now a five-star hotel of the highest caliber, and it is only a stone’s throw from the center of the capital of Scotland.
Known as the Priestfield Estate until the late seventeenth century, the grounds were the property of a Cistercian order, the son of King Robert II of Scotland and many other notable luminaries of the Scottish establishment before coming into the possession of Sir James Dick, the Provost of Edinburgh. One of his notable good works was the clearing of filth from the streets of Edinburgh at his own expense. And indeed - much of it was used to fertilize the estate!
Prestonfield House in Edinburgh — Photo courtesy of Kim Traynor
He was a member of a prominent Catholic family, and his manor house was burned to the ground during an anti-Catholic student protest. In 1687, Sir James employed Sir William Bruce (architect of the Palace of Holyrood) to design a lavish replacement with the new (and less contentious) name of Prestonfield House. This beautifully maintained manor house was converted into a luxury hotel half a century ago.
The hotel features 23 opulent rooms and suites. There are also four wonderfully decorated public rooms, where guests can enjoy a relaxed drink or afternoon tea.
The extremely highly regarded hotel restaurant takes its name - Rhubarb - from the fact that it was Sir Alexander Dick (a descendant of Sir James) who first introduced this delicious vegetable to the British Isles. The fine crop is grown on the grounds to this day.
Patrons can also enjoy private dining in the Garden Room, complete with French doors to a private terraced area; the Italian Room, which has played host to U.S. presidents and celebrities; the Stuart Room, which is decorated in red, gold and black and features a beautiful portrait of Mary Queen of Scots; or the wonderfully romantic Salon Privee, hidden up a stone turret stair and perfect for two diners.
The interior of the hotel is decorated with intricate plasterwork, gilded leather wall coverings and sumptuous tapestries. The rooms are furnished with beautiful antiques, works of art and sculpture. The Dutch garden is simply beautiful, featuring perfectly manicured lawns and parterres embellished by a beautiful collection of fountains and statues.
Prestonfield House has played host to a wide range of celebrities and public figures ranging from Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher to Sandie Shaw, Sean Connery and Elton John. The hotel remains one of Edinburgh’s most popular city center retreats.
As well as being decadently luxurious, this wonderful hotel also maintains high eco credentials. It was awarded the prestigious Gold Award by Green Tourism Business Scheme, and the management remains committed to eliminating waste and responsible sourcing, so you are free to bask in opulent surroundings with a clear conscience!