The Glasshouse is a stunning, five-star boutique hotel located at the top of Leith Walk in the heart of the city of Edinburgh.
Since opening in 2003, it has won numerous awards, including accolades like “Most Romantic Hotel,” “Wedding Venue of the Year” and “Most Stylish Hotel” in the city.
Why? The hotel combines the beautiful traditional facade of Lady Glenorchy's church with sleek, modern design to great effect.
The facade of The Glasshouse — Photo courtesy of The Glasshouse
Lady Glenorchy (1741-1786) founded a number of chapels in Scotland and Wales. Her church at the top of Leith Walk was designed by John Henderson in the neo-perpendicular Gothic style and featured an ornate facade, Tudor-style arched windows and crenellated parapets flanking a four-story clock tower.
It ceased operation as a church in 1978 and served various different retail uses until permission was granted for the demolition of all but the western facade of the building in 2000.
The ashlar blocks were supported and extended by a symmetrical wall of glass and steel, which perfectly married the traditional form with an ultramodern partner.
The Glasshouse was completed in 2003.
Mezzanine level at The Glasshouse — Photo courtesy of The Glasshouse
The interior of the hotel extends the connection between the traditional forms of the building and its fresh contemporary design.
From the reception area, a stair leads up to the mezzanine level, which is lit by a beautiful crystal chandelier and the stunning arched windows of the original building. The cool white walls are punctuated by colourful bursts of modern art.
Moving up to the next level, you gain access to the two-acre enclosed rooftop garden. At one end of the garden sits the Calton Suite, a lovely function room commanding impressive views of Calton Hill, the gardens and the city.
At the other end of the garden, a covered walkway provides shelter for al fresco dining and some stunning pieces of modern sculpture.
The Glasshouse's rooftop garden — Photo courtesy of The Glasshouse
Deluxe rooms at The Glasshouse benefit from floor-to-ceiling windows, and they're furnished with walnut veneered pieces and deep red and plum fabrics. The deluxe garden view rooms look out on to the hotel's delightful secret garden, and they're well worth the extra charge.
The executive rooms offer a little more luxury, with complimentary mini-bars and other little extras. Many of them have their own private balconies, and others offer direct access to the enclosed hotel garden.
There are 14 suites on offer, each of which benefits from a luxurious lounge area and either a private balcony or access to the garden. However, if you really want to spoil yourself, opt for one of the four luxury suites located at the top of the building.
Two occupy the top corners and have spectacular panoramic views of the city; all have a host of extra treats such as waterfall showers and massive plasma TVs.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the Observatory. Massive glass walls offer even more incredible views of the city, accompanied by contemporary Scottish cuisine.
Guests can also enjoy afternoon tea, drinks and snack in the aptly named lounge Snug, with its delightful open fire.
The Glasshouse is a master class in style with substance. The décor is fresh and modern without being pretentious; the rooms are tastefully decorated and very comfortable; and the roof terrace garden is quite simply one of the most delightful places to relax.
Cozy up in Snug at The Glasshouse — Photo courtesy of The Glasshouse