Friday, 24 October 2014

Meet the Duty Managers! - Miguel Franceschi

It's the turn of Miguel - another one of our new Duty Managers at The Dunstane and Skerries! Hello Miguel......

1. So far in your role you mainly cover the restaurant and bar. What do you like most about your role?

I enjoy the restaurant and working together with my team to ensure that guests have a memorable dining experience with us - whether they are residents or outside guests. I am enjoying the guest interaction more and more. I am especially excited about introducing new ideas into Skerries such as my cocktail menu which will be launching before Christmas.

2. What is your favourite dish on the menu at the moment?

I would have to say the Spelt Risotto - it is simple but full of flavour and a twist on the conventional Risotto dishes.

Luxury Blue room
3. What is your favourite bedroom in the hotel?

In the main building I would have to choose room 120 our Luxury Blue room - I think it creates a very dramatic first impression for guests checking in to the hotel. In the Townhouse I love City 19 - our suite... it is so clean cut and contemporary - I wouldn't need to leave the room!
Suite bedroom

4. Do you prefer the Luxury Townhouse or the main building?

People at a functionI personally prefer the main building for its character and that is where the Restaurant is! But the Townhouse has is benefits and I do like running functions over there - such as Christenings in the Stroma Lounge etc.

5. You are over here from Zimbabwe - that must be quite a change for you! How does working in the UK differ from your work in Zim?

It certainly is a change!I have however worked in the UK before so I found it easier to adapt to that you might imagine! Going back to Zimbabwe for that 1.5 years was quite challenging as I felt very unsettled due to the economic situation. I didn't feel that staying in Zim was right for me.

6. If you could make one change to the hotel so far what would it be?

The hotel itself is beautifully finished and furnished and I don't think it needs to be changed in anyway really. however I would like to change the menus more often so our residents get a better selection of dishes if they are staying for a few nights and a few more veggie options would be great.

7. If you could bring something over from your experience in Zim what would it be?

While working in Zim, Tapas and live music became a huge trend and it was a fantastic atmosphere - maybe in the future we could look at this!

8. Describe your perfect day in Edinburgh

It is rather difficult to describe the perfect day i have had since i moved here but if I had to narrow it down, I would star my morning with a coffee in one of the many coffee shops Edinburgh has to offer - Maybe the Elephant Cafe in town where JK Rowling started Harry Potter! The head out to the Pentlands for a walk and then a braai with friends to finish off the day - maybe lastly a movie at the Dominion Cinema.

Thanks Miguel! Nice to meet you!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Meet the.....Duty Manager - Caroline Lowe

CarolineAnother installment of meet our team! It's the turn of Caroline Lowe - one of The Dunstane's new Duty Managers.

1. In your role Caroline you cover most areas of the Hotel - What do you like the most?

I enjoy being at the front of house, dealing with guests and the general operations of the hotel. Now that I am more confident within my role and reservations I am really enjoying it and I am exciting to keep progressing and hopefully get even more involved with The Dunstane!

2. Do you like the guest interaction in your role at reception?

Do you even have to ask! I love talking to our guests and getting to know about them and what they are expecting from us as a Hotel. It is very rewarding knowing that you are fulfilling their expectations and adding to their experiences.
The Blue Room
3. What is your favourite room in the Dunstane?

It is so difficult to choose but I would probably have to say room 120! Although I do like 121 and 108 also! they are beautiful!

The Red Room

4. You are over here from Zimbabwe - that must be quite a change for you! How does working in the UK differ from your hotel in Zim?

It is another world here! Working in the UK is very different to working in Zim. The daily operations are differed as you are faced with different challenges in Zim such as power failures - it is so great not having to worry about generators! 

My role at my previous job did have many similarities to my current one. I have always been front of house and I was reservations manager a the lodge in Zimbabwe - that is why I am enjoying learning more and more with the reservations for the Dunstane. 

I managed more staff in Zimbabwe as it was not as departmentalized as here, I oversaw the housekeepers, restaurant and the gardeners. 

Both business are family owned hotels and customer orientated and I much prefer the person touch of the smaller establishments to larger chain hotels.

6. If you could make one change to The Dunstane - what would it be?

This is a tough one! From the moment we came into the Dunstane to ask for contact details to send CVs to I had a good feeling about it. It is a warm and welcoming environment. I honestly don't feel there are any major changes to be made. A good hotel needs to keep progressing and evolving and I think this is done through the little things - such as specials, events and room amenities....

7. If you could bring something over from your experiences in Zim what would it be?

My family and friends and more sunshine! I think that moving to a new country and new job means new experiences and it is an exciting chapter!

8. Describe your perfect day in Edinburgh?

Definitely starting off the day with coffee from Costa or Starbucks. Then either going to Livingston for retail therapy or to the Forth Road Bridges and having a drink overlooking the water! there are so many places I still have left to visit. 

My favourite restaurant so far is Chaophraya - Thai restaurant on Castle Street (apart from Skerries of course!) so probably finishing off my day there!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Come and See a Show!

There is no better view than Edinburgh in Autumn. There is so much to see and do here, and at The Dunstane, we are looking forward tremendously to welcoming you for an autumn or winter visit. Think about how wonderful it would be to spend a cooling autumn evening inside the Edinburgh Playhouse, watching an incredible performance of Jersey Boys, then heading back to your comfy room in our hotel for a lovely nightcap and a great night sleep. Jersey Boys is playing at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 8th October and is a must see if you are going into town for something exciting. 

wicked headline show at edinburgh playhouse

The Dunstane is only a few minutes from the centre and therefore an ideally placed hub for after all your activities and sightseeing during the day. Once you have experienced Edinburgh you will want to come back time and again. If your stay extends to November, you would be here in time to see Wicked opening on 19th November and running all throughout the Christmas period to the middle of January.

Jersey Boys and Wicked and Great Theatre

Jersey Boys is set around the story of the creation of Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons, taking the audience on a wild adventure of singing and fame. Wicked is based on the story of Oz and tells the tale of how the green witch is considered evil, when in fact she is anything but, initially. The story delves into the backdrop of how she and Glinda the Good Witch fulfill their destinies.

Theatre is a paramount part of Edinburgh culture, and when you stay here with us at The Dunstane, you will get a good feel of just how important. As part of the theatre tradition, the city also hosts the Edinburgh fringe festival throughout August, keeping theatre in the forefront of people’s minds. Come and join us for a performance to remember. Contact our sales team now on 0131 337 6169 to book your stay with us for your theatre break this Autumn.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Keep Quiet About Christmas

Time to Celebrate.

christmas baubles with colours, the dunstane hotel in edinburgh

We at The Dunstane love to celebrate Christmas in style…oh, wait….right, it is still the middle of summer. Perhaps we should not tell you about our special hotel offer yet, where you get a chance to spend two or three nights with us—starting at a mere £280 per person—and stay with us over Christmas. Maybe we should keep ‘mum’ about the fact that you can join us for the start of Christmas on Wednesday 24th December, starting with a lovely glass of Scottish Mulled Wine to warm those cockles.

Of course, right now, because it is the middle of summer, and you are out there basking in the heat, you cannot imagine it ever getting cold again, but wait, there's more…Yes, winter will be here and along with it, Christmas. However, if we do not tell you about our special offers, we would be very remiss, given that you can book early and get your rooms sorted out right now. You could miss out on so much over the Christmas period.

So, keep it under your Hat

We definitely can't mention that our Christmas menu is peppered—pardon the pun—with some of the tastiest food you will eat, this side of the Highlands. These dishes include Fresh Scottish Salmon from the Isle of Arran, Duck breast with cabbage and port jus, and traditional Christmas pudding for dessert. We definitely and absolutely can't tell you about that because it would probably make you want to get on the phone and start booking while at the same time hoping winter would show up a little earlier this year.

So, we absolutely won't tell you that you can have an alternate to Christmas pudding if that is not your thing. We have a delectable dark chocolate torte and cherry compote instead for chocolate lovers. Moreover, we absolutely refuse to divulge that you can finish your meal with an excellent cup of freshly brewed coffee and petit fours. Nope, we are not saying a word. Our lips are sealed. Be sure to call our sales team at The Dunstane on 0131 337 6169 to book your place now – spaces filling fast!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Fashionable Shopping Breaks in Edinburgh

Discover our Fabulous Shopping Break Offers at The Dunstane

Edinburgh although often understated, has some of the most incredible shopping, from Jenner’s to Harvey Nichols and all of the high street shops in between, you are bound to be heading home with heavy shopping bags after a trip to the Scottish capital.  Here at The Dunstane we offer the Boutique Hotel experience alongside special shopping breaks that allow you to come and have a weekend’s shopping with an inclusive Scottish breakfast in with your accommodation prices.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

How about a Shopping Break?

Without doing too much bragging, we like to treat our guests to the fine things in life. Our luxury boutique breaks feature homemade chocolates delivered to your room, a treat bag full of goodies and a luxury gift set from us, here at The Dunstane complimentary. As if that is not enough, how about a glass of Prosecco upon your arrival, full Scottish Breakfast every morning of your stay and a trip to Molton Brown in George Street for the Mini Pamper Package, all for the amazing price of £179.00 per person. This is all based on two people sharing a ‘City' double room for two nights. It sounds like the perfect getaway weekend with a friend, doesn't it?

Shop the rest of Edinburgh

Don’t forget that Edinburgh has plenty more shopping experiences to add to your amazing time with us. There is Princes Street, George Street and of course, for the customary tartan there is the Royal Mile and other areas of the city.

We can also add other options to complete your shopping experience. For example, what about a colours session, or a ‘friends’ day’, or your own private ‘personal shopper’ to help you pick something exquisite? The offer of this exclusive package will remain open only until September 30th, 2014, so book now to avoid being disappointed and come and have a great time with us at The Dunstane in the Scottish Capital. Contact our Sales team now on 0131 337 6169

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Amazing Deals for spending your October Break in Edinburgh!

Edinburgh is a city that—similar to New York—never seems to sleep.  It does not matter what time of year you come to stay with us at The Dunstane, there is bound to be something to keep you entertained. Whilst it is the summer holidays now, it won’t be long until the October Break and where better to spend the week than Edinburgh. There is something for the whole family, not to mention our amazing special offers for Autumn Breaks but in case you are struggling with what to see and do check out our top picks below. 

Edinburgh is a city that—similar to New York—never seems to sleep.  It does not matter what time of year you come to stay with us at The Dunstane, there is bound to be something to keep you entertained. Whilst it is the summer holidays now, it won’t be long until the October Break and where better to spend the week than Edinburgh. There is something for the whole family, but in case you are struggling with what to see and do check out our top picks below. 

Stockbridge Market
This is one of the best Scottish Farmer's markets around for miles, and you should check out the fresh produce you can get from locally based farmers. Not only will you find tasty treats to tantalise your tongue, but you can also buy artisan created items and crafts to take home and display.

Curious about Edinburgh
Whether you have been here before or not, you have the perfect opportunity to get to know the city better. There are two optional self-guided tours available, and you can also have a treasure hunt if you fancy that too. Ask us for more information.

Wine Unearthed
Can't beat a good glass of vino, right?  Take advantage of the wine tasting opportunities in Edinburgh between April and November. If you are here in October, you can check our local tastings and ask us for details.

PBFA Book Fair
Now, if you love the smell of old books, you have to visit the book fair. You can see it down at 80 High Street, the Royal Mile, just about a five minute walk from The Dunstane on 18th October. Here you can buy and look at old and antiquated books and old maps for sale by merchants from all around the United Kingdom. It is a definite must for any bibliophile.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival
Nothing beats a good story and from 24th October to 2nd November you can visit a universe of folklore, dreams, fantasy and fun by coming and listening to storytellers weave their tales of intrigue and imagination as you are whisked away to places and parts afar and unknown. That is at 43-45 High Street.

The Real Mary King’s Close

This is a must-do, for those who have been here before and those who have not. The Real Mary King's Close is an underground adventure of murder, horror plagues and sickness that you simply cannot miss. Staying at The Dunstane we have some amazing special offers which will give you access to all of the above events.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Five Things To Do When You Visit Edinburgh

At The Dunstane, we love to entertain our guests in the best ways possible, and that includes offering them all the best local advice about things to see when they are here. Edinburgh is renowned for its beauty as a city, and there are so many things to see and do during your visit. We have compiled our own list of favourites for you.

1 – Edinburgh Castle

The ultimate token of Edinburgh, most people who come to Edinburgh do so with the intention of seeing Edinburgh castle. The castle is placed in the centre of the city which means you can see it from many different parts of town. There are tours around the grounds of the castle daily and the views are iconic. There are also featured historic events and activities on throughout the castle, one of our favourites being the Mary Queen of Scot’s event – find out all about her life from 1566.

2 – Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament is based in Holyrood, and the building is fast becoming one of the most visited in the country. Ever since the building was completed, people have come from miles to see and experience. Well worth a visit especially this year with all of the Homecoming activities throughout the summer and autumn.

3 – Edinburgh Zoo

From Panda’s to Meerkats, Edinburgh zoo is one of the best days out in Scotland. See a wide variety of animals in habitats that are as close to their own environments as possible and see daily shows and daily exhibitions which are a fun treat for the whole family. It is only 10 minutes from The Dunstane too, which means getting back to put your feet up is no ordeal!

4 – Trams

Edinburgh is one of an increasing number of British cities to have voted to reinstate her tram system. The Trams have been an ongoing build in Scotland and at the end of May this year they began! The trams run right through the city and are another exciting way to feel the Edinburgh buzz during the summer wherever you are going. With its easy hop on – hop off process you can relax without having to bring your car into the city centre!

5 – Arthur’s Seat

Arthur's Seat is the famous dormant volcano that adorns the Edinburgh skyline, sitting majestically on the outskirts of the city. The Seat is known as such because it resembles a sitting lion with its gently arched back. It is also the home of Salisbury Crags and worth the trip if you fancy escaping from the bustle of the city without having to go too far. On a clear day the views are incredible and you can see over the whole of Edinburgh – it is definitely worth the trek to visit it!

All of the above activities are in the heart of the city – just like us! If you are coming to Edinburgh and are looking for accommodation, look no further than The Dunstane. Our beautifully decorated boutique rooms are perfect for relaxing after a tough day sightseeing! We are close enough to the excitement of the city but far enough away from the hustle and bustle. We have amazing offers on now for the best deals this summer – be sure to call our sales team on 0131 337 6169 and book direct for the best prices.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fun at the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

Edinburgh Festivals 2014


At The Dunstane Hotel we are proud to be ideally placed to accommodate so many of the guests arriving for the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals.  We always like to show our guests the perfect time and when they have travelled from all parts of the globe especially to visit Scotland we want to make their trip a trip of a lifetime and give them plenty happy memories to take home!

Edinburgh International Film Festival

We all enjoyed this year's Film Festival, and hope that next year will be just as excellent and successful as it was this year. The EIFF has been around since 1947 and now a world-renowned event, drawing crowds from every part of the world. Some of the most famous and successful movies from recent years have premiered at the EIFF and no doubt we will see many more. If you were here for this year's festival, we hope you had the best time. If you are planning to come for next year's then give us a call and book your tickets early.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, and the Fringe is one of the biggest draws. We at The Dunstane love the festivals that are available around Edinburgh throughout the year, and we are planning ahead for this year’s fringe, taking place between 1st and the 25th August 2014.

At the end of a busy day in Edinburgh you won’t have far to go to reach The Dunstane. We are in the heart of Edinburgh, but also far enough away from the bustle of the town for a great night’s rest before returning to the action the next day! Our luxury boutique hotel is within two minutes of thirty or so venues and there are plenty of others just a few more steps away.  If you are planning to come and stay with us at The Dunstane in August, for the Fringe, or just a weekend break, get in touch today and we will ensure a relaxing and comfortable stay.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Scotland Welcomes the Ryder Cup Back

Every time the Ryder Cup, or any other golf tournament comes to Scotland, there is cause for extra celebration. Scotland is the home of golf; it is a strong contender for being our national game and we love it accordingly.  This year Paul McGinley is bringing it home with the rest of the European Team to Gleneagles and here at The Dunstane we are rolling up the proverbial—and actual—sleeves and getting ready for it.

Bringing it all back home

Gleneagles is one of the many world famous golf courses in Scotland and this year they are proudly hosting the USA and Europeans as they enter into the battle of the continents—the Europeans trying to retain and the USA trying to win the Ryder Cup back. Gleneagles last played host back in 1973, so it should be a gripping three days and we are looking forward to it tremendously.

Even though the teams are undecided as yet, simply because it mostly depends on ranking, Paul McGinley is rumoured to be choosing three wild cards this year and we are eager to find out all the chosen players. We, at The Dunstane, will be right at the centre of the action and we will be screening the matches on TV for all to see, while we cheer on the Europeans.

Courtesy of Google images

How the Ryder Cup Works

If you are unfamiliar with the way the tournament goes, we can let you have a little background information. Day One is the opening Friday and it starts with four ‘foursome’ matches. These are ‘alternate shot’ matches, rather like a relay race. This is followed by the four ‘fourball’ matches whereby the better ball is the one that is played on the next shot.

Day Two is the four foursome matches, followed by four fourballs again and then on day three—Sunday and the final day—there are 12 singles matches. The winner is determined by the points system. There are 28 available and the winning team will hold 14 ½ of them. The last day often determines the final outcome because the first two days tend to be extra close, so it should be total nail biter. Get ready to hit the edge of your seats with this one!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Dunstane - Meet our Head Housekeeper - Laura Taylor

Another instalment of - MEET THE…..Head Housekeeper – Laura Taylor
Photo of Laura

Hi Laura, so you have been at The Dunstane for over 8 years now…. Tell us….

1. You have covered so many different areas of the hotel and learned so many different roles….what do you like the most?

I have enjoyed all my roles at The Dunstane, all of them are different but I love the guest interaction you get when working in the bar and restaurant. I do like helping out when I can in any department as I learn more about the hotel that way. But definitely my favourite department is my own as I am very passionate about maintaining the high standards of cleanliness throughout the hotel that we are well known for! The rooms are my babies! I have a great team too that also makes my job easier.

2. Did you like the guest interaction in your role at the Townhouse?

The interaction with the guests was definitely the best part of working a the Townhouse. Finding out about our guests and what they were doing her in Edinburgh - especially getting to know the regulars was great. I always had a story or two to tell them myself and I now have a long list of place son my list to visit as a result of their recommendations.

3. You briefly did Revive at the Dunstane, tell us about that. Was it a rewarding experience?

I am also a trained beauty therapist and I love working at the Dunstane so I thought it would be a great idea to combine the two roles! I transformed one of the bedrooms into a beauty therapy room for guests and outside clients. Although in the end it didn't work out at the time it was rewarding I am an so glad I had the opportunity to try it.

4. What is your favourite memory in the hotel?

My favourite memories from the Dunstane have to be the Christmas staff parties! Everyone who knows me knows I get a little excited as each one gets close. I have been to 9 parties now and every one has been so much fun! All staff here get on so well which makes them so much better. I think if I ever leave The Dunstane I will keep coming to the parties!!

Deluxe Double 108 gold and red theme
5. What is your favourite room in the hotel?

My favourite room has to be room 108 the deluxe double room in the main building. Especially after the refurb - the colour scheme is just so me!

6. Do you prefer the Townhouse or the main building?

I love them both! they are both so different in style, but I would have to say probably the main building as that is where I started all those years ago!

7. What’s the funniest things that’s ever happened to you in Housekeeping at Dunstane?

Has to be when a young couple were staying for their honeymoon - they were obviously in high spirits and decided to play a practical joke. They went out for the day and left a plastic poo in the middle of the bathroom floor. One of the housekeepers came to get me armed with rubber gloves and bags etc and was absolutely mortified. you should have seen her face when she went to pick it up and realised it wasn't real!!

8. If you could make one change to the hotel, what would it be?

Laura and her dog playingA lift! Although I actually don't think I would be as fit as I am now! I have always said I would love to have a conservatory built on to the front of the hotel for the guests to enjoy a glass of wine or two as well. If I had to pick though I would love a god run built somewhere so my dog could come to work with me and I would never be away from the hotel!

9. What is your Housekeeping worst nightmare?

Definitely running out of laundry when we have a full hotel and lots of arrivals! I have never made beds so fast in my life!

10. Describe your perfect day in Edinburgh.

My perfect day in Edinburgh would have to be a nice hot sunny day in August during the Edinburgh Festival. It would start with a walk down to the Royal Yacht Britannia and afterwards I would find a little restaurant with tables outside for a bite to eat and a nice chilled glass of wine. then a stroll up to the Royal Mile to soak up the festival atmosphere and see some street entertainers. Then in the evening maybe a show or two!!

Thanks Laura - its good to see a bit of Dunstane behind the scenes! We really appreciate all your hard work - it wouldn't be the same without you and I am sure our guests agree!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Celebrate New Year with us at The Dunstane

Fireworks over Edinburgh

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Come New Year’s Eve The Dunstane Hotel will be right in the centre of all the fun, excitement and fireworks. After all, it wouldn’t be a Scottish Hogmanay without the proper festivities and celebrations, would it?? The Dunstane proudly opens its doors every year to millions of visitors and guests and Hogmanay is no different. In fact, Hogmanay is more of a reason to open our doors and invite new people in, to share and enjoy the experience of our hospitality.

Four Star Service and a Friendly Smile

The Dunstane is proud of its placing in the local community and the ability to bring guests and new business to the area. After all, tourists who come for Hogmanay stay for the scenery, the excitement and the brilliant Edinburgh shopping. We can promise you elegance and boutique style accommodation, our award winning restaurant—Skerries—where we serve freshly caught Blue Shell Shetland Mussels, Arran Salmon and some amazing cuts of Orkney beef that will literally melt in your mouth.

skerries restaurant the dunstane hotel

Hogmanay Menu and More

Amuse Bouche and celeriac soup are just two of the incredible starters you will find on our Hogmanay dinner menu. If you fancy getting your teeth into a juicy Angus Beef Tartare with quail’s egg, then go ahead; or how about a Poached Halibut or an Angus Beef Fillet for your main course? It’s all there just waiting.  Oh, and let us not forget the whole reason for the meal—the dessert—and you can let your taste buds water with the idea of Chocolate and Highland Park Whiskey tart. If chocolate isn’t your thing, you can finish with a selection of world class cheeses, served with crackers, grapes and fig jelly. End the night with a lovely rich cup of coffee or tea, which are served with a tasty selection of Petit Fours.

Hogmanay like no other

For the highly competitive price of £120 per night, per person, you can enjoy luxury accommodation and all the choices on the Hogmanay menu, plus so much more. You can’t beat Hogmanay in Scotland, so why try? Just come to the Dunstane, stay for the duration and have a Hogmanay that you will not forget for many years to come.       

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Christmas and New Year Delights in Edinburgh

There’s never a bad time to visit Edinburgh but there are some times during the year when it is the perfect place to be. One of those perfect times is during Christmas and New Year and in truth there is no better place on earth to be than the City of Edinburgh. We at The Dunstane appreciate that we are right in the hub of the action and we love that we can share the New Year experience with our guests from all around the world.
Christmas Diner table with Candle
Festive Season in Edinburgh

Our four star boutique hotel is the ideal place to be when the weather outside is frightful. We can offer you something so delightful, so if you have no particular place to go, it is more than likely to snow! See what we did there? Your warm, cosy room will have free Wi-Fi and late checkout options. You can also experience fine dining with a money-off voucher for our restaurant.

Happy Hogmanay!

Hogmanay is a big deal in Scotland and in some respects is more important than Christmas. It has grown in stature over the years because of the growth in media and TV coverage. Years ago, back in the 1970’s when Andy Stewart and Kenneth McKeller used to do skits on the Hogmanay Show on TV, it was seen all over the world. Those nostalgic days are recreated here at the Dunstane and while we have moved forward in terms of our services and technologies, we have also kept our hotel as traditional as possible so that you can appreciate the ideal taste of Edinburgh when you come and stay with us for Christmas and New Year.
When you join us, here at the Dunstane, this Hogmanay you can expect a delightful menu, including Amuse Bouche, Salmon, steak Tartare, fresh halibut, Highland venison, pumpkin and chestnut risotto, poached mulled wine pear and chocolate and Highland Park whisky tart. Now, that is worth coming and spending Christmas and Hogmanay in Edinburgh for if nothing else! How about it, come and join us, but book early!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Indulge your Artistic Sensibilities at the Edinburgh Art Festival

We’re getting excited about this year’s Edinburgh Arts Festival, which takes place throughout August.  It is the perfect opportunity to visit Edinburgh and to indulge your artistic sensibilities! Established in 2004, the Art Festival was conceived in order to pay homage to the visual arts and showcase new and upcoming Scottish artists as well as established ones.

A new festival emerges

So, how did the Art Festival emerge as a distinct cultural event? Essentially it continued the established pattern of the building of relationships between Arts councils, galleries and universities that took place during the larger Edinburgh International Festival taking place at the same time.  From 2005 to 2007 a festival guide was produced, which also included collaborative projects and commissions. This gave way to promotions and a marketing platform whereby artists could showcase their own artistic work. Visitors will find that the Art Festival has grown so comprehensively that there are now over thirty venues and forty-five exhibitions available to see at the Festival.

Edinburgh Art Festival
Image Courtesy of Edinburgh Art Festival

Highlights of this year’s Festival

When you visit Edinburgh during the Festival you will have the opportunity to see the fine exhibitions that they will be holding. This year, there are an estimated 45 exhibitions ranging from the modern and contemporary back to the historical art periods. The Ming: The Golden Empire is an exhibition covering the opulence of the imperial Ming court and illustrates the unique Chinese style.  There is also an exhibition called Alt-W, which gives a voice to new work Chris Helson and Sarah Jackets, among others. Aside from those, you will also experience the American Impressionists exhibitions, the Leon Morrocco exhibition and the Katie Paterson: Ideas exhibition.
What is your favourite style of visual art?  Let us know your opinion on the exhibits from this year’s festival

Book your early bird room offer

At the Dunstane we like to offer our accommodation and our boutique rooms to visitors attending the festival, but you must book early. Have a look at our website and check for our early bird offers and find out how to book your room for the entire festival to make sure you don’t miss out! We can guarantee that you will have the time of your life when you visit us here!

Stay in Edinburgh for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games!

The Commonwealth Games is a sporting competition held among the 70+ nations of the Commonwealth of the former British Empire. The Olympic style event was first conceived in the late 1800’s and took place for the very first time in 1911. Whilst the commonwealth games used to be static, held at Crystal Palace, it has since been taken from city to city around the Commonwealth itself, much like the Olympic Games. This year the Games will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

Why stay in Edinburgh?

Given that Glasgow is about 45 miles away from Edinburgh, you might think that it is pretty impractical for someone to stay in Edinburgh during the Commonwealth Games, instead of right there in Glasgow. However, thinking about it, it actually makes good sense to be staying outside of the city that will be very busy and full of tourists. When you get back to the quiet of our boutique hotel, here at the Dunstane in Edinburgh, you will enjoy the peace and quiet and pure tranquillity away from that hustle and bustle.

Games Travel

Edinburgh offers so much in the way of entertainment, gastronomy, sightseeing and historical delights that you can spend most of your time wandering around the city and forget to go to the games altogether! Although, most people only tend to buy tickets for specific events, so therefore if you get a hotel room in Edinburgh you can enjoy being away from the centre of the action until it is time for you to go and join it. Travel is very easy and fast between the city of Edinburgh and Glasgow, taking approximately one hour on the train.  Alternatively, you can hire a care—or bring your own if you drove here in the first place! Whichever way you choose to get to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, it is sure to be a wonderful sporting event, as always. 

The Royal Highland Show

Edinburgh; the city of history and romance, of excitement and year-round entertainment.  If you are considering coming for a weekend break, Edinburgh has a range of festivals and events to suit every taste.  Throughout the year Edinburgh is a source of romance, entertainment and joy and visiting us at any time of year is a treat that no one will ever look back on with anything other than wonderful memories.

Highland Cow in Field
Image Credit: Creative Commons

A touch of Royalty

With summer well and truly arrived the City is filled with anticipation and excitement about the upcoming start of the Royal Highland Show, this year taking part on the long weekend of 19th- 22nd June. The Royal Highland Show—as it is known now—began in 1822 and was, in those days, a nomadic show which travelled between various cities in each year. Only in 1959 did it finally become static in Edinburgh, putting down roots as the Royal Highland Show, after it was bestowed the title in 1948 by King George VI.  Some of the main attractions of the Royal Highland Show are the Livestock shows, where people exhibit their cattle, sheep, ponies, horses, goats and many other breeds, hoping to win prizes.  There is also the Rural and Agricultural part of the show where visitors can view the huge variety of machines used in the farming world. There are equine supplies, sporting goods for outdoor sports, apparel and so much more. The weekend—Thursday through Sunday—is a plethora of exhibitions, food, music, children’s events, entertainment and so much more to entice all visitors.

An Event for all Seasons

If you intend to visit for the entire Royal Highland Show you will probably want to book a weekend break in Edinburgh, starting from the Wednesday night, through to the Sunday night or Monday morning.  One of the best places to stay is the Dunstane Hotel; right at the centre of all the action! Our boutique hotel is stylish, classy and offers spring breaks from as little as £75 per night. Even if you are not staying just for the Royal Highland Show, but want to extend your stay for shopping, golfing or rugby breaks, you can arrange your stay there. How about a romantic weekend in Edinburgh to celebrate a milestone anniversary? You can spend the night in a period four-poster with room service and breakfast in bed. Give us a call today and book your room for a weekend to remember.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

One Direction Come to Edinburgh

image of one direction in concert

Picture courtesy of Eva Rinaldi

If you haven’t heard of teen heart throbs One Direction you have probably been hiding your head under a stone for the past four years. The third placed X-Factor contestants from the 2010 series of the show have in the ensuing years become a global phenomenon. Hits such as ‘Kiss You’ and ‘Live While We’re Young’ have become bona fide bathroom mirror classics for teenage girls the world over; as well as being a guilty pleasure for even the stuffiest of the ‘parental generation’.

The Fab Five Come to Murrayfield

view of murrayfield stadium from outside

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

On June 3rd Niall, Zayn, Harry, Liam and Louis are going to be rocking out Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, as part of their worldwide ‘Where We Are’ tour 2014.  Tickets to see the ‘Fab Five’ go on sale on May 25th and are expected to go like hot cakes. To beat the crowds, fans are advised to have their fingers on the dial as soon as the sales lines open at 10am next Sunday. As the only Scottish gig in their current tour, demand is going to be huge, drawing in fans from all over the UK. Let us know if you were one of the lucky ones who got tickets!

A hotel for the discerning 1D fan

the dunstane hotel from outside

If you are coming in to see One Direction from outside Edinburgh, we’d like to invite you to treat yourself to a night at our four star boutique hotel on the edge of town. The Dunstane is one of the most unique small hotels in Edinburgh, occupying two historic Victorian properties. Located within easy distance of both Murrayfield Stadium and the city centre attractions, we ideally placed for an overnight stay. What is more, after the hectic atmosphere of the concert there is no better place to unwind and enjoy a good night’s recuperation in one of our 38 unique and stylish bedrooms.  Come and enjoy an excellent dinner at our Skerries Restaurant where diners can choose from a wide range of fresh seafood dishes from Orkney and Shetland. Or simply burn off some of the adrenalin over a cocktail at the Stane Bar.

stane bar at the dunstane

For the discerning One Direction fan, or for their parent, there can be no better conclusion to a great night than in our contemporary and welcoming surroundings. Double, Single and Family rooms are still available for 3rd June but are booking up fast so head over to The Dunstane website to book your room today or give us a call on 0131 337 6169.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Dunstane girls go to the Scottish Hotel Awards!

The Dunstane Does The Scottish Hotel Awards!

Three Dunstane girls on arrival at awards

The Dunstane team were out in force on Sunday night at the 2014 Scottish Hotel Awards which took place at The Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa. This was our first year at the awards and what a great start we had! Shirley Mowat, Director, Samantha Wright, Sales & Revenue Manager and Laura Taylor, Head Housekeeper went along to join in the celebrations - not at all expecting any awards in our first year attending!

What a great evening put on by the Sheraton with good food, champagne flowing and great entertainment - including the vocal talent of Scotland's own Jai McDowall, Britain's Got Talent winner 2011.

Jai McDowall singing on stage

Partnered up with another hotel from up north we sat patiently to congratulate others on their awards and wait to see who had won hotel of the year. Little did we expect to be congratulating our very own team!

Laura and Shirley with a certificate

Skerries Restaurant and Head Chef Martin Collins picked up a Gold Medal and a Highly commended award and Samantha Wright, Sales & Revenue Manager was a awarded a Gold Medal for Business Management. Jamie Trousdale, our newest member of Management, was also awarded a Rising Star award.

Samantha holding her certificate

Well done to all involved! Looking forward to more of the same next year!!

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Dunstane - New Website

The Dunstane - New Website

New Website
The Dunstane - New Website
We at The Dunstane are excited to announce that we’re launching our new website today! With our excellent customer service and array of attractions all important features of the hotel, we have re-honed our website to ensure these values, our ethos and style are all reflected. As such, we’ve worked to best include the sheer luxury and exclusivity which The Dunstane offers, showing this to the customer through some beautiful images and fantastic website content.

When navigating the new website, customers will be able to discover a range of excellent features allowing them to explore all that The Dunstane offers. New sections of the website will allow you to easily look at our array of boutique Rooms which cater to all manner of tastes, as well as our excellent Dining where you’ll be able to explore the Skerries Restaurant, Restaurant Offers and Stane Bar. Additionally, with the Venue Hire section you can now see how The Dunstane can cater for a range of events and celebrations, as well as the Hotel Offers section which gives you a number of ideas for how to enjoy an exciting escape to Edinburgh.

There’s also now a fantastic Explore Edinburgh section where you can discover some of the best attractions to enjoy, as well as a Festive section which will ensure you’re treated to an excellent Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh.

Certainly, this new layout aims to ensure that customers are able to easily navigate across all areas of the hotel, letting you discover us in a new and exciting way as the hotel’s beauty is brought to light. We’ve spent a lot of time working to focus the website into reflecting The Dunstane’s unique setting and are now excited for you to immerse yourselves in the new features on offer!

With that being said, don’t hesitate to explore our fantastic new website and indulge yourself at one of the most luxury hotels in Edinburgh. The Dunstane will ensure you enjoy a stay in truly unforgettable style! 

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Dunstane - our new wine list launches next week!

At The Dunstane and in Skerries we have always been passionate about our wines, selecting only the finest and most diverse from around the globe. With the help of Wine Importers, a local company who fully support small independent businesses, the owners and managers of Dunstane personally taste and select each wine based on its individuality and quality.
Wine Importers logo on a white background

The bi-annual event at Gleneagles Hotel where Wine Importers showcase their latest acquisitions and long standing favourites is the starting point in our search for the perfect wine list. The Directors, Derek and Shirley, along with Managers Samantha and Jamie went along to Gleneagles to begin the process of designing the new list in March this year.

staff grouped at the tasting holding bottlesOur new list has some surprising new entries - one to mention is the Stobi Vineyard in Macedonia which bowled us over at the tasting and now has two spots on the list! Other old favourites are back and still going strong - our friends Torres from Catalonia still have pride of place with their rose and they wonderful Muscat white - Vina Esmerelda.

To help our staff better explain our offering to your when you visit Skerries our Wine Importers friend - Neil Renton stopped by to train the staff on the new wines and refresh our memories of some of our favourites - although we cannot forget stories like the story of The Aberdeen Wine Company who make Capercaillie - one of our top sellers and highest quality Shiraz'. We all had a blast at the tasting and learned loads! Cant wait to pass it all on!!

Book your table now at or give us a call on 01313376169

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Dunstane - Imaginate Festival

The Dunstane - Imaginate Festival

Imaginate Festival
The Dunstane - Imagninate Festival
From the 5th of May to the 12th of May 2014 the Imaginate Festival is Scotland’s world renowned festival for performing arts for children and young people. Featuring at venues across Edinburgh, the Imaginate Festival aims to ensure that children and young people in Scotland enjoy performing arts with a number of exciting shows.

A fantastic programme of performance and theatre will treat children and young people, their teachers, families and carers to excellent shows from Scotland and around the word. There’s a fantastic range of shows to discover including Too Many Penguins? for 1-4 year olds and Tiger Tale which tells the story of when a tiger visits a family with some excellent dance! There’s an array of attractions to cater for all manner of tastes, perfect for schools and groups to enjoy unique and beautiful shows. The Imaginate Festival is also fantastic for artists to see and discuss each other’s work and immerse themselves in an array of activities. The Imaginate Festival also works with schools, local authorities and Education Scotland to support pupils, teachers and other educators’ creative learning. It’s a fantastic event which guests of all ages will enjoy!

Some of the Imaginate Festival’s shows will also tour Scotland, ensuring that people the nation over are treated to the event’s best attractions. Perfect for all the family, you’ll love discovering Imaginate Festival’s array of exciting shows.

Choose to immerse yourself in the Imaginate Festival and stay at one of the most luxury hotels in Edinburgh. Indeed, The Dunstane will ensure you’re treated to an exclusive escape where you can enjoy scrumptious food and drink at our Skerries Restaurant before retreating to our luxury rooms. Indulge yourself at one of the most luxury hotels in Edinburgh and enjoy an excellent visit to the Imaginate Festival. The Dunstane will ensure you enjoy a stay in truly unforgettable style! 

The Dunstane - SKC Dog Show

The Dunstane - SKC Dog Show

The Scottish Kennel Club
The Dunstane -SKC Dog Show
From the 16th of May to the 18th of May 2014 The Scottish Kennel Club’s SKC Dog Show will see a range of beautiful breeds treat excited crowds to a fantastic attraction. With the sun’s golden rays dazzling it’s the perfect time to visit and discover some excellent dogs which guests of all ages will enjoy. The Scottish Kennel Club aims to promote the interests and health of dogs in Scotland as well as offering information on dogs!

Enjoy a family escape to the SKC Dog Show where you will be able to talk with specialist people in the breeds and see the very best dogs. You’ll love seeing a beautiful range of categories and breeds together in this exciting show. Featuring hounds, terriers and toy dogs as well as working, pastoral, obedience and gundog, utility and agility categories, there’s a fantastic programme of dogs on show!  If you’re a dog lover, the SKC Dog Show is the perfect attraction for you to enjoy!

Additionally, The Scottish Kennel Club also offers a range of classes for you and your dog to immerse yourselves in. There are classes to teach obedience where you can learn to teach your dog kindly to become truly fantastic! There are also agility classes to keep your dog healthy as they jump and weave through tunnels and you do the running. You’ll enjoy treating your dog to an exciting day which they’ll love. The Scottish Kennel Club also has working classes where dogs must jump, scent and track in a truly exciting attraction!

Choose to immerse yourself in the SKC Dog Show and stay at one the most luxury hotels in Edinburgh. Indeed, The Dunstane will ensure you’re treated to an exclusive escape where you can enjoy scrumptious food and drink at our Skerries Restaurant before retreating to our luxury rooms. Indulge yourself at one of the most luxury hotels in Edinburgh and enjoy an excellent visit to the SKC Dog Show. The Dunstane will ensure you enjoy a stay in truly unforgettable style! 

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Dunstane - Father's Day

The Dunstane - Father's Day

The National Museum of Scotland
The Dunstane - Father's Day
On June the 15th it will be Father’s Day and a time to show Dad how much you really care. He’s always been there for you and with an exciting visit to Edinburgh, a range of immersing attractions will be there for him! Choose to give Dad more than a card this year and treat him to a family holiday to Edinburgh. We’ve got a number of attractions which he’ll love.

If he loves history a visit to the dramatic Edinburgh Castle will fulfil his every desire. He’ll enjoy breathtaking views across the city as well as a range of military and historical attractions. It’s one of the most iconic Edinburgh attractions and one that all the family will enjoy.

Additionally, if he’s after an adventure Edinburgh Zoo will do just the trick. With such an array of beautiful animals he’ll enjoy exploring all that Edinburgh Zoo has to offer. There’s also an exciting programme of educational workshops and events as well as a fantastic gift shop!

The Royal Yacht Britannia will also treat Dad to one of Britain’s best visitor attractions. He’ll love exploring this royal sight with an immersing tour!

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is perfect for a more unique and exciting Father’s Day treat. Dad will love fantastic panoramic views across Edinburgh from the camera obscura as well as five floors of exciting illusions, tricks and activities.

The National Museum of Scotland will treat Dad to a thrilling display of attractions where he can learn aboaut a number of features including the natural world, cultures, science, as well as art and design and Scottish history. There’s an array of exciting sights which will cater for all manner of tastes and will ensure Dad has a fantastic visit!

Choose to escape to Edinburgh this Father’s Day and treat Dad to a stay at one of the most luxury hotels in Edinburgh at The Dunstane. Indulge Dad with scrumptious food and drink in our excellent Skerries Restaurant and a stay in one of our relaxing rooms. You’ll love a Father’s Day in Edinburgh and we’ll ensure you enjoy a stay in truly unforgettable style!