Fodor's Expert Review The Glasshouse

2 Greenside Pl., Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA, Scotland See on Map

Glass walls extend upwards from the 19th-century facade of a former church, foreshadowing the modern/ancient hybrid interior of one of the city's original boutique hotels. The Glasshouse has still got it, though: from the spa-like feel of the lobby, with its tall vases full of flowers, to the minimalist rooms and the hotel's unusual city center USP, the fact that 52 of its 77 rooms have some form of outside space.

The Glasshouse has a little-known secret on its third floor: a two-acre roof top garden with views of Calton Hill, a gorgeous spot in summer.


The spacious rooms are decorated in a minimalist style, with modernist decorative touches like walnut veneer headboards built around the beds, plus swivel flatscreen TVs and remote control curtains. The palette is currently being updated, with more sophisticated gold higlights replacing the current poppy reds and plums. But the real knockout in all the rooms is the floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the city or Calton Hill. Balconies are much larger than average.


Bathrooms are being updated too, to bring a more up-to-date feel to the facilities, but are already of a pretty high standard. Heated towel racks and underfloor heating are a nice touch in the sometimes chilly Scottish capital, and only five of the rooms don't have baths (only showers).


A pleasingly light lobby area, with a curving reception desk and a cool chandelier made up of rings of light. There's a comfy corner on the right too with books and modernist armchairs.


There's no in-house pool or spa, but guests can use the Nuffield gym, spa and pool nearby.


Guests can eat at the formal glass-walled brasserie, with good views, a fancy feel and a focus on local ingredients - the meat comes from Campbell Brothers, based less than 10 miles from the hotel. On balmy evenings (full disclaimer: not that common in Edinburgh), the rooftop garden is also at your disposal, or the hotel's 'snug' on the third floor, complete with a modern central fire.


There's 100 whiskies on offer and good cocktails, but the real sell is how appealing the spaces are in which you can drink them: either on the glitzy rooftop terrace in summer, or in the cosy snug at the heart of the hotel in winter.


Getting Around

Located just to the side of Calton Hill but still close to good shoping and many of the main attractions. Buses are plentiful or York Place tram stop is nearby.


One of Edinburgh's finest restaurants, the Michelin-starred 21212 (4-minute walk) is very close. Or brilliant Middle Eastern joint, Pomegranate (2-minute walk) is even nearer, and is especially good for veggies.


A proper theatre pub/bar, with a good atmosphere and attractive Victorian frontage, the Theatre Royal Bar (1-minute walk) is next door, and worth a try even if you aren't seeing a show at the Playhouse. Joseph Pearce's (3-minute walk) has bags of history but now touts itself as a family-friendly spot by day and shabby chic booze haunt by night - plus it boasts that its terrace has the sun for the longest in Edinburgh (when the sun shines, that is).


One of Edinburgh's original boutique hotels, and still one of its best, with a pleasing blend of history and modernity plus good views from all the light-filled rooms, most of which boast outside space. And we love the semi-secret rooftop garden, which has a gin bar in summer when the weather allows.




Phones: 0131-525–8200

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