Day 5 was not the best day of the work portion of my first trip to Scotland in 3 years. After spending more time than expected on some emails and calls, I got a late start. When I did get to my car, I got my bag into the car, connected my phone to the car navigation system via Bluetooth and was ready to hit the road.
Unfortunately, my car was not ready to hit the road. After 4 days of waking up, getting another great breakfast, packing up the car and turning over the ignition, nothing happened. It sounded close but I was still sitting in my parking space and after 15 minutes, had to admit that the thing was not going to move.
I called the number in my rental car folder and got assurances that someone would be out soon to help get the car started and me back on the road, but it was two hours later than I had hoped to be heading to Edinburgh.
The explanation that I got from the technician for my problems getting the car moving forward came down to the fact that I had left the radio on overnight. Well, I thought that I had turned the car off last night and I am pretty sure that the entire electronic dashboard shut down and that the radio was a part of that dashboard. I was too annoyed, not at the technician because he was the messenger, to be upset so I just started toward Edinburgh.
Maybe another reason to consider hiring a driver while enjoying the scenery in Scotland!
It was only a two hour delay but it meant that I was not going to have enough time to see Cromlix House or Stirling Castle en route. Instead, straight to Edinburgh Airport to drop off the rental car and grab a cab into the city and my hotel for the night, Hotel du Vin.
This was the second of three stays that I would enjoy during the trip at a Hotel du Vin. Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. All are well located in historic buildings that are totally refurbished, unique, well appointed, offer excellent food and excellent service.
It turned out that this Saturday was not a great time to visit hotels in Edinburgh:
- Both The Glasshouse and The George were hosting weddings which prevented me from seeing much of the hotel.
- The brand new Gleneagles Townhouse was hosting a members-only party and I couldn't get in.
- The Kimpton Charlotte Square looks to have survived the pandemic with its character and vibe combining for a comfortable ambiance.
- 100 Princess Street is still in the early stages of construction.
- The Waldorf Astoria has had a very pleasing facelift and feels like the 5 star property that it once was again.
- Cheval Old Town Chambers and Cheval The Edinburgh Grand, featured hotel-like amenities and apartment-like rooms. Both Cheval properties offer a 5 star experience right in the middle of the city!
The bottom line is that Edinburgh is adding a lot of 5 star properties and shores up the 4 star portion of the market as well. It feels like the portion of the Edinburgh Hotel that we focus on has grown by 50% or more in the 3 years since I last visited! In the past, availability was often a challenge, so more hotels means more great options for you in the future.
I enjoyed a great dinner at the Hotel du Vin before heading to bed for the night. The next morning came early as I had to return to the airport to meet 16 family members arriving early in the morning! Time to switch from hotel inspector to tour guide!