When we were asked to enjoy a staycation at Salisbury Green Hotel we jumped at the chance. Both Phil and I have lived in the area previously and have very fond memories of our time there. It’s a thriving part of the city with easy access to everything Edinburgh has to offer and its transport links, plus the hotel sits at the foot of the magnificent Arthur’s Seat.
But proximity to one of Edinburgh’s most famous natural landmarks is not the only attraction of staying at the Salisbury Green Hotel. It’s also part of Edinburgh University and its selection of public accommodations. We thought there was something a little intriguing about staying in a hotel that’s located inside a university campus, so we were excited to pay it a visit It’s a little like being let in on a secret world that you might not otherwise have experienced!
The Salisbury Green Hotel & Bistro
Reaching the hotel means a drive or wander through the leafy and peaceful campus, past a beautiful old building that could easily have been taken straight out of Hogwarts.
Parking is on a first come, first serve basis, but on the weekend we stayed the staff weren’t in attendance so we had no problems finding a space, even though we arrived in the late afternoon.
Two buildings actually make up the hotel, and in comparing the two there’s no getting away from the fact that 18th-century Mansion House is definitely the better looking with its old style period charm. However, once inside Masson House we were pleasantly surprised by the modern and comfortable decor. The welcoming lounge area is the perfect example of this, you could easily enjoy an evening sitting in one of the high-backed grey armchairs chatting with other guests or enjoying a drink while looking out at the peaceful surroundings.
We were provided with a recently refurbished Deluxe Room. I was instantly struck by its spaciousness, with the provided travel cot fitting easily next to the large bed and still leaving ample space to move around. Plenty of surfaces and storage meant unpacking Baby B’s nighttime and travel paraphernalia was easy, and there was a wardrobe to hang and tidy away your more adult sized clothes in too.
All too often hotel rooms only have the bed or a desk chair to sit on so I loved the large comfy armchair positioned in the corner of the room near one of the windows. This was much more comfortable, especially for keeping Baby B fed.
There was free wifi and a spacious desk for working as well, with the bonus that it also had USB ports, which are always appreciated when you carry as much gear that needs charging as we do!
Hands down though, one of the best things about our room was the lovely view! Of course, I knew we were located by Arthur’s Seat but I didn’t expect to be able to see it in all its glory right outside our window. Speaking of, the windows had fitted blackout blinds and were HIGHLY appreciated! Daylight in Edinburgh can last 20hrs in the summer and darkness has become a necessary requirement for getting Baby B to sleep. We carry our own blackout curtain as part of our essential baby travel items, but it’s fantastic when a hotel has them fitted already.
Checking out the tea tray is always key for me when staying at a hotel because I definitely need my morning coffee. Salisbury Green did not disappoint! Filter coffee with a miniature caffetiere (LOVE), as well as 4 or 5 different teas and a proper teapot made this tray one of the best I’ve ever seen at a hotel. The only thing that would have made it even better? Maybe some biscuits…
Overall the room provided an elegant but relaxing atmosphere, with a calming blue and tan colour scheme and plenty of space for us all to stretch out and chill. It had everything we needed to make it feel like a home away from home for the night!
As a note, the rooms in Mansion House are all unique in size and decorated with different period features.
As mentioned, the hotel is located close to Holyrood Park, home to Arthur’s Seat, which is one of the highlights of a visit to Edinburgh and somewhere I recommend all visitors to go! The views over Edinburgh from there are stunning, even if you only walk part of the way up Salisbury Crags, the hotel’s namesake. You can also walk around the park to Holyrood Palace, Dynamic Earth, and the foot of the Royal Mile.
It’s also easy to access many of Edinburgh’s top attractions as you’re a stone’s throw from the city centre. It takes under half an hour to walk to the Royal Mile or Waverley Train Station through the Southside of Edinburgh, which is one of my favourite areas. There are tons of places to eat and drink, including some of my favourite cafes, Kilimanjaro Coffee and Black Medicine.
The Meadows, a large public park, and Summerhall, and art and events venue, are close, as well as the National Museum of Scotland.
And, if you’re visiting Edinburgh for the Festivals in August you’re in an excellent spot to visit the Pleasance and George Square. These are two of the bigger venues where the atmosphere is really fun as people come to eat and drink as well as see some of the many shows on offer at both.
Eating In – The Bistro
Staying in a hotel with a baby or young children makes you really appreciate an on-site restaurant. It’s so good to be able to duck upstairs if necessary (which it definitely was when Baby B had a little ‘incident’). Even for those without kids, an on-site restaurant means not having to go out again after a long day exploring.
The Bistro has a small menu but has enough options that you could eat there for a few nights and still keep having something different. The reason for its size is environmental, as all the food is brought in fresh every single day to reduce wastage.
I ordered the grilled Scottish Salmon with crushed new potato and beautiful lemon and tarragon sauce. It was so delicious! The salmon was cooked absolutely perfectly, and still tasted amazing when it was brought out for a second time after I had to nip upstairs to get Baby B, and myself (don’t ask) changed, an unfortunately regular occurrence for a new mum! The staff had been kind enough to keep it warm for me while I was otherwise engaged.
Phil had the Seared Chicken with sweet potato fondant and grilled asparagus and was equally impressed with it and the Skye lager he was recommended by the waitress.
For dessert, I chose Sticky Toffee Pudding, a British classic and one of my favourites. Although the cake itself was delicious I personally would have loved a little more sauce. A little jug to pour over would have really completed it. But, to be fair, I’m a bit obsessed with toffee sauce and could drink it! Phil had the Lemon Cheesecake, which one of the staff kindly brought up to our room because Baby B was ready for bed by that point and we sadly had to make a hasty exit.
I do have to give a special mention to the staff, who made us feel really comfortable as a family. They were attentive and welcoming at every stage of our visit. Dealing with our back and forth from the table to the room with a grumpy baby throughout our meal, without batting an eyelid. It can be hard staying somewhere new with a baby and there’s the fear is that you’re ruining others stay when your little one isn’t very happy. Understanding staff really help make the whole experience more manageable for all involved.
Time for Bed!
Unfortunately, as sometimes happens with a baby, we had a bit of a sleepless night. This had absolutely nothing to do with the hotel! If anything, it was made easier by the blackout blinds that meant we could sleep in a little longer, the space to walk around to rock Baby B, and the comfy bed to rest in even if we weren’t always sleeping. Teething, however, was not a problem that could be easily solved!
In the morning the rainfall shower was an absolute delight, helping wash away some of our tiredness. I could have stayed in it for days. Definitely felt more refreshed after that and a proper filter coffee!
Breakfast at the Bistro
The breakfast spread in the Bistro was both extensive and delicious, with hot options including haggis (one of my favs!), eggs, sausages, and bacon, plus cold continental choices, including muesli, fruit, cheese, meats, and pastries. Our second lot of coffee for the day was strong and unlimited, just what we needed. A change of staff didn’t mean a change in standards and we were instantly brought a high chair as well as baby cutlery, another lovely touch.
Following breakfast we wandered around the grounds of the university, checking out some of the most beautiful buildings, including St Leonard’s Hall which looks like something straight out of Harry Potter (or maybe inspired it, like many other Edinburgh locations! We then enjoyed taking Baby B for his first walk around Holyrood Park and some of our former haunts to see Arthur’s Seat before driving home.
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This post is in collaboration with Edinburgh First, who run the hotel, but as always, all opinions are entirely my own.