The Dunstane Houses

creative direction & photography CYNTHIA NGUYEN in collaboration with THE DUNSTANE HOUSES


The Dunstane Houses is a family-run five star boutique hotel property: set in two restored heritage Victorian townhouses, the Dunstane House and the Hampton House, with 35 rooms between them— featuring English interior, history and the classiest bars that provide Scottish treats, such as whiskies to wet your beak with. Within the heart of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, this property comes to life as a swanky yet inviting and charming persona, offering the most authentic Scottish experience and stay. 

The houses date back to 1851, where they were first built by George Lorimer as Victorian Villas with Jacobean/baronial style in mind, on land owned by George Heriot’s Trust. Followed by a thoughtful restoration process while preserving many of the buildings’ original architectural and design elements, The Dunstane Houses now operates as a boutique brand offering refined Scottish experiences within their striking walls— walls that display their tasteful, bold wallpapers, Scottish tartan tweeds, and counting plenty of windows that allow pools of light to pour in, drawing in the beautiful ornate mouldings on the high ceilings and wainscoting. At these heritage properties, there is an overwhelming amount of detail and refinement throughout the space, including a subtle narration of Orcadian influence— which comes through in the served food, such as the Orkney whole Kipper, the selected original artwork, and even the Orkney-based marshmallows you can receive in your room to pair with your hot chocolate. 


The Dunstane Houses are comprised of two Victorian townhouses which are situated across the street from one another, offering a 6 unique suites and a total of 35 beautiful and comfortable rooms between the two buildings.

Featured room is their Hamnavoe Suite on the top floor of the Hampton House (Room 202).


Guests can to enjoy the elegant high ceilings that are adorn with ornate mouldings, wallpaper and wainscoting. The interior is inspired by the neoclassical design of old-town Edinburgh, subtle Orkney details (island off the northeastern coast of Scotland) and English style interior.

The suites are design with a combination and the consideration of comfort and contemporary: from cloud-like, soft king-sized beds to walled flat-screen televisions displayed across the bed to enjoy after your long days of exploring, to old-world teak furnishing and modern lighting, to Persian rugs and walls with original artwork by Orkney artists. The traditional Scottish flare radiates through the space in the form of tartan accented cushions to the delicious homemade Scottish shortbread found replenished daily in the biscuit jars. 

On the main floor of the Hampton House is the dining space paired with the Honest Bar, where you will enjoy your morning meals (served in both houses), as well as create your own cocktail while bearing in mind the honesty system.

Enjoy food or afternoon tea at the main house across the street, the Dunstane House, where you can taste multiple plates of Scottish cuisine (must-tries are the Haggis Fritters with the delicious mustard sauce and the whole Orkney Kipper) and mouth-watering whiskies (with more than 100 single malts to choose from) and cocktails with the view of their bewitching fireplaces from your Chesterfield sofa.


The property is located in the captivating and peaceful neighbourhood of Coates and it is about 10 minutes away from the city centre. Everything in Edinburgh can be enjoyed by foot paired with sensible footwear. 

The nearest station is Waverley and is only a 10-minute work from Haymarket station. There is also a nearby stop for the tram that goes straight to Edinburgh Airport. 

You can experience Edinburgh’s Old Town that is made up of beautiful cobble stone streets and smoky painted sandstone buildings. The disfigured black patches that dress the buildings are said to be cause by the smoke of the city during the early ages of railways and pollution. In this area, you can walk along Edinburgh’s most famous street, the Royal Mile, which was the route for kings and queens for the last 500 years that connects to Edinburgh Castle (west) to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (east). As you walk along the Royal Mile, take a few photographs of J.K.Rowling’s greatest inspiration for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts school, the Edinburgh Castle. You can also pay a visit and rub the nose of the famous dog statue, The Greyfriars Bobby, who was a Skye Terrier who became famous for spending 14 years coming back to the grave of his owner until he had passed. 

The property is nearby the Scottish National Gallery, where you can enjoy some artwork and afternoon tea at their Scottish Cafe and Restaurant. Take a walk down or grab dinner at Portobello beach while viewing the sunset (which will eventually turn into a majestic foggy evening). You can enjoy some nachos, pints of beer or mulled wine at The Espy or grab some delicious mussels and cocktails at the cosy Boathouse. 

Pick up a few gifts and souvenirs like handwoven wool tartan goods or luxurious cashmere gifts along South Bridge and High Street, such as the Scottish Experiences Store. For Harry Potter fans, you can visit the Museum Context for themed clothing, collectibles, fan art in the form of lovely cards and posters, as well as photo opportunities around the spiral stone staircase. For unique gifts for the holidays and occasions, check out Mr. Wood’s Fossils where you might find well-preserved fossils of dinosaur remains, ammonites and gems that can go back later than 110 million years from around the globe— extremely ideal for those who love antiques, collecting, history and all sorts of detail. For vibrant and crafty gifts, check out Lackdhu, where you can find handmade ceramic magnets and ornaments, illustrated cards, hand-knitted jumpers and hats, felted brooches and much more. And because our health is our greatest wealth, gift some health-boosting teas, candles, oils and mulled wine or hangover cure kits at D. Atkinson Herbalist.


4 West Coates, Edinburgh EH12 5JQ, United Kingdom


Starting at $250/night for the Cosy Wee Double and $780/night for the Dunstane Suite (prices are in Canadian dollars)


For information or booking, visit their website and Instagram

A special thank you to Shirley and the entire staff at the property for hosting me during my visit.


As always, all opinions are my own.

I do not accept or review PR stays unless I had an enjoyable and genuine experience to share.


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