G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh
Opened in 2009 under a different name, the G&V became part of the Quorvus Collection in 2014. As a result, the past two years have seen a gradual revamp of the only five-star hotel on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh; newly designed suites, a spruced up lobby, a stylish brand-new bar and a refurbished restaurant – and as if this wasn’t enough, they’ve got bees making delicious honey on its roof. SPACE’s Tonje Odegard had a closer look…
Set on the historic Royal Mile in Edinburgh, right in the heart of the Old Town, the design-led G&V’s interiors is rich in its Scottishness while adding a modern twist to it all. The theme of dramatic design inspired by the country’s heritage with a splash of vibrant colours consistently runs throughout the 136-room hotel, creating a wonderful journey from start to finish.
In 2015, the hotel decided to individually redesign its nine suites using talented Scottish interior designers and artists. These includes fashion designer Judy R Clark, artist Christine Clark, design duo Timorous Beasties, artist and textile designer Hatti Pattisson, interior design studio Graven, and furniture designer Holster. The one-of-a-kind suites truly make the G&V special, adding a strong sense of personality to the hotel.
The Judy R Clark suites are probably the most traditional-looking of the nine. With deep colours, early 20th century wooden furniture and patterned rugs, the rooms feel quintessentially Scottish. The beams in the ceiling have been painted with random smears of colour – colours that are subtly represented in the rest of the rooms’ interiors. Shades of tufts blue, red, amber and purple create a warm and inviting feel, completed by glass-painted lanterns hanging from the ceiling.
The most remarkable about Christine Clark’s top-floor suite is the gigantic azure blue painting covering the entire southern wall. Resembling where the sky meets the sea, it’s a dramatic element in an otherwise calm room. The periodic furniture in vibrant-patterned pinks and blues are classic examples of the traditional-meets-modern look G&V is going for, and it’s done is such a delicate way. What really brings the room together is the deep blue feature wall behind the bed, making the spacious area feel intimate and homey.
Design duo Timorous Beasties’ suite has abundance of natural light from the giant windows covering the eastern wall – the windows also allows for breath-taking and atmospheric views of the city. The walls are covered in an exciting bespoke mirror-patterned wallpaper in shades of grey, while the bed throw, furniture and rug have a print of black and white spiky bush leaves. The wall separating the leisure area and the bedroom has a startling, stripy wallpaper in French rose pink. The contrast really brings the room together, with the help from light wooden floors. The little detail of the lacquered red wardrobe door is testament to the simple, yet impactful design that truly is intriguing.
Hatti Pattisson, artist and textile designer, was responsible for two suites – each uniquely designed. One, with a corner view of Victoria Street, Edinburgh Castle and Camera Obscura – a flattering feature in itself – has heavy golden drapes and light unfinished wooden floors. A lone painting of a sunset orange meadow under a blue sky hangs on the wall. Prints of the painting are represented in all the soft furnishings of the room – the lampshades, the decorative pillows and even in the seams of the furniture. The second suite has gone down the same route, this time using various shades of blue. The stunning sea side-like painting’s pattern and colours are portrayed in the furniture, headboard and soft furnishing. Mid-century furniture is applied in both rooms with curvy edges and funky finishes.
The superior rooms offer stunning views of Arthur’s Seat and St Giles’ Cathedral through its floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing plenty of natural light to flood in. Black and white string curtains, mirrored walls behind the bed, and black and white printed wallpaper reflecting the cobbled streets of Edinburgh are all elements that make these rooms modern and fun. Contrasting and bringing it all together is the mid-century furniture and the locally woven wool throw in a houndstooth pattern. The spacious rooms are dotted with intricate details.
The bathrooms have small tiles in blacks, whites and grey, spacious showers, huge mirrors and several mirrors. Classic and beautiful.
Local interior designers Graven, who designed one of the suites, were also responsible for the refurbishment of the ground-floor lobby and bar area, alongside The Gorgeous Group. This was completed in November 2016.
Following the design theme from the guestrooms, the bar is a striking and colourful welcome from the brick streets outside. Lit up in funky colours of purple, red, green and blue, the vibrant atmosphere is youthful, playful and elegant.
Opposite the entrance is a divider wall made out of a bookcase, featuring intriguing pieces of art, lit up by changing blue and purple lights. Funky seating groups and a long communal table guides you to the reception, made out of tall, free-standing, silver, oval-shaped desks draped with silver string curtains. Several round-shaped birch wood metal pendant lamps hang low over the white marble communal table and giant oval lampshade hover over the reception desks.
Behind the bookcase divider wall is the G&V new cocktail bar, Epicurean. The menu is inspired by the Scottish Colourists, with the aim of taking the guests on a Scotsman’s journey of Botanical Europe. The vibrant cocktails with bursts of colour running through them are reminiscent of the movement’s engaging paintings.
The splash of colour from the Scottish Colourists is apparent in the design too. Dark vertical wooden panels on the wall create the perfect backdrop for the blue and purple lights coming from the bookcase. With intricate details, white marble table surfaces and spinning bar stools, the place feels young, vibrant and cool.
The white marble bar really stands out with and works really well with the black and white tiled floor in a houndstooth pattern. The dark wooden panel from the walls are also represented in the bar’s front. Large, diner-style booths with benches in maroon leather form the second half of the bar, which works as an inviting element in the room.
The G&Vs restaurant, the award-winning Italian eatery Cucina, completed its refurbishment in July 2016. Timorous Beasties, in charge of the revamp of two of the hotel’s suites, did the interiors for the restaurant.
Although a large restaurant, it’s made intimate by the clever use of printed wallpaper in a dramatic pattern, dynamic art and strong colours. Pink is heavily represented, but not in an overpowering sense – the balance is just right. The duo at Timorous Beasties have made clever use of the structural pillars in the room, inflicting huge, pink, mirror-patterned prints on them – similar to the prints seen it their suite. The pillars are both decorative in terms of becoming an art piece, and functional in terms of helping to break the room up. A similar print is featured in the wallpaper on the right wall as you enter the restaurant.
The bright red and turquoise table surfaces also contribute to making the restaurant inviting and homey. The squishy cushions with colourful floral and paint prints add a residential feel as well.
The wave-shaped art pieces hanging on the main wall to the left as you enter are energetic and form an interesting contrast to the wallpaper behind. There’s lots going on, lots of impressions, but it works, as you’ve got the plain, grey sofa to calm it all down.
Diner-style booths identical to the ones in the downstairs bar are also scattered around the room, making a more comfortable option for larger groups.
Another lovely element to the restaurant is the outside area, nestled in a backyard of surrounding buildings. The neighbouring houses have a gorgeous grey exposed brick façade that creates a cosy and warm atmosphere. With fairy lights illuminating the area after dark and terrace heaters making it bearable to enjoy during cold evenings, it’s a perfect spot to enjoy a night cap.
All in all, the G&V Royal Mile Edinburgh is a beautiful hotel with outstanding design. The strong story of a proud Scottish heritage with a twist of urban contemporariness is consistent throughout the hotel and therefore very clear.