A New Chapter for Edinburgh’s Dunstane Houses

Boutique hotel completes reinvention of historic Hampton House building

Following the renovation and relaunch of Dunstane House in August 2017, Hampton House – the second of the two hotel buildings that form the Dunstane Houses – has now been restyled and updated to match the boutique elegance of its older sister.

Eighteen months ago, Dunstane House, a William Playfair-inspired Victorian townhouse in Edinburgh’s elegant West End, emerged from a six-month million-pound renovation project with 16 uniquely styled luxury bedrooms, as well as a relaxed all-day restaurant and destination cocktail bar. Now, just across the road, Hampton House has undergone a similarly extensive makeover – reopening its doors to 18 beautiful bedrooms, the Stroma Lounge bar, dining and event space, a bright and relaxed garden conservatory and a private outdoor area.

Like Dunstane House, Hampton House has been designed to honour the building’s neoclassical history, and the Orkney Island roots of its owners, Shirley and Derek Mowat. The timeless, characterful aesthetic of both houses is the work of interior designer Hannah Lohan, who has previously designed properties including The Fish Hotel on Farncombe Estate, La Escondida in Spain, and the Farmers Arms in Devon.

Hannah has transformed both houses into contemporary urban sanctuaries with Scottish soul. Subtly mixing the old and the new, the evocative interiors combine the neoclassical design of old-town Edinburgh with a modern approach to pared-down luxury, creating the welcoming feel of a country-house hotel.

Neutral interiors punctuated by bold colours complement traditional features, including ornate stucco work, period fireplaces and intricate cornicing. Bespoke furniture such as over-sized armchairs and deep blue velvet sofas create a sense of comfort and decadence. Scenes from Edinburgh and Orkney adorn the walls of both houses – original artworks curated by local artist Nicky Brooks of Edinburgh’s Red Door Gallery. Inspired by another of the Mowats’ personal passions, classic car photography is another common visual theme between the houses. In the Ba’ Bar and Lounge – the heart of Dunstane House – a special Orkney collection curated by students of Edinburgh College of Art is on show.

Named in honour of the Kirkwall Ba’, the rough and rambunctious ballgame played every year on the streets of the Orcadian capital, the Ba’ Bar is an elegantly laid-back space with deep blue interiors and the sophisticated feel of a members’ club. Alongside a seasonal modern menu of reworked Scottish classics, including cullen skink, haggis bon bona and seared Orkney scallops, the Ba’ Bar serves up a gin-spiked afternoon tea, an inventive cocktail selection and a well-curated collection of craft spirits – including one of the widest selections of whisky in Edinburgh (all housed in a spectacular vintage wall cabinet).

Its counterpart in Hampton House is the newly refurbished Stroma Lounge, an elegant breakfast room, atmospheric honesty bar and versatile events space, and the nearby garden conservatory is a serene spot to escape the fast pace of city and while away a morning over coffee and cake.

Between them, Hampton House and Dunstane House offer guests 35 bedrooms, ranging from snug singles and luxurious doubles to the grandeur of the four ‘Orkney Suites’ and the family-size indulgence of the sprawling new Hampton Suite. These spectacular suites celebrate their Victorian past with features such as bold Jane Churchill peacock print wallpaper, four-poster beds, elaborate chandeliers, antique armoires and free-standing copper bathtubs. All rooms include WiFi, large Samsung Smart TVs, Egyptian cotton linens and ensuites with Noble Isle products, and many rooms also feature Nespresso coffee machines, hand-made Vispring beds and Roberts digital radios.

Hailing from Iran and Afghanistan, original Persian rugs pay homage to Edinburgh’s historic relationship with the Silk Road, and throughout the hotel, traditional Orkney tweed, Scottish-wool throws, stone-topped coffee tables and rustic muted tones celebrate the Mowats’ Orkney heritage.

Although bedrooms in both Dunstane and Hampton have been finished to the same standard of luxury, each house has its own distinct atmosphere. Centering on the Ba’ Bar and with rooms ripe for romance, Dunstane House is lively and more couple-orientated; whereas the spacious suites and privacy afforded by Hampton House make it the more peaceful and family-friendly of the two – a private-house-style retreat in the heart of Edinburgh.

Having two buildings lends the Dunstane Houses the benefit of flexibility. Both Dunstane House and Hampton House are available for exclusive use – either individually or together – and have a number of versatile event spaces, making them ideal for exclusive family take-overs, wedding celebrations, business meetings and private parties.

The location is another bonus – the Dunstane Houses is set apart from the bustle of the city but within easy walking distance of the attractions of central Edinburgh. The hotel concierge is always on hand to fast-track guests into the city’s hotspots or arrange experiences and excursions in Edinburgh or beyond. Guests are also welcome to request a guided tour in one of owner Derek Mowat’s vintage cars, exploring old-town Edinburgh, out to East Lothian or over to Fife, to discover some of Scotland’s beautiful wilderness spots.

The completion of the Hampton House renovation marks the end of a three-year labour of love for the Mowat family that has seen the transformation of two historic buildings and the creation of a one-of-a-kind hotel experience in the heart of Scotland’s capital. The Dunstane Houses was named ‘Boutique Hotel of the Year’ at the Scottish Hotel Awards 2018, and now its reinvention is complete, more accolades surely await…

The Dunstane Houses
4 West Coates & 5 Hampton Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5JQ
Phone +44 (0)131 337 6169
Mobile +44 (0)7712136800