Review: The Bonham Hotel, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s central suburbs each have different flavours of their own. The cosy Dean Village tucked away along the banks of the Waters of Leith was high on our list but the closest we could find accommodation was The Bonham, a stately hotel in a Georgian tenement block in Drumsheugh Gardens.

It’s blowing a gale when we arrive to check in, the wind bitter and laden with sporadic downpours. We’re thankful the fireplace is operational, infrared heating illuminating fake logs with a rosy glow. There are refreshments behind reception: marshmallow twists and strawberry infused water to revitalise the weary traveller.

The staff bustle behind the counter and we check in with minimal fuss. We get directions to our room which is helpful because the place is a labyrinth of corridors and stairs. We’re in the basement and take the lift down to what I jokingly call the ‘servants quarters’.

However, I’ll wager the servants in Downtown Abbey never had beds like ours: super comfy and more pillows than I knew what to do with! The room was tastefully decorated in a sumptuous style and the furnishings perfectly married modern convenience with tasteful elegance.

In fact the only thing letting the room down was the view: we looked out at the car park behind the hotel. But as I told Ange, we probably wouldn’t be staying in the room very much.

A super solid desk supported the room guide, local attractions booklet and a menu for the restaurant upstairs. Later on we decided we’d eat at the restaurant but they were totally booked out: so get in early!

Tucked in the corner was an armchair and some more reading material on a small table.

Inside the walk in closet was the iron, hair dryer and more importantly for Edinburgh, an umbrella. If the rain had been unaccompanied by the gales it would have been more helpful!

The closet was an impressive size, accommodating two large suitcases, or one Angela, and the room safe sat on a shelf at (my) eye level.

While the room decor had a classic feel, modern touches abounded, including USB charging ports as part of the power points.

And I always enjoy a good chandelier, especially if it’s high enough for me not to get entangled in it!

The bathroom was bathed in natural light, the white tiles making it feel even brighter.

The toiletries were Noir by the White Company and nicely contrasted with the rest of the bathroom.

When we finally got to eat at the restaurant on the evening of the second night of our stay, we were early enough to be the first ones there; kind of a weird situation when we hadn’t been able to get in the previous evening. I guess an illustration of the different demands of a Sunday vs a Saturday night? It did mean that we had very attentive waitstaff.

The meal itself was all about the flavours: small portions but delicious. I started with the scallops and followed with the lamb (above) while Ange had the lagoustine tail with the beetroot and goats cheese gnochhi (below). We shared the chocolate and salted caramel cheesecake. Yum!

Would I return?

Sure! The Bonham is priced a little on the high side, but is a stately building close enough to the centre of town to be handy to everything Edinburgh has to offer, while being tucked away off the beaten path so street noise isn’t a problem.