23-27 Waterloo Place Edinburgh EH1 3BH 001314410440
Given its central location, just two minutes from Princes Street and less to Waverley Station, you'd probably forgive this chic business hotel for resting on its laurels. But in fact the Apex tries hard and succeeds – where more touristy boutique hotels in the city often do not. The hallway and bar give a promising sign of things to come, with plush burgundy sofas and a centrepiece chandelier. Their Deluxe City Rooms keep up appearances, with large windows looking out onto the city skyline, bold, contemporary floral interiors and lots of shiny chrome, lending things a stylish edge. With Nespresso coffee machines, whopping flatscreen TVs with surround sound and complimentary snacks, these rooms offer some nice added extras too. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the food served in Eliot's Restaurant. Delicate and sophisticated, it comfortably surpassed our expectations for a city centre hotel. Highlights included the mackerel salad starter, with a lusciously deep, smoky tea flavour, and a basil and Apple sorbet served with the rhubarb souffle, which spoke of summer garden parties. Plus if you're travelling by train, the Apex has an added benefit of a subterranean backdoor on Floor 0 (the hotel is built over a bridge, so that the ground floor front entrance is actually numbered Floor 5), which takes you out just a minute from the quieter side entrance to Waverley Station, on Calton Road.
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