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Native Edinburgh review: ‘Cosy aparthotel reflects the city’s charms’

These recently renovated, fully serviced apartments in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town offer a chic and breezy home from home.

By Hollie Hilton

I had the pleasure of visiting the recently renovated Native Edinburgh aparthotel, a hotel made up of apartment style accommodation complete with living and cooking areas. The room offering includes studios, one bedroom, and one bedroom with an additional sofa bed.

As soon as I arrived I quickly got appreciated my cosy abode reflective of the city’s inherent charms.

The Native Edinburgh’s revamp is just in time for August’s influx of guests, from near and far, who flock to the Scottish capital for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  

The redesign infuses the city’s warmth into the walls of each room with hues reflecting whiskey tones and dark teals reminiscent of the night sky which looms over its high castle. Edinburgh-based designer Mairi Helena was even brought in to create custom wallpaper inspired by a love for Scotland’s colourful and textual landscapes. 

In the corner of the lobby, Counter serves fresh baked goods from Breadwinner, a local West-End bakery, as well as coffee, using beans from Red Squirrel Coffee, a Scottish roaster with an environmental focus on coffee production.

By night Counter becomes a secret speakeasy serving an array of alcoholic beverages and cocktails, again from local suppliers including Whitebox Cocktails who mixed up Native’s signature ‘Hippy Fizz’ – a drink made up of gin, patchouli leaf and pineapple shrub.  

The refurbished Georgian building contains 82 apartments, kitted with mini kitchens, a private lounge and a grand desk space for those ‘working from home’. Aparthotels by nature suit a variety of travelers, whether you just want some extra space on a weekend away, or you plan to commit to the full 30 days of the Fringe festival, like some fanatics certainly do.

Native’s larger rooms mean, even in a populous city like Edinburgh, you aren’t confined to a small box. Instead, an adequately equipped kitchen, which included a washer/dryer, a coffee machine, oven and microwave ensure a lengthy stay is facilitated by home comforts. 

Situated on Queen Street a road less trodden by tourists at the northernmost part of Edinburgh’s New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the area’s Neoclassical and Georgian architecture, guests of Native also have an abundance of opportunity to dine and drink locally, whether it be in the hustle and bustle towards Prince Street or via a short stroll past the Gardens into Stockbridge. During an event like Fringe, which overtakes the bars and restaurants of Edinburgh throughout the month of August, the latter is certainly recommended.

We stumbled upon The Pantry, just off Circus Pl. for some ‘eggs benny’ and a dirty chai, before checking out some local thrift stores in search of the extra layers we forgot to pack in anticipation of a stay in this windy city.  

In a month like august which sees comedians, artists, actors and other stage performers showcase over 55,000 performances across 317 venues in Edinburgh, there’s enough to keep you entertained. But Native’s own cultural programme of poetry readings, live jazz performances and DJ sets ensures it’s an aparthotel you don’t need to leave.