Old Town Chambers: Dreams Realized in the Heart of Edinburgh

by Keith Savage · 1 comment


The Old Town Chambers, Edinburgh, Scotland

Yes, dreams. My dreams.

I’m so choosy about accommodations when I travel and yet I’ve been unable to articulate the particular style and flavor that appeals to me. I just know it when I see it, and this is why I spend countless hours mining the web for something that glitters to my eye.

Edinburgh makes it even harder because it overflows with high-end accommodations, from top-of-the-line B&Bs like Six Brunton Place to world-class hotels like The Balmoral, and every year new and interesting options present themselves to visitors enjoying Europe’s greatest city.

That’s a good thing, especially since my old standby Elmview B&B closed not long ago.

Since then I’ve been floundering in my recommendations – I’m often asked what’s the best place to stay (not an easy answer) – because while I dearly love this Quartermile Serviced Apartment it has a minimum stay and sometimes you only have a night or two.

And then I found Old Town Chambers (or, to be fair, Sarah did as usual) and my dreams were given body.

The Old Town Chambers are a collection of 50 serviced apartments in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. These apartments cling to three different closes running off the Royal Mile toward New Town. The closes are my favorite part of Old Town and the location of Old Town Chambers manages to capture the atmosphere and magic of this most historic part of Edinburgh without subjecting one to the noise and clamor of the Royal Mile. The thought of staying among Reformation-era tenement buildings repurposed for contemporary serviced apartments just across from St. Giles Cathedral was too much – I had to stay there.

I was a little concerned about finding Old Town Chambers since the closes are notoriously disorienting. Thankfully, the instructions for finding the main office were solid, and with a little bit of an eagle eye I spotted the distinctive Old Town Chambers sign by Roxburgh Close.

Arrival to my apartment was seamless. A couple of our close friends from Madison were staying with us and they had already checked in, but we were greeted by a warm, professional staff member and led to our room through stylish halls that reminded me of the Starship Enterprise’s luxury quarters (if such a thing existed). All of the apartments and exterior doors use keyless entry so you just have to remember a code instead of a key.

Upon entering the apartment I was hit with a full salvo of luxury and comfort. Hardwood floors, big, bright window, muted colors, polished chrome, and plush furniture. Contemporary, minimalist, clean. This, this is my style. I pop in a pod and make a small Nespresso to take the edge off the travel day from Spain. Our friends are here. There’s a ridiculous view out to New Town that hasn’t been seen in 200 years.

Life is good.

Our apartment is a cozy space – it’s not huge by any stretch of the imagination – but the space is maximized by the arrangement of all the parts and can easily handle two couples or a small family. This is a good place to point out that no two apartments are the same as they focus on working with the historic space (this part of Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage site).

The kitchenette leads into a great sitting area with the aforementioned stunning view. The master bed takes up the other half of this room. It’s clear immediately, and undoubtedly the next morning, that Old Town Chambers spared no expense on the furnishings. The bed put me to sleep faster than anesthesia and all of the tables, chairs, and wardrobes are sturdy, handsome pieces of work. Also, how can it be this quiet in the heart of Edinburgh?

Sliding farmhouse style doors allow entry to the bathroom from two sides. Polished chrome and sparkling porcelain set the tone for this tasteful, bright space. A massive, freestanding tub fills one side of the bathroom across from the tiled shower and sink. A nice touch is that the toilet has its own small room and door.

Finally, on the backside of the bathroom opposite the sitting area/bedroom hides another queen-size bed with a privacy curtain. Our friends claimed this nook and raved about the sleep they had.

I was highly impressed by the discreet service of the desk staff. Our friend’s instrument was lost in transit from the USA and they went above and beyond to help ensure he received the instrument despite the fact that he was leaving the next day.

No detail was forgotten here, and of course the wifi was excellent!

Old Town Chambers offers visitors to Edinburgh an alternative to the standard accommodation options. These apartments meet the needs of choosy travelers like me who seek independence, convenience, and luxury, and they’re perfect for business travelers, romantic breaks, and family vacations as well.

I can’t speak highly enough of Old Town Chambers. It’s a shame I was only to spend one night in Edinburgh on my last trip because I would have loved to make this my base for exploring more of this great city. I now have a place I can point to and say “this, this is my style.”

In a perfect world, accommodations don’t get in the way of enjoying the destination. In a dream world, accommodations accentuate it.

Disclosure: The Old Town Chambers provided me with a complimentary night’s stay. All thoughts and opinions expressed here, as always, are my own.


SimmieNo Gravatar June 18, 2015 at 7:49 AM

I’m just leaving a 3-night stay in Edinburgh arranged by my tour company. We enjoyed excellent accommodations at Novotel in Old Town on Lauriston.
However, if I come back on my own, will definely look into your recommendation.

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