Hotel Review: Aaron Glen Guesthouse, Edinburgh
As we were nearing the end of our girly Scotland road trip (have you been following?) I would like to share with you a fantastic B&B which was kind enough to host us for our stay near Edinburgh. Aaron Glen Guesthouse is a converted farmhouse that is located around 20 minutes from Edinburgh’s city centre. The location may not be central or flashy, but the bus service into town is convenient and offers a great option to those who don’t want to stay right in the centre of the city.
For us the location was perfect for a different reason: Aaron Glen Guesthouse is situated in Loanhead, which is less than 2 miles from the world famous Rosslyn Chapel. This is why we had come to Edinburgh in the first place – we had decided to snub the city centre in favour of this fascinating chapel. But this is for another post.
As we learned during our stay, the proximity to Rosslyn Chapel makes this guesthouse the preferred choice for many people who also deal professionally with the chapel and its heritage.
Let me tell you, in Great Britain there are B&Bs and then there are B&Bs. Aaron Glen may be a B&B in the technical sense, but it is also a guesthouse. A hybrid between a personalised family experience and a hotel. So on the one hand you receive a warm welcome by your host Carolyn and can enjoy the intimate atmosphere of an accommodation that only offers five guestrooms altogether. On the other hand you will experience the luxury of spotless and well equipped bedrooms and a first-class breakfast in the morning.
To reach our room we crossed the backyard and climbed the stairs to the second level. The room had two comfortable beds with thick mattresses and offered plenty of space for a whole family. The style was clean, contemporary and tasteful, just like you would expect from a 4-star hotel. A flatscreen TV, hairdryer and free wifi ensured that we felt immediately at home.
A nice touch were the free Scottish sweets in the room – it’s the little thoughtful things like this that turn an ordinary stay into a fantastic stay.
After we had settled in our host Carolyn was more than helpful in providing us with personalised dinner recommendations in the area and even helped us book a table.
After dinner we were delighted to discover that the promised honesty bar in the lounge room was well stocked and ready to go. Did I say well stocked? Expect a few surprises among the bottles, some rarities as well as some excellent Scottish drops.
What was even better: as Carolyn confirmed with us, prices for the drinks at Aaron Glen Guesthouse hadn’t changed in 17(!) years. So we made sure it was the 90’s all over again… you can imagine how the atmosphere in the small lounge room loosened over the course of the evening! No better way to get to know your fellow guests and to hear some interesting stories from all around the world. Not a single moment did we regret that we did not leave the guesthouse to head to the local pub.
In the morning, the lounge room had magically transformed to a small breakfast room. Same faces, some loosened atmosphere, a perfect way to start the day. By now we felt truly at home.
What a surprise to see so many out-of-the-ordinary breakfast items on the buffet. Homemade compotes, tropical juices, fresh berries… not many guesthouse owners will understand that this small extra investment makes such a difference to their guests.
No wonder guests are returning to Aaron Glen year after year after year.
The cooked breakfast selection read just like from a fancy café – eggs Pacifico (a variation of the popular Eggs Benedict but with salmon instead of ham) is a must-try, and so are the potato waffles with maple syrup.
With this hearty breakfast we were almost again on our way, off to see the wonderful Rosslyn Chapel, but not without some good advice and off-the-beaten-path tips from Carolyn which turned out to make our visit to Rosslyn Chapel a much richer and personal experience.
Thank you to the team at Aaron Glen Guesthouse for hosting us for the night!
Aaron Glen Guesthouse, 7 Nivensknowe Road, Loanhead, Midlothian (Scotland) http://www.aaronglen.com/