2014: great expectations and nice surprises!

As a new business we are always taking a good hard look at ourselves, what we do and how we deliver to our guests, but New Year is traditionally the time to set new ambitious goals.

I have four resolutions for 2014. Firstly, Edinburgh’s Old Town provides an intriguing, atmospheric and rich backdrop to our day-to-day lives and the longer I work here the more I want to find out about Edinburgh’s Closes.

From former residents to the ghosts that are still meant to walk the cobbled lanes, from the architecture and town planning that gave us these narrow streets to the uses of the different buildings that remain (which range from breweries to printing presses). The history of the area is a key part of who we are and it is fascinating whether you are simply passing through as a guest or someone who works here all year round.

My next resolutions are all about the business. We are going out to the world to talk about Old Town Chambers and, in particular, why serviced apartments are a positive choice. The comments we have had so far, either directly or through the main booking/review sites, have been tremendous. They give us the encouragement that we are doing the right things and doing them well. For us, it is about thinking differently, to raise and set new standards.

Our official launch in early 2014 will be our first chance to take our philosophy to a wider audience. Part of that message is that we make serviced apartments rock!  Self-catering has been around for years. The same might be said for serviced apartments. But with the Old Town Chambers serviced apartments there is a big difference.

Our apartments have been designed in such a way, and located so perfectly, that they offer the independent traveller far greater independence, freedom and space than anything that has gone before. They also offer a new level of luxury and style that is unquestionably on a par with the best 5 star hotels. The experience we can provide we hope will help change perceptions of serviced apartments for UK travellers in particular and that is one thing we want to achieve in 2014.

Finally, I want to reach out to the business community to promote long stays. As a home from home, the Old Town Chambers is an ideal alternative to a hotel. Its city centre location is also perfect for any corporate exec looking to relocate to Edinburgh and who needs a base to become fully acquainted with Scotland’s capital.

It is exciting times for Old Town Chambers as we head into 2014, but we believe in our product, aim to work hard and grasp every opportunity with style! Happy New Year!

Julie Grieve

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Breathing new life into Edinburgh’s oldest townhouse

One of the most exciting developments at the Old Town Chambers Edinburgh is the transformation of a 15th Century townhouse on Advocate’s Close into a stunningly contemporary living space.

Chambers Apartments 33

The building itself has seen many uses over the centuries, but at its heart it is a family home and it is our aim to combine its historic characteristics with modern day luxury to create that same sense of domestic comfort and ease.

Records show that the townhouse pre-dates 1490 and was first occupied by wealthy merchants who would have carried out their business on the Royal Mile. The building’s solid stone walls, original fireplaces and even painted wall panels and beams have now all been restored and will feature in its renewed form as a unique city centre serviced apartment.

The new internal design will remain true to the period, but because we like to think differently, we are introducing many complimentary contemporary fixtures and fittings, including a free standing bath in the principle bedroom and the most beautiful smoked oak wide board timber flooring.

The open plan living area on the first floor has two original stone fireplaces and the plan is to fit one with a stove fire and have a couple of high backed arm chairs by the fireside. We are also adding a magnificent long solid oak topped banquet style dining table adjacent to the kitchen, with benches and chairs to seat eight.

The layout of the kitchen and finishes used here have been detailed to blend into the room and appear more ‘furniture like’ than kitchen and has a tall handle-less storage wall which conceals majority of the appliances.

Breathing new life into the buildings of Edinburgh’s historic, medieval Closes is what we are all about. Advocate’s, Roxburgh’s and Warriston’s Close have long been neglected and yet represent a rich and fascinating part of Edinburgh’s past. Now we are opening up the Closes, bringing in new restaurants such as Zizzi and by designing in open spaces and new vistas all the way out over Princes Street Gardens, this is once again a dynamic part of the city centre.