Stay at the Channings Hotel

How Good Is This Elegant Boutique Hotel in Edinburgh?

Why Stay at the Channings Hotel,
4-star Boutique Hotel in Edinburgh City Centre

  • Traditional and elegant Edwardian hotel with tasteful yet quirky period decor
  • Friendly and attentive staff often praised for their high level of service.
  • Fine dining, luxury amenities in guests rooms and informal character help make it feel like home away from home
  • Location: Quiet location in the Stockbridge residential area of the New Town, not far from the city centre but not in the heart of Edinburgh.
  • Rates: Average room price per night: £87-£173 ($137-$272) but special deals can save you up to 50%.

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Are you considering a stay at the Channings Hotel in Edinburgh? You will not be alone as this traditional hotel, part of the Townhouse Group of hotels, is renowned for its friendly staff and informal atmosphere, its tasteful yet quirky period decor. With many rooms inspired by Antarctica explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, who once lived there, the Channings seems to be a unique hotel in many senses. But is it a better choice than other four star hotels closer to the City Centre? And will it live up to your expectations?

I've read hundreds of reviews from guests who have stayed at the Channings in the last 3 years and the following is a clear and unbiased summary of what these guests really thought of their stay at this hotel.

What's special about the Channings Hotel?

  • Traditional yet quirky boutique hotel, where the explorer Ernest Shackleton once lived. Converted from five Edwardian townhouses, the Channings has many period pieces, memorabilia, and humorous art.
  • The friendliness of the staff and the relaxed atmosphere are the most apparent aspects, making the hotel a real home away from home.
  • Excellent dining, whether it is a full Scottish breakfast, or dinner taken in the renowned Channings Restaurant.
  • Location: Channings is situated in a quiet residential area in Stockbridge, near Dean Village, yet only a short walk or bus journey from the city centre.

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What do guests really think?

The vast majority of the reviews are extremely complimentary, with few exceptions, and there is a high number of repeat guests (or guests who wanted to return as quickly as possible!). From reading the reviews, it would appear that:

  • The overwhelming strength of the Channings Hotel is the staff themselves, for whom nothing is too much trouble. This was the view of almost all reviewers, bar a small percentage.
  • The hotel is elegant, atmospheric and traditional, yet not stuffy, and the friendly staff combined with the old world charm make guests feel comfortable and at home.
  • The location of the hotel attracted mixed reviews. Whilst most reviewers appreciated the fact that the hotel is in a quiet residential area in the New Town, a 15- minute walk from the city centre, some felt that they would have preferred to be closer to the centre.

The Channings Hotel in Edinburgh City Centre

Scottish Tourist Board Rated 4 Star Hotel

12-16 South Learmonth Gardens,
Postcode: EH4 1EZ
Tel: +44 (0)131 274 7401
Official Channings Website

How far is the Channings Hotel from the bus and train stations?
1.5 miles (2.5 km) approx

The Channings is close to Stockbridge and Dean Village in the New Town, near Edinburgh City Centre.

Visit Scotland star rating: 4 star Hotel
Hotel Reviews: Channings reviews

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My Recommendation

If you are looking for a friendly, traditional hotel with a difference, then Channings could be the perfect choice. The friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere seem to ensure that you can really relax and feel at home. Make sure that you are comfortable with the location of the hotel, as it is slightly further away from the heart of the city centre than other hotels.

The advantage of the New Town location is the quiet, secluded setting. The Channings is only a 15-minute walk to the city centre but this might not be suitable if you have difficulty walking unless you take a taxi or a bus, which many people seem to be happy to do. Based on the fact that many reviewers reported rooms varying greatly in size, make sure you know what type of room you are getting for your money.

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In Depth Review of the Channings Hotel in Edinburgh

Elegant and traditional townhouse hotel. Quiet location in Stockbridge.
Average room price per night: £87-£173 ($137-$272)

What is the Channings Hotel like?

The reviews consistently suggest that Channings is a charming and unique hotel, a refreshing change from other city chain hotels (it's part of the renowned Townhouse group of hotels). It has the atmosphere of a Scottish country home while still being close to the city centre. It is traditional, but informal, and the level of service from staff is second to none.

Four Star Channings Hotel in Edinburgh

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Building and room design

  • Renovated from five Edwardian townhouses, the Channings Hotel retains a traditional feel through its tasteful yet opulent furnishings in velvet and silk and period style furniture.
  • Shackleton library is the most notable public room which has been tastefully renovated to retain many original features such as old leaded windows.
  • The guest rooms at the front enjoy stunning views to the Firth of Forth, whilst those at the back look over a secluded garden, although the basement rooms do not seem to have any view.
  • The rooms vary widely in size, a point made by many reviewers - some were disappointed with the size of their rooms, which they reported to be extremely small and cramped, whilst others described them as spacious and luxurious. I would therefore recommend that you check carefully which type of room you are booking.
  • A few guests reported that the shower pressure is too low in some rooms to comfortably take a shower. Another frequent point was that it is difficult to adjust the temperature, and some reviewers found some of the rooms to be hot and stuffy while others cold. One other negative point mentioned more than once was the fact that some double rooms have two single quilts instead of a double or king size one.
  • It would also seem that while some of the rooms have been revamped, others have not and are looking tired and in need of updating. Some reviewers also reported that the walls between rooms are very thin, and therefore the rooms were noisy.
  • The superior rooms are larger and have lovely features such as roll-top bath or Jacuzzi and four poster beds.
  • In honour of its famous inhabitant, there are five contemporary and richly decorated Shackleton Suites, each named after his expedition ships. They feature brightly coloured roll-top baths in the Italian marble bathrooms, overlooked by black and white prints of his expedition.
  • The guest rooms at Channings are equipped with all the facilities you would expect of a 4-star hotel, such as eTV, films on demand, Internet access, 24 hour room service, tea and coffee facilities, hairdryer and ironing board.

Staff and level of service

  • The friendliness and efficiency of the staff seems to be the hotel's forte judging by the overwhelming praise expressed in the vast majority of reviews. Many guests were at pains to stress this.
  • A very small number of reviewers were not of the same opinion, but they were in a minority.
  • A few reviewers complained of minor issues that were not resolved quickly enough, such as non-functioning TVs or remote controls, but this did not seem to detract from the enjoyment of their stay in most cases.

Food and drink

  • Breakfast was a real mixed bag of reviews. Most people raved over the exceptional quality and choice and considered breakfast a highlight, but some (and this seemed to be in less recent reviews) disliked breakfast or considered it average.
  • Others complained about slow service and lack of attention to detail. A sore point for some was that some items at breakfast, such as the hot chocolate, were not included in the breakfast price.
  • Most reviews suggested that dinner is excellent and reasonably priced, using local, seasonal, and organic ingredients in simple yet delicious French-influenced dishes.
  • There is also the possibility to eat and drink outside in the garden, weather permitting, and barbeque evenings are also held in the summer.
  • There is a cocktail bar with a working open fire which many seemed to like.

Location and parking

  • Channings is located in Stockbridge in the New Town, a secluded residential area just outside of Edinburgh city centre, overlooking private gardens.
  • The hotel is a 15-minute walk from Princes Street (800 metres away), and a 25-minute walk from the train station. The nearest bus stop is a short walk away and many guests seem to take the bus to reach the city centre.
  • Parking is on-street and free but many reviews suggest that this is not ideal as it can be difficult to park.

Nice touches

  • Warm Scottish hospitality seems to be the emphasis at Channings, and this shines through in all the reviews.
  • The quirky memorabilia in the public rooms and guest rooms, and the amusing art adorning the walls, all of which enhance the unique and atmospheric experience.
  • The Shackleton suites (if you want to splash out!), richly and brightly decorated, with life-size photographic prints of Ernest Shackleton's expeditions in the spacious bathrooms.

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