Edinburgh has seen a huge growth in serviced apartments in recent years, some good, some brilliant and some an embarrassment to the industry. Today we review The Knight Residence luxury serviced apartments, which falls firmly in the brilliant classification.
The Knight Residence sits in the West End of the city, tucked behind Edinburgh Castle. The Knight Residence is very close to the popular Grassmarket area of town, with its fab restaurants, bars and pubs, and only a short walk further on you reach the rest of the city’s main tourist sites.
The 5-Star Knight Residence has been in business for many years (since 1999) and has continued to develop and add quality features as guests have demanded. There are 28 luxury apartments to choose from – one, two or three bedroom – split into Superior and Comfort grades, the Comfort grade aimed at those looking to stay longer than four nights. The apartments are set in two blocks – I couldn’t see any reason to request one block over the other.
The Knight Residence has its own secure and flood-lit car park and only costs £5 per day. All profit made from parking goes to Trees4Scotland to plant trees. Nice touch.
Apartments are bright, modern and very well appointed. Fittings are of a very high standard and streets ahead of most new-build apartments. The design and decor is modern, elegant and comfortable.
All kitchens are full integrated with oven, hob, fridge/freezer, microwave, kettle, toaster, combined washing machine and tumble dryer, dishwasher and a full complement of cooking and dining utensils. Comfort grade apartments also have a dishwasher, freezer and breakfasting table.
Bathrooms are clean and spacious, with a shower over a bath, and loads of high-end toiletries to enjoy.
One bedroom apartments have a queen bed. The two bedroom apartments have a queen bed in one room and a twin in the other. All bedrooms are of a good size. Apartments have a sofa bed in the lounge, if an extra bed is required. Each apartment has a spacious living room with dining and work areas. Apartments are packed with a widescreen TV, CD player, DVD player, digital cable TV in SKY sports, direct dial telephones and even voicemail. Each bedroom has its own TV with integrated DVD player – most important in my eyes. Each apartment has its own collection of CDs, DVDS, board games and books, plus there’s a media library next to reception with some very recent DVDs availabile to hire. Apartments also provide a hairdryer, iron and ironing board. There is an electronic safe and the WiFi is free – which worked well on our visit.
The Welcome Pack provided on the first morning is extensive, with quality produce. Plenty food here to keep you going for a few breakfasts. In addition, there’s a starter pack with teas, coffees, milk and biscuits, washing and dishwasher powder. If you do want to take advantage of the fully fitted kitchen you only have to nip 50 yards right out of reception to the local Sainsbury for ingredients. My tip for those lucky enough to stay in Edinburgh on a Saturday, is to pop up to the Farmers Market (9am to 2pm) on Castle Terrace to get the finest local ingredients.
There are a few lap dancing bars nearby but patrons to these bars are usually keen to enter and leave discreetly so won’t be an issue.
The staff are engaging and extremely helpful, without being invasive. The management and staff recently won the Serviced Apartments Customer Care Award at the 2011 Scottish Hotel Awards, amongst other awards. There is a concierge on hand to help out with any restaurant bookings, taxis etc.. Check in times are from 2:30pm to 10pm. Check out is at 11am. Apartments are cleaned every day. Comfort grade apartments are cleaned Monday to Friday. Staff were very willing to store luggage outside of these hours. In fact, staff are always willing to help at The Knight Residence.
The apartments are ideal for couples, families, and business travellers. Parents with children in an evening routine will certainly appreciate the separate lounge and bedrooms. Also ask about the free Knighty Knight Bear for younger children. You won’t find boisterous stag or hen parties staying here.
The concept behind serviced apartments is to provide guests with the luxury of hotels, plus the space and comfort of having your own apartment. The Knight Residence manages to achieve this and much, much more.