Located in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh overlooking the Union Canal is the modern and well appointed Altido Vita aparthotel. Just a 10 minute walk from Princes Street and a short walk from Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile it’s in a perfect location to explore the city. Both Haymarket and Waverley railway stations are accessible on foot and there’s a regular bus service from just outside the door if required.
Arrival & Check-in
Check-in is from 3.00 p.m. and on our arrival we were met by Harry who made us feel very welcome. After quickly checking us in, he then gave us a quick tour of large ground floor area helping us to quickly become acquainted with the building.
There are two sets of fast lifts at each end of the building up to the studios and in no time at all we were entering our room on the 8th floor. Our studio was extremely spacious and very light and airy with its floor to ceiling windows. I couldn’t stop gazing out at the spectacular views of Lochrin Basin and the canal below.
The room had a modern, sleek design featuring a large bed, ample wardrobe and storage cupboards, an office corner with desk, adjustable chair and numerous USB and power sockets ideal for a change of scene to working from home. The Wi-Fi was simple to connect to with us only needing to log in once during our stay and provided a super fast service that was accessible from anywhere in the building. We also made good use of the large wall mounted Netflix enabled television which tilted so that it could be viewed from both the bed and window area.
Standing beneath the rainfall shower brought me to life nicely each morning using the fragrant complimentary Potager secret garden natural soap and Envoque toiletries.
The kitchen corner had both an induction hob and microwave and on opening the kitchen cupboards, we found them to be stocked with high quality items offering us the flexibility of eating in or out as we pleased.
We catered for ourselves one evening, enjoying a relaxing meal at the circular window table taking in the breathtaking canal side views. It couldn’t have been easier as there was a supermarket a couple of doors away meaning that we didn’t have to carry heavy items very far. Operating manuals for all the appliances were stored in one of the kitchen drawers which is always useful to find as everyone’s appliances differ slightly and no-one wants to waste time having to work things out.
A welcome pack contained Tea Lab speciality teas, pour over fresh coffee bags, bottled water and packets of delicious Scottish shortbread – an absolute must when staying north of the border.
A continental breakfast is included in the room rate and served on the ground floor each morning. The help yourself buffet included cereals, porridge, yoghurts, fresh fruit, croissants, pastries and waffles, the selection varying slightly but always very good and plentiful. A top of the range Franke coffee machine is available to guests throughout the day serving cappuccino, mocha, hot water for tea, etc. which was perfect not only at breakfast time but also for a hot drink whenever we returned to the aparthotel.
Altido at Vita has several open plan lounge areas all furnished in an industrial chic style complimenting the large interior. We made good use of the large 70″ television watching the final stages of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, relaxing on the cosy sofa seating area surrounding it and with the screen being so big I didn’t even need my glasses.
There’s also a co-working area with desks, sockets and lamps, ideal in these working from home days and a change of scene from up in the studio. We hadn’t come to work but did keep ourselves amused playing pool and table tennis, I’m a novice at pool but as we have a table tennis table at home, am always up for a game of ping pong. With video games consoles attached to several other screens and a large selection of board games and books I think it would be impossible to become bored even in rainy weather.
We popped down to the fitness centre to take a look around and even had a quick work out on both a rowing machine and an exercise cycle, the rest of the equipment being so high-tech that it was beyond me.
Out and About
There are so many lovely things to see and do in Edinburgh so here a few of my suggestions:
Princes Street Gardens
I always start with a walk through the beautiful Princes Street Gardens and gaze in awe at all the wonderful buildings surrounding them.
Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile
A good way to walk off a hearty breakfast for me is to climb the hill up to Edinburgh Castle and enjoy the far reaching city views from its ramparts. If you haven’t visited the castle I’d recommend spending time looking inside before wandering along the Royal Mile which leads down to Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament building. I always find so much to see along here from The Museum of Childhood to the magnificence of St. Giles Cathedral, not to mention the many inviting bars and cafes.
Victoria Street and Grassmarket
On the edge of Grassmarket it’s always a treat to walk along Victoria Street and pause to take lots of photos as it’s undoubtedly Edinburgh’s most instagrammable street. Positioned on a gentle curve, its colourful buildings and upper and lower level shops and restaurants offer artisan cheese, Scottish tweed and tempting food options.
Nestled beneath the castle another favourite spot of mine is the vibrant Grassmarket district. It has such a continental with the tables from its many bars and restaurants spilling out into the square creating a lovely atmosphere.
National Museum of Scotland
Wherever I travel be it near or far, I always enjoy learning about the local history and if you are interested too, then the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street is definitely the place to go. This wonderful museum offers free admission and is housed in a delightful old building with a more recent modern wing complimenting its style. Here you can see the world famous cloned Dolly the Sheep and Alexander Graham Bell’s box telephone.
Take a walk along the Union Canal
As the aparthotel overlooks the Union Canal it’s an ideal opportunity to enjoy a stroll along the towpath and we loved doing this several times during our stay, admiring the colourful narrowboats moored along its banks and watching the antics of the resident ducks, swans and moorhens. Open during the daytime is a pretty little floating boat cafe with outdoor seating and a great place to relax with a coffee and a cake whilst watching the world go by. For longer walks, continue towards The Meadows and the affluent suburb of Morningside with its chic boutique shops.
Staying at Altido at Vita ticked all the boxes for us with its high end versatile accommodation offering us the best of both worlds for dining in or out. With many rooms having either beautiful canal or castle views and being just a short walk from The Royal Mile or Princes Street it’s ideally located for city centre sightseeing or as a base for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which takes place each year in August.
Last but not least, I’ve rarely stayed anywhere where every member of the hotel staff we came across was so friendly and genuinely interested in how we had spent our days and speedily popping round from reception to replenish the coffee machine with beans when it had run out. I would have no hesitation staying there again on a future visit to Edinburgh.
Details: Altido at Vita Fountainbridge, 125a, Edinburgh, EH3 9QG
We were guests of Altido at Vita and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.
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