My husband and I booked The Matisse Suite, a luxury Edinburgh apartment, back in December 2021 when we were visiting my dad over Christmas. I was then invited back by owners, and Edinburgh couple, James and LeeAnn to review their lovely apartment. So I have stayed here twice – once as a paying customer and the second time as their guest. This is an honest review of our stay.
The Matisse Suite really is in the most perfect location, right in the heart of the city centre. Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town is just a stones throw away, as is the hustle and bustle of Princes Street and the cool vibes of the Grassmarket. It’s also less than a 5 minute walk from Timberyard, one of our favourite Edinburgh restaurants.
It’s so easy to get to from the airport, especially now with the tram, and takes less than half an hour. The closest stations are either West End or Princes Street and the luxury apartment is less than a ten minute walk from both. A taxi takes around the same amount of time but will, of course, drop you right outside the apartment!
If you’re heading up to Edinburgh for the Tattoo or New Year (Hogmanay, as the Scots call it!) then this is the perfect apartment as you’ll have amazing views of the castle and the fireworks from the top of the stairs!
The apartment has been decorated by one of Scotland’s leading interior designers and is designed to feel like ‘a home away from home’.
It’s clear that James and LeeAnn are art lovers, as not only have they named their apartment the Matisse Suite, there is beautiful and interesting art all over the apartment, including this cheeky little fellow outside in the courtyard.
There are paintings by New York artist David Padworny, in the master bedroom and the kitchen, as well as various sculptures and interesting design pieces throughout the apartment. Even the lighting is stunning!
What is quite unusual about the Matisse Suite (and believe me, I’ve stayed in loads of Edinburgh apartments over the years) is that it has a lovely, spacious outside space. There is an outdoor seating area with a gas fire so that you can enjoy a drink outside even when it’s a bit chilly.
But perhaps the most fabulous part of the outside space is the quirky Puffin Room. It’s an adorable little room in the courtyard that has two comfy armchairs with tartan blankets thrown over the arms, and a little Dyson heater if needed. I think it makes the perfect reading nook!
The apartment consists of a entrance hall, master suite, bathroom with large shower and an open plan kitchen, dining and living room with another little alcove bedroom with a double bed if needed. There is also a utility room with a washing machine if you’re staying for longer periods.
The master bedroom is large, with built-in cupboards with ample space for your clothing. It has two large windows with shutters that allow you to let in lots of natural light if you wish. What I liked about the heavy curtains is that they act as a draft excluder (not that it was drafty), a noise diffuser (we sleep with a white noise app so I don’t really know if it is ‘noisy’, but I doubt it) and makes the room lovely and dark when it’s time to sleep. With the shutters, if you prefer more natural light when you wake up then there’s no need to draw the curtains!
There is also a television in the bedroom, should you wish to watch TV in bed. I love the bottles of Voss water on the bedside tables – like being in a hotel! And there were extra bottles in the fridge.
The bathroom is large with a big, walk-in shower with two different shower heads. What I love about this apartment is the attention to detail, such as the night light so you don’t have to switch on the lights at night when nature calls. The large candles are also lovely when you’re having a shower, and they’re operated by remote – very fancy!
There are hotel-style toiletries as well as lots of towels. It’s so lovely to not run out of shower gel and only have one towel for the whole weekend! There are at least three towels each (for a weekend stay) so you definitely won’t run out. Plus there’s a heated towel rail so that they dry easily.
The shampoo and conditioner, as well as the hand wash are from the Scottish Fine Soaps company. I love that they are using local products, which not only showcases what Scotland has to offer but has a more eco-friendly and sustainable footprint too.
They really have thought of everything as there’s even a shaving kit if you’ve forgotten to bring your razor!
And, there really is art everywhere! In the bathroom you’ll find the cutest little frog as well as a framed Ruyard Kipling poem. By the way, the mirror is very clever in that there is a certain part that never steams up!
The kitchen has all the mod cons, including a very swish coffee machine! I won’t lie, I did have to read the instructions but once I had it was very simple to use. There is also tea and coffee provided. And I loved the little packets of Scottish shortbread!
The kitchen has everything you need if you fancy a night in. The first time we stayed, we invited my cousin and his fiance round for dinner (which was lots of fun) and the second time we stayed, we cooked pasta and ate in one night. That’s why I love staying in apartments – you have the option to eat in if you wish and just chill and watch a movie.
The dining room area is so stylish, especially with the vibrant orange chairs and the oversized wall clock. It’s the perfect setting for a lovely meal in!
The living room is spacious, with bright pops of colour and a big flatscreen TV (with Netflix!). There’s also a gorgeous drinks cabinet and even a reading nook (or an extra bed if needed). The sofas are super comfy and there are blankets as well as a Dyson heater if you want to get even more cosy. Oh and they have a bunch of board games if you fancy a games night.
I absolutely adore the wallpaper with the beautiful, colourful birds, as well as the sumptious velvet cushions with a female peacock (I think!). I brought my own book with me but there are quite a few books around the living room if you fancied curling up on the sofa for a read.
There’s a cute little alcove that can either be used for a place to read and relax or as an extra bedroom. The curtains can be drawn across for privacy.
The apartment is spacious, very stylish, exceptionally clean and has everything you could want – well, apart from a bath! The bed is large and super comfy, with luxury cotton bedlinen and there are plenty of fluffy towels and toiletries. We loved the little touches, such as bottled water, whisky and biscuits for your tea and coffee. It’s such a bonus to have an outdoor area, where you can enjoy a drink. The location couldn’t be more perfect, with everything you need in walking distance. We loved both our stays at the Matisse Suite and James and LeeAnn are excellent hosts.
How to book
There are a number of ways to book the apartment. You can book direct on their website, through AirBnB, Expedia and Sawdays. Prices start from £200 a night. If you book after reading my review, mention my name and they will throw in a bottle of bubbly!