Hotel Missoni Edinburgh review: Rainbow connection

Read our writer's views on this property below

Minimalists beware: the look is loud and clear from the moment you check in, writes Chloe Darling.

If you're the sort of person who knows your Verner Panton from your Hans Wegner, you'll be in design heaven at the newly opened Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh. For the rest of us, never mind recognising the iconic furniture scattered around the place (the name drops, in case you were wondering, were for just two of the stellar designers whose work is featured throughout), this hotel is a visual treat from start to finish.

A potted history of Missoni for those not familiar with the Italian fashion dynasty: colour – lots and lots of colour. The label, founded in 1953 by Rosita Missoni (78 years old and still going strong) and her husband, Tai, is renowned for its bold, vibrant prints in a rainbow of shades. Initially a knitwear-only operation, it quickly spread to mainstream fashion and homewares. Now the technicoloured wand is being waved at hotels, with the Edinburgh opening the first of several planned around the world. (A resort in Kuwait is coming next.)

The Missoni mood is loud and clear from the second you check in. Even taking the lift to your room is an experience, with bright stripes of pink, lilac, purple, green and blue reflected to eternity in a glass ceiling. Corridor walls turn from turquoise to glossy red – and that's before you've even seen the kaleidoscope of shades in your room. A word of caution for white minimalists: prepare for some shock therapy.

Sitting on my bed, I count eight colours around me: turquoise, olive, red, purple, green, lime, blue and silver. Plus some eye-catching monochrome prints. Colour continues in the bathroom; it feels like being inside a jewelled cube. Purple high-gloss walls and olive fittings are offset by hundreds of shiny black mosaic tiles. Even the toiletries are multicoloured, with green, purple, blue and raspberry-saturated soaps lined up in a row.

There's something joyfully childlike about all this unrelenting brightness, like interior design good-mood therapy. It certainly makes me rethink the subdued white and grey shades of my own home – so boring and predictable.

Of course, a hotel experience is about much more than great design – although more on that later. Service is key, and Hotel Missoni is unfailingly five star. At its heart is the traditional Italian family value of hospitality. Rosita Missoni wants to replicate the experience of being invited into her own home – and, for her, food is a fundamental factor.

Hotel guests can rest assured they will be well fed. The restaurant, Cucina, is being overseen by celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli (his London restaurant, Locanda Locatelli, is a favourite with the likes of Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow) and boasts a menu of Italian treats that Rosita herself would be happy to serve. Salads of fresh broad beans and pecorino cheese, minestrone soup like you'd imagine mama would make it, roast rabbit with polenta and radicchio – I'll be surprised if guests venture anywhere else in Edinburgh to eat. I know I didn't.

I'm not sure drinking grappa until midnight should be on guests' list of things to do but at Bar Missoni downstairs, it's just so easy to hang out. Too easy.


The next day's breakfast of fresh fruit, Italian pastries and an omelet hits the spot. Did I mention the food at Missoni was good?

And then there's the furniture. So proud is the hotel of its design CV, journalists have been issued with an impressive 36-page dossier of every big-name interiors label featured. Cucina diners sit on Wegner's famous Wishbone chair (Rosita has them in her own home), drink cocktails on Panton's Tivoli bar stools in Bar Missoni and gaze at Tom Dixon's Mirror Ball lights. And that's just three pages of the 36.

Every corner of the hotel resembles a spread from a glossy, luxury interiors magazine. But somehow, it's not intimidating. How can a place where the restaurant's bright-purple women's toilets are called the "disco loos" by staff be anything but fun?

Another appealing feature of the hotel is the price. It's not cheap – this is five star, remember – but the rate of £210 ($426) a night is all inclusive. Drain the mini-bar dry, send every single item in your suitcase to the laundry, phone all your friends (well, those in Britain, anyway) and your bill will still be £210 a night. It's a nice touch.

I'm not sure, however, that it will cover the Missoni china and glass homewares that I covet in Cucina. Or the big, striped Missoni candles I spot in the bar. Or those highly nickable patterned towelling robes.

Oh well, I'm happy with my stash of brightly coloured Missoni soaps – and I am seriously considering painting a bathroom wall pink. when I get home.

Rosita will be proud.

The writer was a guest of Hotel Missoni.



Hotel Missoni Edinburgh, 1 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, phone + 44 (0) 131 220 6666, email, see