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September 15, 2023

Virgin Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland

This month has been one to remember; I was so excited to be on a press trip to Edinburgh to review Virgin Hotel and one of the most beautiful cities, to experience the stunning brand-new all-electric Lexus UX 300e!

We stayed at the brand-new five-star Virgin Hotel in the historic India Buildings in Edinburgh’s old town, a stone’s throw from the iconic Edinburgh Castle.

I was super excited about staying at this hotel; it’s right on the doorstep of one of the most famous streets in Edinburgh, Victoria Street. JK. Rowling, famous for writing Harry Potter, wrote most of the Harry Potter series in Edinburgh, and she took a lot of inspiration from this street for Diagon Alley. It has rows of multicoloured shops, and cobbled steps and is one of the prettiest streets to see in Edinburgh.

It was such a treat staying at the hotel; it has a modern design, is very Instagrammable and is photo-worthy in every corner. The rooms are functional, with sliding doors to separate the sleep from the dressing area. The rooms are spacious, and practical and feel light and airy.

Super-fast Wi-Fi
Custom-designed hybrid bed
Minibars stocked at street prices
Pet friendly (with dog beds as comfortable as human ones)

The hotel has a Commons Club bar and Commons Club Restaurant serving dishes such as fried chicken, smoked salmon and oysters. There’s also an option to sit at the chef’s table for an unforgettable evening of Emma Hanley’s seasonal-inspired dishes.

Day one

We got to experience an incredibly smooth drive in the Lexus UX 300e to visit the most beautiful Carlowrie Castle, one of the top three venues in Europe! The castle is breathtaking; it’s voted one of the best wedding venues in the world. With the most beautiful view of the grounds, we got to experience the car and everything it had to offer.

Fine-tuned suspension and steering
First all-electric model
A revised multimedia system, faster connectivity, cloud-based navigation, and 12.3-inch touchscreens
Lexus link app to check battery status, driving range and remaining charge time
Underfloor covers help suppress road noise
Premium surround system
Air purification technology

Shortly after, we had a three-course dinner inside the castle, where we experienced some whisky tasting. It was so much fun trying to guess the notes of the whisky as they were all common household ingredients, but it was surprisingly hard to know what they were.

Day two

We woke up early for a gorgeous breakfast at the Virgin Hotel, preparing us for a day of driving in the Lexus UX 300e. I can’t explain how smooth this car feels as a passenger; I suffer from chronic travel sickness, so initially, I was worried about driving through the Scottish countryside down long winding roads; the journey was so smooth I didn’t need to worry!

Arriving at our new destination, we learnt about a 1200-year-old craft stitching experience led by expert Sashiko expert, Ali Webster. This craft encourages mindfulness by focusing on the stitching, creating a meditative state, and helping to distress you.

We visited Jupiter Artland, an award-winning contemporary sculpture garden with a selection of outdoor sculptures and installations by internationally renowned artists. The car itself is just so beautiful, especially against this picturesque backdrop.

Lunch at Scott’s has been on my bucket list, a beautiful setting for a three-course meal with an iconic view of Three Bridges and Firth of Forth. The food here was excellent; it was worth the wait. Their extensive menu has everything you need, from traditional fish and chips, and dry-aged steaks to fresh seafood. We were lucky to participate in a Miso workshop by Scottish expert Robin Sherrif. Miso sauce is one of my favourites; whenever I see Miso on anything in a restaurant, I have to get it immediately.

Lexus UX 300e

Lexus all-electric, compact luxury SUV has a driving range extended by more than 40 per cent to up to 279 miles

Steering and suspension fine-tuned, enhancing the Lexus Electrified driving experience

New multimedia systems – Lexus Link Pro and Lexus Link Connect – with greater functionality and larger displays
More capabilities added to Lexus Safety System+ active safety and driver assistance

The most notable change is a new battery system which increases driving range by more than 40 per cent, to up to 279 miles in the combined WLTP cycle.

Inside the car, the most evident improvement is the revised multimedia system. It has better connectivity, faster and easier operation, cloud-based navigation, and larger eight and 12.3-inch touchscreens. The interior has new upholstery choices.

What I thought was really special about the underfloor covers is that they help suppress road noise and ensure a serene and quiet vehicle. The material in the wing liners helps absorb noise from the tyre’s contact with the road, including stones, dirt and water; acoustic glass in the windows reduces high-frequency wind noise too. These added features help the customer to fully enjoy the powerful sound of the 915W 13-speaker, a Mark Levinson Premium surround sound system.

Also, to ensure the well-being of everyone onboard, the UX 300e benefits from the latest generation nanoe™ X air purification technology. It introduces nano-sized water molecules into the ventilation airflow, containing microscopic hydroxyl radicals. These can deodorise odours, act against mould and inhibit viruses, bacteria, pollen, and allergens. Laboratory research has shown that in one hour the nanoe X can inhibit more than 99 per cent of viruses and bacteria and achieve a 1.8 reduction in odour intensity.

W: Virgin Hotel Edinburgh

Written by Danielle Tobin for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International

Instagram / #Luxurialife