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A complimentary bottle of chilled champagne (except when paying room-only rates)

PRESTONFIELD HAS BEEN BILLED as the ultimate retort to minimalism. Think full-on theatrical Baroque here: expect to be stopped in your tracks. Multi-million pound refurbishment of this 17th century mansion on Edinburgh‘s edge puts words like opulent and decadent in the shade.

It‘s visual high drama from the word go: backdrops of velvet-upholstered walls and panelling, extravagant damask sofas, lavishly swagged and draped burgundy brocades, leopardskin throws and candelabra. Regency furniture is ornate, artefacts are quixotic, flower arrangements are glorious; gilded flourishes abound. It‘s enough to make modernists blanch, and it pulls together superbly.

Bedrooms are no less flamboyant: expect luxurious Frette sheets, broadband, Bose wave sound, DVD players and plasma screens. Even the bathrooms (on the snug side) are suitably mirrored and mosaic-walled.

Tumble-into-bed appeal

Guests can chill in various beautiful salons splashed in scarlet, gold and black and scented by tuberose. Linger over cocktails before dining in the chandeliered Rhubarb restaurant, or arrange an intimate assignation in one of three other private dining rooms.

Bedrooms resemble boudoirs on a Gothic film set summed up by style bible Tatler as "rich, ripe, almost dissolute"  and tumble-into-bed appeal. A roll-call of showbiz stars have already stayed, and a bevy of  impeccably clad and black-kilted staff are on hand to ensure your stay and theirs goes seamlessly. Prestonfield isn‘t all show either: this shamelessly OTT pleasure palace has been officially awarded five stars.

When you're ready to surface, take time to wander the estate's 20 acres guarded by huge wrought-iron gates where peacocks strut and Highland cattle roam. You're also just a hop from Edinburgh's myriad attractions, so take in the big sights before raiding the city's chic George Street stores.

© Room for Romance

Prestonfield was reviewed for Room for Romance by Zena Heyton

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