The charms of the Scottish capital are no longer limited to a visit to the castle of Edinburgh, to whiskey drinking or "haggis" tasting. There is a "new" tenant in the city, which has an assiduous presence in photographic reports of tourists from around the world and is moored in the historic harbour of Leith. Embark with Diamond magazine on a visit to the "Fingal".

Those who journeyed on Fingal and, taking on the waters of the North Sea to transport equipment for the maintenance of lighthouses or supplies for their caretakers, could never have imagined that one day the vessel would become a luxury ‘boatel’. But an investment of five million pounds and several years of intense renovations have made the unthinkable a reality. The boat, formerly of the Northern Lighthouse Board and built in 1963 by the Blythswood Shipbuilding Company in Glasgow’s shipyards, has undergone a radical facelift and became a five-star boat-hotel. It won’t be setting sail, but is ready to host countless soirées of glamour and sophistication.

It is operated by Royal Yacht Enterprises, the trading company of the Royal Yacht Britannia, formerly the floating residence of Queen Elizabeth II and a popular attraction in Edinburgh. But there are differences. Starting with the fact that it is possible to stay overnight on the Fingal, where 40 small cabins have been converted into 23 luxurious rooms, featuring the names of lighthouses built by the Scottish civil engineer Robert Stevenson and interiors inspired by the Art Deco movement. One of the rooms is a two-storey duplex and there is also a large penthouse - complete with a private deck - known as the Skerryvore Suite.

While on deck you can take in the sea air, inside the environment is much more refined thanks to the work of the Pedley Group, which is behind the transformation. The inspiration of the maritime past is a constant and is present in all corners of this floating hotel through woods, nautical details and a carefully selected colour palette. The corridors have been decorated with images of lighthouses and the glass lift resembles lighthouse lanters.

In the restaurant, the style is maintained, with a hammered golden ceiling which encapsulates the movements of the waves. There’s a similar feel in the ballroom, which can accommodate up to 80 people. It is framed by a wide two-way staircase but also has a removable skylight and access to an outdoor deck, where guests can enjoy the beautiful surrounding waters – while endulging in canapés and raising a glass of champagne to the success of this floating novelty.

 

fingal.co.uk

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