Edinburgh: The Scotsman
No two rooms are alike in this Baroque beauty at the top of North Bridge. This landmark building just off the Royal Mile, formerly the home of the Scotsman newspaper, manages to retain its Edwardian glory while sparkling with modern comfort across its 73 rooms.
Vibe: The crowd at the Scotsman is upscale for sure, but not stuffy in the least. There’s a big contingent of business-bleisure traditionalists and plenty of tourists who will book just for the high Scotland heritage factor, particularly now that the turn-of-the-century charm has been spruced up to more luxe levels with certain room categories. The elegant marble staircase is worth the price of admission, stained glass windows and all.
Rooms: Because this was an office building for most of its life, no two hotel rooms at the Scotsman are the same, spread over nine floors in two buildings. Expect acres of wood wall paneling, vaulted ceilings and big marble bathrooms. Reporter rooms, Director rooms and Feature suites have a contemporary-traditional style, sporting neutral tones of grey, silver, light blue and oatmeal.
F&B: Set within the Scotsman’s former advertising department, The Grand Café has kept all its period features, which date back to 1905. It seats 150 people at full tilt, doing breakfasts, brunches and lunches through to afternoon tea and dinner, from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. Afternoon tea is a glorious experience, particularly if you amp it up with champagne.
Off-Site: The hotel is walking distance from so many things, there is hardly any need for a taxi: The Royal Mile is a one-minute walk away; the Waverley Railway Station, two. This is the station you need to catch a train to Glasgow and there’s one practically every half-hour. The Scottish National Gallery and Edinburgh Castle are both a 10-minute walk away. Holyrood Palace at the end of the Mile is a 15-minute walk. And from your room, you can enjoy views of Edinburgh Castle, The Mound, Carlton Hill (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Princes Street Gardens.