Built across a landscape of valleys and extinct volcanoes, Edinburgh was founded as a fortified settlement in ancient times. A narrow gully cuts through the heart of the city, separating the Old Town from the New Town. Edinburgh's Waverley Railway Station sits in the middle of this channel, providing passengers with easy access to the attractions in the city center. Travelers looking for hotels near the train station have numerous options available to them, several of which stand out for their superior service and overall elegance.
Balmoral Edinburgh Hotel
The VisitScotland-National Tourism Organisation and Frommer's Travel Guide both rank the Balmoral Edinburgh Hotel as one of the top lodging establishments in the city. Originally opened in 1902 as the North British Hotel, this grand old building lies immediately adjacent to Waverley Station on the bustling promenade of shops and cafes that is Princes Street. A massive clock tower looms atop the hotel's regal facade, constituting one of Edinburgh's many designated historic landmarks. As for the interior, guests will find opulent decor and extravagant amenities around every corner. Facilities include an upscale restaurant and bar, multiple conference and banquet halls, an indoor swimming pool, a gym and a luxurious spa. This hotel charges some of the highest rates in town, but the scenic views of Edinburgh Castle in many of the guest rooms and suites help to justify the lofty prices.
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel sits next to Edinburgh's famous North Bridge in Edinburgh's Old Town, just one minute by foot from Waverley Station and the Royal Mile pedestrian roadway, which leads to the castle. Fodor's Travel Guide lists the Scotsman as another top-tier hotel. This majestic establishment is housed in the same building that used to be the headquarters of the Scotsman Newspaper around the turn of the 20th century. Elegant marble stairways and corridors compliment the hotel's intricately designed wood paneling and an assortment of traditional Scottish tweed decor patterns. Facilities here include two gourmet restaurants, a posh bar, a salon, an indoor pool and a health club with spa and sauna areas. For high-rollers, Frommer's Travel Guide suggests booking the two-floor penthouse suite with its private balcony and panoramic views of the city.
The Glasshouse Hotel
The Glasshouse Hotel lies near the Edinburgh Playhouse and is just a few minutes' walk from Princes Street and Waverley Station. Impressive Georgian architecture of the New Town district surrounds the hotel, which occupies the 19th-century stone facade of Lady Glenorchy Church. Glass walls extend from the renovated church facade, creating a sleek atmosphere which has helped the Glasshouse Hotel earn recognition from the Conde Nast Traveller publication as one of the top 50 hottest hotels in the world, according to the hotel's website. Guest rooms feature a smart, minimalist style. Additional amenities here include a rooftop bar and garden area as well as an on-site health club.
The George Hotel
The George Hotel, another Frommer's pick, sits right down the street from St. Andrews Square, just two blocks from the Queen Street Gardens and five blocks from Waverley Station. The hotel's structure dates back to the 1780s, featuring hints of Corinthian and neo-Renaissance architecture. Renovations have protected the older touches while bringing forth luxurious modern features such as the chic Tempus Bar & Restaurant, the Kings Hall banquet space and the high-tech Panorama conference room with its lovely views across Edinburgh's New Town district.
- edinburgh cityscape image by Adam Walter from Fotolia.com