If you're traveling to Scotland for business or leisure, Edinburgh is a pedestrian-friendly anchor point for its convenient proximity to shops, restaurants, pubs, museums, parks and sightseeing attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Greyfriars Bobby and the Royal Yacht Britannia. City accommodations range from budget lodging to Five Star luxury hotels, and its most scenic thoroughfare, Princes Street, is the place to be for seasonal festivals and patriotic parades celebrating Scottish heritage.
If money is no object, The Balmoral is the place to pamper yourself with luxury. This elegant, historic venue with panoramic views of Old Town and Edinburgh Castle is a popular place for wedding parties, conferences and other special events. In addition to a posh day spa, state-of-the-art gymnasium and its fleet of chauffeured cars for airport transfers, The Balmoral's guest suites offer complimentary unpacking services, continental buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi, in-house movies and use of a Nokia cell phone for local calls. With only 18 rooms and suites, the ratio of staff to guests at The Howard bodes well for attentive service. A bevy of round-the-clock butlers is only part of the charm. You'll be served a full Scottish breakfast in your room or at the hotel's signature restaurant, enjoy free Wi-Fi and savor the experience of afternoon high tea. The Howard offers several package getaways that cater to art and theater lovers, gourmets, shoppers and even DaVinci Code fans who want to investigate Rosslyn Chapel.
In its prior life, The Scotsman Hotel had the distinction of having housed the administrative offices and printing presses of The Scotsman newspaper. Renovated to boutique hotel accommodations in 2001, many of the original architectural and interior design features of the original building have been retained. In-room features include minibars, safes, data ports, free Wi-Fi and "serving hatches" so you won't be intruded upon when you order room service. The former basement press room is now a full-service health club and fitness facility. Tigerlily on George Street puts you in the heart of a neighborhood of trendy shops, ethnically diverse restaurants and local cultural sights. It's only a 10-minute walk to Waverly Station for day-trips to outlying areas. Tigerlily offers a variety of guest packages including a Dom Perignon romantic weekend, a glam makeover experience and photo-shoot, and the annual celebration of Hogmanay to welcome the new year. For the lads, there's even a boys weekend retreat that includes a round of golf and a tour of Glenkinchie Distillery.
If you're looking for a sense of back-home familiar accommodations, Best Western Edinburgh City Hotel and Radisson Blu Hotel are both solid choices. In addition to its central city location, Best Western offers spacious rooms including family suites, 24/7 room service, free Wi-Fi, and upgrade packages that include wine, snacks, bathrobes and toiletries. Radisson Blu is the only hotel on Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile. It offers accommodations that range from standard rooms to turret suites that make you feel as if you're staying in a castle. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, newspapers, breakfast and 24/7 room service. The hotel has eight banquet and conference rooms.
For budget-minded travelers, The Piries Hotel and Jurys Inn offer en-suite rooms, affordable rates and seasonal discounts for advance bookings. Accommodations at the Piries Hotel range from single rooms to family quarters that sleep four. Continental breakfast is included. Jurys Inn is located just off The Royal Mile and offers accessible facilities and Internet access. Package specials include tours of Edinburgh Castle and the Edinburgh Dungeons.
- "Frommer's Edinburgh and Glasgow Day by Day"; Barry Shelby; 2008
- "Time Out Edinburgh: And the Best of Glasgow"; Editors of Time Out; 2010
- "Edinburgh: DK Eyewitness Pocket Map and Guide"; Dorling Kindersley; 2009
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