A selection of inviting hotels is tucked among Europe's largest assemblage of Georgian buildings in Scotland's capital of Edinburgh. Among them are an edgy, modern art-brightened boutique; a rooftop-restaurant hotel where dramatic views of Edinburgh Castle compete with award-winning cuisine; a second boutique with expanses of glass enveloping a 19th-century church facade; and a Georgian townhouse where multilingual staff make their foreign guests feel completely at home.
The Bonham Hotel
Modern art lovers will be in their element at Edinburgh's West End Bonham Hotel. Just a 10-minute walk from the National Gallery of Modern Art, the Bonham houses its own contemporary collection of works by local artists. Displayed through the hotel, the artwork is an energetic counterpoint for the 48 guestrooms' bold colors and modern furnishings. Standard room amenities include free Internet access, mini bar and luxury toiletries. Larger, upgraded rooms have city views and robes. Suites overlooking the Drumsheugh Gardens have seating areas and silk, leather, suede and velvet furnishings. The Bonham welcomes families. The Doggie Dreams Package pampers visiting dogs. Boasting 2 Automobile Association (AA) rosettes, the minimalist-decor Restaurant at The Bonham serves French-inspired cuisine highlighting locally sourced Scottish produce. Rutherfords Estate mallard duck roasted with a butternut squash and ginger puree in anise jus is a typical seasonal entree.
The Glasshouse Hotel
Unmistakable from its floor-to-ceiling windows, The Eton Collection's Glasshouse is part of Edinburgh's Omni Centre. The windows encompass the ornate facade of Lady Glenorchy's Church. A second remarkable feature is Edinburgh's only rooftop garden. Many of the Glasshouse's 65 rooms and suites have patios. All have burnished hardwood floors, Egyptian cotton linen and contemporary furnishings. Robes and slippers, designer toiletries, complimentary shoeshines, satellite television and an hour of free Wi-Fi add to the luxury. The five-star Visit Scotland establishment's suites offer Jacuzzis, saunas, and free whisky. Continental and full breakfasts are available. Casual Omni Centre restaurants serve Spanish, American and Chinese menus.
It may not be a garden, but the Apex International Hotel's rooftop Heights restaurant gives patrons mesmerizing views of the Edinburgh Castle tower. The two-rosette AA cuisine focuses on meals of classic, richly flavored Scottish ingredients. The hotel has 169 luxurious rooms; all have deluxe toiletries, free Wi-Fi and 42-inch flat-screen satellite television. Upgraded amenities include refrigerators, robes and sweets. Guests have full use of the hotel's leisure facilities, with an ozone-filtered swimming pool, sauna and state-of-the-art gym. Two kids younger than 18 stay free sharing a room with two paying adults. Children younger than 12 eat free from the kid's menu when dining with a paying adult. All kids get a treats bag and a voucher for free use of the hotel's DVD selections. Board games, toys and treasure hunts also keep them occupied. The hotel's second restaurant, the Metro Brasserie, serves drinks and "comfort bowls" of hearty fare like braised lamb shank with roasted root vegetables and parsley mashed potatoes.
Walton Guest House
A renovated 18th-century townhouse turned four-star Scottish Tourist Board accommodation, the Walton Guest House is in Edinburgh's New Town, a 15-minute stroll from the shopping and dining venues of Princes Street. With 10 ground and lower-floor rooms suitable for single travelers, couples and families, the Walton has limited free parking. Each well-lit room offers digital television, Wi-Fi, luxury toiletries, and snacks. The staff speaks Russian, French and Polish as well as English. Room rates include continental breakfast with fruit salad and juices, cold cereal, yogurt and a cheese selection. Guests can also choose a full Scottish breakfast or one of several other hot items. Kweilin Restaurant, a four-minute walk from the hotel, serves Cantonese dishes featuring local produce and fresh Scottish seafood.
- edinburgh cityscape image by Adam Walter from Fotolia.com