When the Georgian upper classes grew tired of living in the (then) grimy, cramped, Old Town, a New Town was formed. Erected over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries, grand spacious sandstone residences with separate servant’s quarters opened out onto large stepped entrances lit by lanterns. Nowadays, this is the area to peruse high-end boutiques and department stores, wine and dine along the glitzy George street and enjoy views out across the Firth of Forth. Many of the neoclassical buildings are now hotels, offering swift access to railways, coach and airport connections.
Possibly one of the most iconic hotels in the city, The Balmoral building and its clocktower are certainly renowned landmarks on the Edinburgh skyline. This beautiful hotel from Rocco Forte is known for its elegance and timeless glamour and located at a prestigious address, No. 1 Princes Street. Its situation means it boasts stunning views of the city with many of the suites and premium rooms offering views of the castle. Its facilities are also world-class including a fantastic spa and Michelin-starred restaurant.
Cheval The Edinburgh Grand
After four years of renovation, the iconic building at 42 St Andrew Square, formerly the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland, opened again in the summer of 2018 after being given a new lease of life as The Edinburgh Grand. The 5o luxury apartments located truly at the heart of the city are second to none in style and sophistication. Incorporating the original features of the building into the new design, all the rooms at The Edinburgh Grand mix old and new and contemporary and traditional together with ease. The three-bedroom penthouse is the pièce de résistance and offers unrivaled 360 panoramic views of Edinburgh.
The Glasshouse, Autograph Collection
Previously the Lady Glenorchy Church, The Glasshouse began life as a hotel in 2003. It’s quite the landmark as viewed from the hills rising above the city — its glass roof and two-acre top floor garden stand out on the Georgian rooftops of the New Town. The gothic church facade remains at ground level, its entrance situated at the East End of the city. Of the 77 bedrooms, some have direct roof garden access, others have private balconies and all have five-star amenities. The bright and light dining room has floor to ceiling windows and serves dishes crafted using the best of Scotland’s larder.
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh
Once better known as the Caledonian, the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh underwent an extensive renovation to bring it into the Waldorf a few years ago. These upgrades resulted in the hotel winning awards like the Luxury Hotel of the Year and the Spa of the Year, among others, for 2014. Whether you opt for a classic room or a luxury suite with a view of Edinburgh Castle, expect sumptuous linens and muted colours that signify class and elegance.