The Principal Edinburgh George Street Review

Edinburgh’s Principal Edinburgh George Street Hotel has become something of an institution in the city and has been welcoming guests for over 100 years. With a multimillion-pound renovation by interior architects Goddard Littlefair now completed; including a new cafe and restaurant, the hotel has been given a much-needed new lease of life whilst still retaining its historic charm and Georgian Edinburgh character.

TLE was delighted to accept an invitation to experience a stay at what is most definitely now one of the best luxury hotels in the city.


Location Hotel Details

The hotel is located on the east end of prestigious George Street Edinburgh which boasts a great selection of trendy bars, restaurants and designer shops and is conveniently only a very short walk from Waverley train station.

Hotel Details

Originally a series of six Town Houses in the 1780s Numbers 15-25 George Street were backed by gardens and Number 19 was occupied by the Caledonian Insurance Company from the 1800s and given a grand facade in 1840. By 1860 Number 23 became the George Hotel and then fast forward to the 1950’s the hotel occupied all six properties.

Today – you enter the lobby through what was pre hotel the Caledonian Insurance Companies entrance. To the left of the lobby you can access the hotel’s coffee shop Burr and Co and beyond that is the Printing Press Bar and Restaurant. At 249 rooms The George Hotel is deceivingly large, however when you walk into the Corinthian columned lobby and up to reception, you have the feeling you are in a far more intimate and welcoming environment, you almost feel like you have walked into a county mansion.

Service is professional and ‘old school’ which fits the feel and style of the building. The George Hotel is all about it’s heritage and rich history – which has included many prominent guests staying over the years including Robert Burns, Sir Walker Scott and Elizabeth Taylor.


The Room

Rooms come in a number of shapes, sizes and standards across the older part of the hotel and the newer part at the back. I was lucky enough to have one of the hotel’s best rooms an elegant Town House Suite, located in the front-facing Town House which looks out across George Street.

At 50 sqm with a lounge and separate bedroom, the space was large and very very comfortable.

The Lounge 

The lounge has views out over George Street with original floor-to-ceiling windows which let the light flood into the room. A selection of magazines are there for you to read and the large tallboy chest to the right when you come in disguises the mini bar and wardrobe. The fireplace with a mirror back adds balance to the room and reminds me of cosy evenings spent in front of our coal fire at home growing up. The series of fabric cut-out dog pictures is a fun touch. The lounge and bedroom are dotted with books – a nod to the history of the building; Number 25 was in its time home to Susan Ferrier a Scottish Jane Austin.



The Bedroom

The bedroom was extremely spacious with a grand king-sized bed in the middle. The feel of the Town House extends through to the bedroom with the fireplace opposite the bed and above that housed the TV recessed into a period frame (the lounge also had a TV too). I really loved the dressing table, which with the lid down doubled as a small writing desk – ideal for my laptop. I felt so at home and relaxed in this luxurious space.






The Bathroom

Hotel bathrooms are normally a very practical affair and not a place to linger, but this townhouse bathroom very much had ‘linger appeal’. Thanks in part to the roll-top bath, which I made full use of while enjoying a glass of wine and reading a magazine before dinner. The marble-topped sink comes complete with an assortment of Neals Yard toiletries enough for two people so no need to ask for more. The bathroom had a separate rain shower which was gigantic, easily enough for two people….!! No expense had been spared on the finish of the bathroom with marble tiles across the entire space and shower.





Little Finishing Touches

Already mentioned but the Neals Yard toiletries were a lovely touch as were the selection of magazines.


Practical Things

Great to see hotel planning taking into consideration multiple plug points on each side of the bed so no having to dismantle the room to work out where to charge your phone. The room had multiple mirrors next to plug points too, so you are not having to stretch to dry your hair. The room had a kettle and coffee and tea making facilities, however no Nespresso which would have been nice.



Other Parts of the Hotel

Burr and Co


The hotel has a new coffee shop serving espresso-based coffees by Caravan Coffee and a range of cakes and light-bites. It is open to non-residents and is proving to be extremely popular.

Printing Press Bar


In October last year what was previously the hotel’s old Tempus Restaurant was transformed into the new brasserie-style Printing Press restaurant and bar. You can Read our full review of the restaurant here, and see a selection of our menu choices below. I cannot fault the food in the Printing Press – it is extremely high quality. Breakfast is also served in the same restaurant and offers a wide selection of hot and cold food options. 








The only thing the hotel misses is a gym or pool however the other communal areas are a pleasure in which to relax so maybe fitness shouldn’t be top of your agenda if you’re staying here.

Final Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the George Hotel, I have visited the Printing Press Restaurant and Bar before and the hotel’s coffee shop is a favourite of mine so I knew if the rest of the hotel was to the same standards they were onto a winning formula. And I was right! If you are visiting Edinburgh and looking for luxury, history and a great location then the George Hotel ticks all these boxes.

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