Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel – Effortlessly Stylish, Serene, City Centre Hotel

Housed in a glorious historic Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh’s New Town, this central boutique hotel is part of the high-end Kimpton Hotels portfolio, yet pays homage to its home city as authentically as if it were independent. The Kimpton Charlotte Square is beloved by locals and visitors alike, with its selection of smart, unique dining venues and a divine, trailblazing spa. Read on to learn more about the hotel’s heritage, ethos and why we loved our time here. 

A Refined and Eclectic Hotel

If we had to sum up the Kimpton Charlotte Square experience, it would be; effortlessly stylish, serene, expert and ever so slightly quirky. Stepping over the threshold we instantly absorbed a city oasis vibe, in a way that feels exclusive and accessible. Attention to detail is everywhere with this brand, in its immaculate finishes, thoughtful touches, friendly service and impeccable taste. And not to mention little extra guest extras like the complimentary daily drinks hour in Baba Bar (from 5-6) which includes unlimited free wine and beer as well as a tin of free sweet and savoury snacks in each guestroom.

The Kimpton Hotel Brand

Founded in 1981 by the boutique hotel pioneer Bill Kimpton, the hotel chain was purchased by IHG Hotels & Resorts in 2015. Although its HQ is in Santa Barbara, Kimpton manages to infuse each of its properties with an authentically local feel (most notably here in Edinburgh), embracing regional architecture and style history. The group’s character-filled hotels often occupy particularly interesting buildings with intriguing history, original features and architectural significance. 

This is perfectly balanced by its classic take on the latest interior design trends in decor and furnishings. Textiles are plush, for a sense of opulence and there’s an abundance of nods to nature, with natural materials and lush indoor planting. These factors combine to create a signature style that envelopes its guests from Paris to Sydney and 73 other destinations in between (including this one, which opened in 2019). Kimpton is going from strength to strength and is in the process of adding a further 40 properties to its already impressive portfolio 

Situated on a UNESCO World Heritage Site

As its name suggests, this hotel is found overlooking this landmark square, just along from the First Minister’s official residence no less. Indeed this is one of the most salubrious addresses in town, with park and city views, stretching as far as the medieval rooftops of the Old Town. The arterial shopping area and dining paradise of George Street, meets the building on one side, with the cobbled lanes of quaint Rose Street providing the street access to Kimpton’s wellness area. This central location ensures you’re a short walk from all the city centre attractions, major bus routes, two railway stations, trams and airport connections. 

Carefully Curated Rooms and Suites

Rooms are decorated in muted tones, accented by soft furnishings in patriotic plaids and augmented by slightly eccentric touches, such as a shiny red retro phone. The artwork (much of which also gives a nod to the homeland) and lighting are all handpicked, and a basket of goodies (of course including Scottish treats) adds to the decadence. 


It’s all in keeping with the Georgian setting; feature fireplaces remain, some walls are panelled and many floors are in a herringbone style. But it manages to be every bit the modern hotel as if comfortably lifted from the pages of a glossy home magazine. All bedrooms come with a yoga mat tucked away in the wardrobe and toiletries by 19-69, while top-end suites have sitting rooms, Nespresso machines and ceramic-and-marble bathrooms.

Our Junior Suite with Balcony

During our stay, we were hosted in a beautiful junior suite which backs onto Rose Street, which includes your own balcony and view of Edinburgh Castle.


Sitting Area and Desk




Room Amenities

The Garden, Baba and Aizle

Passing through the darkly painted, richly furnished lobby, we catch sight of what is among the most Instagrammbable spots in the capital — The Garden.

Sunlight floods in through its glass apex ceiling by day, while by night, the dark sky is contrasted by bulb fairy lights for a grotto-like experience. Add to this, lashings of greenery, hanging plants, boho wicker lighting, rattan furnishings colourful cushions and a glossy vintage bar and you have a winning formula, perfect for a coffee, brunch or a more formal dinner. 

The hotel’s second restaurant is Baba, with a large frontage on George Street, as well as access via the hotel lounge. Serving Middle Eastern sharing plates and mezze, the flavours and spices are truly lip-smacking and the exotic surroundings create a relaxed, boho-chic setting. The Kimpton’s third restaurant, Aizle, receives a continuous stream of warm praise for its six-course set tasting menus (which brings real freedom if you struggle to decide on dishes), paired with a globe-trotting wine list and kombucha cocktails. Chef Patron Stuart Ralston is at the helm of this fine dining delight, which is based in The Garden. 

Our Dining Experience

During our stay we ate at BABA. At BABA, you’ll find a unique dining experience that blends Middle Eastern and Scottish influences. The bold turquoise palette and eye-popping textiles create a contemporary atmosphere, and the mezze takes centre stage. The charcoal grill also turns out Scottish lamb, beef, and seafood. Locals flock here for the mix-and-match menu, and the secret to success is simply to share.


A Celeb-Worthy Pool and the UK’s First Sound Wellness Room 

The Kimpton’s spa provides a sublime and exclusive indoor swimming experience. The Kimpton’s moody subterranean underlit pool wouldn’t seem out of place in LA (which is unsurprising, given the brand is Californian). The area is sassy, yet calming, with a slate grey interior and chill-out tunes — one of the finest of its kind for miles. It’s so easy to lose track of time as you do your daily laps and takes away any sense of chore associated with getting exercise. Poolside sauna and steam rooms provide the opportunity to fully unwind and recharge from the day’s urban explorations.

The spa has a fitness centre with a programme of classes and organic treatments. And, we were very excited to discover its latest addition; a Sound Wellness Room, created by the award-winning producer Brian D’Souza. Therapeutic and immersive, it’s the first of its kind in the UK

Final Thoughts

With a diverse array of gourmet food and drink, the opportunity to completely switch off and unwind right in the heart of the city, a knockout location and decor that’s ultra pleasing on the eye, we wholeheartedly recommend a stay at The Kimpton.

This hotel is included in our guide to the best hotels in Edinburgh.

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