Edinburgh Hotel Reviews

W Edinburgh – Combines Edinburgh’s Rich History With Modern Luxury And Boasts Exciting International Dining Experiences.

W Edinburgh, opened in November 2023 and has invigorated the city’s hospitality scene with the brand’s cutting edge contemporary hospitality offering. Located in the vibrant St James Quarter, this Marriott Bonvoy property combines Edinburgh’s rich history with modern luxury. The Luxury Editor was one of the first to stay at this property and we loved it! Read on to discover more.

We were first introduced to the W Hotel brand when we stayed at the W Bangkok and then again having lunch at the W Amsterdam and brunch at the W Hong Kong – it’s safe to say we have been hooked ever since. Calling Edinburgh home we have watched the evolution of the St James Centre from a building site to an outstanding entertainment centre so the opening of the W Edinburgh this November 2023 is the icing on the cake.

The hotel features three distinct buildings; Ribbon Building, James Craig Walk, and Quarter House, each offering a unique perspective of the city. Its innovative design includes references to the city’s cultural, historic, and geographical aspects and the unique rooftop W deck rewards visitors with the finest unfettered 360-degree views of Edinburgh and beyond. Inside, elements of fire, water, and local materials create a compelling narrative. W Edinburgh has also introduced exciting dining experiences and social spaces, including Scotland’s first SUSHISAMBA restaurant celebrating Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian cuisine, the signature W Lounge ideal for all-day dining, and a secret speakeasy bar, João’s Place, serving creative cocktails and premium spirits. 

The W Brand

W Hotels emerged from the vibrant 24/7 lifestyle of New York City and has revolutionised the hospitality industry for over 20 years by challenging conventional luxury norms. Recognisable by its distinctive W sign, the brand now offers over 60 hotels worldwide. It is renowned for its meticulous design, the unique Whatever/Whenever service, and lively signature Living Rooms, offering an unparalleled guest experience.

Art and design

The Ribbon Building, a remarkable nine-storey structure, boasts an eye-catching exterior that embodies the city’s festival atmosphere, making it a notable landmark. Its façade, adorned with bronze-coloured metal ribbons, draws inspiration from a theme of craftsmanship and fire, which is also reflected in the building’s interior design and is also home to the lobby.

On arrival to the W Edinburgh you’ll encounter an impressive mural by Craig Black in the gallery lobby, then photography by Jodie Mann running throughout the hotel (including a series of ‘Ancestors’ Portraits’ based on the artist’s time growing up in The Highlands). UK-based Jestico + Whiles was chosen to deliver the interior design.

The interior design of the W Edinburgh is deeply influenced by the city’s unique geography, built atop a volcanic rock, with themes of fire and water woven into its décor. The public spaces are adorned with dark ‘charred wood’ panelling, beautifully contrasted by vivid copper accents, including a remarkable copper-fringed ceiling in the W Lounge. The design incorporates natural rock in the welcome desks, the bar of the W Lounge, and the bars within the bedrooms. The colour scheme throughout the hotel draws inspiration from local elements, featuring shades reminiscent of thistle, copper, and woad blue.

Check-In and Welcome

A warm welcome is offered by doorman Alan who will guide you through check-in, I was given a glass of bubbly while I checked in, which I sipped on my way up to my suite, a fitting refreshment whilst I took in the most incredible view from my suite. If you are short on time, you can even bypass the traditional check-in and do it straight from your phone, simply download the Marriot Bonvoy app which allows your phone to act as your room key and well as providing access to the Whatever/Whenever concierge service.

Right in the Heart of Edinburgh

Over the past few years, the St James Quarter has been welcoming a continuous line of exciting high-end shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment to the complex. A stay at the W Edinburgh allows you to take advantage of all of this literally on the hotel’s doorstep below while benefitting from bedrooms and suites with outlooks to Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill and the North Sea. Waverley Railway Station is just a few minutes walk away, as are both the Old Town, Royal Mile and New Town so it couldn’t be more conveniently situated.

The WOW factor

Of the 199 bedrooms and 45 suites, many have outdoor terraces to take full advantage of the spectacular views. Guest accommodation starts with the Wonderful King Rooms, then moves on to Fabulous Kings Rooms before moving up to the suite categories. Rooms are located within all three buildings (that comprise the hotel) those located in the Ribbon Building and Quarter House present an entirely contemporary style.

Across in James Craig Walk, a heritage-listed terrace dating to 1775 captures the essence of Edinburgh’s historical charm, highlighted by its sturdy and authentic stone exterior, lofty ceilings, and gracefully tall sash windows. Within this part of the hotel guests are treated to a more intimate, boutique-style experience. The interiors here are adorned with architectural period details and high ceilings, while the rooms provide picturesque views over the newly developed St James city square.

For the best room in the house, book the Extreme Wow Suite — it has a wrap-around balcony with enviable panoramas of the city skyline. Encompassing 1,600 square feet, the interior has a living room, a dining room and a statement rock bar reminiscent of the castle’s volcanic base. Into the bedroom for a dreamy night’s sleep on the circular super-king-sized bed. The suite also has a walk-in wardrobe, while the spa-like bathroom has a free-standing bath, a sauna, a walk-in shower and a vanity unit. 

Our Cool Corner Suite

During our stay, we were in a Cool Corne Suite ‘Room 831’. Occupying 62sqm and located in the Quarter House building, this in my opinion, offers one of the best views in Edinburgh. The bedroom has a king-size bed with a flatscreen TV (there is another in the lounge area), a plush bathroom, and separate living quarters with a cocktail bar podium and sofa along one side of the lounge. My favourite aspect was the outdoor terrace which wraps completely around the whole suite. 

Bedroom

With windows on both sides of the bed, you can look out to the castle and the Balmoral Clock or down to the Firth of of Forth. There are plenty of plug sockets on each side of the bed too.

Lounge

Spectacular views from the lounge are on offer and you can mix up a cocktail at the cocktail bar.

Plenty of amenities on offer too. Large laptop-sized safe, hairdryer and steamer, a laundry service and expresso machine and a well-stocked and chilled mini-bar.

Bathroom

I loved the bathroom, which sits behind the bed, the bath is all controlled via an interface, shampoo and shower gel are by Davines while dental amenities are by Olas, twin sinks and a separate rainshower means there is loads of space too.

Balcony & View

Only one word to describe the balcony, incredible! And it will come into its own in the warmer summer months.

On the top floors…

In the Ribbon Building is where the brand’s renowned social scene breaks out in the form of three venues; SUSHISAMBA, W Lounge and Joao’s Place.

SUSHISAMBA

SUSHISAMBA, a unique fusion of Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian culture has brought its eclectic mix of cuisines to W Edinburgh. The menu offers an array of dishes ranging from Japanese tempura and sushi to Brazilian churrasco and moqueca, and Peruvian anticuchos and seviches, catering to diverse tastes.

The venue’s dynamic design includes a striking dining room and an outdoor terrace offering panoramic views of Edinburgh’s skyline. A private dining area adorned with a custom mural by a local artist and the iconic orange tree sculpture in the bar area will create an immersive atmosphere for guests to enjoy a blend of cuisine, music, and design from day to evening.

The menu also highlights local Scottish produce, featuring dishes like robata-grilled Highland Wagyu Flat Iron with honey soy, Loch Fyne Oysters Teriyaki, and the signature Samba Edinburgh Roll. The dining experience is further enhanced by an extensive cocktail menu, a selection of top-shelf sake, and an array of Scottish and Japanese whiskies.

W Lounge

The hotel’s beating heart, W Lounge located at the top of the Ribbon Building offers 360-degree views around the city, head to the cocktail bar or relax in the lounge area the choice is yours. Outside on the panoramic W Deck, are custom igloos for all-weather drinking and dining, while inside is modelled on a night club.

The cocktail menu at the venue creatively draws inspiration from the folklore and mythical creatures of the Gaelic nations, a theme that is also echoed in the venue’s decor. Featured cocktails include unique creations like Èiridh – The Rising, a blend of Plum Teeling Poitin, Pear Eau de Vie, Peychaud Bitters, Lemon, and Scottish Honey Cordial, and Ùrachadh – Awakening, a rich mix of Highland Park 12, Treacle Cordial, Coffee, Cream, and Flamed Spices.

Read our guide to the best restaurants in Edinburgh

While the food menu takes a sharing plate approach.

Joao’s Place

We absolutely loved this hidden speakeasy, tucked away in the W Lounge. For Brazilian-inspired cocktails, take a seat in this space inspired by the neighbourhood of Liberdade in São Paulo. Mood lighting, couches and lounge music played on vinyl create a relaxed and cool atmosphere, while outside an outdoor fire combined with some premium tipples kept drinkers toasty.

Breakfast

Served in SUSHISAMBA as well as W Lounge you can take your pick of where you want to start the day. I opted for SUSHISAMBA which provides an elegant a la carte breakfast with both hot breakfast dishes as well as cold continental options, I chose the avocado on toast, with eggs. a side of cheese (which was very generous in size!) a pastry basket and coffee and juice.

Away Spa

Inspired by the elements, the four treatment rooms at W are themed around Fire, Earth, Water and Air. There’s also a double treatment room for couples seeking quality time together. Treatments are available from 11 am to 7 pm. The hotel also has a fitness centre with Technogym equipment. 

Fitness Centre

Final Thoughts

Playful and fashionable, this hotel does a fantastic job of marrying the W ethos, with Edinburgh’s local culture and influences from around the globe. It’s an ideal base for those wishing to discover the city, with some of the best views in town and incredible dining options.

Contact Details

This property is included in our guide to the best hotels in Edinburgh

Website: www.marriott.com

Address: 1 St James Square, Edinburgh EH1 3AX