The Bonham, Edinburgh $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Once a maternity hospital and then an Edinburgh University dorm, this four-story building on an elegant Victorian street was reincarnated as a hotel in 1998. Nineteenth-century ornamental cornices, wood panels, and high ceilings satisfy the historical cravings of period enthusiasts, but contemporary furniture, oversize lampshades, and huge modern canvases by area artists keep it from feeling frumpy. There are a few playful touches: Two clocksone marked Glasgow, the other Edinburghsit side by side in the library, the Glasgow one running a few minutes behind. In the restaurant (spruced up from its days as the student refectory), French chef Michel Bouyer uses local, organic ingredients in modern European dishes such as pan-fried Aberdeen Angus beef with porcini sauce. The 50 bold-toned rooms are large, with big windows overlooking a large private neighborhood garden (hotel residents are given a key) at the front, or the city's rooftops and church spires at the rear. Each has a combination Internet/TV/DVD/CD unit; most baths have stand-alone showers. For those with rental cars, the hotel's parking lot is an all-important extra in this central neighborhood.