The Howard, Edinburgh $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Located in three adjoining town houses that front one of the New Town's widest cobbled streets, this genteel hotel is all about tradition and tailored service—making it the first choice for those in search of authentic Georgian luxury. Palettes range from airy creams and golds to dramatic browns and reds in the 17 rooms, which are fitted with Georgian-style curtained wardrobes, heavy drapes, and romantic canopied or four-poster beds. The rotary Bakelite telephone in each room is a nice touch, but modern phones are also available for those who prefer to speed-dial. Authenticity also—thankfully—doesn't discount an elevator. The three Terrace Suites are huge and have their own veranda and a private entrance, but even the smallest luxury double rooms (Ainslie, Cramond, and Ravelston) are decidedly uncramped. There's a pastoral mural over the marble fireplace in the bright, airy Atholl restaurant, where breakfast and Scottish dishes with a modern twist (think roast salmon with wilted spinach, potato blini, and cardamom butter sauce) are served, while the rich-toned, chandeliered drawing room is the best spot to enjoy afternoon tea or a dram of whisky. Out back, there's a terraced garden and that all-important city-center parking lot.
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