The Scotsman, Edinburgh $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
On the North Bridge, practically on top of Princes Street and the Royal Mile, this grandiose 19th-century pile has a distinctive feel to it—maybe because of the almost palpable presence of inky-fingered chaps with green visors (it's named after the newspaper that was published here). This explains why the breakfast menu is in the form of a newspaper and there are Editors Rooms and Publishers Suites—maybe also why rooms have the marvelous amenity of computer with printer. Hopefully you're traveling with a companion so that you can also take advantage of the Edinburgh Monopoly set in the armoire. Someone has had fun stocking the minibar, where you'll find Scottish treats such as Tunnock's Tea Cakes and cans of Irn-Bru (excellent for hangovers) among the usual fine wines and macadamia nuts. Decor is masculine übercorporate in tones of spice and plum, with oak paneling and more than 50 different Scottish Estate tweeds (not tartans); there's also a "privacy hatch" so that the room-service waiter won't interrupt your Monopoly. Public spaces are quite fancy, with the excellent Vermilion restaurant serving Scottish dishes, the North Bridge Brasserie, a private screening theater, and an amazing slate and stainless steel pool. The Cowshed Spa has five treatment rooms as well as a relaxation room, and has formulated a special Highland Cow bathing elixir for the hotel.
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