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Hotel du Vin, Edinburgh 

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11 Bristo Place
Scotland EH1 1EZ
Tel: 44 131 247 4900
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
The Du Vin chain has built its hip reputation on bold remodelings of unlikely edifices. Its latest effort may prove its most eccentric conversion yet: Set in a former lunatic asylum, this 42-room hotel has many glass walls—some looking inward to the old building's austerely handsome granite armature, some outward upon its architecturally interesting neighbors. These vistas and the high-raftered, angular rooms give the place a quirky charm, but the multi-level layout, accessed by various staircases and a small elevator, can be confusing. Befuddling, too, are the rooms, named for sundry vinous or tobacco substances, which also appear in the decor, bordering on product placement. Such problems aside, the hotel could not be better located for sightseeing, and, in true Du Vin form, guests' needs—be they for food, high-tech media, or skin products—could not be better cared for. At the heart of the hotel is an excellent bistro serving Scottish fare, and the overhanging mezzanine bar promises to become a local favorite. —2009 Hot List

When to go: Edinburgh's weather varies little between winter and summer, but August is the most popular because of its edgy Fringe Festival.

Which room to book: An Executive Suite for a view over the city to Arthur's Seat; for the frugal, a high-floor studio has ample space and rooftop vistas.

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