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Emerging from the station on to Princes Street, in the heart of Edinburgh, The Scotsman is one of two hotels (The Balmoral is the other) that grabs the eye. Standing high on North Bridge, the impressive Edwardian building - the former Scotsman newspaper offices - commands a striking position. The building is a mix of grand public rooms and 82 contemporary bedrooms, the latter spread over an intriguing mix of floors and corridors - the hotel is built on the cliffside of the Old Town with four floors below the main entrance level. Varying in shape, the best with city views, all share the same restrained design of light-oak panelling, soft grey colours and big bright bathrooms. The double-height, marble-pillared Grand Café serves brasserie classics, and there's a plush private cinema and a team of super-friendly staff.

Your expert reviewer

Helen Pickles
Travel and feature writer
Growing up in Yorkshire and with family holidays in the Lake District, Helen, who writes for several UK national newspapers, developed a love of walking and the big outdoors. When it comes to cities, and food, Italy has the edge – and her heart.



The front entrance is beside the 104 differently marbled steps - a commissioned 'work of art' - which whisk you down to Market Street and the Fruitmarket Gallery and café, a popular locals' meeting spot.

Perfectly positioned between the Old and New Towns, historic sites, famous landmarks, museums, galleries and stylish shops are all within easy reach.
By plane: flights from London to Edinburgh take 1 hour 25 mins and 1 hour 15 mins from Bristol and Birmingham. The hotel is a 35 min drive from the airport.
By train: from London in 4 hours 30 mins, from Bristol in 5 hours 45 mins.

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Style & Character

Anyone who likes the buzz of a big, central hotel in a historic building and with sleek, modern rooms that reflect the hotel's past. The Grand Café, in the former Advertising and Notices department of the newspaper, is a spectacular double-height room with marble pillars, oak panelling and mezzanine level.

Service & Facilities

The small, art-deco style cinema with its red leather armchairs with individual tables and soft lamps, plus dedicated bar.

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Cinema
  • Family friendly
  • Concierge
  • Free Wi-Fi


The Feature rooms and Suites are the biggest but a Reporter room with a city view - such as 708 - is still generous in size, and with an equally fascinating cityscape. The space and lack of clutter create calming spaces, plus the complimentary miniature single malt whisky and Scotsman newspaper are nice touches.

Director Room, Reporter Room, Family Room, Headline Suite, Feature Suite, Penthouse, Publisher Suite
Facilities include: en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries, tea & coffee making facilities, mini bar, whisky, TV, safe, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

The staff are relentlessly upbeat and cheery, with a well-judged sense of when you need your breakfast coffee cup refilling, or a second glass of wine. The Grand Café is especially striking in the evening under the warm glow from the globe lights and candles; bag a mezzanine-level table to be tucked away but watch the action.

Grand Cafe: All day dining prepared with seasonal Scottish ingredients. Breakfast, light bites, grill, afternoon teas and dinner. Dishes include Highland venison, Haggis spiced roast celeriac steak and line-caught haddock. Mains from £15.
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