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Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland
Not your ordinary chain hotel; there's a decidedly stylish surprise waiting behind the grand Georgian exterior. With vibrant colours and stylish stage-set decor, bicycles to borrow and commissioned art there's a strong identity with a distinct frisson of fun. The restaurants aren't ordinary either - one Scottish/Middle Eastern, the other exceptional fine-dining. Perhaps not the place for those wedded to choice or the strictly conventional (sound-wellness room anyone?) but the elegant contemporary bedrooms, well-considered range of facilities (including a bijou spa, swimming pool and fitness centre with classes), strong location and overall sense of joie de vivre make it the perfect proposition for anyone looking for a bit of classy colour in their accommodation.
There are independent boutique shops, second-hand jewellers and the very good Noto Restaurant on Thistle Street, parallel to George Street to the north.
The hotel is in Edinburgh's New Town; a 15-minute walk takes you to the Old Town where you'll find Edinburgh Castle, amongst other iconic sights.
By plane: flights from London to Edinburgh take 1 hour 25 minutes. The hotel is a 25-minute drive. Parking costs £35 per day. skyscanner.com
By train: 4 hours 30 minutes from London. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Anyone tired of identikit hotels, looking for high standards and good facilities presented impeccably and imaginatively will love this hotel. There's art on display throughout the premises, in particular contemporary Scottish art, with an Artists in Residence programme, too.
Service & Facilities
You won't find hair straighteners in your bedroom, but if you ask, it - and 38 other listed items - will come. Your dog will be greeted by name and provided with a bed, food, bowls and mats. They stay for free (and the poo bags are complimentary as well).
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- Wellness suite
- On-site parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Rooms in the original building have architectural character, but the rooms in No. 33 can be bigger, some with castle views. We loved the proper filter coffee on the hospitality tray and the yoga mat in the wardrobe.
Essential, Deluxe, Premium, Suite, Junior Suite, King Suite, The Townhouse Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, tea and coffee facilites, yoga mat, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
You really can't eat at BABA without trying the 'haggis merguez sausages with Yemenite hot sauce' - a cross-cultural talking point. Indulge in the six-course menu at Aizle - a world of imaginative cooking from the best Scottish ingredients.
BABA: Middle Eastern/Scottish fusion restaurant and bar. Mezze and charcoal grill. Open daily, from midday.
Aizle: fine dining restaurant, six course menu. Seasonal ingredients, themed menu. Open Wed-Sun, 5-8:30pm. 6-course menu costs £85.