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Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, Scotland
Richard Branson's Virgin brand is written all over this smart hotel - not literally, but in the deft combination of comfort, style, impish sense of humour and built-in sound track. Set in the historic Old Town overlooking picturesque Victoria Street just steps from the Royal Mile, it's an ideal location within walking distance of the entire city centre. Essentially, it's all about the fun, whether sipping a flat white in the 'funny library', an eclectic selection of books, board games and squashy seating, enjoying live music in Eve bar and restaurant (or going a bit smarter in the Commons Club), or retreating to your calm-inducing 'chamber'. Add terrific staff to the equation and you're virtually guaranteed to leave smiling.
We loved beating the crowds to the castle, then lunching at the fabulously theatrical Witchery by the Castle restaurant.
Located in Edinburgh Old Town, Royal Mile and the castle are on your doorstep. It's a 15-minute walk to Holyrood Park.
By plane: flights from London to Edinburgh take 1 hour 25 minutes. The hotel is a 30-minute drive. Parking costs £13 per day. skyscanner.com
By train: 4 hours 30 minutes from London. The hotel is an eight-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Anyone who wants something out of the ordinary, but with class and a touch of luxury will love it here. The 'funny library' has velvet sofas, floral armchairs, books to the ceiling and old-school board games - all encouraging a linger.
Service & Facilities
Ice machines on every floor allow you to actually use the cocktail shaker and martini glasses in your room.
- Fitness centre
- Free Wi-Fi
Dogs are welcome and provided with a bed, food and water dishes, bespoke treats and a branded bandana they may be embarrassed to wear outside!
Push the boat out for the Moroccan-themed Kasbah Tamadot Suite with lots of cushions and velvet. At last a hotel room with space for your sponge bag and a properly lit make-up area ensuring no (unintentional) panda eyes.
Chamber, Grand Chamber, Junior Suite, Queen Suite, Family Suite, Eve Branson Suite, Edward's Suite, Kasbah Tamadot Suite, King Suite, Sir Richard's Flat
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, separate living area, SMEG fridge, minibar, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
We couldn't decide between birth lights and high stools or a warm, low-lit wine-cellar look in the Commons Club Restaurant. We recommend the East Coast lobster club sandwich in Eve - no other club sandwich will ever measure up.
Commons Club: bar and restaurant, contemporary Scottish cuisine. Open daily, from 12pm for drinks and 6-9pm for dinner.
Eve: upscale dining, serving brunch and small plates by day. Creative cocktails and live music by night. All-day menu, open daily.