Whatever your expectations of Edinburgh are, it will be sure to impress you. The pretty grey stone architecture which envelopes the elevated town centre is what makes the city what it is, and the immaculate scenery has resulted in the entire City Centre being crowned as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Whether you’re here for the history or the culture- which spans much longer than the three week Fringe in August, make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes for exploring and something fancy for the evenings. Even though it is a University town, the sartorial efforts definitely get ramped up on the weekends.
The five stat George Hotel is in a prime location for both day and night adventures and this nestled in the heart of bouji Georgetown, it is modern with a touch of Scotch and is surprisingly unstuffy! Sitting snugly on one of the city’s main streets in the historic quarter it has easy access to international transport as the airport is a 40 minute tram ride and the Waverley train Station is just a five minute walk.
Situated in such a bustling hotspot, the exterior of The George is relatively unassuming, with a simple cluster of flags indicating its entrance, but once inside, the wow factor kicks in. Once you have entered the marble lobby, you can see why guests have been eager to stay at the property since it opened its doors as a hotel in 1881. Beginning life as five listed Georgian townhouses, built in 1775 as homes for Edinburgh’s most prosperous citizens, it has been developed into a spacious dwelling, with traditional Georgian architecture; whilst a modern Forth Wing has been added, offering direct views across the city to the Firth. But all rooms are classically furnished in a subtly contemporary style. Expect tweed throws, voluminous duvets, thick curtains and buttersoft leather upholstery, which help you enjoy a peaceful sleep.
Make sure you are hungry when it comes to breakfast! You can pre-order the night before so it’s delivered to your room, but I rather enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of eating in The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen. Taking a seat at a leather banquette and being served fresh orange juice, a pot of coffee and perusing the cooked to order menu, both breakfast experiences impressed me. Even though it gets busy, the staff are unflustered and attentive, and the omelette is insanely good!
You can take your time, lingering over more coffee and watching the world go by in the adjacent Burr & Co coffee shop, or just head out with your walking shoes to explore the sights. Edinburgh’s highest point, Arthur’s Seat is a great start, as the views from here are spectacular; the castle is within walking distance, and if you are a whisky fan, the new Johnnie Walker Experience, Princes Street is an immersive experience complete with three whisky cocktails.
With countless bars and restaurants within the area (and tea rooms in the Royal Mile), you can find something to tickle your tastebuds. If you need any advice, the kilted concierge is happy to help- and loan you one of the handy branded golf umbrellas if you’re caught out.
With authentic creaky floorboards, practical items like hair straighteners and mobile phone chargers, and a small but perfectly formed gym, The George covers all bases for a luxury weekend break.
For more information and booking:
The George Hotel, 19-21 George St, Edinburgh, EH2 2PB, Scotland
0131 225 1251