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The UK’s second (and third, and thereafter) cities don’t often get much of a look in when it comes to attracting Americans – whether visitors or investors. But all that might be about to change with the news that Aloft is preparing quite an aggressive British invasion.
Pay for your room what you think your stay was worth. A brave initiative that was recently tried in Paris and now has made its way across the Channel and up to Scotland.
Cringletie House, a castle hotel in the Scottish Borders outside Edinburgh, has just launched a “20 in a bed” promotion. And before your minds end up in the gutter, know that it’s simply the opportunity to invite 10 couples to stay – in individual rooms – and, basically, let them know how they’re doing.
The stays are bed and breakfast, and there’s no set fee – they simply want your opinion, and you’re free to pay as much as you think it’s worth.
One of Edinburgh’s treasured historic buildings is getting closer to becoming a luxury hotel. But don’t check your schedule yet, we can't tell you the name, the opening date, or the number of rooms. However, we do know it will bear a flag we all recognize and it will be a first for that flag in Edinburgh. Our thinking caps are firmly in place.
Built in 1829 on Calton Hill with an Acropolis-like presence, this Greek Revival building was originally a boy’s school, and has been empty and in need of TLC since 1968.
Converting the A-listed heritage site to a luxury “arts hotel” has been on the table since 2010 when developers Duddingston House Properties secured a 125-year lease on the property. Early plans raised both eyebrows and concerns from the public, preservation agencies, and city planning officials. Understandable but imagine the possibilities.
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Edinburgh's Urban Villa
It feels like only yesterday that we were mourning the demise of the Hotel Missoni (and then the most expensive hotel in Scotland), but Edinburgh isn’t the kind of town to let a couple of closures get it down – instead it’s up and at ‘em with new plans.
Hot on the heels of the opening of the Ibis Styles, which we talked about last week, come plans from Marriott to build Scotland’s second Courtyard by Marriott property (it already has one at Aberdeen Airport). The Courtyard Edinburgh Hotel will have 240 rooms and will open in 2016, taking over three neighboring Georgian townhouses in Baxter’s Place, in central Edinburgh. Fun fact: Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather once lived there.
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Ibis Styles Liverpool
As hotel group after hotel group rushes to create new brands that will appeal to millennials, with what feels like new launches bragging about social media-friendly spaces every week, one brand has been quietly reinventing itself. There’s been no real fanfare around it – no extravagant boasts, no flagrant appeals to the self-obsessed generation – just a focus on stylish, unchainlike rooms, low prices and free WiFi. The name of that chain? Ibis Styles.
Not too long ago, Ibis was a byword for budget – in a bad way. Ibis rooms were dark, boring, fusty. They weren’t hotels you planned to stay in, they were hotels you ended up in when you couldn’t find or afford better. (I say this with the hindsight of adulthood – when I was a child, going on holiday to France and staying in an Ibis – or Eebis, as they called it – seemed like the most exciting thing in the world.)
But Ibis Styles are different from proper Ibises (Ibes?) – they have style and verve. Even better, they’re different from each other, too, and relate to the cities they're located in. There’s nothing in the design that screams Ibis, and, speaking (just) as a millennial, that is what we like.
Ibis Styles Brussels
My Ibis Styles revelation came this summer, when I was walking down Avenue Louise in Brussels and noticed two giant smiley faces staring out at me from a nearby window – it was the lobby of the Ibis Styles Brussels Louise, whose chic, startling white rooms start at just €71. Then I read about Ibis Styles Liverpool (from just £71) and was sold.
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Malmaison Edinburgh, a former brothel
Introducing our handy hotel guides--HotelChatter's Must Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. After yesterday’s trip to London, we're staying across the pond with Edinburgh. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.
Looking for a hotel in Edinburgh? You can troll online review sites, crowdsource on Facebook and comb through endless “Best Hotels” lists but why do all that when we’ve done all the work for you already?
To mark Scotland’s decision to remain in the United Kingdom, here are four different hotels to try in the Scottish capital. So whether you’re going for pleasure or work and whether you’ve got cash to throw around or have pennies to count, these hotels will fulfill your needs. One common thread running through these hotel picks? They have all free WiFi. So during your stay, you can write us a thank you email for the recommendation.
In two days time, Scotland will go to the polls to decide whether it wants to become an independent state or remain part of the United Kingdom. Politicians and business people are tussling over what would be better for the country.
In the meantime, Scotland’s most expensive hotel ever – the first to charge £1000 a night – has quietly closed its doors.
The Atholl, in the West End of the city, opened in 2012 after a £5m conversion project. And now, according to owner Alison Davies (and the Daily Mail), it’s closed for good. No more Hermes wallpaper, no more Albert Roux restaurant, no more “award-winning garden”. The hotel will be converted into apartments.
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As the site of a year-long Homecoming celebration, the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup, Andy Murray hotel, and possible declaration of independence, Scotland is having a huge year in 2014. Good time for a new hotel to open up in the capital, Edinburgh.
The just-opened 138-room DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre is the first DoubleTree by Hilton in the city, joining 21 of the brand's properties in the United Kingdom. While the hotel at first looks to be a wee bit out from the main Old Town/Grassmarket/Princes Street drag, it's actually in a pretty handy location, a few minutes' walk from the castle, the bars and restaurants of Lothian Street, and the National Museum.
At first we wondered if we would soon be witness to a hotel whisky death match in Edinburgh, then we realized: it's Scotland, there's room for more than one whisky hotel.
The whisky, which is named Nira Caledonia, comes from Tullibardine, a single-malt distillery in the Perthshire region that has been in operation since 1949. It is an Aged Oak Single Malt with cereal and vanilla tones with a slight fruitiness, and the hotel's bar, Blackwood's, is the only place in Edinburgh where you can try it.
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Any hotelier who looks at their elevators as merely a necessary function by which to transport guests between the lobby and their rooms is missing an opportunity, because if our hotel has a quirky elevator, we're probably going to talk about it. Here are ten of the best hotel elevators we've come across over the last few years.
If that photo above tickles your fancy -- for both the Scotch collection and the be-kilted Scotsman -- you'll want to be adding Edinburgh's The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte property to your hotel bucket list.
The five-star landmark hotel, located on the city's main Princes Street, has just opened SCOTCH a new signature whisky bar located in its former drawing room space that features the largest collection of purely Scottish whiskies available to the general public in Edinburgh.
Murrayfield House, is a new nine-bedroom boutique extension of the Murrayfield Hotel in Edinburgh’s City Centre. It’s another property that seems to have quietly opened while we were setting our sights on the fancy Waldorf Astoria's Caledonian. Still, we dig the idea of a tiny Victorian property that you can buy completely out, if you want (wedding parties, take note!).
The hotel, owned by independent leisure company G1 Group, is located opposite the Scottish rugby field, Murrayfield Stadium, and is minutes away from Edinburgh Zoo and Haymarket Train Station.
Furniture and accessories have been brought in from around the world—vintage items from India, light fixtures from Holland, chairs from Paris, and antique photo frames grace the room. Guests also get daily complimentary presents like whisky nips and home-made macaroons. Oh, and the WiFi is free, too.