At the heart of Edinburgh's New Town, Kimpton Charlotte Square offers a boutique stay in historic surrounds, just an easy stroll from the Royal Mile, Arthur's Seat and some of the city's best attractions.
Whether or not you've heard of Kimpton, the original boutique luxury hotel group hailing from San Francisco, or stayed in one of its 80 hotels, you'll want to check out its latest opening, which follows in the brand's tradition of reviving historical buildings. Occupying seven interconnecting Georgian townhouses, Kimpton Charlotte Square overlooks one of Edinburgh's most beautiful private garden squares in the Unesco-protected New Town.
The design blends classic and modern, the dark and imposing exterior giving way to the sumptuously warm and richly-decorated interior. Expect leather riding boots by fireplaces, mahogany benches, hat-stands and pictures in gilded frames, all flanked by turquoise, burnt yellow and Wadi Rum-mud coloured tiles, vibrant carpets and tapestries.
What's for breakfast?
If you don't want to order from the comprehensive room service menu and treat yourself to breakfast in one of the most comfortable hotel beds in Scotland, head down to The Garden, the light-filled urban oasis restaurant space, which serves breakfast (and lunch) inspired by the seasons.
What about lunch and dinner?
Like the rest of the hotel, destination restaurant BABA is inspired by the Middle East and offers playfully curated mezze dishes that fuse Scottish and Levantine flavours and concepts - take waiters' advice to mix, match, and share. This place is popular with locals, so it's a good idea to book a space at one of their shared tables when you check in.
Is there a bar?
Very much so. The Lebanese-inspired BABA bar is popular with guests and passersby, with a unique cocktail menu offering original twists on the old classics, such as the "Sesamartini" and olive-oil negroni, all served by enthusiastic staff who are happy to whip up a bespoke cocktail based on your poison of choice.
Although the hotel has 184 rooms and 15 suites, it hasn't lost the home-from-home feeling you can only get from old houses, particularly with signature Kimpton perks such as the "Forgot It, We've Got It" service (which provides necessities and things you didn't know you needed - anti-static spray, anyone?). There's also a regular visitor service that allows frequent guests to leave a bag of essentials, ready for the next visit.
The hotel has in-room yoga mats, a newly refurbished swimming pool and gym with free fitness and wellness classes, and The Spa, which offers treatments by OSKIA and Ishga. It's also home to No. 33, a hotel within the hotel that can be booked for exclusive use for up to 24 guests. The space includes seven suites and six bedrooms, as well as a tasteful but lavish dining room and drawing room, for when you want to channel your inner Georgian host.
Things you should know
Kimpton's founder often brought his dog, Chianti, to work with him, and the hotels have been animal-friendly ever since. If your pet fits through the door, they'll look after it, so bring your dog to help drag you away from breakfast and up Arthur's Seat, which is a walkable distance away. If you decide to drive, the hotel has a car park; make sure you let them know in advance so the valet can dash out when you arrive and rescue your car from the double yellow lines outside.
Within a short walk you'll find…
You're in spitting distance of the delights of Edinburgh's Georgian New Town and Princes Street, where you can shop to your heart's content; as well as being an easy stroll to the medieval Old Town, which needs little introduction thanks to its famous Royal Mile and castle. The Edinburgh Gin Distillery is just around the corner - a trip to its working distillery for a tour and tasting will always top our must-do list. Wherever you walk, the hotel hasn't forgotten where it is, and offers umbrellas to guests as they head out.