Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel
Glammed-Up Grande Dame
What it is
Tucked within seven Georgian-era townhouses that flank a historic garden, with artful interiors, an indoor pool and spa, and a buzzing Middle Eastern boîte.
What it isn't
Unattractive. Every inch of the place is Instagrammable, including The Garden, a bar and restaurant within a lush greenhouse dotted with an abundance of plants.
What we think
Kimpton is known for being the arty cool kid in the IHG stable, and it’s more than earned the accolade at this Edinburgh outpost. Guest rooms here were designed as if for a modern Winston Churchill, with leather-wrapped headboards and Chesterfield sofas, gallery walls of art, Deco-inspired lighting and Kimpton trademarks (yep, you’ll spy a yoga mat in your closet for post-haggis stretching). Amenities are luxe, including rainfall showers, Nespresso machines, marble-tiled bathrooms and custom-made toiletries by cult Brit brand The Perfumer’s Story. To truly feel like you live here, book a Townhouse Suite, which starts at 796-square-feet and has its own living and dining spaces, or splurge on No. 33 at Charlotte Square, a hotel-within-the-hotel with its own entrance, multiple bedrooms and a drawing room, plus an over-the-top Scottish breakfast (paging Sir Churchill!) each morning.
You're here because
You have to have a pool, or it’s not vacay. Plus, the spa has thoroughly chillaxing treatments like Hebridean sea salt and seaweed body wraps.
Science is on the menu at Aizle, where the six-course tasting menu transforms, as if in puffs of a magician’s smoke, constantly. Chef Stuart Ralston competed on the Great British Menu 2021 and it shows, from the house-made aged kombucha cocktails to the just-churned butter.
Restaurants & Bars
THE GARDEN - a lovely place in the courtyard for fresh cocktails, lush plants, and twinkly lighting that encourages another round—or two.
BABA - At Baba, Scottish and Middle Eastern traditions unite in shareable mezze and charcoal-grilled entrees.
Just down the hill from Edinburgh Castle, within a UNESCO World Heritage Site neighborhood known as New Town (despite the fact that it’s very, very old). A 15 minute walk away: the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, where the red sandstone 1882 structure houses more than 3,000 paintings and sculptures; look for Mary, Queen of Scots, painted in 1587.