The Scotsman is an iconic five-star hotel occupying an enviable position at the top of North Bridge, with spectacular views of Waverley Train Station, Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill and the Royal Mile.
The building was once the home of the daily newspaper of the same name, but it's been tastefully remodeled to become one of Edinburgh's most prestigious boutique hotels.
The Scotsman Hotel building at night — Photo courtesy of The Scotsman Hotel
Completed in 1905, The Scotsman is a red sandstone building in the Edwardian baronial style. The lower sections of the building housed the print machinery and opened directly on to Market Street, so that papers fresh from the presses could be loaded on to trains for distribution.
Writers and editors had their offices in the middle and upper levels, and the loft housed carrier pigeons who connected the writers with their sources across Scotland.
The building was redeveloped as a hotel in 2001, and the newspaper moved to modern purpose-built offices in Holyrood. However, the hotel retained many of the charming period features and, according to some, it's still home to a number of ghosts!
Welcome to The Scotsman — Photo courtesy of ScotsmanHotel
The exterior of the building is crowned with a series of beautiful turrets and dominated by the large gilded sign surrounded by flourishes of carved stone, which reads "The Scotsman." The entrance is set back from the street beside a small but perfectly kept garden.
Large wooden doors open to a wide vestibule with a stunning marble staircase overlooked by original stained glass windows.
The reception room now houses the North Bridge Bar and Brasserie. The dining areas retain the original oak panelling and marble pillars and feature a beautifully embellished wooden balcony perched above the main restaurant and cocktail bar.
The Press Room in the basement, once a hive of frenetic activity at all hours, is now home to a state-of-the-art gym and wonderfully relaxing spa. Guests and visitors relax by the stunning steel swimming pool or enjoy a treatment in one of the bespoke rooms or the relaxation suite.
One of the Editors Rooms — Photo courtesy of The Scotsman Hotel
Many of the 69 rooms and suites preserve echoes of their former function, and each is individually designed to a very high standard.
The Classic Rooms are their standard offerings, although they are anything but standard in quality and comfort. The Editors Rooms are a touch more luxurious and have spectacular views of the city, while the Publishers and Directors Suites are the height of opulence and luxury.
If you really want to push the boat out, opt for the Penthouse Suite, which is set over two floors and includes its own dining area, library, lounge and study. The suite even features a mezzanine bathroom and sauna accessed by a stunning spiral staircase.
The hotel operates a 24-hour concierge service and offers free wi-fi throughout. There are also some unexpected but delightful extras, like the private screening room with its sumptuous leather arm chairs.