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Scotland Hotel Review: Inside Edinburgh’s Kimpton Charlotte Square

Inspector visits Edinburgh’s ‘perfectly placed’ Kimpton Charlotte Square hotel… and promises to return

  • The hotel is close to Rose Street, the Scottish capital’s famous pedestrian street full of pubs
  • The inspector is impressed by his ‘classic double room’, which is ‘spacious and generous’
  • A big selling point is the large spa in the basement, which has a heated pool, gym and treatment rooms, he says

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Nothing compares to Edinburgh on a clear and frosty morning. And when you stay at the Kimpton in the Georgian masterpiece Charlotte Square, you are in the perfect position to admire its wonders.

Prince Albert sits on a bronze horse in the center of the square (are his days numbered?); next door is Rose Street, the famous pedestrianized road lined with pubs, and walk 100m down to Princes Street and the mighty castle looms above you.

A couple of bikes are in the hotel lobby along with just enough tartan to get the Scottish message across without overdoing it.

The inspector has checked into the Kimpton, in the Georgian quarter of Edinburgh.  Pictured is the striking exterior of the hotel

The inspector has checked into the Kimpton, in the Georgian quarter of Edinburgh. Pictured is the striking exterior of the hotel

The reception area is the main part of seven interconnecting, narrow townhouses.

From here, double doors lead into The Garden, an area covered in glass, which doesn’t really feel like a garden, but there are plenty of places to sit and reflect – and breakfast is served here.

My ‘classic double’ room is spacious and generous, aided by complimentary Mackie’s salt and vinegar chips, a bag of freshly ground coffee and plenty of mineral water. The TV is on an easel.

Breakfast is served in The Garden (above) where there are 'plenty of places to sit and think'

Breakfast is served in The Garden (above) where there are 'plenty of places to sit and think'

Breakfast is served in The Garden (above) where there are ‘plenty of places to sit and think’

'The staff are unfailingly helpful and friendly', says De Inspecteur.  Pictured is one of the hotel's bedrooms

'The staff are unfailingly helpful and friendly', says De Inspecteur.  Pictured is one of the hotel's bedrooms

‘The staff are unfailingly helpful and friendly’, says De Inspecteur. Pictured is one of the hotel’s bedrooms

The hotel's large spa is a big selling point, as not many hotels in Edinburgh offer this.  Pictured is the heated pool and sauna

The hotel's large spa is a big selling point, as not many hotels in Edinburgh offer this.  Pictured is the heated pool and sauna

The hotel’s large spa is a big selling point, as not many hotels in Edinburgh offer this. Pictured is the heated pool and sauna

TRAVEL FACTS

Kimpton Charlotte Square, 38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4HQ. Doubles from £151.

For more information, call 0131 240 5500 or visit kimptoncharlottesquare.com.

Rating: ROLAND WHITE reviews last nights TV when the going gets

I am determined to see the Scottish National Gallery’s annual January exhibition of 38 Turner watercolors, donated in 1900 by the art collector Henry Vaughan.

“You have to, but you also have to go to the National Portrait Gallery,” says the receptionist. “I’ll reserve you for tomorrow morning.”

A big plus is the large spa in the basement, with a heated pool, gym and several treatment rooms. Not many hotels in Edinburgh offer this.

I’m not convinced Baba restaurant, which serves mezze-style plates of Middle Eastern food, strikes the right chord in Edinburgh city center but it’s bustling – and the bar next door has a great lineup of single malt whiskeys.

Having breakfast in The Garden is a relaxed affair and the staff are unfailingly helpful and friendly.

But I can’t linger too long because of my meeting with Turner at the National Gallery.

Waiting to enter with me is a couple sitting at the table next door at breakfast.

‘How did you like the hotel?’ I ask the man. “I really liked it and will go back,” he says. Me too.

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