Stay at the Scotsman Hotel

How Good Is This Historic Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh?

Why Stay at the Scotsman Hotel,
5-star Famous Boutique Hotel in Edinburgh City Centre

  • Unusual and intricate design with quirky layout and lots of character.
  • Located in the historic landmark building of The Scotsman Newspaper.
  • Incredible views over Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle.
  • Health centre with stainless steel pool, gym and spa.
  • Location: Ultra central location in Edinburgh City Centre, very near Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle.
  • Rates: Average room price per night: £115-£260 ($181-$409) but special deals can save you up to 50%.

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Are you considering a stay at the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh? The hotel is a tempting choice as The Scotsman is one of the handful of landmark luxury hotels in Edinburgh city centre and almost as famous as the Balmoral Hotel or the Caledonian Hotel (but not quite). Is it an excellent five star hotel, though?

I've read hundreds of reviews from guests who have stayed at the Scotsman over the years and the following is a clear and unbiased summary of what these guests really thought of their stay at this hotel.

What's special about the Scotsman Hotel?

  • Full of character, located in the converted historic building of "The Scotsman" Newspaper on North Bridge.
  • Boutique hotel with an unusual design; it has quirky room shapes and narrow, winding corridors which make it feel secret, interesting and unique.
  • Each room is different in size, shape and style but all have a slight, toned-down Scottish touch.
  • Overlooks Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street and some of the rooms have beautiful views of the city's historic landmarks and across the Firth of Forth, to Fife.
  • Location: Right in the City Centre, next to the Waverley train station and the Airport shuttle bus stop and a few minutes' walk to Princes Street and the major Edinburgh attractions.

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What do guests really think?

The reviews of the Scotsman Hotel by guests hold a mix of opinions ranging from excellent to quite bad (for a 5-star luxury hotel), with the vast majority suggesting that:

  • The Scotsman is a very good luxury hotel in an excellent location but for some it wasn't quite the 5-star experience offered by other landmark 5-star hotels in Edinburgh.
  • The level of service, staff attitude, room comfort and quality of furnishings can be inconsistent from room to room and guest to guest.
  • Even with a majority of positive reviews, most guests feel that it's worth staying at this hotel only if you find really good discounted room rates or special offers.

The Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh City Centre

Scottish Tourist Board Rated 5 Star Hotel

20 North Bridge,
Postcode: EH1 1YT
Tel: +44 (0)131 556 5565
Official Scotsman Website

How far is the Scotsman Hotel from the bus and train stations?
Right next to the train station, 0.3 miles (0.5 km) approx to bus station

The Scotsman is on the North Bridge, very close to Princes Street and the Old Town.

Visit Scotland star rating: 5 star Townhouse Hotel
Hotel Reviews: Scotsman reviews

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My Recommendation

Based on the hundreds of reviews that I've read, I would recommend staying at The Scotsman if you are looking for a very good hotel right in Edinburgh City Centre with a truly unusual design and plenty of character but only if you are willing to overlook some potential let downs in terms of room comfort and level of service from staff which may make your experience short of the luxury standard set by other 5-star hotels in Edinburgh.

luxury hotel deals in Edinburgh.

In Depth Review of the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh

Historic and famous 5-star boutique hotel. Ultra central Edinburgh location.
Average room price per night: £115-£260 ($181-$409)

What is the Scotsman Hotel like?

Most guests find the building of the hotel itself to be stunning and the architecture is what makes the Scotsman Hotel so famous. This Victorian building conversion retains many of its historic features alongside the modern touches while its intricate layout give it an unusual character. However, many guests have reported the following.

Five Star Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh

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Building and room design

  • The rooms and suites are all of different sizes and styles which mean you could end up with a smaller room than you expected or one of a more unusual shape. This would obviously affect the layout of the furniture and the level of comfort you would expect.
  • The building wasn't originally designed to be a hotel but a printing press so its maze-like layout means that walking along corridors and finding your room, the spa, the bar or the brasserie can be a bit of a challenge, especially with no reference points or directions.
  • Because half of the hotel's storeys are located below the level of North Bridge, parts of it such as the breakfast room, gym and spa and many rooms lack natural lighting which can make it seem cold and uninviting to some guests or subdued and intimate to others.
  • The Scotsman hotel's central location means that the hotel overlooks the main road and the railway station making it potentially noisy for some guests. Some of the light sleepers (but not all) complain about the announcements from the rail station, traffic noise from the main road below and music from the nearby nightclubs.

Food and room comfort

  • Breakfast seems to be very good with the vast majority of guests happy with the selection of continental items and cooked to order hot food. Most guests are also happy with the dinner at the hotel with some exceptions, although many find other fine restaurants in Edinburgh to be better value for money. Some were unhappy with the long waiting times during busy periods and some complained about the quality of food. Bar service seems to be a bit slow as well.
  • The rooms are well equipped with most amenities you would expect from a 5-star hotel but they lack adequate climate control. This is not essential as Edinburgh can be cool most of the year. During the summer, though, there may be the occasional hot spells where air conditioning becomes necessary. Most guests were left to open the windows to let air in (although that's not always possible or easily done in some rooms) or use a fan.

Car parking and street access

  • The Scotsman Hotel has no on-site parking or valet parking so you would have to use the car park in the railway station itself (at a discounted rate). However, this is also an issue with many of the centrally located hotels in Edinburgh.
  • Aside from the main entrance to the hotel on North Bridge there is an unattended side entrance near Waverley train station where you are buzzed in. You then take the lift up to reception.

Spa and luxury touches

  • The health centre with its stainless steel pool, gym and spa receive consistently excellent reviews and are, for many guests, the best part of staying at the Scotsman Hotel. You may need to pre-book the spa as it's so popular.
  • Some nice touches include privacy hatch for room service (for undisturbed breakfast in bed), luxury Cowshed toiletries in decent-sized bottles (but fixed to the bathroom wall), Edinburgh Monopoly and Edinburgh Rock confectionery left on the bed.

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Staying at the Scotsman, Edinburgh - Web links

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