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Edinburgh Hotels for Couples

Seeing Scotland with Your Sweetheart


Its skyline dominated by ancient Edinburgh castle, the city is a fine place for romantic couples to visit. And whether you like hotels that are posh and proper or cool and contemporary, there's a place for you. Consider all of these on your upcoming visit to Edinburgh.

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh

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The largest hotel in Scotland and a member of the prestigious Connoisseurs Scotland group, the Sheraton got a major facelift in 2012 that also made it Edinburgh's most modern. While it's well suited for business travelers, couples will appreciate the Sheraton's One Spa. At 34,000 square feet and spanning four floors, it's the biggest in the country. We loved the indoor swimming pool and rooftop spa tub that's heated so you can relax in it even during a Scottish winter.

Casual couples will flock to One Square, the hotel's free-flowing restaurant/bar area. You can eat where, when, and what you want here. The menu is strong on Scottish favorites; we liked its salmon cakes and oysters. And while many bars boast of their whiskey selections, the Sheraton's focuses on gin, with 40 different brands. Fourteen meeting rooms and the largest (capacity 500) ballroom in Edinburgh make it a suitable venue for weddings of all sizes.

The 269 guest rooms feature Sweet Sleeper beds and fine feathered pillows, a wall of mirrors behind the king-size bed, generously sized robes and slippers, a large Phillips flatscreen TV, and shower and bathtub. Wired couples will appreciate the power sockets at the desk that accept both UK and American plugs. But don't spend too much time in your hotel; it's located across from Usher Hall, is two blocks from Princes Street shops, and about a £6 taxi ride or 15-minute walk to Edinburgh Castle at the head of Royal Mile.

The Scotsman

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Poised high on a hill overlooking the Scottish Parliament building to the right and Princes Street straight ahead, The Scotsman has an interesting provenance: Built circa 1905, it was once home to The Scotsman newspaper. Converted into a luxury hotel, it retains elements from its past including a marble staircase and stained-glass windows. The basement, where the presses once ran, has been converted to a fitness center with a swimming pool. The North Bridge brasserie on The Scotsman's ground floor holds the distinction of serving the best haggis breakfast in the whole of Ireland and the UK; more palatable fare is available for those who'd prefer to start the day munching on something other than a sheep's internal organs (we appreciated the Scottish salmon).

Each spacious guest room is slightly different. We recommend staying in an Editors Room. These boast spectacular views from on high. And if you're planning on having a romantic wedding in an historic setting, The Scotsman is an experienced host that offers wedding packages for everything from intimate affairs to grand gatherings that can even include use of the hotel's private movie theater to view wedding-day photos and videos on its big screen. The Scotsman is also a member of Connoisseurs Scotland.

The Balmoral

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Located right on Princes Street in the heart of Edinburgh, the stately Balmoral hotel can be identified by its clock tower. Kilted doormen guide you into this city classic. Come for tea in the Palm Court or dinner in the Michelin-starred number one; both are somewhat formal experiences. Menus focus on locally sourced Scottish fare prepared in the French manner. In addition to its indoor swimming pool, The Balmoral spa contains a Finnish sauna, Turkish steam room, and gym. Modern rooms have beds sheathed in fine textiles plus marble bathrooms, creating an environment of comfort and elegance in the city's highest-priced hostelry.

Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh

© Hotel Missoni.
Design-conscious couples will revel in Hotel Missoni's modern luxury with an Italian accent. The bold and vivid patterns and colors the design house is known for have been interpreted in guest rooms and public areas. Stylish and fanciful spaces include Cucina Missoni Italian restaurant, which serves a mouth-watering array of antipasti, pasta, risotto, vegetable dishes, fish and meat entrees, and desserts such as cannoli and tiramisu. Bar Missoni serves an Italian take on tea time, and Prosecco is on tap. The hotel is located right off the Royal Mile and a five-minute walk downhill from Edinburgh Castle. Guest rooms feature Bang & Olufsen LCD TVs, iPod connectors, Nespresso coffeemakers, and Missoni bathrobes. Wi-fi, local calls, some movies, and the minibar contents are complimentary, as is the laundering of two items.

Hotel Indigo Edinburgh

© InterContinental Hotels.
Contemporary comfort in a low-rise, Hotel Indigo was formed out of five undistinguished 18th-century buildings and opened in 2012. It shows its true colors indoors, where vividly hued guest rooms with an expansive shower big enough for two (but no tub) await. Set within the New Town Conservation area, the hotel is within the Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 60-room hotel is a few minutes' walk from the City Centre and the Waverley railway station as well as Stand Comedy Club. Wi-fi is free, as are snacks and sodas from the minibar. A fitness center that doesn't close and the Turquoise Thistle restaurant bar and lounge provide gathering spaces for cool couples.

The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Opened in 1903 to cater to railway customers, the Caledonian is an Edinburgh landmark on Princes Street that overlooks the Castle. An initiative that upgraded the hotel to Waldorf=Astoria status yielded refreshed guest rooms that provide luxurious aeries for business or pleasure. The in-hotel health club encompasses a Guerlain spa, pool, and gym. An Edinburgh tradition, tea is served in the Castle Lounge from 2 to 5 pm daily. The tall windows of the Pompadour Restaurant overlook the street. Many a Scotsman and visitor have quaffed their share of whiskey at The Caley Bar, which boasts its own malt.

The Glasshouse

© The Glasshouse.
Edinburgh's Glasshouse hotel teaches guests to not go by first impressions. Built behind the medieval gothic façade of 150-year-old Lady Glenorchy church, The Glasshouse is a modern hotel with patios and grassy spots and a rooftop garden where lavender grows. Beds in its 65 guest rooms are dressed in Frette Egyptian cotton sheets. Floor-to-ceiling windows let the sunshine in and the use of bathrobe and slippers and CD player make it a good place near the Edinburgh Playhouse to kick back. Licensed for civil weddings, venues at The Glasshouse include the roof gardens and alfresco terraces. Wedding night delights include a Love Compilation CD, bathrobes to take home, truffles and strawberries, and Champagne breakfast in bed the morning after.

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