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January 15, 2021

Intercontinental Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The hotel has undergone a multimillion-dollar refurbishment while retaining the history and character of the storied building.

By Samantha Coles

One of Edinburgh’s most-loved addresses, InterContinental Edinburgh The George has undergone a multimillion-dollar refurbishment while retaining the history and character of the storied building. Its top-notch location in the Unesco World Heritage Site city calls to first-time visitors who want to explore, but the attentive staff, laid-back dining and elegant decor keep guests coming back again and again.


The George Street Suite

Size – 667 sq ft
Nightly rate – From $930

The nicely sized guest rooms are decorated with elegant neutral tones and choice artifacts such as spinning globes and antique maps. The George Street Suite can be found within the original townhouse and has views over George Street, known for its historic buildings. It is more akin to an apartment than a hotel suite—even though Edinburgh is calling to be explored, you might find yourself spending a little more time indoors than you expected. The turndown service includes fresh flowers — a lovely touch.


The Georgian building has been standing in the heart of the Scottish capital since 1780. It has been welcoming hotel guests since 1881, when it became The George Hotel. It has long been a prestigious address in Edinburgh and has recently been rebranded as part of InterContinental; it’s the brands first Scottish hotel. Poet Robert Burns and novelist Sir Walter Scott were regulars, and novelist Susan Ferrier (also known as the Scottish Jane Austen) lived at the esteemed address. As Edinburgh has more grade-listed buildings than anywhere else in the UK, architecture and history buffs will love exploring the streets. Bring your camera—you’ll need it. InterContinental Edinburgh The George’s stellar concierge team will help you see all the sights —and lend you an umbrella for the drizzly Scottish weather.


The Printing Press Bar and Kitchen is a delightful nod to the building’s past life as a printing press: polished walnut, industrial chic and supple leather come together to create a 1920s speakeasy-style dining space. It still has the feel of a printing press; look closely to spot the typewriters and collection of books dotted throughout. Breakfast here is notably good; a hot buffet with all the usuals (including haggis) are in Le Creuset pots; dense banana bread and other pastries are available too, as is a ‘to-go’ station if you’re in a rush. On the weekend, there’s a chilled-out brunch menu with free-flowing bubbly. Burr & Co, the hotel’s own coffee shop, has a lively buzz. Grab a seat by the window and watch the world go by while you nibble on a homemade cake. The award-winning Printing Press Bar has a fun and cool decor, as well as a collection of local spirits from single malts to Edinburgh gin and Scottish vodka, naturally.


Intercontinental Edinburgh The George is in an excellent location if you like to wander on foot. Edinburgh is such a walkable city, and you’re in walking distance from Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, as well as the pretty Princes Street Gardens and a number of boutiques (we recommend calling in to Hamilton & Inches, just down the road at number 87 George Street, to check out the Scottish Gold jewelry collection). To go a little further afield, Barnbougle Castle is just a half-hour taxi ride away from the hotel. This grand estate is as fascinating as it is perfectly preserved; it was first built in the 13th century before a rebuild in 1881 with the purpose of housing the private library of Archibald, 5th Earl of Rosebery. He later became prime minister and would use the grand gallery hall to practice his speeches. It sits on the shores of the Firth of Forth—be sure to go for a bracing stroll along the wild beach.


Kieran Quinn, general manager,
+44 131 255 1251,

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