The DNA: It’s Richard Branson’s so there’s bound to be bling (just a dusting) and a wall to-wall soundtrack (unexpectedly appealing), but there’s restraint in the classy, zen-like bedrooms, while two contrasting bars and restaurants and a ‘Funny Library’ are smart and sassy. All that and an unbeatable Old Town location. Virgin Hotels Edinburgh is all about image – picture red carpet at the front door, followed by a light wall tunnel to the reception, where a glass of cold prosecco awaits. Sadly, much of the architectural detail of this lovely, historic building is gone, although the stunningly restored glass cupola survives (and is a quiet space to escape to). Expect lots of curves, mostly quiet colours and touches of humour – as if your coolest friend won the lottery, moved to Miami and became a Long Island designer.
Accolades: Finalist, Hospitality Design Restorations, Transformations + Conversions 2023
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 222 rooms & suites (24-73m2) (258-786 sq ft) • hotel opened: June 2022 • architecture: ICA • interior design: Four-by-Two, Joelle Reid Interiors • parking possible nearby (charged) ✅ pet friendly, no charges • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible