- Linda Macdonald, Destination expert
Next to Edinburgh’s main Waverley railway station, at the eastern end of Princes Street, and a short walk from the National Gallery and shopping areas.
Style & character
Built as a railway hotel, it has accommodated film stars, royalty and prime minsters. In 1997 it was bought by Sir Rocco Forte as the first hotel in the Rocco Forte Collection and completely refurbished by his sister, the designer Olga Polizzi. Original features include ornate plasterwork in the reception, an elegant well staircase and the dome-ceilinged Palm Court tearoom and bar in the centre of the hotel.
Service & facilities
Friendly, highly professional and efficient. Staff make a point of remembering guests’ names. An exceptionally large spa specialises in ESPA treatments and offers a relaxation suite, swimming pool and gym.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
There are 188 rooms of which 20 are suites. The most expensive rooms overlook Princes Street, the Castle and Arthur’s Seat, but also the less scenic railway station. Inside-facing rooms are the cheapest, but also the quietest, with views onto a deep, inner courtyard. Earthy coloured fabrics and walls (greys, browns, purples) reflect Scottish landscapes, mists and heathers. Some of the bathrooms come with windows and black and white iconic film shots of Sean Connery.
Your passport to a better trip
Food & drink
Number One, the hotel’s Michelin-starred eatery, is one of Edinburgh’s top restaurants and is overseen by Executive chef, Jeff Bland, who focuses on local Scottish ingredients. The restaurant occupies an intimate space in the hotel’s basement, with red-lacquered walls, velvet banquettes and well-spaced tables. Expect to pay £75 for a four-course Scottish Experience menu; £79 for a seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu. In 1930s Art Deco style, Hadrian’s brasserie (also used for breakfast) serves traditional Scottish dishes while the Palm Court has a Champagne bar and serves a fabulous afternoon tea (from £29); light lunches are also served in the Balmoral Bar.
Value for money
Double rooms from £284 in low season; rising to £595 in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Two rooms have adapted bathrooms, two with walk-in showers.
The 'Five-star Kids’ programme includes the provision of cots and baby equipment, teddy turn-down, hotel quizzes and children’s menus.