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Malmaison Edinburgh City, Scotland
In the heart of the New Town, tucked away in a corner of St Andrew Square, this Malmaison, although opened in 2019, carries all the hallmarks of the original 'Mals': dark and sultry colours, playful design details, fun cocktails and a boutique hotel at a good-value price. A mix of an 18th-century building and a modern extension, skilfully joined, its bedrooms are classic Mal - low-lit affairs in shades of grey and ruby, with big shower-only bathrooms - as is the sea-blue restaurant with its booths and brasserie menu. There's a cool bar and small lounge and a team of cheery staff. An ideal spot if you want a punchy hotel without fancy extras.
We love being able to browse the high fashion shops of George Street one minute, then wrap ourselves in the peace of the National Portrait Gallery, on nearby Queen Street, the next.
The hotel is in the New Town, just five minutes' walk from Waverley Station.
By car: from Glasgow around 1 hour, from Newcastle around 2 hours 40 mins. There is parking nearby for £12 per day.
By train: from Glasgow Queens Street around 50 mins, from Manchester Picadilly around 3 hours and from London Kings Cross around 4 hours 45 mins. A taxi from Edinburgh Waverley station takes 12 minutes. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Ideal for younger or young-at-heart guests who want a snazzy boutique-style hotel in a great location as a base for exploring the city. The pillar-box red bedroom doors - some with a high-gloss sheen, others with edges illuminated by hidden lights - enliven corridors with a playful bordello feel.
Service & Facilities
The sultry bar, all velvet and deep blues, is popular with locals - who often glam up a bit - and a nice place to feel part of the scene. Dogs are welcome for an additional charge but are not allowed in any of the food-serving areas.
- Free Wi-Fi
Room 907 - admittedly a pricier Club Deluxe - has views straight towards the Firth of Forth as well as pampering chocolates and bathrobes. We like the gentle list of suggestions to encourage a more environmentally conscious stay, such as leaving recyclable items on the desk, and returning reusable key cards.
Cosy Room, Standard Room, Club Twin, Club Room, Club Deluxe, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite shower, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Enjoying a cocktail - porn star martini, apparently, is very popular - in the cool bar gets the evening off to a relaxed start. The smoked haddock fishcakes with poached egg and grainy mustard sauce has quite a kick.
Chez Mal Brasserie: English and French bistro dining. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Mains from £14.
Chez Mal Bar: drinks, cocktails and wines. Open Mon-Thu & Sun 5-11pm, Fri & Sat 3pm-midnight. Snacks from £5.