A large, classically elegant establishment sitting on a hot address, The George has had a good couple of centuries experience in the hotel industry, and it shows! Filling up five Georgian town houses, the hotel is a successful mix of original features and contemporary style. Perched at the higher end of the four-star spectrum, The George was bought by luxury hotel brand Principle Hayley a few years back, which funded a £20 million refurbishment of the property.
The George is located on the suitably chic George Street, at the heart of Edinburgh's upper-end shopping area. Once the city's banking district, the neighbouring buildings are an impressive bunch, and many have been converted into trendy bars and restaurants. George Street runs parallel to Princes Street (also a shopping haven), and Edinburgh's principle attractions including the castle and the National Scottish Museum are all within close walking distance. The hotel is a five minute walk from Waverly station, from where direct airport buses depart regularly. For those arriving by car, the nearest NPC carpark is a 5 minute walk from the hotel.
The George was voted the best hotel in Edinburgh at the 2011 Scottish hotel awards, and also holds gold Green Tourism Award. The hotel's recent revamp saw the creation of a Tempus bar and restaurant with a separate George Street entrance. To complete the transformation, the old restaurant (originally the Caledonian Insurance trading hall) has been turned into the magnificent domed Kings Hall.
The George is a well-run and well thought-out hotel, with a large entrance hall, reception and waiting area, and plenty of staff ready and willing to help. The grade II listed building is full of original features and the reception, restaurant and Kings Hall dining room are top quality.
Rooms differ slightly depending on whether they're in the new building or the old building, but all are clean and comfortable, if not particularly striking. A highland aubergine and heather colour scheme runs throughout, and furniture is modern but uniform. The hotel offers a large number of interconnecting rooms, making this a winner with families traveling to the capital. Upgrading to a deluxe room will buy you more floor space and just bigger things in general. A bigger TV, double sinks, bigger wardrobe. Some rooms have excellent views out over the Edinburgh rooftops and down towards Leith on the coast. A turn down service will also be effectuated on demand. Some bathrooms seemed a little on the small side and, disappointingly in such a nice hotel, had cheap white shower curtains instead of the classic glass door. Another slight downside was that the rooms didn't have minibars
The Tempus bar and restaurant was first opened when the hotel was refurbished, and have grown from strength to strength since. With huge bay windows looking out over George Street, and ample light and space, the bar is a popular destination for locals and those looking for a break from their shopping sprees. Tempus serves bar snacks, tasty and modern Edinburgh classics and also has a dinnertime menu with sophisticated French food to choose from. We tried the steak and the fish and chips - both perfectly cooked, delicious and reasonably priced! The fish was crispy and came with a stack of mouth-watering chunky chips? perfect fuel for a heavy day of sightseeing! We also sampled the deliciously creamy house mash - highly recommended.
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