Nira Caledonia

New Town, Edinburgh, United Kingdom Book from Book from £71 per night

An elegant Georgian hotel tucked away in a peaceful part of Edinburgh's cobbled New Town
Nira Caledonia, the former home of literary figure John Wilson, was built in 1823 by renowned Scottish architect William Playfair. Nowadays, it’s an opulently decorated 28-bedroom hotel, occupying 2 townhouses of Gloucester Place, a Georgian crescent in the New Town. The location is fantastic - central yet tranquil - and there's even a leafy garden where you can soak up the peace and quiet. You're a short hop from Princes Street and the main sights, and bohemian Stockbridge with its antique shops, delis, independent boutiques and bookstores is on your polished doorstep.

After dark, return to eat locally sourced regional specialities (haggis, venison, Highlands beef) in the sophisticated restaurant before settling down in the cosy bar to taste a vintage malt whisky from the vast array. Or perhaps 2. Because you're on holiday, and you'll sleep deeply thanks to vast beds with 2,000-pocket-sprung mattresses. And you can always have breakfast in bed, at no extra charge...

Highs

  • Beautiful but comfortable rooms with Orient-inspired décor and lots of little luxuries (iPod docks, Nespresso machines, L’Occitane toiletries)
  • The neo-classical features: floor-to-ceiling Georgian sash windows, detailed cornicing and gorgeous wooden floors
  • Some Suites have Jacuzzis, and even the smaller rooms have glamorous stone bathrooms with tubs and showers
  • Perfect for a romantic break, but twin rooms and extra beds mean it's great for friends and families, too

Lows

  • No lift and no disabled access, but staff carry your bags to the room
  • Breakfast is nice but we felt it could do with a few more healthy options – the menu is pretty high calorie
  • Our suite was vast but the bathroom was small in comparison. This isn't the case in all rooms though - ask when booking
  • We found the service to be friendly but a little impersonal

Best time to go

Edinburgh is great to visit at any time of year. In winter, coincide your visit with Hogmany and watch the outstanding display of fireworks in Princes Street Gardens. In summer, enjoy an outlandish party atmosphere at The Edinburgh Festival (August) alongside a throng of international visitors. In between these months, you’ll find that unpredictable weather never stops play, as long as you’re dressed to accommodate 4 seasons in one day...

Our top tips

  • Head into Stockbridge to discover an array of fantastic boutiques, including Golden Hare books and mouthwatering cafés like the Swedish bakery Söderberg.
  • Chamomile Sanctuary on nearby Alva Street is one of Edinburgh’s best-kept secrets. Make advance reservations for a pampering package. Afterwards, you're close to Harvey Nichols and St Andrews Square for some retail therapy.
  • Great for...

    City Style
    Family
    Foodie
    Romantic
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 28
    • Restaurant & bar
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    Room:

    Rooms

    Nira Caledonia has a range of room categories: Suites, with or without a Jacuzzi, Executive Doubles, Petite Doubles and Singles. There are also Petite Double Plus rooms and Executive Double Plus rooms, which are similar to their counterparts but more recently renovated.

    Some rooms have access to the garden, others are a cosy hideaway up in the rafters. And whilst the larger rooms are situated at the front of the townhouses facing onto the street, we really liked the smaller, quieter rooms at the back of the buildings, with beautiful views over Stockbridge and The Water of Leith. Don't feel you need to upgrade; all are generous in size for a city hotel.

    We stayed in a Suite (Wilson), which overlooked the quiet, cobbled street below. A wonderfully high ceiling with a stunning chandelier stole the show, and we loved the 2 huge sash windows festooned by a vast swathe of curtains and pelmets. Decorative influences were from the Orient and there was everything we needed for a perfect city break, including a full-sized sofa, a coffee table stacked with piles of glossy magazines, and even a revitalising Jacuzzi in the glamorous mirrored ensuite. Nespresso machines and a half bottle of complimentary prosecco kept us nicely hydrated.

    Contemporary stone bathrooms have a tub and shower, luxurious L’Occitane toiletries, robes, slippers and a hairdryer.

    Features include:

    • 24-hour room service
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Coffee maker
    • Cots Available
    • Desk
    • DVD player
    • Extra beds
    • Hairdryer
    • Internet access
    • Ipod dock
    • Iron (on request)
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Satellite TV
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi

    Eating

    Eating in the hotel's wonderful Blackwood's Bar & Grill was the highpoint of our stay. We recommend you dress up for dinner. The surroundings are elegant, the service is discreet and professional, and it's a classy affair. Beware the food is deliciously rich.

    With an emphasis on locally sourced, fresh and often organic ingredients, the menu spans house specialities like Shetland mussels with white wine and chillies, followed by ‘Highland Drovers’: traditional Highland beef reared outside on natural grasses and heathers. Desserts are especially delicious - classic offerings with a twist, like sticky toffee pudding with banana and single malt whisky toffee sauce. Follow your meal with a drink in the cosy bar, Bohemian Blends, where you'll find a vast array of malt whiskies, full-bodied vintage reds and local ‘Innis and Gunn’ beer.

    Breakfast continues to keep things local - Scottish porridge, black pudding, Scottish smokies (kippers) and smoked Scottish salmon. However, we couldn't resist the delicious Scottish fry-up! Lighter continental fare - cured meats, cheeses, croissants - is available buffet-style at the bar.

    If you want a change of scene, there are a number of great local restaurants, bistros and cocktail bars in Stockbridge, a short walk away.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Breakfast
    • Coffee / tea making
    • Coffee maker
    • Minibar/fridge
    • Organic produce
    • Restaurant
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service
    • Vegetarian menu
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Stroll around Stockbridge, where you’ll find a bohemian village-like atmosphere with lots of antique shops and delis. Pop into Herbie’s for Portobello bacon, stone-baked bread and organic cider, and Mellis for artisan cheeses. There's a Sunday market, too
    • First time in the city? Book a double-decker bus tour and take in the iconic sights: Edinburgh Castle, The Scott Monument, Princes Street Gardens, the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood Palace and downtown Leith
    • Spend an afternoon tasting the finest malts at the Scotch Whisky Experience, or drink cocktails at Raconteur, a hidden gem on a deserted street in the centre
    • Take an energetic walk up Arthur’s Seat to admire the stunning cityscape below and breathe super-pure air
    • Hit the designer shops around George Street and St Andrews Square, then take afternoon tea in Jenner’s Department Store
    • Hire a bike and cycle along the Union Canal, play golf, or book a snowboarding class at Midlothian Snowsports Centre
    • Families will enjoy the pandas and penguins at Edinburgh Zoo

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Cycling
    • Golf
    • Historical sites
    • Hot air ballooning
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Private guided tours
    • Shopping / markets
    • Well being

    Kids

    Children receive a warm welcome at Nira Caledonia, as our son experienced, and kids 5 or under stay for free. There are extra beds and baby cots, and a selection of family DVDs at reception, but no kids' menus at the restaurant.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    The Suites are the best option as they can sleep up to 4 with the use of extra beds. The Executive Doubles can fit a baby cot.

    Kid Friendly:

    Location

    Nira Caledonia is in the New Town, in central Edinburgh.

    By Air:
    Fly into Edinburgh Airport (12km), which is served by many domestic and international airlines. Alternatively, fly to Glasgow (85km) and drive here (1.5 hours). Click on the links below for a list of airlines.

    From the Airport
    A taxi costs around £25 from Edinburgh and £100 from Glasgow. Alternatively, you can ask for a transfer, hire a car, take the Edinburgh Shuttle (a door-to-door shared taxi service which is cheaper), or take a bus into the centre and walk to the hotel.

    By Train:
    Edinburgh’s Waverley station is a mainline station, reachable from London and Birmingham in 4.5 hours, Glasgow in 45 minutes and York in just over 2 hours. Nira Caledonia is a short taxi ride away or a 15-minute walk.

    By Car:
    Edinburgh is a great city to explore on foot so there’s no need to bring a car. But if you do want to hire one, see our car rental recommendations. There's private parking near the hotel (extra cost).

    Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

    More on getting to the UK and getting around

    Airports:

    • Edinburgh 12.0 km EDI
    • Glasgow 85.0 km GLA

    Other:

    • Beach 12.0 km
    • Shops 0.2 km
    • Restaurant 0.2 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    8/10
    Room
    10/10
    Food
    9/10
    Service
    9/10
    Value
    9/10
    Overall

    Great property, amazing breakfast, but room was on top floor and very hot in the summer and the fan the staff provided was broken so made a rattling sound all night.

    9/10,

    Great location, friendly helpful staff and lovely views from the room as well as being in a lovely old building. Only downside was the room felt quite small.

    8/10,

    Great location, stylish and modern, very good breakfast. Top floor room we were given was up a lot of steps.

    10/10,

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