Nira Caledonia

New Town, Edinburgh, United Kingdom Book from £86

An elegant Georgian hotel tucked away in a peaceful part of the 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, a DVD library)
  • 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
  • Discreet, knowledgeable staff who always seem to appear just when you need them
  • Perfect for a romantic break, but twin rooms and extra beds mean it's great for friends and families, too

Lows

    • Minimal hanging space in the lacquered wardrobes - don't pack too much!
    • Some wear and tear, though since our visit the whole hotel's been refurbished
    • We really enjoyed the food but we've had mixed feedback on it since
    • No lift and no disabled access, but staff carry your bags to the room

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

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
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 28
  • Restaurant & bar (open Mon-Sat)
  • 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. Some 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, so don't feel you need to upgrade.

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, granting us total privacy from the world outside. Cocooned in this elegant Georgian environment, we lazed on the gigantic 2,000-pocket-sprung mattress then enjoyed a revitalising Jacuzzi in the glamorous mirrored ensuite. Decorative influences were from the Orient - including quaint lacquered wardrobes - 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 an enormous glass-topped desk. Nespresso machines and Nira Caledonia water kept us nicely hydrated.

Contemporary stone bathrooms have a tub and shower, luxurious Plantation toiletries, robes, slippers and a hairdryer.

Features include:

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

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. Perfect for a romantic evening.

With an emphasis on locally sourced, fresh and often organic ingredients, the menu spans house specialities like Shetland mussels cooked in a Josper chargrill oven 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 potato scones 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. Afternoon tea is served in here too - sandwiches, scones with cream, champagne if you're feeling decadent.

If you want a change of scene, Café Fish offers an excellent range of seafood tapas, and nearby Lancers claims to be Edinburgh’s ‘finest Bengali and North Indian restaurant’!

Features include:

  • Afternoon tea
  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • 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.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The Suite is the best option as it can sleep up to 4 with the use of extra beds. The Executive Doubles can fit a baby cot.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
8/
Food
8/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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