On my first trip to Edinburgh, I stayed at the The George Hotel (called the Principal George Street, now managed by InterContinental). This was right in the middle – easy access to major attractions in the Old Town and New Town.
The first trip’s accommodation gave me an overview of the city, on the second I got to really explore the Old Town and this third trip, I wanted to do something different.
So I chose Nira Caledonia in the New Town area. And in the highly likely event that I do end up back in Edinburgh, I’ve decided this is where I prefer to stay.
How to Book
My stay at Nira Caledonia was booked through Booking.com. Usually I’d book directly with the hotel if I’m a part of their loyalty programs (I don’t think this hotel has one). Booking.com had the same rates anyway.
Nira Caledonia is located in Stockbridge, about 20 minutes by car to Edinburgh Airport.
It’s within walking distance to major attractions – a 25 mile walk, one mile away from Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. A little over 10 minutes to Dean Village, about 15 minutes to Princes Street for shopping and about 20 minutes to Edinburgh Waverly train station.
I arrived about an hour after the 3 pm check-in time. When I got out of the car, a friendly attendant helped me with my bags and I was greeted by someone who checked me in right away.
Check-in is right by the main entrance. There’s always a receptionist right at that front desk at the entrance.
I booked a Single Room, which only allows one person. I read reviews and people said it’s very, very small so I wasn’t expecting much. It’s the cheapest rate and includes breakfast.
Turns out I was upgraded to a beautiful Executive Plus room, which is double the size of the Single Room. And best part is that it faces Gloucester Place for views of those Georgian town homes I rave about all the time.
There isn’t really a lobby. It would be hard to make one since it’s a converted home where 19th century essayist Christopher North (pseudonym for John Wilson) lived. Upon entering, to the left is the restaurant and bar and straight ahead is the staircase up to rooms.
It’s important to note that this hotel does not have an elevator. It’s quite a trek up to the third floor of the hotel if you’re carrying a suitcase.
I stayed in an Executive Plus room.
There are three floors, my room was on the top floor. I love that it’s in a historic building so the top floor had slanted ceilings and two windows.
I should also note the hotel doesn’t have air conditioning. I can imagine this can get uncomfortable during a heatwave. Even for me I felt like there wasn’t much air circulation in the room but thankfully the windows were left open and there was a standalone fan provided in the room.
The Executive Plus room comes with a 2,000-pocket sprung bed and goose down pillows.
There isn’t a desk in the room, but there is a whole living room area with a couch.
There is one closet to the right upon entering the room equipped with slippers, laundry bag, a safe, hairdryer and space to hang some clothes.
Black and white modern designed bathroom had a shower and tub combination.
It was just a bit odd to have the bath amenities, including the lotion, inside the shower. I had to climb into the shower to use the lotion.
But I can’t complain with the familiar scent of my favorite L’Occitane shampoo.
Mini Bar/Coffee & Tea
The mini bar area is equipped with British snacks and drinks. Meanwhile the coffee and tea station is set up by the window. I have Nira Caledonia to thank for introducing me to PMD tea. I am very particular about my breakfast tea, and their Planters’ Breakfast is one of the best I’ve had.
My room from the top floor faced Gloucester Place, a residential street lined with gorgeous Georgian town homes.
Around The Hotel
The elegantly designed restaurant calle Blackwood’s Bar & Grill on the first floor is a relaxing space for an early breakfast.
They also serve dinner using local and regional ingredients.
In the restaurant is Blackwood’s Bar serving bar food, wines, beer, cocktails and of course since it’s Scotland, gin and whisky.
No complaints. I just interacted with three or four staff from the restaurant and front desk minimally. With so many things to see, I was just in and out of the hotel.
N/A. Though the restaurant would be a nice environment for afternoon tea.
I had no problems with the WiFi connection and could easily connect.
I love this area of Edinburgh. You’re away from the touristy area, yet still within easy reach. I wouldn’t recommend this as a location for someone visiting the city for the first time on a short amount of time. But it was perfect for a third visit, and out of all the hotels I’ve stayed at in the city, I’d choose to stay at Nira Caledonia again.
Room Rate: for a hotel stay in mid July, right before the Fringe Festival (when prices double or triple!), I paid £273 (about $330) for two nights at a Single Room rate, including breakfast
6-10 Gloucester Pl
Edinburgh EH3 6EF