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Issue 21 - Hot in the city tonight

Scotland Magazine Issue 21
July 2005


This article is 13 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Hot in the city tonight

In exclusive association with

Malmaison Edinburgh.
Leith, Edinburgh.
Tel: +44 (0)131 468 5000.

The Malmaison Edinburgh is in the capable hands of Lizzy Kelk, winner of The Scottish Hotel Manager of the Year Award 2005.

Management matters: over the past year this hotel has returned fully to form and now offers guests some of the best and most popular accommodation in the Scottish capital. (There’s another ‘Mal’ in Glasgow, too, which is also very stylish.) Style is the keyword – an enjoyable, flirty, bold boutique-hotel approach with a dash of French passion thrown in and mixed up with real practicality. The building itself is a dominant piece of local architecture and part of the maritime heritage of Leith, the city’s port – it was built as the Seamen’s Mission and although they’d not exactly recognise the chic interior nowadays the tall clock tower is an enduring landmark in this now-vibrant quarter. The Queen’s former royal yacht (a ship to you and me), Britannia, is a busy tourist attraction nearby.

On sunny days you can sit outside the front of the hotel and watch the goings-ons; for lunch or in the evening the highly successful Malmaison Brasserie is an enjoyable dining destination. On a recent lunch visit for we had a simply superb tuna dish and, there one recent evening, we loved the flicker of the dozens of candles and jovial Parisian atmosphere. Back upstairs, along matt coffee-coloured corridors await the sexy rooms. Tip: ask for a refurbished frontfacing one – they’re fab.

Hilton Glasgow.
William Street, Glasgow.
Tel: +44 (0) 141 204 5555.

The Hilton Glasgow’s brochure admits to the hotel being “a stunning 20 storey landmark building”, and the fine guidebook Scotland the Best suggests that it has a “Fritz Lang/ Metropolis appearance”. Not far away the city is about to develop one of the highest buildings in the UK, so the Hilton will remain at the business hub.

Aglossy, stylish five-star hotel built about 11 years ago right in the city centre, close to the Clyde, the M8 route and the Kingston Bridge over the river, it still looks new and smart.

The main Hilton in town, it is well-placed for business or for leisure visits to Glasgow’s many and varied attractions. The hotel lobby, all marble and coolly rich, is a busy place, with a piano by the cocktail bar, and the various facilities and shops leading off. You’ll hear many languages and see the more elegantly dressed members of the human race at work and play. Cameron’s fine-dining restaurant is charmingly country-house in style.

With 319 bedrooms, including 38 clubrooms and two twin-bedroom Hilton suites (the Presidential and Emperor), the hotel is big. Tip: high in the building is the executive floor which has its own lounge and which offers an extra level of privacy and luxury. This lounge also provides a range of additional and plusses including an upmarket breakfast, delightful afternoon tea, hors d’oeuvres in the early evening, aperitifs... all can be enjoyed for a small upgrade fee. Take in a panorama of this ever-changing city.

Ardoe House.
by Aberdeen.
Tel: +44 (0)1220 860 600.

Aberdeen is a highly successful, kn own for oil. But for far longer the productive lands and seas around the city have led to prosperity and the university is one of the United Kingdom’s oldest. As if these riches weren’t enough, the beauties of Deeside have been famous since Queen Victoria and her consort Albert built Balmoral Castle and gave the area instant fashionableness. But where to stay? Well – what about in The Aberdeen Hotel of the Year 2005?

Ardoe House was put up in the 19th century and the old house, all grey granite and castellated turrets, with its stained glass windows and delightful original panelling, is at the heart of today’s Macdonald hotel complex.

Enjoy an attractive spa and health club set within the very neat grounds, lap up the 18m swimming pool – perhaps before sampling the BreakfastRosette-winning first meal of the day.

High-tech features throughout the hotel add to the many features demanded by a dynamic clientele. There are 109 rooms, including a Four Poster, and our recent review stay in the new wing was very comfortable. Blair’s restaurant isn’t named after Tony but is part of a nice dining experience at a hotel well-managed by Andy Burgess.


Here are three more ideas for you.

Glasgow Tel: +44 (0)141 333 1500.
Winner of The Sexiest Scottish Hotel Award 2005, Langs (owned by the beguiling Carole Fox-Robertson) has just re-launched its two AA-rosetted contemporary Scottish restaurant as ‘Aurora’; along with the fusion restaurant Oshi (and it’s adjacent spa, no less) and the B-Bar the hotel is one lively hub!

Inverness Tel: +44 (0)1463 223 777.
Over the last year this hotel has been transformed. Who would have thought that the Scottish Hotel Restaurant of the Year award would go to Inverness? But it has: the simply superb ‘Abstract’ restaurant here is a must-try. Revamped rooms and public spaces are light and smart. On the pretty riverside.

Edinburgh Tel: +44 (0)131 557 3500.
The Howard is one of the four elegant townhouse hotels in the capital run by Peter Taylor OBE, joint winner of The Scottish Hotelier of the Year 2005. The Howard is a very special small hotel. Five stars, discreet, polished; enjoy butler service and highly elegant rooms in a quiet New Town setting. A delight.
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Hotels featured in the ‘Best of Scotland’ section are by definition recommended by this magazine. The BreakfastRosette™ dining award and MoMA™ Mark of Merit quality award are presented on merit by the Guide. Hotels featured on this page have been inspected by independent –minded, experienced reviewers.

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