1 Tower Place, Leith, Edinburgh (0131 468 5000, www.malmaison-edinburgh.com)
Why go there? Christmas shopping. International rugby. Gigs. Theatre. The Festival. Edinburgh's social calendar is rich and varied, and the city is a magnet for weekend-breakers throughout the year. The capital's Malmaison offers the visitor an opportunity to check out the famously schizophrenic city, with the shops of Princes Street and George Street just a short bus journey away, and Leith - with its gritty heart sitting cheek by jowl with a new shopping, food and drink scene - on the doorstep. This, the original Malmaison, is located in a building with a fine clock tower which has a previous history as a seaman's mission.
How do I get there? If you arrive by train at Waverley, take a taxi or number 16 or 22 bus. Those who arrive by air can get to the hotel in 40 minutes by taxi, or slightly longer by bus. If you are driving, follow the directions for Leith/Royal Yacht Britannia to the heart of Leith then the directions to the Shore. There is a small car park to the rear of the hotel.
What's the food like? Malmaison prides itself on sourcing as much produce as possible from local suppliers, and a fair meal can be had in the brasserie. However, visitors to Leith should not restrict themselves to the hotel's fare. There are some great restaurants in the city and one of the current favourites, the Michelin-starred Kitchin, is close by. One minor grumble: service from the bar can be slow, especially if you order anything as exotic as a cocktail.
Home comforts Malmaison's hallmark is gothic splendour, and the dark dcor provides privacy. Everything oozes contemporary styling. Our room was small but adequate and comfortable.
Bed test A big bed with crisp linen and comfortable pillows made for a good night's sleep after some intensive shopping and fine dining.
Little extras Top-notch toiletries.
The bottom line Standard doubles start at 145, but it's worth phoning or keeping an eye on the website for offers.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West