InterContinental Edinburgh The George

18th-century grandeur in Edinburgh

A recent multimillion-dollar refurbishment brought InterContinental Edinburgh The George, a dramatic historic Scottish grande dame, back to her striking best. Sprawled across a quintet of Georgian townhouses (dating back as far as 1775), this luxury hotel is the place for those who appreciate Old World style, grandeur and a touch of glamour.

The refresh has replenished and enhanced the solid oak, marble and leather interior with a classic color palette inspired by Scotland’s 19th-century landscape painters. The Printing Press Restaurant — once the abode of celebrated novelist Susan Ferrier — has been reborn into a steakhouse with a speakeasy vibe that doubles as a sophisticated breakfast venue. The popular Printing Press Bar and welcoming Burr & Co café complete the impressive ground-floor mix.

But what hasn’t changed is the property’s prime location on stately George Street, which hosts some of Edinburgh’s finest boutique shopping, and a stylish string of cafés, bars and restaurants.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The chief attraction of InterContinental Edinburgh The George is the building itself. It’s made up of18th-century townhouses that once were home to the city’s most affluent citizens and have connections with such artistic luminaries as Sir Walter Scott, arguably Scotland’s finest novelist.
  • The Printing Press restaurant is one of the best places to enjoy prime Scottish beef in Edinburgh. A range of 28-day-aged cuts are available, cooked to your liking on a massive Josper grill and served with sublime sauces like creamy béarnaise, bright peppercorn or a rich bone marrow gravy.
  • Named in homage to Edinburgh’s rich literary history, Printing Press Bar is a favorite for its chic design and excellent cocktails. Settle in and ask the advice of the expert mixologists, though, given where you are, a whisky-based cocktail is de rigueur.
  • The hotel’s modest gym is often overlooked, but the recent refurbishment revamped the intimate space with new machines, so there is no need to head out into the cold for a run.
  • With its towering Corinthian columns, ornate molded ceilings and unique blown-glass chandelier, the lavish King’s Hall is one of Edinburgh’s grandest historic event venues. It is easy to see why it is popular for weddings and celebrations.

Things to Know

  • Be sure to book well ahead to snare a room during Edinburgh’s festival season in August, when the city’s population doubles, or around Christmas and Hogmanay (Scottish New Year).
  • Arrive early to savor an aperitif in Printing Press Bar and make a reservation for dinner at the restaurant. Both venues tend to get very busy at night, especially on weekends.
  • If you’re a light sleeper, avoid the street-facing rooms on the lower levels, as they are prone to noise from the busy road and from revelers spilling out of George Street’s popular bars. North-facing rooms tend to be a quieter respite.

The Rooms

  • The 240 accommodations are folded into a series of former townhouses that have been merged to form this large sandstone gem. Many boast period features and eye-catching touches, like high ceilings and bay windows.
  • Bathrooms have a luxurious feel — even standard options come with San Francisco-made Agraria toiletries, rainfall showers and fluffy bathrobes.
  • Choose your view wisely: city slickers will want to peer out over the busy thoroughfare of George Street, whose former Georgian banks and financial institutions now buzz with new life. Rooms to the rear overlook a quieter side of the city with upper floors gazing out as far as River Forth estuary.

Nearby Attractions

  • Allow time for a stroll along George Street. Cut left and take in the epic sweep of St Andrew Square, before easing west along a wide street graced with sandstone architecture to finally arrive at leafy Charlotte Square, where Scotland’s first minister resides.
  • Princes Street Gardens is a green space tucked just below the eponymous road that’s a riot of flora. Walkways provide easy access with plenty of benches, where you can sit and admire Edinburgh Castle looming on its volcanic plinth high above.
  • Edinburgh Castle is arguably the finest fortification in all of Scotland — no minor feat in a country that was once home to more than 2,000 stone fortresses. In it, you’ll discover museums, grand royal rooms and the Scottish crown jewels.
  • The Scottish National Portrait Gallery lies just a few streets south of the Edinburgh hotel, but is often overlooked by international visitors. It not only functions as a world-class collection of art, but also an insight into Scotland’s past, given the litany of historical characters depicted here.

24-hour room service
Meeting rooms
Pet friendly
Getting There
19-21 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PB GB
EDI (18-26 min)  
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