There’s nothing stuffy about Edinburgh’s oldest hotel; it does classy and contemporary on a grand scale throughout. With a bar and brasserie-style restaurant and impressively up-to-date bedrooms and suites, most of what might have been lost in old-fashioned character is gained in style. Located on Edinburgh’s premier shopping street with restaurants and bars all around. You can walk to most attractions; trams and buses are less than five minutes’ stroll away, and double glazing takes care of any traffic noise. Rooms have castle views – which is perfect for The Military Tattoo fireworks and Fringe Festival. The service is notably splendid, even in the lobby – a grand place to read the paper and have afternoon tea. The 24-hour room service offers a comprehensive breakfast menu, with light meals and snacks, too. Everything is quietly sophisticated and subtly contemporary, from the tweed throws and cushions to the velvet and leather upholstery. Bright bathrooms work a classic look with suites featuring big showers and roll-top baths and the tuck box of treats – crisps, candy, and biscuits, is a nice touch.