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W Edinburgh opens just in time for the holidays

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A highly anticipated Scottish outpost for W Hotels is officially open in Edinburgh.

W Edinburgh opened its doors Wednesday in the city’s St James Quarter, giving Marriott luxury hotel enthusiasts a chance to stay in the heart of the Scottish capital during the busy holiday season.

The hotel, which occupies three buildings, features a ribbon design in its aptly named 12-story Ribbon Building. Other buildings include the historic James Craig Walk — which dates back to 1775 and features a stone facade, high ceilings and tall sash windows — and the Quarter House, a stone building “inspired by traditional Edinburgh architecture,” according to the brand. The hotel is in Edinburgh’s city center, a mere five-minute walk from the Edinburgh Waverly train station and just around the corner from The Balmoral, the historic hotel where J.K. Rowling famously finished writing the “Harry Potter” series.

W Edinburgh, composed of 199 rooms and 45 suites (many of which include outdoor terraces), has rates starting at 293 British pounds ($372) or 71,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night through the start of 2024.

“The unveiling of W Edinburgh not only signifies our exciting entry into Scotland, but it also proudly marks our second property and continued expansion in the United Kingdom,” George Fleck, vice president and global brand leader of W Hotels, said in a statement. “Our bold approach to luxury hospitality, complemented by culture-driven programming, and cutting-edge design will surely infuse the city with a playful, yet refined ambiance. W Edinburgh invites locals and global travelers alike to explore the city through the brand’s distinct lens.”


What guests can expect

W Edinburgh features a rooftop deck with panoramic views of the city, including Arthur’s Seat and the Firth of Forth. The hotel also has the U.K.’s first W Hotels Sound Suite recording studio, a space for musicians, podcasters, DJs and artists to record while being “inspired by Edinburgh’s diverse influences.”

Interior designers Jestico + Whiles were inspired by the fire and water element of Edinburgh, which is built on volcanic rock along the coast. Guests will find dark paneling — meant to give the vibe of charred wood — in public spaces accented by copper features, while volcanic rock is incorporated into the check-in desk.

The 1,600-square-foot Extreme Wow Suite — a W Hotels version of a presidential suite — features a living area, a rock bar meant to be a nod to the city’s volcanic origins and a rounded “super king-sized” bed. Along with a walk-in closet, the Extreme Wow Suite has a bathroom with a freestanding tub, a sauna and a walk-in shower. The suite also has a private terrace with views of Edinburgh Castle.


Dining and unwinding at W Edinburgh

W Edinburgh features three food and beverage venues, including Scotland’s first Sushisamba restaurant, Joao’s Place — a Brazilian-inspired apartment speak-easy — and the W Lounge. All three spots will be located on the top floors of W Edinburgh.

The Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian fusion Sushisamba is already a highly popular restaurant in London, and it exploded in popularity in the U.S. thanks to its original New York City locations that have since closed.

The W Lounge serves Gaelic cuisine that incorporates ingredients sourced from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Guests can expect to find items like razor clams with seaweed and citrus butter, Scottish girolles and Scottish rarebit on the menu.

W Edinburgh also features an Away Spa that uses products from Scottish brand Ishga, known for incorporating Hebridean seaweed into its skincare line.

Bottom line

W Hotels is going through a brand refresh that has seen several properties undergo major renovations and multiple new hotels debut with a refreshed look for the luxury brand.

W Edinburgh is a welcome addition to both the overall brand and the Edinburgh hotel scene, especially as it balances a mix of nods to the past with the features of a contemporary luxe hotel. It’s certainly worth considering for a night or two if you’re passing through to check out the Edinburgh Christmas Market or just spending time in Scotland, no matter the time of year.

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