Once a seamen's hostel, Edinburgh's link in the pioneering boutique hotel chain draws a cool clientele to this seafront location in Leith, out of the city center. The hotel is a gorgeous old building from the outside and funky inside, although it's a little tired in some places. Rooms still feel fresh and contemporary, though, and beds are particularly comfortable. The bar and restaurant are not bad, but you're also very close to some Michelin-starred restaurants if you're on the hunt for some truly top-end cuisine. There's an on-site car park.
Shades of heather (for the cushions and the velvet headboards) dominate the standard rooms, with some modern tartan to remind you where you are, while suites have bolder and more interesting fabrics and pops of color. Beds are standard doubles unless you're in one of the higher classes of rooms, but are comfortable to sink into.
Rooms with a view of the harbour are lovely; ask after upgrades.
Bathrooms have attractive black and white tiled flooring and power showers, and guests are encouraged to take the toiletries away with them, a cute touch.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Cleaning of the rooms could be a little more thorough.
A slightly underwhelming lobby but courteous staff.
The hotel has a reasonable gym.
The Chez Mal Brasserie offers reliable if not particularly inventive cuisine, and there are private dining spaces available. Seafood is a highlight, in keeping with the location.
Chez Mal bar is quite cool, and really comes into its own on sunny days, when there's plenty of waterside seating. There are 'Thank Mal it's..' drinks deals on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
A different location than most of the hotels we recommend in Edinburgh, you're not in the city center but you are right by the seafront and a host of cool bars and restaurants. And it's a small city: you're still only 30 minutes from the heart of it all.
Restaurant heaven is nearby here, with two excellent Michelin-starred places within walking distance: The Kitchin (5-minute walk) and Martin Wishart (4-minute walk).
Teuchter's Landing (4-minute walk) is a cosy, classic dockside pub with a large beer garden and pontoon. Or try Roseleaf Bar Cafe (6-minute walk), a quirky family-run cafe/bistro.
WHY WE LIKE IT
With all the Malmaison's trademark stylings, the Edinburgh version has a plum - if a little unusual - location right on the seafront, out of the city center hub bub. Great for those on the hunt for water views, somewhere to stay after a Michelin blowout at one of the two nearby starred restaurants, or Royal Yacht Britannia fans - and still only half an hour or so out of the city center.