Where to stay if you only have 48 hours in Edinburgh

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  • Edinburgh is a beautiful city steeped in history and if you haven’t been already, shame on you. But don’t worry, that is a problem that can easily be fixed, even if you’re out of annual leave. Because the beauty of it, is that you only need 48 hours to take in the main sights – even if longer is always better.

    And we’ve found just the perfect gem to set up camp, and despite the camping reference, it is SO much chicer than that.

    The location

    Overlooking one of Edinburgh’s prettiest garden squares, The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square is ideally located just a short stroll from everything the city has to offer. There are the chic shops of Queen Street, the bustling cafes of Rose Street, but more importantly, the castle and old town are around a 15 minute walk via Princes Street Gardens. You can even stop off at the Scottish National Gallery on the way, and climb up via the highly Instagrammable Ramsay Lane.

    The room

    All the bedrooms and suites at The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square celebrate the golden age of travel in their own unique eclectic style. Think quirky art and fun accessories like red bedside phones and a tuck box of treats. They are also a nod to the Scottish city’s heritage, with plenty of Chesterfield sofas and tartan throws to cosy up.

    The vibe

    Don’t be fooled by the bedroom’s ‘old timey’ nods, the recently refurbished hotel might be set in old Georgian townhouses, but The Principal is as cosmopolitan as hotels come – this is where the cool crowd comes for pre-dinner cocktails and delicious fare.

    The food

    There are two options when staying at the hotel. First, the beautiful internal courtyard, aptly called The Garden – an indoor garden with stylish raffian furniture under a glass roof – which is the ideal breakfast location. Then there is BABA, the uber popular (book in advance to avoid disappointment) Middle-Eastern restaurant, brought to you in partnership with the award-wining team behind Ox and Finch.

    There are far too many delicious dishes to choose from, however a good start: baba ganoush with pomegranate and mint, the monkfish, jalapeño yoghurt, grilled potato and olive, iberico pork neck, tomato and cinnamon bamia, saffron, feta and cashew nut, baharat lamb kofte, spiced squash purée, yoghurt, toasted seeds and aleppo chilli and turmeric BABA, coconut cream and golden raisins. All best enjoyed shared.

    The spa

    There is nothing wrong with taking a little break from all the sightseeing, even if you’re only there for 48 hours, and that is what the wonderful hotel spa is for. Take a few laps around the pool, relax in the sauna, or better yet, book yourself in for a treatment. Try the ishga invigorating massage or the OSKIA facial. Bliss.

    Rooms start at around £103.50 per night for a guest room.

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