Hotel Review: InterContinental Edinburgh The George

Located in Edinburgh's UNESCO World Heritage area, this Georgian gem makes for a beautiful and convenient stay.

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In the heart of Edinburgh, you’ll find The George, a luxury hotel with a fascinating past. The Scottish hotel participates in the IHG One Rewards program, making it especially popular with IHG fans.

Like many other loyalty programs, IHG One Rewards has switched to a dynamic pricing system — meaning the cost of a rewards redemption varies by night. On a recent stay during a busy holiday, an award night cost 88,000 points, but a look at a range of dates shows rates from 37,000 to 68,000 points.

Edinburgh has several other IHG One Rewards properties in town, but The George is the best of the best. Let’s take a closer look at its location, what it offers and how to get there.

Location

(Photo courtesy of InterContinental Edinburgh The George)

Located within the city’s UNESCO World Heritage area, the hotel sits on its namesake George Street, which is home to plentiful shops, bars, restaurants and theaters. The street runs parallel to another well-known Edinburgh street, Princes Street, and is also within walking distance to Edinburgh Castle and the famous Royal Mile.

For those who want to ride the city’s easy-to-use tram network, the hotel is in between two conveniently located stops. The tram runs throughout town and has been extended to reach the airport.

Design

(Photo courtesy of InterContinental Edinburgh The George)

Originally constructed in 1775 as a series of five townhouses, the property was converted into a hotel in 1881. Despite its long history, The George has aged gracefully following numerous renovations and now displays a mix of Old World glamor and modern-day panache.

As a storied landmark in the city, it qualifies for "grande dame" status, showing off with its Georgian architecture and stately public rooms.

The lobby is cozy with its checkered floor, living room-style sitting area and reception desks tucked toward the back. The hotel consists of several different buildings and offers a variety of room types, all decorated in cool tones and elegant style.

Food and beverage

(Photo courtesy of InterContinental Edinburgh The George)

The hotel offers guests several dining options, from hearty meals to light drinks and snacks.

The Burr & Co. cafe provides a selection of beverages, sandwiches and pastries, while the Editors Bar is a late-night stop for those wanting a drink before turning in or heading out on the town.

The Printing Press Bar and Kitchen, a full-service restaurant, serves local pints, wine and cocktails alongside traditional Scottish fare. Breakfast choices include local cheeses, North Sea salmon and haggis, while lunch and dinner focus on a mix of regional and international dishes, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.

Fun fact: If you’re wondering why it’s called The Printing Press, it’s because the building was once the residence of Susan Ferrier, a well-known writer and one of the founders of a renowned Scottish publishing house.

Also, guests earn points on all their food and beverage purchases at these locations if they're charged to the room.

Accommodations

(Photo courtesy of InterContinental Edinburgh The George)

There is a wide variety of rooms available, from two twin beds to a king-size bed. The Premium rooms offer a little something extra — additional space, a sofa or stellar views. The city view rooms have better vistas, while George Street-facing rooms in the original building have tall, double-paned windows, high ceilings and beautifully designed furnishings.

Framed artwork and old-fashioned maps hang on the walls. Beds are wrapped in soft duvets with accent throws.

Suites provide separate living areas, some with fireplaces. Club InterContinental rooms offer extra benefits like complimentary breakfast, a bottle of wine, free snacks, Nespresso machines, and still and sparkling water.

The bathrooms are large and luxurious with glass shower stalls, spacious vanities stocked with thick towels and pleasant Byredo toiletries in eco-friendly pump bottles. Many of the suites have separate claw-foot soaking tubs, and all accommodations come with towel warmers.

Amenities

(Photo courtesy of InterContinental Edinburgh The George)

InterContinental gets all the details right here. From the turndown service that delivers bottled water and special treats to umbrellas by the front door, the hotel knows how to do luxury. There’s even a canine package that lets guests stay overnight with their pets while the hotel pampers them with special treats, a dog bed and water bowl.

The fitness center has modern equipment for those who want to fit in a workout before heading out for the day.

Group functions and celebrations are popular here, too. There’s a glamorous ballroom with space for several hundred people, as well as elegant boardrooms that come with the requisite audiovisual gizmos.

How to get to The George

The George is a lovely option when visiting Edinburgh that offers classy accommodations, excellent service and dining, and a location that can't be beat.

Many U.S.-based airlines fly to Scotland, including Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, which both offer nonstop flights to Edinburgh. Most major European airlines also fly there, including national carrier British Airways, which gives American Airlines loyalists and other Oneworld alliance flyers their own option for reaching the Scottish capital.

Most airlines use dynamic pricing models, which means the mileage cost of a redemption is hard to predict. Thankfully, American still has an award chart, and a one-way business class redemption from the continental U.S. to Edinburgh starts at 57,500 miles. An off-peak redemption in the main cabin starts at 22,500 miles each way.

Just be aware that if you redeem miles for a flight in which British Airways is operating the overwater portion, the taxes will be quite high. It's best to choose an American airline for the overwater flight and a British Airways flight from London as the connection to save on taxes and fees.


How to maximize your rewards

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