Hotels Reviews

Classic Luxury: Intercontinental Edinburgh “The George” Review – Junior Suite with Ambassador Benefits

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Intercontinental Edinburgh “The George” Review

Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities in the United Kingdom featuring some of the most dramatic architecture you’ll find anywhere. When the opportunity popped up to visit again for a quick Scotch tasting trip with my brother in law, I jumped at the opportunity.  I’d visited several years ago and stayed at the Caledonian which is a part of the Waldorf Astoria collection by Hilton, and knew I’d love to visit again someday.

Well, someday came earlier in 2023, and as I began to research where we’d stay, I realized one marked difference between 2016 and 2023 is how many more booking options there are with points. On the upper end of the spectrum, in 2016, there was the Glasshouse ( Autograph Collecition by Marriott ) and the Caledonian. Now…there were several more options.

Hotel status certainly motivated my decision. At the time of my visit I had both Hyatt Globalist and IHG Diamond status, but IHG offered much better options: a Kimpton and an Intercontinental.  Both hotels looks wonderful, but I was hoping to take advantage of a my Intercontinental Ambassador Buy One Get One certificate and book one room for my brother in law with points and the other with the BOGO. This is what I ended up doing, and I would 100% return.

My other Scotland hotel reviews:

a room with a bed and a couch

Intercontinental Edinburgh Stay Details

One thing to note… when you use an Ambassador free night you can often book higher category rooms and get a 2nd night free. This is what I did with the King Premium City View room that ultimately got an upgrade to the Junior Suite. This provided some extra space should we want to hang out, and I was very impressed with the quality of the room, size, and ceiling height as you can see above!

  • When: January 2023
  • Where: Edinburgh Scotland
  • Status: IHG One Rewards Diamond + Intercontinental Ambassador
  • Rate:
    • Standard Cosy Room: 30k per night on average
      • Upgraded to King Premium
    • Premium City View King: 270 pounds per night, one night free
      • upgraded to Junior Suite
  • Benefits:
    • Diamond
      • gave me free breakfast
      • 100% bonus on points
      • upgrade on points rooms
    • Ambassador
      • $20 restaurant credit
      • 4pm late check out
      • guaranteed one category upgrade

a building with a sign on the side

Intercontinental Ambassador:

You can read our full review, but this is what you get for $200 a year and you can renew for 40k points. Benefits are extended when you stay at Intercontinental Hotels and Six Senses properties.

For stays at Intercontinental Hotels

  • Joining costs either $200 or 40k points
  • Guaranteed upgrade upon arrival
    • Usually the upgrade shows on the account prior to arrival
  • Complimentary Weekend Night – Buy One Get One
    • must be booked via their site
  • Enjoy a 4 pm guaranteed late check out
  • Choice of refreshments on arrival, in-room welcome gift, and mineral water.
  • Complimentary IHG One Rewards Platinum Status
  • $20 bar or restaurant credit per room per stay
  • E-Delivered Free Weekend Night
    • This is overdue and greatly appreciated.
  • Extra benefits in China
    • One Breakfast for each night you stay
    • 15% discount on bar and restaurant purchases

Six Senses benefits

  • Complimentary Breakfast for two in the main restaurant per day.
    • Benefit not applicable at Six Senses Residences.
  • Signature Amenity of either a complimentary 50 minute Six Senses Spa massage for two or local experience once per stay.
    • The Signature Amenity varies by resort, is subject to availability and confirmed on arrival. Not applicable with corporate or negotiated rates.
  • Complimentary one category room upgrade
    • (subject to availability, excluding residences and 2 bedroom or greater suites/villas)
  • Extended check-out of 4pm subject to availability.
    • Guaranteed for Royal Ambassador and Kimpton Inner Circle members. Benefit always subject to availability for all tiers at Six Senses Residences.
  • Early check-in subject to availability.
    • Guaranteed for Royal Ambassador and Kimpton Inner Circle members and in circumstances where the room is not available at 10 am, the member may be checked into another available room until the original booked room becomes available. Benefit always subject to availability for all tiers at Six Senses Residences.
  • Complimentary Internet access.
    • Internet accessibility, speed, and connectivity in common areas and guest rooms vary by resort
  • Wellness Platter welcome amenity on day of arrival.
    • Benefit always subject to availability for all tiers at Six Senses Residences.

a building with flags on the front

Intercontinental Edinburgh Location

The location is fantastic. I took the train up from London and it’s about a 10 minute walk from the station. If you’re looking to visit the Edinburgh castle, it’s roughly a 15 to 20 minute walk, and you’re very near the high streets, tons of restaurants, pubs, and right in the thick of everything.

Check In

The entrance to the hotel is grand yet intimate. White columns, high ceilings, marble floors, but it’s a fairly small space that feels more like a boutique hotel than a Intercontinental that could host a convention.

This was dead in the middle of January and the sun was already set by the time I checked in around 5pm. My status was recognized, I was told my benefits, and that I had a choice of points or breakfast for my diamond status which I chose breakfast, and that the room booked with cash yielding Ambassador benefits had a $20 restaurant credit attached to it.

a large white room with columns and a checkered floor

Intercontinental Edinburgh Junior Suite City View

My room was on the first floor of the hotel, facing George Street, and felt like a grand Junior Suite. The ceilings were easily 10 feet, I had a small sitting area in front of the bed, and it felt like a true luxury room.

One thing that I will note…I was right over the entrance of the hotel and a bit concerned that the lights from outside, and noise for that matter, would be bothersome. The curtains were robust enough to block out nearly all of the light, but then again, it was dark for long stretches. I didn’t notice the noise much at all; however, if you don’t have the sheers pulled, people walking on the street can see right into your room.

a room with a bed and chairs

Here’s a reverse of the room showing a non-working fire place, large tv, book cases, and the 3 large floor to ceiling windows.

a room with a bed and a television

The room came with a ton of water, I probably had 4 bottles like what was shown below, and they informed me that the mini bar was free of charge as well.

The Bathroom

The bathroom featured a large clawfoot tub, single vanity, and a shower with outstanding water pressure.

One thing, and this is probably me, but whenever I see baskets of towels it makes me think they aren’t changed between visits. Perhaps I’m wrong, but the thought of a prior guest’s hands on my towels doesn’t exactly sit well with me.

Dining

The first night of our stay we ate at the Printing Press which is now called Le Petit Beefbar. This is also where we had breakfast. There is also a coffee shop named Burr & Co…which obviously I had to check out since I’m Zachary BURR Abel lol.

a sign on a wall

The Printing Press

Since the restaurant has changed its name since my stay, I’m not sure how poignant my dinner review will be. I had fish and chips, but the venue has a very cool style and energy to it.

a room with tables and chairs

My fish and chips…

a plate of food with a fork and knife

Breakfast

It was served from 8am to 10:30am, buffet style + a la carte options. All were very good and you could easily have a full English should your heart desire it.

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Burr and Co

You can enter off the street as well as internally from the hotel. Lots of pastries, sandwiches, and of course coffee. This would be a great spot to hole up in and get some work done if you arrive and your room isn’t ready.

a room with a counter and a glass case with food on it

Gym

The hotel is a bit higgly piggly since it is a few different buildings that have been put together. The gym is super small, in the part of the hotel that, if entering from the street, you’d turn right past check-in, and then on back to a separate elevator and go to the basement.

 

a room with exercise machines and treadmills

Overall impression of the Intercontinental Edinburgh

I would undoubtedly stay here on a return trip to Edinburgh. The location is wonderful, the food is pretty darn good, the rooms were modern, fresh, and luxurious, and the only reason I wouldn’t stay here is because I’d consider checking out the Kimpton Edinburgh as a comparsion.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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1 Comment

  • John August 14, 2023

    I’m pretty sure the full cooked breakfast would be a Full Scottish, not English

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