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Edinburgh's New Scotsman

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The Scotsman has been Edinburgh's leading newspaper for nearly 100 years. But now that its former offices have been transformed into luxury lodgings just steps from the Royal Mile, it's The Scotsman Hotel that's making headlines. Even with a budget of more than $20 million, it takes a special kind of talent to convert the stuffy grandeur of Edwardian times into a 68-room hotel that captures the imagination of contemporary travelers. Here, carved-walnut walls and Italian marble merge with sleek design, quirky art work, and playful details: breakfast china decorated with authentic Scotsman headlines and crossword puzzles, coffee tables with the Edinburgh version of Monopoly, a swimming pool of stainless steel. Given the higgledy-piggledy nature of the corridors and the eccentric rooflines, every room is different. Still, they all feature the same basic white-on-white decor and thoughtful touches like fresh milk for the coffeemakers, gooseneck reading lamps, do-not-disturb buttons beside the beds, and, at turndown, a mini-carafe of malt whisky—one of the 399 malts available in the hotel's bar—served on a black leather tray. If you order room service and can't be bothered to throw on your Frette robe, the waiter can drop your tray off through a special hatch beside the door. The only thing that they seem to have overlooked is cordless telephones in the bi-level suites. $225-$1,150. 20 North Bridge, Edinburgh; 131-556-5565; www.thescotsmanhotel.co.uk.

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