In a bid to take advantage of the IHG LuxLife 3-for-2 offer (which actually ended up being extended), I planned a spontaneous trip to Edinburgh where there were two participating hotels. Since I’d already stayed at the Kimpton once, although I quite liked it I decided to give the InterContinental a try.
Location-wise I prefer the InterContinental. It sits right next to St Andrew Square so fairly central, with a few restaurants, pubs and cafes next door. But on the other hand it’s very quiet at night so you won’t be bothered by any noises.
The hotel is comprised of multiple buildings, and has quite some history to it. Built in the 18th century they didn’t have a pre-defined purpose at the beginning. Some of them was used as an office building by an insurance company which eventually turned into the main building of the hotel. A couple of the other buildings started operating as hotel later, and eventually occupied the entire block.
Hotel rooms are split into two sections: Townhall which is more original and recommended by the hotel staff, and Forth Wing which was the purpose-built hotel, and therefore may lack in some uniqueness comparatively.
I received a four-level upgrade to a Junior Suite.
I must say it’s probably my favourite hotel room in the last couple of years. It’s got such a boutique feel which even becomes a bit weird for an InterContinental, as you’d usually find this kind of design at Kimptons.
The room is not huge, but all space is very well used, and the small living area is quite cozy.
The only downside is it being on floor 1 so privacy could be a slight issue.
The bathtub is quite classy too. All bath amenities (Agraria) come in bottles of 100ml which is quite generous,.
Bottled water is replenished daily as an Ambassador benefit. I also received some Gin & Tonic plus some fudges probably due to the LuxLife rate plan.
The only onsite restaurant is the Printing Press. LuxLife comes with $100 credit, and combined with the Ambassador $20 credit I have a total of £90 to spend. Unfortunately I’m not a big fan of pub food and the menu is quite limited.
Breakfast is served in the same venue and all a-la-carte. Food quality is a let-down though – the eggs benefit are overcooked for example, and you don’t see any yolk coming out when cutting through them!
A major issue is the lack of pool or spa here, which is I believe why it’s always slightly cheaper than the Kimpton. However, if you really want to they could book Kimpton’s facilities for you, but remember it takes about ten minutes to walk there.
If you are edging between the InterContinental and the Kimpton, I think both are really worth visiting but here are some tips: the Kimpton is more thoroughly refurbished, with a much nicer public area, and more importantly swimming pool and spa, and potentially better food. However the Intercontinental has a better location, very unique and lovely rooms and is usually cheaper.