There's no doubt that the addition of a Malmaison in 1994 to the down-at-heel-docklands in Leith gave the gentrification of the area a boost. The grand 19th-century building in the Scottish baronial style opened in 1885 as a Seaman's mission, housing up to 56 sailors—with room for 50 more, after a shipwreck, in the attic. It was also a "house of ill-repute" at one time, apparently. Now a design hotel, it's a respectable part of the spruced-up waterfront, its brasserie and bar buzzing, with guests spilling out onto the cobbled street. Opt for a room at the front that overlooks the port, if possible, as rooms at the back are darker, and with no view to speak of. The hotel might lack a city center location, but transport links are quick and easy, and this vibrant area is now a destination in itself.