Location, location, location: If you want to be right in the thick of it, you can't beat this hotel on the Royal Mile, roughly halfway between the Castle and Holyrood Palace. A new build (well, 1990), its 16th-century-style sandstone turrets blend in with Old Town architecture. The rooms won't win any design awards—they're quite bland despite the thistle-themed wallpaper in the Turret Suites—but most have great views towards the Firth of Forth and Arthur's Seat  or the Royal Mile, while the triple glazing is an added bonus (the Royal Mile is a teeming tide of tourists during festival season). The lobby, however, is surprisingly sleek and futuristic, with individual reception desks defined in a sharp black-and-white palette. Itchycoo Bar and Kitchen was also revamped in 2014.