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Review: the Sheraton Grand Edinburgh hotel impresses

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This is our review of the Sheraton Grand hotel in Edinburgh.

Up until the recent refurbishment program, Sheraton Hotels tended to be a bit, well, meh. The Sheraton Grand branding was introduced to distinguish between your totally average Sheraton and your genuinely nice Sheraton.

The Sheraton Grand Edinburgh is one of the latter, and underwent a refurbishment of various areas including the bar and spa in last year.

The hotel website is here.

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh

Marriott offered me two nights at the hotel for review purposes when they found out that I was heading to Edinburgh for the opening party of the new Plaza Premium airport lounge, reviewed here.

Where is the Sheraton Grand Edinburgh hotel?

The hotel is just west of Edinburgh Castle, on Lothian Road just off Princes Street:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh location

It is separated by a large public square from Usher Hall, a large Royal Albert Hall-style concert hall, with the equally round (but more modern) International Conference Centre on the other side.

It is very easy to get to. A taxi will take about 20 minutes, or you can take the Edinburgh Tram directly from the airport. Get off at West End and it is a few hundred metres walk up to the hotel.

Inside the Sheraton Grand Edinburgh hotel

Depending on which entrance you come in, you’ll either be on the Ground or First floor, with check-in on the ground floor:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh check in

I was immediately attended to by trainee Ellis, who provided some of the best customer service I have had in the past year. As it turns out, Ellis is in good company, with excellent service from pretty much everyone in the hotel, from housekeeping to the waitstaff.

Ellis provided me with a sheet of paper outlining all the services the hotel provided, eg. details on the spa, breakfast timings and the Club Lounge offering.

Club Rooms at the Sheraton Grand Edinburgh hotel

I was given a Club Room on the 7th (top) floor. This is advertised as being 28 sq m, which sounds small but in reality there was plenty of room to spread out. It is possible that 28 sq m is a minimum rather than absolute size for this category.

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh

On the left are three integrated wardrobes, plus the mini bar area:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh

Iron and ironing board, dressing gowns and kettle were all present, plus two complimentary bottles of water:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh

Notably absent was a coffee machine. The mini fridge was empty.

First up, on the right, is the bathroom. This features a glass door that alternates as a door to the bathroom or the toilet, which I thought was an excellent use of space and avoids the problem of having two doors in conflict with each other.

You get a bath and a shower:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh bathroom

Toiletries are by Anyah. There was no conditioner:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh toiletries

Anyah wasn’t a brand familiar to me and a quick google seems to suggest it is more of a wholesale rather than consumer brand. Apart from the lack of conditioner I was very happy with it.

You then have the room:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh room

The wall behind the bed is clad head-to-toe in mirrors, which made it a challenge to photograph!

In fact, there were mirrors almost everywhere in the room. I got a nice king size bed:

Connectivity on both sides included a plug as well as USB. I also appreciated the slightly old fashioned button-style light controls, with various presets, which made it very easy to turn on and off, even at night.

Opposite the bed is the TV and desk:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh desk

The desk was big, with lots of room to spread out and some very convenient plugs. I spent my afternoon working here, looking at the view:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh view

To the right are two armchairs and a small coffee table as well:

Spa and gym at the Sheraton Grand Edinburgh hotel

The spa and pool are one of the major selling points of the hotel. Access requires walking outside or you can take a little bridge across from the 5th floor.

The pool is open all day for guests and features a small sauna, whilst the thermal suites must be booked separately. Club Room guests get one free session, whilst other hotel guests can book a three hour slot for £30. Bear this cost in mind if you are thinking of coming here for the spa facilities.

There are lots of lockers inside, just make sure not to forget your number code like I did!

Once changed, there are some rather dingy showers, which are the weakest part of the spa. They are also missing toiletries. You then walk through to the pool, in a vast hall with windows on two sides and a pool big enough to do laps:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh pool

Access to thermal suites is to the side; you simply scan your spa bracelet to get in. Inside, you’ll find a surprising amount of options, including:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh bio sauna
  • bio sauna
  • Finnish sauna
  • hammam
  • crystal steam room
  • rock sauna
  • laconium
  • tepidarium
  • dry salt room

There is also an indoor-outdoor hydropool overlooking the conference centre:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh hydro pool

The gym is equally impressive, and quite possibly the largest hotel gym I’ve used:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh gym

Food and drink at the Sheraton Grand Edinburgh hotel

The Sheraton Grand has just one dining outlet. Frankly, with all of Edinburgh on your doorstep, you don’t need more.

It is called the One Square Brasserie and is where breakfast is served in the mornings. At lunch it features a more conventional casual menu whilst in the evening it offers something more sophisticated.

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh Square One Brasserie

It is located in a nice glass box extension overlooking Usher Hall, so you get views and lots of natural light to wake up you up in the mornings.

For dinner, I ended up having the hand-dived Orkney scallops, although ‘scallop’ would be a more accurate description – you get one big one:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh scallops

For the main, the duck, which features two fairly small slices of duck breast and a bon bon:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh duck

Originally I wasn’t planning on having dessert but the courses are not particularly big, so I ended up going for the creme brulee.

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh creme brulee

The food was great. In terms of quality, portion size and price it is more upmarket than I was expecting and definitely felt a notch above your average hotel restaurant.

The breakfast spread is equally good, and consists of an a la carte menu as well as a full buffet. There is a wide selection of hot items, including all the bits for a Scottish breakfast, as well as pre-made bagels with scrambled eggs and salmon:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh breakfast

A range of cereals are there, including coco pops, as well as a good range of pastries and sweet breads:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh breakfast

Plus juices, yoghurts, cold cuts of meat, smoked salmon and the rest.

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh breakfast

Unfortunately, my server forgot to give me the a la carte menu until after I’d helped myself to a hefty portion at the buffet. I did make up for it on the second morning, however:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh eggs royale

Other options included pancakes, vegan Scottish, French toast and avocado toast.

The Club Lounge at the Sheraton Grand Edinburgh hotel

It’s always convenient to have Club Lounge access, especially when you’re staying for business. I always appreciate that I have a space to work outside my room where I can help myself to teas and coffees and where lighter dining options are available throughout the day.

The Club Lounge at the Sheraton Grand in Edinburgh is impressive. I believe it was part of the refurbishment program last year. Whilst it has no views, it features a glass conservatory roof which means it is always bright and airy:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh club lounge

Breakfast is served until 11am and features a similar, albeit slightly smaller range of the breakfast at One Square Brasserie. I was delighted to find an orange juicing machine where you can help yourself.

There is no afternoon tea served but the lounge more than makes up for it with an impressive canapé offering during ‘happy hour’ between 5pm and 7pm. This is table service only. The canapé selection was great:

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh club lounge canape

Conclusion

I have to admit that I was impressed with the Sheraton Grand in Edinburgh. Over the years a few people have mentioned their affection for the hotel and I went in with high expectations, but it still delivered.

Service was almost universally outstanding – the staff here are a real credit to Marriott – with some of the best service I’ve had at a UK (and even international) hotel in some time.

The facilities are excellent – a surprisingly comprehensive spa, large pool, well equipped gym and a beautiful Club Lounge cover all the bases. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.

Room rates are an average £200 per night in November, dipping as low as £160, whilst you can expect to use between 32,000 and 60,000 points per night, depending on the season. You can find out more on the hotel website here.

Thank you to Marriott for arranging my stay.

Looking for hotel in Edinburgh?

You’ve come to the right place: we have reviewed a range of Edinburgh hotels:


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Comments (38)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sideshowbob says:

    What is it with glass doors to bathrooms?

  • Andrew. says:

    Still think of it as one of the ugliest buildings in Edinburgh, across the windswept, and frequently rain soaked festival square where the slabs have the classic Edinburgh habit of being loose and splashing dirty rainwater up at you.

    It’s about 10 years since I last worked near Lothian Road. Are women working late in offices still discouraged from walking alone down to Haymarket and Princes Street?

    • TerryTierPoints says:

      It’s quite different these days, the saunas and nightclubs are gone, replaced by coffee shops, chain restaurants, craft beer pubs and hipster burger joints. Thankfully Wonderland Models is still there! I’m lead to believe it’s Europe’s largest model shop.

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      Loose paving slabs and rain is the story of life in Manchester

  • Edward H says:

    From 2015-2019 I used to travel to Edinburgh very frequently for work.

    Once I was unable to book one of my “usual,” hotels and so booked the Sheraton…and only stayed at the Sheraton thereafter. The service was consistently excellent and had an authenticity to it which made it all the more engaging (it always felt like a team proud of what they did and being themselves as opposed to an impersonal act which other hotels aim for.

  • David says:

    Lothian Road.

  • Rand says:

    I stopped reading when I saw this was a freebie. Too much sponsored/non-independent content here…

    • Mike Hunt says:

      Phew that saved you some time Rand – why not go the whole hog and cancel your subscription to HFP ?

      • Rand says:

        I don’t have a subscription so nothing to cancel. I read HfP selectively these days as there’s just a lot of sponsored content. I’ve been a reader since HfP’s day 1 (literally!) and if you have too, you’ve probably noticed that this blog has changed over time, and while similar complaints were non existent a few years ago, now you’ve got a lot of them every week – I’m not the only one making these observations. Btw much does it cost to use cash or Bonvoy points to book a night and provide something that at least on its face looks like an unbiased review…?

        • Rob says:

          Go to https://www.headforpoints.com/2014/10/15/, https://www.headforpoints.com/2015/10/15/ and https://www.headforpoints.com/2016/10/15/ – content from the same day 6, 7 and 8 years ago. It’s identical to what we’d run now.

          • Rand says:

            “Aggressive BA business class fares from Finland”, “My review of Sky Team lounge” and “Sainsbury guys Nectar” when I click on one of those links – that’s my point, I don’t think it’s the same content as the articles today.

          • Rob says:

            It is totally the same! Obviously not the same as today exactly, but any of those articles could have run this week and fitted in.

            What’s changed, I suggest, is you. After reading this for 10 years you will know pretty much everything about everything. We don’t aim this site at people who have been heavy collectors for a decade. We work hard at keeping the site content at the same ‘experience’ level – which isn’t easy, because we as a team obviously learn more and more every year – but that does mean that you may outgrow us. There are some invite-only frequent flyer forums where you may be better suited.

        • T Siva says:

          talk about not getting the point!

    • Rob says:

      The only way you will get a truly independent site is if you are willing to pay a substantial sum for an annual subscription, allowing the site to pay for staff and an office without any advertising or promotional deals.

      Where you make a mistake is that you believe that freebies are the only reason that something isn’t independent, whereas there are a million reasons for lack of independence. Perhaps the company spends a lot on advertising? Perhaps we want them to spend a lot on advertising? Perhaps they bought us a slap-up lunch and we thought we owed them? Perhaps we’re getting commission on bookings via links in the article?

      When we say we got a room or flight for free, you know the background to the article. Do you have any idea why the other articles today appeared? Do you know how we chose them over all of the other possible stories? Is that Cathay interview in the top slot a reason? No, you don’t.

  • Barnaby100 says:

    I used to stay there a lot until they stopped recognising status. Started getting worst rooms possible within my booked category

  • MJT says:

    In maybe worth noting that the lack of products in the Spa showers was a temporary issue due to theft (people actually unscrewed the bottles from the wall for the Espa products) and a shortage of replacement bottles. This has now been sorted and all showers have a full set of ESPA products which I have always found to be excellent and far better than most hotel showers offer.

  • BlueThroughCrimp says:

    My Mum and Dad stayed here for his 80th Birthday in a Castle View classic room.
    Nice hotel, but underwhelmed by the breakfast.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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