Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: W Edinburgh hotel: incredible views, comfortable rooms

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

This is our review of the W Edinburgh hotel.

Finally, it’s open: it’s only taken thirteen years for the UK’s second W Hotel from Marriott to open after London’s Leicester Square launched in 2011. I think it was worth the wait.

W Edinburgh was famous before anyone ever stepped foot inside thanks to its, erm, unique shape. The colour of its unique steel ribbon is a little unfortunate – silver might have been better – but you can’t argue that it’s not unique or that it doesn’t make an impact on the Edinburgh skyline.

After winning ‘Best New UK Chain Hotel’ in the Head for Points Travel & Loyalty Awards 2023 based on your votes, we thought it was high time we took a look inside. The hotel provided our room but we paid all other expenses, including the flight to Edinburgh.

The hotel website is here.

W Edinburgh hotel review

W Edinburgh location

The hotel is part of the £1 billion development of St James Quarter, completed in phases over the past three years. It is a redevelopment of the former 1960s St James Centre and Scottish Office buildings.

The new development is a lot more in-keeping with the local character than what was there before. A covered shopping Galleria now anchors the site, with the 12-floor W Edinburgh as the jewel in its centre. There’s also an aparthotel, cinema, 150 residential flats and over 1,600 off-street parking spots.

W Edinburgh hotel review

Edinburgh Waverley train station is not far, whilst the nearest tram stop is St Andrew Square. It’s a 40 minute journey from the airport and you can get a return fare for £9.50.

The location is impressive, and from the panoramic top floors you can see Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh Castle and virtually all of Edinburgh’s landmarks from here. Calton Hill is literally a 10 minute walk away.

W Edinburgh hotel review

Inside W Edinburgh

You have multiple options when arriving at the hotel. It is connected to the St James shopping galleria from both the parking garage and 4th floor food court, but the main entrance is on a pedestrianised square hidden away from the shopping centre (photo above).

What is not immediately apparent is that the hotel’s 244 rooms and suites are spread across three buildings, not just the one. The vast majority are in the Ribbon building – the building everyone associates with the hotel – and another connected building called Quarter House. The remaining 39 are contained within a row of Georgian townhouses opposite on James Craig Walk, with a separate reception.

(I am told that guests are told if they are in one of the Georgian buildings ahead of arrival, but it does not seem to be clear on the website.)

The main reception on street level (albeit technically on the third floor of the ribbon building) is bright and sunny, with floor-to-ceiling windows. Check-in desks are on the left:

W Edinburgh hotel review

…. whilst a small seating area is on the right.

If you are wondering why it feels relatively small, it is because the hotel has flipped itself on its head. The W Lounge, with plenty of seating, is on the top floor of the hotel, all the better to make the most of the buildings panoramic views. It does mean that the main reception is largely a transient space.

Rooms and suites at the W Edinburgh hotel

The W Edinburgh fields a whopping 45 suites as part of its 244 rooms, so almost one fifth of its rooms are suites. In total, there are 13 room types ranging from entry level ‘Wonderful’ rooms to the top-category ‘Extreme Wow’ suite. (Yes, the W nomenclature gets no less ridiculous ….)

Wonderful rooms at W Edinburgh

Wonderful rooms are the standard category here and come as twin or king rooms. Some of these are located in the ribbon building.

Whilst the hotel’s smallest room category, at 26 square meters, they manage to pack a lot in. Here is the view from the entrance hallway:

W Edinburgh hotel review

As is typical for most W Hotels, it features an open-plan bedroom concept. The bathroom is on the left, with an island featuring the basin and floating mirrors:

W Edinburgh hotel review

The toilet and shower are located behind frosted glass doors, and toiletries are the standard MOMO brand you’ll find in all W Hotels:

W Edinburgh hotel review

Next to the bathroom island you’ll find the mini bar with Illy coffee machine, kettle and fridge.

Despite the small footprint, they still get a king size bed in:

W Edinburgh hotel review

…. as well as a wardrobe and sofa:


Wow Suites at W Edinburgh

It goes without saying that the hotel’s suites are very impressive. Wow and Extreme Wow suites – the top two room categories available at the W Edinburgh – are all located in the upper floors of the ribbon building and feature huge terraces and views.

I was on the 9th floor – the top residential floor before the hotel’s restaurants and bars. The suite follows the curvature of the building. First up is a massive entertaining space with rough-hewn granite bar:

W Edinburgh hotel review

…. and zingy lounge area:

W Edinburgh hotel review

There’s plenty of wardrobe space here too, plus the mini bar discreetly tucked away in the wood-stained wardrobes on the left, with a full complement of glasses. (Almost too discreet – I almost couldn’t find the coffee pods!) Also available is a small guest toilet.

W Edinburgh hotel review

Follow the curvature of the building around and you’ll find yourself in the bedroom, with a unique round bed:

W Edinburgh hotel review

I believe it is approximately king-sized, although I’m not sure how it’s measured! I can’t speak to how it would be as a couple, but found it comfortable, travelling by myself.

Both sides of the bed feature convenient controls for lighting and opening and closing the electric curtains, whilst double-gang mains sockets are located at the base of the bed frame itself (and come with a USB-A and USB-C port too).

Behind the bed – again open plan – is the bathroom. There is a luggage storage unit and open wardrobe on the right:

W Edinburgh hotel review

Wash basins and a dressing table are on either side of a large, round mirror:

W Edinburgh hotel review

Plus there’s an open-ended shower and a large bath tub:

W Edinburgh hotel review

Last but not least is the absolutely gigantic terrace, which comes with some outdoor seating as well as a gas fire pit which I’m sure is lovely in the summer but not so much in the winter!

W Edinburgh hotel review

The views are good and I could see Calton Hill just above the roofs of the surrounding buildings:

W Edinburgh hotel review

As you can tell, there isn’t a single straight line in the suite. Virtually everything is rounded or in circles, I presume inspire by the shape of the building.

Style-wise, W Edinburgh features the W brand’s new, more grown up look with a greater emphasis on materials and texture. However, colour is still hugely important and I think the designers have done a good job of balancing a palette of bold colours with more luxurious finishes than you would find in an older-style W hotel.

W Lounge and Deck

On the very top floor you’ll find the hotel’s signature W Lounge. This is the ‘lobby bar’ of the hotel and features 360-degree views of the city. These are, undoubtedly, the best views of any bar or rooftop in the city and I spent an afternoon working from one of the bar tables overlooking Calton Hill:

W Edinburgh hotel review

The number of Scottish accents you’ll hear suggest it is also a popular spot for locals too.

W Edinburgh hotel review

There’s a range of seating on this floor and the bar also serves a small menu. It will be glorious in the summer, when you can use the outdoor stairs to head up to the W Deck terrace on the top floor, which will feature a pop-up bar and dining pods.

Other facilities include a spa with six treatment rooms. Whilst one of the rooms features a plunge pool and sauna, there is no pool.

W Edinburgh hotel review

Dining at Sushisamba

The W Edinburgh’s signature restaurant is Sushisamba. If you live in London you may be familiar with the brand, which offers a fusion of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. It is on the pricier side but then you’re paying for the location, too.

W Edinburgh hotel review

Whilst Sushisamba does not have a 360-degree view, it does face the city and makes the most of the views of Edinburgh Castle and other landmarks.

W Edinburgh hotel review

Service was excellent throughout with very attentive staff. Dishes are brought out as and when they are ready. My favourite by far were the lobster taquitos (£20 for 2) and yellowtail tiradito (£13).

W Edinburgh hotel review

The pork ribs, at £22, seem especially good value given the size!

W Edinburgh hotel review


Breakfast is also served at Sushisamba and is a la carte only. It is arguably more impressive than at night because you can actually see the view!

For £25, you can choose from unlimited juice, coffee and tea as well as a selection of continental items and one hot plate, all whilst gazing at the castle. The range of continental dishes includes:

  • Selection of pastries and bread
  • Homemade granola
  • Selection of local cheeses & cold cut meats
  • Oatmeal porridge
  • Fruit salad

Meanwhile, the hot dishes included:

  • Scottish breakfast
  • Avocado and eggs
  • Perthshire mushrooms on toast
  • Eggs benedict
  • Rabanda
  • Belgian waffles

I couldn’t say no to the Scottish breakfast which comes with black pudding, haggis, lorne sausage and tattie scones:

W Edinburgh hotel review

The portions are generous but it took longer than it should have to arrive.


After years of waiting, Marriott has finally opened its latest W Hotel in Edinburgh and it is not a disappointment. The smallest rooms are cleverly designed to make the most of their limited size whilst the larger suites offer expansive spaces to entertain.

The showstopper, however, is the incredible views from the top. From the 12th floor you know you have the best view in the city because there is literally nothing obstructing the spectacular views all the way from the glittering North Sea in Leith to the Castle and Arthur’s Seat. I expect the W Lounge and upcoming W Terrace bar to be as popular with locals as with hotels guests this summer. Even if the hotel is out of your price range, it’s worth popping in just for a drink.

It’s a shame they didn’t pop a proper pool in the basement somewhere, as that would have been the icing on the cake, and the hotel website should be clearer that many of the rooms are not in the ribbon building. On the whole, however, this is an excellent addition to Edinburgh’s clearly vibrant hotel scene.

Room rates at the W Edinburgh start from £250 whilst at the top end the Extreme Wow Suite will set you back considerably more (£3,999 tonight). Studio Suites start from a far more reasonable £500ish. Marriott Bonvoy redemptions start from 70,000 points per night. You can find out more, and book on the hotel website here.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (April 2024)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (59)

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

  • Andy says:

    Thanks for the review. If you checked beforehand, how did the flight time/cost compare with taking the train? I may be wrong in assuming you flew from London though. Thanks.

  • AJames says:

    The hotel does not provide room service.

  • David says:

    “From the 12th floor you know you have the best view in the city” – yeah, because the one place you from which you can’t see the giant jobby is from inside the giant jobby!

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.