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On my recent trip to Ireland and Scotland, I stayed at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh (where I hit my SPG 100-night platinum threshold). The hotel underwent a complete renovation not long ago and features 269 newly renovated guestrooms and suites, a Sheraton Club lounge, fitness center and One Spa.
This is a Category 4 property where free nights are normally 10,000 SPG points per night. However, I checked and there was cash and points availability so I was able to redeem 4,000 points and $60 per night. The cheapest rates otherwise would have been GBP 170.00 ($275), yielding a 5.37 cents per point redemption rate, which is why I consistently rank SPG cash and points as some of the best value hotel point redemptions, especially since the nights and stays count toward elite qualification.
When I checked in, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’d actually been upgraded to a Castle Suite, which goes for double the standard guestroom I had booked – 340 GBP or $550. Castle. As an SPG Platinum member, I was able to access the club lounge which served a complimentary continental breakfast, snacks throughout the day, and evening canapés.
In addition to what would have been nice views of Edinburgh Castle if it hadn’t been (typically) raining, I pretty much loved this suite. Although not huge at just over 500 square feet, it made great use of space with a large separate king bedroom and a living room with a small sofa and coffee table, a breakfast table and a second flatscreen television.
The bedroom had an iPod docking station, and the bathroom had a glassed-in shower and separate bath all stocked with Molton Brown bath products – some of my favorites and certainly not what I expected to find in a Sheraton. The suite had a real clubhouse feel to it. Definitely not what you would expect at your run-of-the-mill Sheraton hotel.
The decor was what I can only describe as chic neo-Scottish with a muted plaid tartan pattern on the walls, a hint of red in some of the wall hangings and drapes and some traditional art dotted here and there.
One of the perks of being a SPG Platinum member is complimentary access to the Club Lounge – a privilege that costs between 30-50 GBP ($48-$80) per night at this property based on rate differentials between regular rooms and club rooms in each category. Though I don’t spend a huge amount of time in club lounges in general – especially since the WiFi was free for me thanks to elite status – but this was still a nice perk to be able to take advantage of and the lounge proved to be a good place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing in the city.
The club lounge served a complimentary continental breakfast which included one hot item each day, but had snacks and beverages throughout the day and evening canapés and drinks.
Club level guests also receive complimentary access to hotel’s adajacent six-story, 35,000-square-foot, One Spa facilities which includes rock and bio saunas, Tepidarium’s heated couches, Hammam and Aroma Grotto, and their rooftop hydropool.
Overall, I was really impressed by this hotel and it is probably one of the nicest Sheraton’s I have ever stayed so I highly recommend if you are in Edinburgh. Location-wise, it was a short walk to the Castle and about 10-15 minutes to all of the shops and restaurants on Princes Street.
It was a great deal using cash and points, and the One Spa is by far one of the nicest hotel spas I have seen. While I didn’t stay here, I did have dinner one night at Cucina at the Hotel Missoni which was also very swanky so you might want to consider checking that hotel out as well. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.