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Dakota Hotel Edinburgh 4.0

South Queensferry, Edinburgh, Scotland

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Review Summary

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  • Stylish and modern, with fanatic attention to detail
  • Excellent location near the airport for business travelers
  • Award-winning seafood restaurant
  • Fitness center with a variety of cardio machines
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Kids under 12 stay free 
  • Free airport shuttle (weekdays only)
  • Non-smoking property (a con for some)
  • Pet-friendly


  • Not conveniently located for tourists -- too far from major attractions
  • Restaurant is pricey, and there's no other option

Bottom Line

The upscale, 132-room Dakota Edinburgh is a fabulously stylish hotel, seven miles from the airport, in what, from the outside, appears to be a forbidding black cube. Inside, the Dakota is a creative, modern delight with a tweedy boho vibe, lots of exposed brick, and one of Scotland's best-reviewed seafood restaurants. The decor throughout is aviation-inspired, with first-class attention to detail at mid-range prices. The location is a bit remote for tourists and avid sightseers, but great for business travelers.

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Sophisticated, cozy, and one of a kind, with industrial chic touches and a tweedy boho vibe

The Dakota Edinburgh is a sophisticated, cozy hotel with a definite point of view. The decor is stylish and bohemian, with a predominance of exposed brick, and a warm color palette of browns, grays, and dark reds that add to the feeling of warmth and intimacy. The Dakota is named for a long-shuttered airline whose goal was to offer five-star luxury at three-star prices; the hotel has adopted this philosophy, and the design aesthetic is aviation-inspired in homage. There are innumerable details that reflect this choice, including a leather-upholstered elevator with a plane porthole through which (digital) clouds can be seen. These quirky, fun design choices contribute to the exclusive feeling of the property. (Even the public bathrooms are handsome!) The lobby is often filled with business executives tapping away on laptops amid the atmospheric lighting, sepia-toned furniture, tree-stump side tables, fireplaces, and industrial-chic architecture. The Bar + Grill has been designated Hotel Restaurant and Scottish Seafood Restaurant of the Year, and the grilled seafood lives up to its reputation.


Great spot for business travelers, near the airport, 20 minutes by train from downtown Edinburgh

The Dakota Edinburgh is located north of Edinburgh, at the gate of the town of South Queensferry, on the Firth of Forth. The airport is a quick 15-minute drive from the hotel, making it a good spot for business travelers. Downtown Edinburgh and its major tourist sites are 20 minutes by train, a little remote for avid sightseers and travelers who want to be in the thick of things. There is not much in the immediate area of the hotel, but the Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry village are two minutes away by car.


Rich colors, sophisticated comfort, and free Sky Sports channels on the flat-screen

Rooms at the Dakota Edinburgh are spacious, immaculate, and beautifully designed in rich shades of gray, brown, and brick, with sophisticated wing chairs, comfortable sofas, tweedy fabrics, leather bed frames, wool blankets, cool sculptures, and interesting artwork. Bathrooms are modern and handsome, with dark tile and stainless steel accents, and luxe monsoon showers. TVs come with satellite channels and the full Sky Sports package; high-speed Internet, tea, and coffeemakers are included. There is some mild street noise, and guests may not want to stay in the rooms next door to the fitness center, where early morning treadmill action can be a rude awakening.


Excellent restaurant, nice fitness center, and well-equipped meeting rooms

The Dakota Edinburgh features one of Scotland’s most renowned seafood restaurants, Bar + Grill, serving locally-sourced meat and fish in a sophisticated, unstuffy dining room. The floors are herringbone parquet; there is exposed brick everywhere, as well as industrial ductwork, colored lighting, and bold paintings on the walls. Bar + Grill is far more than a hotel restaurant. The Dakota’s fitness center has a variety of cardio machines in a small but not cramped, workout room, with a fridge full of free bottled water. There are five elegant meeting rooms with up-to-date audio-visual equipment and large windows for natural light.

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