The Principal Edinburgh

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The Principal Edinburgh
General information
Location 19-21 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
Coordinates 55°57′14″N 3°11′47″W / 55.953810°N 3.196346°W / 55.953810; -3.196346Coordinates: 55°57′14″N 3°11′47″W / 55.953810°N 3.196346°W / 55.953810; -3.196346
Opening 1860
Owner Principal Hotel Company
Technical details
Floor count

Townhouse (Old Wing) 4

Forth (New Wing) 7
Other information
Number of rooms 240
Number of restaurants 1

On Street (Limited, Chargable, Maximum 3 Hours)

Local NCP Carpark offers discount to George Hotel guests.
The Principal Edinburgh

The Principal Edinburgh is a historic hotel, known for 136 years as The George Hotel, located at 19–21 George Street in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.


The five townhouses on George Street that make up the hotel's historic core, Nos. 15-25,[1] were constructed around 1780 as part of Edinburgh's New Town, to designs by John Young.[2] They are now a category A listed building.[3] In 1840, No. 19 George Street was remodeled by architect David Bryce[4] as the headquarters of the Caledonian Insurance Company.

In 1860, a hotel opened in Nos. 21 & 23, gradually expanding to cover the upper levels of the other buildings as well. In 1879, the Caledonian Insurance Company expanded to Nos. 15 & 17, with remodeling carried out by MacGibbon and Ross.[5] In 1880 the hotel portion became The George Hotel. In 1905, the hotel was completely remodeled, with the addition of luxurious public rooms on the ground floor.[6]

In 1939, the Caledonian Insurance Company moved out, selling their premises to The George Hotel. however World War II prevented a planned expansion, and the offices were requisitioned by the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes until 1946.[7] The old insurance offices finally opened as the expanded George Hotel in 1950. In 1958, the hotel proposed a 17-story tower wing in the rear, but a public inquiry prevented its construction. The George Hotel eventually built a smaller 7-story rear wing, designed by Henry Wylie, in 1967.[8]

The George Hotel was completely renovated in 2006[9] and was voted Best Hotel in Edinburgh at the Scottish Hotel Awards 2009.[10]

In 2015-16, London-based interior design studio, Goddard Littlefair redesigned the hotel's interiors.[11] The former Tempus Bar & Restaurant reopened in 2015 as The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen, under the direction of chef-restaurateur Des McDonald, previously of The Ritz and The Ivy in London.[12] On 1 November 2016, at the conclusion of the renovations, the hotel's owners, Principal Hotel Company, renamed the hotel The Principal Edinburgh.[13]

Noted Guests[edit]

For the past 200 years the property has been a prestigious address. In Georgian times the poet Robert Burns paid many visits to No. 25, as did the author Sir Walter Scott.[14] In more modern times celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Omar Sharif, Jack Lemmon and Kylie Minogue have visited.[15]


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  3. ^ "The Principal Edinburgh, Listed Building Report". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
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  10. ^ "Scottish Hotel Awards, 2009 results" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  11. ^ "Hotel Interior Designers UK | Luxury Hotel Interior Design | The Principal Edinburgh, Edinburgh". Goddard Littlefair. Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
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External links[edit]