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One Night at the Dakota Hotel, Edinburgh

Launched in 1935 as the world’s first commercial airliner, the DC-3 granted the American public access to one of life’s ultimate luxuries – international travel.

Fittingly, when Scottish hotelier Ken McCulloch was devising a way of delivering high-end hospitality at more affordable prices, he chose to name his new hotel chain after a military derivative of that legendary aircraft... Dakota. 

Having established the Malmaison brand during the ’90s, McCulloch opened the first high-spec-low-cost Dakota in Motherwell in 2006. The business model was rolled out to Edinburgh in 2007 and Glasgow in 2016. The City Magazine visited the former earlier this year. 

Outside, Dakota Edinburgh is a less-than-appealing black cubic new-build, which has taken architectural cues from sci-fi saga Tron. Inside, all is forgiven. The hotel is a veritable man den, replete with fire pits, aged brickwork and aviation-inspired artwork.

Heavy curtains and low lighting hide the fact you’re situated in the middle of a retail park (a 25-minute drive outside of Edinburgh). Rooms resemble Manhattan-style loft apartments; more exposed brickwork, chrome lamps, and dark upholstery.

Huge TVs, high-speed Wi-Fi and monsoon showers come as standard, even in the cheapest rooms.

So good was Dakota’s Bar and Grill – winner of several hotel restaurant awards – that we chose to have dinner there twice. 

Rooms cost from £90 per night. We’ll wager that you won’t find a better value hotel anywhere else in the UK.