Experience the luxury of a bygone era with a wholly modern spin at one of these world-class railway hotels.
Though Edinburgh’s Princes Street train station shut down nearly 50 years ago, the century-old sandstone hotel built beside it has relaunched after a multimillion-dollar overhaul.
Inside the original Edwardian facade are 241 plush rooms—188 of them constructed from former rail platforms and many of them overlooking the city’s 12th-century castle.
The station’s original clock takes center stage in the Peacock Alley bar.
The British capital’s first railway hotel—an 1854 brick building designed, like the adjacent King’s Cross station, by Victorian engineer Lewis Cubitt—has been reimagined after sitting closed for 12 years.
It opened in 2013 with 91 rooms, including 21 cozy couchettes inspired by traditional sleeper cars.
There’s also a restaurant from Gordon Ramsay protégé Mark Sargeant that looks like a modern Orient Express carriage.
First opened in 1915—one year following the launch of Tokyo Station, the rail hub next door—it now houses 150 vaulted guest rooms and 10 restaurants (a sushi joint and a yakitori bar among them).
Recently restored, the property offers unparalleled views of the Imperial Palace.
This piece, written by Christine Ajudua, first appeared in the November 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.