Where to stay in … Scotland

My favorite hotel in Edinburgh is the Malmaison, which is located in the Leith district. Trendy but not precious, the hotel has all the comforts of home and the hipness of the latest club or bar. You’ll also find a United Nations of restaurants within blocks of the hotel. But be sure to make reservations. I tried getting a table for dinner on a Saturday night and had to really search for a place that could fit me without a multi-hour wait.

Orkney Islands

Refer to any of the 19,000 inhabitants of the Orkney Islands as a Scot, and he or she will politely inform you they are not Scots. They’re Orcadians. They may live just a few miles north of mainland Scotland, but these island dwellers are an entity unto themselves. Yes, they eat haggis and talk with accents as thick as the blood used in black pudding. But unlike residents of cosmopolitan Edinburgh and nouveau-chic Glasgow, Orcadians don’t revel in trendy nightlife or upscale boutiques catering to the rich and bored.