North Berwick makes for a perfect seaside getaway, with its artisan high street, expansive beaches and distinguished golf club. But if the weather doesn’t play ball (it is Scotland after all) then staying at the MacDonald Marine means you might not even have to leave the hotel.

Instead, get pampered in its a huge internal spa, dine in its classy Craigleith restaurant, or recline in the well-manicured garden that looks on to the golf course and the Firth of Forth.


The thermal spa has a vast list of treatments, but if you are looking for a fix for tired skin then the superfood facial is a miracle-worker. Post-treatment, you can try the sauna, scented sauna, outdoor whirlpool, swimming pool, steam room and ice shower (if you dare).


The imposing Victorian building which houses the hotel retains many of its original touches – but that doesn’t mean it looks tired. Instead, the décor in the 83 rooms – and throughout the hotel – is tastefully grand, with subtle nods to the heritage of the MacDonald family.

Some of the rooms do boast sea-views, but even those that don’t will offer the kind of calm and tranquillity that you simply don’t get in the city.


The award-winning Craigleith restaurant overlooks the garden and water beyond, with tables at the window being in particularly high demand.

Being located on the coast you would expect good seafood, and the delicate smoked salmon starter certainly doesn’t disappoint. For your main course try the braised beef: so tender that it almost falls apart when your knife cuts through it.

The mini potato scone slices served at breakfast are a perfect way to start the day – and you don’t feel quite as guilty about the calories when they come in miniature portions.


Ice buckets are left in the room, which can be filled on request if you fancy enjoying a bottle of bubbly while you recline in splendour. The luxury Elemis toiletries offered in the bathroom tie up nicely with the spa downstairs.


The hotel is close to North Berwick train station, which is 30 minutes from Edinburgh Waverley. You can walk easily into the centre of town, and, of course, to the beach.

Doubles from £95 per night, room only. Visit

Alex Burns