They may not be fashionable, but a number of European hotels next to rail stations offer great business facilities and speedy transport links, says Alex McWhirter

Hotels fall over themselves to be associated with airports, yet the reverse is often true when it comes to railway stations. First class hotels continue to believe air travel is more fashionable than rail, and their publicity blurb will invariably play down the convenience of their location for a mainline station, while seldom providing walking directions.

Some grand railway hotels dating back to the steam age even changed their names to disassociate themselves from the train firms that originally owned them. Witness Edinburgh’s Balmoral (formerly the North British) or London Marylebone’s Landmark (formerly the Great Central).