Stylish yet down-to-earth, Edinburgh is an absolute charmer for virtually any purpose. Its medieval cobblestone alleys transform the city into a magical wonderland which is overseen by the amazingly cool castle that perches overhead. Nature also plays its part in making Edinburgh a great place to visit, especially the Princes Street Gardens that wind through the centre of the city.
It’s never hard to find the best hotels in Edinburgh because this city is always ready for the waves of tourists that come to its streets. Everything from posh luxury hotels to unpretentious inns are on hand, though few of them truly qualify as budget lodging. During the month of August, expect room rates to double everywhere due to the insanely popular Edinburgh Festival that runs through the entire month.
Our Favourite Edinburgh Hotels:
Balmoral Hotel: if you can afford it, the Balmoral is the quintessential Scottish experience. From its iconic clock tower to the kilt-wearing doormen, this central masterpiece offers unparalleled accommodation. Rooms are sumptuous and most boast magical views of the castle. Downstairs, the Michelin-star Number One restaurant serves a top-flight menu.
The Witchery by the Castle: there are only seven suites in this exclusive (and very expensive) historic inn, but boy do they nail the whole medieval Gothic theme. From priceless tapestries on the walls to antique furnishings, this place is about as romantic and atmospheric as any hotel in the UK.
The Bonham: the best of Edinburgh’s Townhouse Group of Hotel, The Bonham oozes style and sophistication with an unbeatable central location. Each of its themed rooms boasts state-of-the-art bathrooms and plush furnishings at rates that aren’t completely out of this world.
Channings: take five historic Edwardian town houses and lump them together and you’ve got Channings, a cool collective of historic accommodation in a tranquil residential neighbourhood in New Town. The feeling here is Scottish country manor, though the rooms are modern and extremely welcoming.
The Howard: the only thing more impressive than the service at The Howard is the building itself, a collage of Georgian town houses incorporated together into one of the city’s most discreet and luxurious addresses. Magnificent bathrooms, spacious suites and even your own personal butler, should you require one, are standard features in this classy New Town hotel.
Radisson SAS: a perennial favourite for travellers who want to stay right in the heart of the Old Town, on the Royal Mile, but don’t mind losing out on some of that traditional Scottish charm. Rooms are top-class, as are the hotel facilities that include a jet-stream pool, a sauna and a fitness centre.
Sheraton Grand: the Sheraton covers all the bases and it does it well. A prime city centre location near the Usher Hall and the Royal Lyceum theatres as well as castle-view rooms and one of the city’s top spas ensures this hotel provides all the amenities you’ll need. The weather-beating rooftop indoor and outdoor pool is a huge bonus and the spa facility is state-of-the-art.
Prestonfield: if you prefer to have a country garden outside your hotel room, the five hectares of nature surrounding Prestonfield will do the trick. The 1680s architecture and traditional atmosphere recreate that Scottish scene of old. Peacocks wander the grounds at the foot of Arthur’s Seat, yet the rooms are as modern and comfortable as you like.
The Glasshouse: one of Edinburgh’s many new boutique hotels, this intriguing property blends the old elements of a stone church with the sleek glass of contemporary style to create one of the city’s most unique buildings. Most of the modern rooms feature amazing city views, while the rooftop offers a garden bar where guests can hang out.