Scottish capital Edinburgh is one of the UK’s best city break destinations, with great arts, festivals and world-class museums and galleries. It even has an imposing castle at one end of the Royal Mile and the Scottish parliament building at the other.
Plus there is a huge park – Princes Street Gardens – right in the city centre.
Edinburgh comes alive for the New Year shenanigans of Hogmanay but not a month goes by without a major gig, exhibition or event. Out of the centre, there are cool neighbourhoods to explore and, at Portobello Beach, there’s a great seaside day out (in any weather) just a short bus ride away.
Have we convinced you to take a trip? Here are some of the best Edinburgh hotels to make your home during a stay. If you've been to one and enjoyed it, make sure to give it an upvote.
Best Edinburgh hotels
1. The Scotsman Hotel
This beautiful, imposing baroque building was once home to The Scotsman newspaper but is now a luxury hotel. The location is perfect: it stands at the end of the North Bridge that links the Old and New Towns and is close to most major attractions. Roam around taking in stained glass windows, grand marbled staircases and ornate plater ceilings. Bedrooms have journalistic themes, such as Reporter Room, Publisher Suite, Headline Suite – and no two are identical.
2. 21212 Restaurant with Rooms
A favourite with boutique hotel-and-guesthouse guide Mr & Mrs Smith, chef Paul Kitching’s food is the star attraction here. The name comes from the structure of the menu: three courses of two choices, and two courses where you get one. It adds to the visual feast with chefs at work behind a perspex screen. The property isn’t too shabby: a Georgian townhouse near Calton Hill with four en suite rooms with Smart TV, Bluetooth speaker and either a bath or walk-in shower.
3. 23 Mayfield
Online, guests have raved about the ‘exceptional’ breakfast at this Victorian-era, family-run guesthouse a mile away from the centre of Edinburgh. But there’s plenty more to get excited by at this traditional-design bolthole, such as the four-poster beds, grand mahogany furniture and a Club Room that features a selection of rare books, Chesterfield furniture, Georgian chess board and an over-size, handmade Connect 4 game.
4. Kimpton Charlotte Square
In Edinburgh’s New Town, close to shops and galleries that make it a perfect sightseeing base, the recently renovated Kimpton is actually seven interconnected Georgian townhouses. Guestrooms “celebrate the golden age of travel through curated art, books, and miscellanea”, plus there’s in-room tech, Nespresso machines and rainfall showers. The Baba restaurant mixes Scottish and Middle Eastern cuisine, which you can work off at the gym, indoor pool or spa.
5. Apex Grassmarket Hotel
A Booking.com Top Pick, the Grassmarket’s rooms featuring 42in flatscreen TVs and wall-sized magnetic maps – and some have a balcony and views of Edinburgh Castle. Don’t worry if you get a City View room, the hotel’s restaurant looks out onto the castle. There’s a sauna, fitness centre and pool, and the Grassmarket setting means its close to the Royal Mile, National Museum and just a 12-minute walk from the main train station.
6. Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street
Right on the main shopping street and with views to Princes Street Gardens and the castle, you couldn’t be better placed for a city break. The Indigo chain emphasises cool decor and design that, here, focuses on Edinburgh’s literary heritage (typewriter lamps, art that looks like book spines, sketches of famous writers). It promises spa-like bathrooms, top-notch flatscreen TV entertainment and, for refueling, the Twenty Princes Street Grill & Smokehouse, and the Juniper Bar.
7. Angels Share Hotel
Perhaps you’ll be tempted along by the 200 whiskies on offer at its restaurant-bar or maybe it will be that each room in this New Town property is dedicated to a Scottish icon (such as Sean Connery or Ewan McGregor). You might want to book in for a cocktail masterclass, enjoy live music at its late-night bar, The Devil’s Cut, or just watch free Sky Sports on your room’s flatscreen. Options are not a problem!
8. The Raeburn
The Edinburgh district of Stockbridge, home to The Raeburn, is more like its own village – despite only being a 15-20 minute walk to the city centre – and features indie bars, delis and retro stores. It’s also right by the Water of Leith, one of Edinburgh’s main rivers. The 10-room boutique hotel is big on atmosphere and elegance, and alongside the flatscreens, accommodation features Nespresso machines, GHD hair straighteners and Bose iPod docks.
9. Hotel Du Vin Edinburgh
The castle, major museums and Princes Street are a short stroll away from this Old Town boutique hotel just off the Royal Mile. It’s got more than a touch of history about it, too, being a former asylum. Though now the 47 bedrooms – think exposed beams and tasteful tartans – are inhabited by freestanding baths, rainfall showers and REN toiletries; some rooms also feature Bose speakers and Nespresso machines.
10. The Glasshouse
One of Edinburgh’s standout hotels, the Glasshouse features a staggering two-acre roof garden with views over Calton Hill and beyond. Some rooms – all of which feature floor-to-ceiling windows – have private terraces, others offer direct access to that roof terrace. The five-star hotel is set behind the historic facade of 172-year-old Lady Glenorchy Church but modernity reigns in cool rooms, featuring heated bathroom floors, flatscreen TVs, Nespresso machines, iPod docks and even a laptop safe.