The Best Luxury Hotels in Edinburgh: An Ultimate List

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh/Balmoral Hotel

Between Hogmanay and the summer festivals, there’s always a good reason to visit Scotland’s capital – and there’s a host of luxury hotels in Edinburgh to choose from for your visit.

LUXURY HOTELS IN EDINBURGH

If you’ve recently stayed in a luxury hotel in the Cotswolds or a romantic hotel in London, Edinburgh is the perfect place for your next stay.

The hill town’s medieval old town is made up of ancient buildings, narrow lanes and the Royal Mile, which stretches from the imposing castle to the parliament building.

Snap a photo with Braveheart himself as you climb up to the castle, shop along Princes Street in the Georgian New Town, or stroll to Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park for impressive city views. And don’t miss Calton Hill, which is full of monuments to discover at the top.

Whatever your travel plans in Scotland’s capital, you’ll want to settle into a luxury hotel in Edinburgh.

At Balmoral, book a room with a view of the castle or join the cool kids at quirky boutique hotel Tigerlily, where the two bars whip up a selection of over 100 cocktails between them.

Middle Eastern mezes (with a little Scottish influence) await you at Baba Restaurant in Kimpton Charlotte Square. And dining doesn’t get much more decadent than at The Witchery by the Castle, a baroque restaurant with guest rooms and one of Scotland’s most atmospheric eateries.

Read on for our selection of the best luxury hotels in Edinburgh:

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1

The Balmoral

The Balmoral on Princes Street has one of the best locations in town, with Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town visible from many rooms. The only Scottish brother of the Rocco Forte family, Balmoral’s elegant interiors were designed by Olga Polizzi. The high ceilings and grand staircases of the iconic clock tower remain, with touches of tartan, shades of heather and Hebridean blues nodding to the location.

Whiskey Ambassadors are on hand to help you choose from 500 malts, and there’s a spa to soothe those headaches if you have one too many. Dining options include Michelin-starred Number One and Brasserie Prince, which masterfully blends French and Scottish flavors.

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2

Intercontinental Edinburgh The George

A hotel since 1881 and spread across five listed Georgian townhouses, The George has provided a luxury retreat for prosperous Scots since 1775. The whiskey might get all the attention, but Edinburgh’s finest gins are also on offer at the bar at late night cocktails. – and the print shop champions Scotland’s finest produce, including Orkney scallops, Loch Fyne salmon and smoked haggis.

The hotel is on George Street, in the heart of the city’s new town and less than 10 minutes’ walk from the castle. For a memorable stay, book one of the suites, which overlook Georgian Street below and are adorned with fresh flowers.

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3

The Dunstane Houses

A short drive from the town center in residential West Coates, the Dunstane Houses are a pair of Victorian villas – the Dunstane House and the Hampton House – with matching proportions, gables and coved ceilings. As with any self-respecting Scottish stay, an impressive collection of whiskey is essential, and the bar has over 100 to choose from.

Modern decor additions include Persian rugs, patterned wallpaper, brightly colored velvet sofas, and freestanding copper tubs. The restaurant features Scottish produce (especially anything from Orkney) on small plates.

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4

The witchcraft of the castle

One of Edinburgh’s most romantic hotels, The Witchery by the Castle evokes decadence, with nine extravagant bedrooms (in the best way), a candlelit Secret Garden room with a terrace and, of course, the famous restaurant . The Baroque dining room is in a 16th-century merchant’s house, with original oak paneling, painted ceilings, red leather seats and tapestries, all illuminated by the flames of dozens of antique chandeliers.

Suites have richly draped four-poster beds, metal sleigh tubs in the center of the room, and a mix of velvets, brocades, and other embellishments that really shouldn’t work together but do.

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5

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh

Located in a former railway station, this Princes Street hotel has been welcoming guests since 1903. Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh is the proud owner of the only Guerlain spa in the UK, which features an indoor swimming pool, sauna and a hammam. The Royal Mile and the World Heritage Site of the Old Town are both less than a mile from the hotel.

Sharing plates await you at Grazing, where celebrity chef Mark Greenaway loves Scottish produce so much he’s the official Scotland Food & Drink Ambassador; or sit down for a tasting menu offered by Masterchef: the professionals finalist Dean Banks at the Pompadour. The Caley Bar (unsurprisingly) specializes in whiskey, though there are plenty of classic cocktails too.

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6

tigerlily

Edinburgh’s original boutique hotel, the super-hip Tigerlily, still has the bold design references that put it on the map: wood-paneled walls, bright pink curtains, and sprawling Georgian suites with their own fireplaces. Join the party at one of two bars, where the cocktails never stop flowing – because there are 100 to choose from (we mean it).

Locals love this stylish stay for its festive vibe and ever-trendy decor, as well as its fabulous restaurant. Not that you’ll need it, but New Town’s bars, brasseries and shops are all within walking distance.

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7

Horse The Edinburgh Large

Go local by checking into one of the stylish apartments that form Cheval The Edinburgh Grand on St Andrew Square in the New Town. The historic residence was once the National Bank of Scotland, although all the dull clerks and amusing managers have been eliminated. Some apartments can accommodate up to six people, making them a great option for a trip with the girls.

The landmark’s modern makeover preserved the dark paneling, decorative cornices, and striking circular staircase, adding teal velvet sofas, cyan subway tiles, and freestanding tubs to bring it up to date.

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8

The Raeburn

Built in 1832 as a family home, the Raeburn now lets us get in on the action. A former winner of Scotland’s Best Boutique Hotel, the house has just 10 rooms, with a library and terrace to enjoy in the summer.

The town center is a 15 minute walk away and full Scottish breakfasts are served each morning to prepare you for days of sightseeing. The clan may have moved on, but there are cozy roasts served every Sunday to help you feel like part of the family, as well as weekday dinners of Shetland mussels, steaks and, of course, that Scottish favourite, the cullen skink.

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9

Place Kimpton Charlotte

In a quiet corner at the edge of a pretty New Town garden, Kimpton Charlotte Square is a bit away from the crowds, but close to all the main attractions. The Georgian building now houses a glazed courtyard ideal for a G&T (or three) amidst its many plants.

At Baba, the decor is all turquoise and textiles, and the sharing plates mix Scottish produce and Middle Eastern flavors – with plenty of dishes cooked on a charcoal grill. Or head to Aizle for six-course tasting menus at one Great British menu chief.

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ten

Malmaison City of Edinburgh

With murals behind the beds ranging from urban cityscapes to worthy Renaissance masterpieces, Edinburgh’s Malmaison town center is not underrated. The castle can be seen from the Place Saint-André of this hotel in the New Town.

If you want to skip the haggis, head to Chez Mal instead for classic French fare—the brasserie also offers Thai flavors, giant burgers, and striploin steaks. A bit of ‘Malchemy’ at the Chez Mal bar is a must – the team have helpfully created 10 types of G&T to get you through.

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