We review the top 10 best luxury hotels in Edinburgh. These include Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian Edinburgh, The Balmoral, Kimpton Charlotte Square, The Glasshouse, Hotel Indigo Edinburgh, Mode Aparthotel Edinburgh, Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, and The Witchery by the Castle.
Scotland’s proud capital is rich in historic buildings and monuments, the medieval Old Town being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The imposing Edinburgh Castle that dominates the city has served as a fortress since the first century AD. Edinburgh is also famous for its year-round calendar of events, the highlight being the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe in August, which has launched the careers of many famous artists.
1. Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian
We think Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian is the best luxury hotel in Edinburgh. Standing proudly at the West End of Princes Street, this former Victorian railway building hotel nestles in the shadow of the imposing Edinburgh Castle. Its reputation for style and excellence has attracted generations of locals, international visitors, and notable personalities for over one hundred years.
Formerly the station concourse and ticket office, Peacock Alley represents the historic heart of The Caley and is imbued with the peerless style and sophistication of this famous former railway hotel. Peacock Alley is the perfect ‘set’ for breakfast, afternoon tea, or elegant evening drinks.
Admire some of the best views in Edinburgh from 241 guestrooms and suites, and dine at Grazing By Mark Greenaway. The hotel is also home to the UK’s only Guerlain Spa and an indoor pool with a sauna and steam room.
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian is the perfect base to explore Scotland’s capital. This iconic hotel is within walking distance of the castle, the Royal Mile, and the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
2. Kimpton Charlotte Square
The best IHG hotel in Edinburgh is Kimpton Charlotte Square. We are major fans of the Kimpton brand ever since we stayed in Kimpton Fitzroy in London. Kimpton hotels feel boutique and personal with all sorts of unique touches, yet they offer a reliable and consistent level of luxury.
Perched on the edge of a picturesque private garden in the New Town, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel blends traditional glamour with the Scotland of today. Outside, a classical Georgian exterior stands as an ode to the past, while inside, past the lobby, a glass-topped central courtyard is abuzz with activity as travelers unwind over gin & tonics, local professionals do business, and friends toast special occasions. The energy is so fresh and effervescent that you’ll want to bottle it and bring it home—but then again, it feels too distinctly Edinburgh to make sense anywhere else.
3. The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel
For over a century, The Balmoral has found a home at Edinburgh’s most prestigious address, No. 1 Princes Street. The perfect marriage of tradition and modernity, each of the 167 rooms has been individually designed by Rocco Forte Hotel’s Director of Design, Olga Polizzi. Elegant and stylish with unmistakably Scottish accents, each of the 20 Edinburgh suites is generous with magnificent views.
Excellent cuisine is guaranteed at The Balmoral. Overseen by Executive Chef Gary Robinson, Brasserie Prince celebrates the very best of Scottish produce with classic French cooking. At Bar Prince, the ambiance is relaxed yet convivial. Guests can enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif, sit in the cozy library by the fire for an after-dinner drink, or sample cocktails at the long marble bar counter for a fun night out.
The hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Number One, offers modern Scottish dining with the finest service. Head Chef Mark Donald and his team have developed a menu fusing modern Scottish cuisine with an international flair. Palm Court, set in the heart of the hotel, is an Edinburgh institution that’s as glittering as its glass dome and Venetian chandelier. This is the place to sample modern Afternoon Tea and a wide selection of loose-leaf teas, coffee, and pastries.
The Balmoral Spa is a serene sanctuary in the heart of the city – the perfect place to escape the pace of city life. The spa boasts five treatment rooms, a 15m swimming pool, a Finnish sauna, a Turkish steam room, Spa Bar, and a state-of-the-art quad layout Technogym-equipped gym.
4. The Witchery by the Castle
James Thomson’s The Witchery by the Castle is the most spectacularly atmospheric hotel in Edinburgh. This unique boutique hotel has just nine fabulously original and indulgent suites. Lavishly decorated, the suites here scream romance. Each has its own unique quirks and charms, but whichever suite you choose, you’ll find oodles of glamour, indulgence, luxury, and roll-top baths for two.
The stunning décor, legendary food, and an award-winning wine list have ensured the Witchery by the Castle have become a much-loved Edinburgh institution. The restaurant is also magnificent. Dine in the rich baroque surroundings of the original oak-paneled Witchery or among the elegant candle-lit charms of the Secret Garden.
5. The Glasshouse, Autograph Collection
Boutique luxury and grand tradition combine for spectacular results at The Glasshouse, Autograph Collection. Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh’s city center, this 5-star hotel features a striking 172-year-old façade melded into an ultra-sleek lobby space.
Relax in gorgeously appointed hotel rooms and suites, where boutique amenities and views of either the UNESCO World Heritage site of Calton Hill or Edinburgh’s New Town await. 17 suites are each named after a Scotch whiskey or Region, many of which you’ll find in Snug Bar, a recently renovated lounge offering over 160 exclusive Scotch whiskeys. Nearby, iconic attractions like Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Princes Street, and Playhouse Theatre beckon.
6. Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh
Sheraton Grand is ideally located to discover Edinburgh’s outstanding history and architectural beauty. Wake up fully rested in Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience™ beds and enjoy inspiring views of Edinburgh Castle from the Castle View Rooms & Suites.
Spend your day exploring the closes off the Royal Mile or browsing the shops on George Street before escaping to Scotland’s most renowned urban thermal spa experience, One Spa. Unwind in the hotel’s iconic rooftop Hydropool to start your journey to well-being and rejuvenation. Find inner calm in the Thermal Suite, an unrivaled range of uplifting water, salt, and heat experiences designed to help you rebalance and refresh your body and mind. Stay in a Club Room for complimentary spa access and evening drinks and canapés in the hotel’s Club Lounge.
7. Hotel Indigo Edinburgh
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh on York Place is a quirky boutique hotel, situated within the Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage site. It occupies five original Georgian townhouses and is just moments from both Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle. Usefully, the hotel is also minutes away from Waverley Train Station and opposite the tram terminus on York Place. For art lovers, it is just steps from the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
The hotel has preserved many of the original features, including decorative stairwells and a unique cupola in its modern refurbishment. The check-in area is a mix of modern lighting, white walls, and dark wood floors. The main staircase is an impressive old wooden construction winding its way up the building.
There are 60 individual bedrooms and junior suites to choose from. All rooms are attractively furnished with wooden floors with brightly colored rugs, beige and grey headboards, and then either an orange or turquoise theme. The junior suites are the most luxurious rooms with more space and a separate area to lounge in. Request a room at the front of the property, looking down over Queen Street and York Place, which is always busy and fun to watch. These rooms look down at all the action but remain amazingly quiet because of very good double glazing.
Bathrooms are modern and stylish, with square sinks, large walk-in rain-showers, and Aveda toiletries. Along with the usual facilities (hairdryer, air conditioning, etc.), there are some quirky freebies, including the intriguing complimentary haggis-flavored crisps along with free Edinburgh shortbread and Tunnocks teacakes. The minibar contains free water, soft drinks, and real milk for making a cuppa.
There is a small but well-equipped fitness gym in the basement, and for food and drink, the Turquoise Thistle Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge feature contemporary thistle prints and striking modern artwork.
8. Cringletie House
Our final two hotel choices are nearby but not in Edinburgh itself. These two hotels can be perfectly twinned with one of the best luxury hotels in Edinburgh city to provide a true “Monarch of the Glen” experience during your trip to Scotland Cringletie House near Edinburgh used to be a Scottish Baronial Castle. It features 28 acres of gorgeous grounds plus stunning views of the surrounding Scottish countryside.
The grounds are perfect for a stroll. They are made up of partially wooded and partially grassy expanses, and there is also a river with a waterfall. They also include a walled garden with a large chessboard, a pitch and putt course, a croquet lawn, and there’s even a children’s play area should you have any little people with you.
Communal areas include a bar and a spacious conservatory offering views of those amazing grounds, plus a cozy lounge and two dining areas, including the fine dining restaurant, which is an elegant dining room with s historic fireplace, and hand-painted ceiling. There are 12 bedrooms, a luxurious suite, and a cottage on the grounds. All are unique and individually designed, with some including turrets and others containing huge fireplaces. The two-bedroom Ardean Cottage lies on the grounds of the castle with a private decked area offering sun loungers and a large hot tub. The decking overlooks the house, gardens, and countryside beyond. Who doesn’t like fabulous views while they soak in the hot tub after a busy day exploring rural Scotland?
9. Dalhousie Castle
Dalhousie Castle is Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle and is just 10 miles from Edinburgh. It was a stronghold of the chieftains of Clan Ramsay, it withstood a siege by Henry IV in 1400, and it was captured by Cromwell two centuries later. In between, Mary, Queen of Scots, spent the night, so when staying here, you are sleeping in a royal bed.
The grand entrance hall has a vaulted faux-Gothic ceiling and a mini-Imperial staircase. There is a small spa with a laconium and hydro pool, and guests can fly a Russian Steppe Eagle or a Turkmanian Eagle Owl from falconry on the grounds. The grounds meander down to the banks of the South Esk River, which offer views of the Border hills.
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