Top 10: The Best Luxury Hotels in Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland - romitasromala/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Photo by romitasromala/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Linda Macdonald, The Telegraph, November 17, 2017

An insider's guide to the best luxury hotels in Edinburgh, including the top places to stay for flamboyant furnishings, Michelin-starred restaurants, decadent bars, indulgent afternoon teas, pampering spas and luxurious rooms with castle views, near Holyrood Palace, the Royal Mile and Princes Street. 

The Balmoral Edinburgh, Scotland

9Telegraph expert rating

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This neo-Renaissance building with its massive clock tower has been an Edinburgh landmark for more than a century. It was built as a railway hotel, and has accommodated film stars, royalty and prime minsters. With elegant bedrooms and over-the-top marble bathrooms, a spa, gym and swimming pool and recently refurbished Palm Court for champagne afternoon teas, this is a 21st-century version of a grand hotel. Number One, the hotel’s Michelin-starred eatery, is one of Edinburgh’s top restaurants, overseen by Jeff Bland; expect local Scottish ingredients. Read expert review. From £280per night. Check availability. Rates provided by

• The most romantic hotels in Edinburgh

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian Edinburgh, Scotland

8Telegraph expert rating

A modern take on the grand hotel: doormen in top hats and women in furs alongside first-class connectivity and impeccable, modern rooms. Facilities include a swimming pool and Guerlain spa. Rooms have all the five-star comforts you’d expect, including snow-drift-deep mattresses and powerful showers. Splash out on a 'Castle View' room for a heart-swelling outlook on life in Edinburgh. Peacock Alley, in the old station ticket office, is a comfortably intimate setting for a slap-up afternoon tea. Later in the evening head to the railway-themed Caley Bar for a malt whisky. Read expert review. From £155per night. Check availability. Rates provided by

• The best hotels in Edinburgh city centre

Prestonfield House Edinburgh, Scotland

8Telegraph expert rating

Prestonfield House is the swankiest, most swoon-some country house hotel imaginable, hidden in lush grounds a short drive from the city centre. This Baroque-Georgian mansion is shamelessly seductive. With swags and columns, brocades and velvets, rich colours and intimate corners, it is wildly opulent. Rooms are irrepressibly romantic in a husky-throated boudoir sort of way. Suites are even more lavishly furnished – a Gothic day bed, perhaps or velvet-hung four poster, silk toile wallpaper or silver chariot bath. Its two oval shaped dining rooms come into their own at night as a candle-lit, Gothic fantasy; there’s a 800-bottle wine list. Read expert review. From £190per night. Check availability. Rates provided by

• The best boutique hotels in Edinburgh

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh, Scotland

9Telegraph expert rating

This modern hotel has everything you would expect from the brand, with bells on. Although predominantly aimed at business travellers, the location and range of rooms (some with Castle views) and services make it the perfect choice for travellers who like to know exactly what they’re getting. Facilities include the best spa in town, with a 19-metre infinity swimming pool, thermal suite with seven treatment areas, Espa treatments, gym, café and utterly relaxing rooftop hydro-pool. The restaurant has splendid views of the Castle and the bar proudly serves its own bespoke Edinburgh One Square Gin. Read expert review. From £150per night. Check availability. Rates provided by

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Principal Edinburgh George Street Edinburgh, Scotland

8Telegraph expert rating

There’s nothing stuffy about Edinburgh’s oldest hotel; it does classy/contemporary on a grand scale throughout. Expect a softly tailored look in Farrow & Ball-esque shades of oak, smoke, moss and mist with stylish leather accents. Rooms in the original townhouses offer classic Georgian architecture, but don’t scorn the rooms in the modern Forth Wing: there are some cracking views across the city to the Firth. Bathrooms in the suites have rolltop baths. The Printing Press Bar and Restaurant has dark velvet banquettes, a marble bar, cheerful bartenders in bow ties and braces, and live jazz on Saturday nights. Read expert review. From £91per night. Check availability. Rates provided by

• The best five-star hotels in Edinburgh

G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

8Telegraph expert rating

This is Edinburgh’s version of an Absolutely Fabulous hotel and the only five-star hotel on the Royal Mile. An occasional whisper of Missoni branding still lingers, but this stylish hotel has developed its own uniquely modern Scottish identity, losing nothing in translation. Most rooms are stylishly spartan. Nine striking suites – individually designed by notable Scottish artists and designers – are delights of colour, wit and style. For an edgy foodie experience, try the afternoon teas – an imaginative departure from the usual, with gin and negroni jelly and liquorice panna cotta. Read expert review. From £123per night. Check availability. Rates provided by

• The best hotels in Edinburgh

Nira Caledonia Edinburgh, Scotland

8Telegraph expert rating

If a hotel can be the soul of discretion, this quietly confident hotel tucked away in a peaceful corner of the New Town is it – this place is for those who want luxury that whispers, rather than shouts. Rooms feature plenty of toned-down tweed, some attractive and unusual furnishings (Art Deco Chinoiserie, anyone?) and an occasional, eye-popping splash of colour. Some suites have hot tubs. The steak restaurant makes use of a Josper grill oven and is big on local provenance – think Shetland-smoked mussels and Puddledub Farm Jacob lamb. Read expert review. From £94per night. Check availability. Rates provided by

• The best bed and breakfasts in Edinburgh

The Glasshouse Edinburgh, Scotland

8Telegraph expert rating

Don’t let the high-Gothic entrance fool you, The Glasshouse features lots of groovy furnishings (including a snug complete with 'fire bowl') and a fab rooftop garden. Bedrooms are big and airy with show-stopping floor-to-ceiling windows. Blissfully comfortable beds are huge while the suites are bigger in every way and come with mini-decanters of malt whisky. Young, smiley, on-the-ball staff are endlessly enthusiastic, even at breakfast (so be warned). At reception you will find the Henderson Gallery – an exhibition space of commissioned contemporary Scottish Art. Read expert review. From £98per night. Check availability. Rates provided by

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The Scotsman Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

8Telegraph expert rating

This used to be the Scotsman newspaper offices and has been carefully converted to retain its Edwardian grandeur – oak panelling, marble staircase, baronial turrets – while given a sheen of low-key, modern luxury. You can swim in the stainless steel pool, have a spa treatment, or just gaze out over the city from your bedroom with turret or rooftop views. It's also possible to curl up with popcorn and ice-cream for classic films in the private screening room. The brasserie dishes in the restaurant are exciting: haggis with single malt whisky jelly, and Scrabster pollock with anchovy hollandaise. Read expert review. From £111per night. Check availability. Rates provided by

• The best Edinburgh hotels with spas

The Howard Edinburgh, Scotland

8Telegraph expert rating

The Howard is like a dowager duchess – it may be showing its age here and there, but it has never lost its essential elegance. You may have trouble distinguishing which three lovely Georgian townhouses make up this discreet New Town hotel, it announces itself so quietly. A personal butler will park your car, unpack your bag, iron your shirt, pick up your shopping, run a bath, make your tea (leaves not teabags), shake your martini and read your children a bedtime story. Breakfast is lavish and afternoon tea, with a selection of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and six kinds of cake, is a must. Read expert review. From £99per night. Check availability. Rates provided by


This article was written by Linda Macdonald from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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