Flat ironed bagpipes, a soul-stirring castle and a 335-million-year-old volcano with miniature lakes in the Central Highlands, toothed ruins and thorny outcrops. No place stimulates the senses like Edinburgh.
The decision to go to Scotland’s capital is always easy. It just got a lot more complicated to figure out where to stay. Accommodation used to be a binary choice between luxury hotels, five-star five-star hotels or low-cost brands. No more. Would you prefer a Michelin-starred dinner or a bed in the tender that used to be a rocking lighthouse in the pier? You’ll find it all here and more.
The best boutique hotels in Edinburgh are:
Neighborhood: Calton Hills
When owner chef Paul Kitching and his partner Katie O’Brien opened this restaurant with rooms in what was once the reverse of Calton Hill, it was a pivotal moment for Edinburgh. Their vision is to combine the best of Scotland with refined, if slightly eccentric hospitality, creating a unique atmosphere in the capital. No one has done it better since then.
The main reason to come is Kitching’s Michelin-starred kitchen. Without fail, a new menu pops up every week, with Dali-style dishes that will captivate you. Expect items like haggis porridge, salmon with shredded tea or English breakfast risotto, before heading upstairs to a sumptuous cocktail bar and four bedrooms – all with cozy lounges, luscious bathtubs and chocolate colored ornaments.
Price: Doubles from £150
Everyone loves the idea of being rocked to sleep by the lapping sea. The reality is slightly different from this beautifully restored former lighthouse tender, now sheltered moored on Leith’s Albert Dock Basin. The 237-footer has been seriously and elegantly refitted, ambitiously and inch by inch a floating palace.
On the runway, there are 23 rooms, all with yacht cabin furnishings and sloping decks, but the real spectacle can be found in the public spaces. There’s an Art Deco cocktail bar on the rooftop, with glittering gold ceilings and jazz soundtracks. The hull has been remodeled as a lavish ballroom and the ceiling of the engine room has peeled back to form one of the corridors. The mood is jovial and polite, but what do you expect from owners like the nearby Royal Yacht Britannia?
Price: Doubles from £300
Neighborhood: Royal Mile
If you get any closer to Edinburgh Castle, you’ll sleep in it. It’s just one of the USPs at this shack townhouse mix, all hidden in palatial apartment-style rooms that have a more opulent, more atmospheric – dare I say it, creepy even. more – than the secret rooms in the royal stronghold next door.
Wake up in a mix of four-poster campsites straight from a period drama or more inviting gothic-style suites filled with fun nooks and crannies of shabby furniture. If you like your bedroom to have a turret or battle armor, this is the place. Want a private library? You might as well have one of those. Best of all, it’s all on the doorstep of the Royal Mile’s tartan and toffee spectacle, the city’s cute vibrant street lined with tolbooths and time-stricken townhouses .
Price: Doubles from £345, including full breakfastthewitchery.com
Neighborhood: Calton Hills
The postcard vantage point from Calton Hill, overlooking the Gothic spiers of the Scott Monument and Edinburgh Castle, is the reason so many people come to Scotland’s capital. It was a view also just a few steps from the front door of the hidden retreat, halfway up Calton Hill.
Great for groups of friends, this 14-bed business home features terrace apartments and a photographer’s studio, with each room cleverly designed to feel both contemporary and timeless. . The superb location cannot be beat, but the subtle touches of the property’s history – which capture moments from Scottish art and photography history – are what stand out.
Price: Rooms from £70
The Orkney Islands are never far from the mind of this uber-style hotel nestled between the money swagger of the West End and Scotland’s national rugby stadium. The owners had moved south from the archipelago a few years ago and it was as if they had bottled the islanders’ famous happiness and taken it with them.
The Victorian home has 16 rooms to choose from – a mix of Orcadian tradition and contemporary design – while you can spend the day lounging on sumptuously comfortable beds, drinking tea. on the front lawn or soak in the exclusive Victorian bathrooms. A potter along the nearby Water of Leith road to affluent Stockbridge is also highly recommended.
Price: Doubles from £227
Neighborhood: City Center.
If the Scottish capital had more places like this, then Edinburgh’s Airbnb listings would experience a drop in bookings. This six-story Georgian townhouse started with a friendly lobby and laptop-friendly cafe-bar, before introducing a series of serviced apartment-style rooms designed by an architectural firm. New York architecture design – most have mod-con kitchens, sofas and lots of cabinet space and bumper windows with views of George Street. By 5 p.m., the area comes alive with restaurants, pubs and bars lining up, especially on neighboring Thistle and Rose Streets.
Price: Studio apartments from £108
If Bonnie Prince Charlie and Alexander McQueen got into the furniture business, this peaceful retreat would be the result. More of a manor than a hotel, this one-of-a-kind property is located just a few kilometers from the city center, yet offers a different world of vibes. Highland cows and preening peacocks roam the fields and front lawns of the property; slain doorkeepers are waiting for you by hand and foot; and hunter armchairs and Snow White mirrors compete for your attention in the lounges. Rooms are decked out in catwalk style of pops of red and kitsch purple with exotic accents of electric pink, plus gourmet food and creamy belly tea with all the decorations.
Price: Doubles from £345
When it opened in 2014, The Raeburn had been a long time coming. The connoisseur Stockbridge locals, with their array of posh restaurants, chic boutiques and Sunday farmers markets, need a local hideaway for beer garden afternoons and rainy day meals. . And this 10-room Georgian mansion has been delivered.
Located within striking distance from the city’s best local attractions (namely the Royal Botanic Gardens and Inverleith Park), The Raeburn is perfect for those who like to get lost. Start with fish and chips at the buzzing brasserie downstairs – or people-watch with a box out front if the sun comes out – then work your way upstairs to rooms with high ceilings. Check all boxes. Rainforest showers, noisy TVs, and coffee makers are all standard amenities.
Price: Doubles from £150
Neighborhood: New Town
Flipping through the pages of a classic novel can also keep you indoors at this multi-story Georgian home at 17 Heriot Row – especially if it Treasure Island, Kidnapped or Jekyll and Hyde. Author Robert Louis Stevenson grew up in this early 19th-century bed-and-breakfast from the age of 6, and all the romance in his novels comes to life as he sits among antiques and antique furniture. of his old house.
It’s unusual that there are only two rooms to choose from, but that’s because it’s still lived in by local family John and Felicitas Macfie. The bronze bell at the entrance says it all: “Private house – not museum”. Our pick is the master bedroom with William Morris wallpaper and Victorian bathtub, and for an extra personal touch, the owners offer insightful private tours around town.
Price: Rooms from £115
Neighborhood: City Center.
Want to party? You’ll probably recognize the queues at the basement chi-chi cocktail bar before you realize it’s also a lavishly designed hotel with plenty of nightlife decor. With a hair straightener and music playlist in the room to kick the party off, switch to a cocktail class at the downstairs fancy bar, then recover with a morning and in-dinner DVD library on-demand shining.
The twin apartments and suites are as vibrant as you’d expect, with color schemes to your face, plush sofas and heavenly beds, and plenty of other unexpected quirky designs. How about a Georgian suite with a warm fireplace? Or a room decorated from floor to ceiling in black? Come to see the venue and fireworks – don’t expect a quiet night.
Price: Doubles from £180