Scotland’s capital is one of the most attractive cities in the UK. Its mix of medieval, neo-Gothic and Georgian architecture alongside a castle atop a dormant volcano and an abundance of green spaces make every twist and turn a feast for the eyes. The cobbled streets of the Old Town are lined with artisanal cafes, museums and vintage shops. While the New Town brims with art galleries, designer stores and trendy bars. International, Fringe, film, jazz and science festivals, along with unique smaller events draw visitors from around the globe during the summer months and a Christmas festival – with its markets and fair – lights up Edinburgh come December.
Virgin Hotels Edinburgh
The hotly anticipated soft opening of the latest Virgin Hotel has met with glowing reviews. It takes its place in the heart of the Old Town, within the stately India Buildings. Around a quarter of the rooms are currently bookable, with the rest becoming available later in the year, along with a further restaurant. Keeping the promise to reflect each city’s personality within its UK properties, this Virgin hotel has a classic Edinburgh feel with wood-panelled walls, oil paintings and plenty of swish contemporary furnishings (SMEG mini-fridges, drinks trolleys and Arran of Scotland toiletries can all be found in bedrooms). Commons Club is its signature social dining haunt, which promises some of the best cocktails in the city.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different in the luxury stakes when staying in Edinburgh then Fingal is the place for you. Fingal is a luxury floating hotel berthed in Leith with many of the city’s finest restaurants (including two Michelin starred The Kitchin and Restaurant Martin Wishart) right in its doorstep (or should we say boardwalk!). In 2000 the ship retired from its Northern Lighthouse Board service and has since been meticulously transformed into one of Edinburgh’s top luxury hotels (read our review here). With 23 beautifully appointed cabins, a splendid events space and delightful on-board restaurant, which serves a delicious menu with top class service –it is clear to see why it has been voted as Edinburgh’s best luxury hotel on Trip Advisor. We highly recommend a stay here.
Market Street Hotel
A Carlton Collection Hotel, Market Street hotel is the first Design Hotels member in Scotland and it is clear to see why. The hotel interior design has been led by award-winning team FG Stjil and showcases a perfect balance of contemporary finishings whilst firmly acknowledging the historic charm and local artistic influences. Market Street hotel is located in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town the hotel boasts 98 boutique rooms and suites and for hotel residents and non-residents Nor’Loft the rooftop Champagne lounge on the seventh floor is THE place to enjoy a sophisticated drink coupled with stunning panoramic views of the city.
Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa is a true destination of bliss and luxury in the heart of Edinburgh. Many of the rooms overlook Edinburgh Castle, and most other major attractions in the heart of the city are easily within walking distance. Along with offering more than 260 rooms and suites, making it one of the bigger luxury hotels in Edinburgh and the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa possibly has one of the best spas in the city. Swing by One Square, the onsite restaurant and bar, for a variety of British fare and a lively but sophisticated bar atmosphere.
The Glasshouse, Autograph Collection
Previously the Lady Glenorchy Church, The Glasshouse began life as a hotel in 2003. It’s quite the landmark as viewed from the hills rising above the city — its glass roof and two-acre top-floor garden stand out on the Georgian rooftops of the New Town. The gothic church facade remains at ground level, its entrance situated at the East End of the city. Of the 77 bedrooms, some have direct roof garden access, others have private balconies and all have five-star amenities. The bright and light dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows and serves dishes crafted using the best of Scotland’s larder.
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh
Once better known as the Caledonian, the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh underwent an extensive renovation to bring it into the Waldorf a few years ago. These upgrades resulted in the hotel winning awards like the Luxury Hotel of the Year and the Spa of the Year, among others, for 2014. Whether you opt for a classic room or a luxury suite with a view of Edinburgh Castle, expect sumptuous linens and muted colours that signify class and elegance.
Radisson Collection Hotel
Found on George IV Bridge in the Old Town, this modern hotel provides rooms with plenty of natural light and open vistas. Popular with business travellers and wedding planners, it has extensive meeting and event spaces, as well as a fitness centre. Seven room categories (including family suites) all include Nespresso machines, individual climate controls, bathrobes and slippers. The hotel’s bar, Epicurean, features cocktails blended with homegrown flowers and herbs from the hotel’s EvoGro hydroponic. Afternoon tea and award-winning Italian meals are served at the Radisson Collection’s Cucina.
Possibly one of the most iconic hotels in the city, The Balmoral building and its clocktower are certainly renowned landmarks on the Edinburgh skyline. This beautiful hotel from Rocco Forte is known for its elegance and timeless glamour and located at a prestigious address, No. 1 Princes Street. Its situation means it boasts stunning views of the city with many of the suites and premium rooms offering views of the castle. Its facilities are also world-class including a fantastic spa and Michelin-starred restaurant.
Cheval The Edinburgh Grand
After four years of renovation, the iconic building at 42 St Andrew Square, formerly the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland, opened again in the summer of 2018 after being given a new lease of life as The Edinburgh Grand. The 5o luxury apartments located truly at the heart of the city are second to none in style and sophistication. Incorporating the original features of the building into the new design, all the rooms at The Edinburgh Grand mix old and new and contemporary and traditional together with ease. The three bedroom penthouse is the pièce de résistance and offers unrivalled 360 panoramic views of Edinburgh.
Cheval Old Town Chambers
Cheval Old Town Chambers, is a luxury all-apartment Residence located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town situated on the famous and historic Royal Mile. Comprising 74 award-winning and individually designed apartments that reflect the character and history of the building. The Residence, is the perfect choice for any type of stay – from one night to one year – guests can choose from open plan studios right through to a truly unique townhouse or a penthouse with stunning views. Each apartment boasts a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable dining space, and luxury contemporary furnishings, complimented by a central location and an excellent service team. For easy access to breakfast lunch, dinner and cocktails, guests can enjoy a seasonal menu served at Luckenbooths Bar & Restaurant located on the ground floor of Cheval Old Town Chambers. Guests also benefit from access to the gym which is open 24 hours a day.
Stay a little further from the centre just a short taxi ride from the action, at the grand hotel, Prestonfield House. Arguably the most opulent and decadent address in the area, here peacocks roam the manicured grounds, antiques fill the glamorous rooms and silver service is standard. It has a croquet lawn, putting green and even a helicopter landing area. The traditional afternoon tea is a Prestonfield highlight, taken by a roaring fire, in rose-filled gardens or in the gothic tea house. And its destination restaurant, Rhubarb, features fine Scottish cuisine. Its 23 bedrooms are romantic and theatrically decorated, making it ideal for a romantic getaway.