The Best Budget-Friendly Hotels in Scotland

Auchrannie Resort on the Isle of Arran is a luxurious yet affordable place to stay in Scotland
Auchrannie Resort on the Isle of Arran is a luxurious yet affordable place to stay in Scotland | Courtesy of Auchrannie Resort/ Expedia
Photo of Mandi Keighran
3 December 2020

Holidaying in Scotland on a budget? You don’t need to spend a lot to stay in a great hotel. From a suite in Edinburgh Castle to a stay in Glasgow that immerses you in the world of bagpipes, Culture Trip curates the top affordable places to stay in Scotland.

Motel One Glasgow

Hotel
Map View
Motel One Glasgow
Courtesy of Motel One Glasgow / Booking.com
Embrace the romance of rail travel at this motel next to Glasgow Central Station. The industrial-chic interior design is inspired by the trains – think brass fittings, quilted benches and railroad switch lights – and artwork throughout the hotel, by Scottish photography duo Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion, celebrates the history of train travel. There’s an extensive breakfast buffet featuring organic produce and Freetrade coffee, and it’s free for children up to the age of 12 to stay in parents’ rooms. After exploring Glasgow, embark on a real train trip into the Scottish Highlands on the West Highland Line.

Piper's Tryst Hotel

Hotel
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The Pipers' Tryst Hotel, Glasgow
Courtesy of The Pipers' Tryst Hotel / Expedia
Check into this hotel at the National Piping Centre, in the heart of Glasgow, for a truly Scottish experience. The four-star hotel is located in a B-listed building and features eight homely tartan-adorned rooms with ensuites. Guests are treated to a welcome dram of malt whisky and the “Pipe Major’s Breakfast” boasts quality produce from local butcher Ramsay’s of Carluke. Want to try your hand at the bagpipes? Sign up for a “Come and Try the Bagpipes” workshop, where you’ll be welcomed by a Scottish bagpiper, given a tour of the Museum of Piping and have the opportunity to play this challenging instrument.

Glasgow Guest House

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel
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Glasgow Guest House
Courtesy of Glasgow Guest House / Expedia
This friendly guest house, in the leafy suburbs of Glasgow, is just 4mi (6km) from the city centre. Each of the 10 guest suites in this 107-year-old sandstone building is individually decorated – think fun nautical details in the cosy cabin room, which is smaller than the other rooms but also seriously affordable for guests travelling solo. The communal lounge has a traditional fireplace and a selection of books and board games, along with maps and ideas for day trips from Glasgow.
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Aparhotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

Hotel
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Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Courtesy of Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile / Expedia
You won’t be sacrificing style for price at this design-led aparthotel on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. The four-star self-catering apartments, which range from compact studios to spacious one-bedroom layouts that can sleep up to four adults, feature sleek timber joinery and brass details, while the lush lobby features plenty of greenery and comfy velvet sofas. The rooms boast spacious living areas and fully equipped kitchens, while guests have access to a fitness room and a private car park, making it ideal for extended stays.
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Holyrood Aparthotel

Serviced Apartment, Apartment
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Holyrood Aparthotel
Courtesy of Holyrood Aparthotel / Expedia
These affordable serviced apartments, in the heart of Edinburgh, offer a comfortable home away from home, with all the conveniences of a private residence. There are 59 apartments, ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments that can sleep up to five adults, and each one has a spacious living area and full kitchen. It’s just a 10-minute walk to Waverley station, and an easy stroll to some of the city’s most iconic attractions, including Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament and the Museum of Scotland.
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Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa, Dundee

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel
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Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa, Dundee
Courtesy of Apex City Quay Hotel and Spa, Dundee / Expedia
Looking for a relaxing getaway on a budget? Book into this tranquil hotel and spa in the centre of Dundee. The spacious rooms boast views over the City Quay or river – but the real highlight here is Yu Spa. Inspired by the ancient Japanese belief in the healing power of hot water, it boasts a swimming pool, steam room, sauna and hydrotherapy spa pool. Unwind with a holistic Japanese reiki treatment, which is said to restore the natural balance of the body to promote wellbeing and calm.

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  • Auchrannie Resort

    Spa Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Auchrannie Resort, Isle of Arran,
    Courtesy of Auchrannie Resort / Expedia
    This luxurious resort, on the Isle of Arran, is set across sprawling grounds and boasts a wide range of accommodations, as well as two leisure centres and a spa. Couples will love the romantic House Hotel, while the Spa Resort rooms boast access to outdoor hot tubs and are popular with families. There are also 30 self-catering lodges sleeping up to eight guests, which are ideal for larger groups. You’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining – there are three award-winning restaurants. Go for family-friendly burgers at Cruize Bar Brasserie, Spanish tapas at Eighteen69 or indulge in seafood delights, such as Goan monkfish curry or steamed Scottish mussels, at Brambles Seafood Grill.

    Tigerlily

    Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
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    Tigerlily, Edinburgh
    Courtesy of Tigerlily / Expedia
    This pretty Georgian building, in the centre of Edinburgh, has been transformed into a boutique hotel with 33 stylish suites and bedrooms. Looking for something dramatic? Book the Black Room tucked away at the top of the building. The on-site restaurant is popular with guests and locals, serving up refined comfort food – think buttermilk fried chicken burger with smashed avocado, or tempura-battered fish with triple-cooked chips. After dinner, head to the gin-centric bar and order from the After Dark cocktail menu, which includes table service from the talented mixologists.
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    Dalhousie Castle Hotel & Spa

    Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    Dalhousie Castle Hotel & Spa
    Courtesy of Dalhousie Castle Hotel and Spa / Booking.com
    Travel back in time with a stay at the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland, just 8mi (13km) from Edinburgh in 11 acres (4ha) of woodland. Boasting more than 700 years of history, Dalhousie Castle Hotel & Spa offers plenty of ways to get into the spirit of things, from falconry and archery to exploring secret passageways. If you’re after something more relaxing, visit the Aqueous Spa for a treatment using vegan products from holistic spa brand Ytsara; enjoy the tropical vibes of the Warm Coconut Soother, a massage using coconut oil and a sesame and coconut poultice.
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    Edinburgh Castle Apartments and Suites

    Apartment
    Map View
    Edinburgh Castle Apartments and Suites
    Courtesy of Edinburgh Castle Apartments and Suites / Expedia
    Relax in these thoughtfully designed self-catering apartments in central Edinburgh, which have been decorated in a sophisticated monochrome palette. There’s a choice of studio suites, a one-bedroom penthouse, garden suites, or two-bedroom apartments, all of which feature spacious living areas and fully equipped kitchens, making them just as suitable for extended stays as they are for short city breaks. As the name suggests, you’re just a 10-minute walk to the impressive Edinburgh Castle – as well as many of the city’s other landmarks.
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    These recommendations were updated on December 3, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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