Accommodation in Edinburgh for the Savvy Traveller

A stay at Kimpton Charlotte Square puts you within walking distance of Edinburgh Castle, the train station and the Old Town
A stay at Kimpton Charlotte Square puts you within walking distance of Edinburgh Castle, the train station and the Old Town | Courtesy of Kimpton Charlotte Square / Expedia
Mike MacEacheran

Contributor

Are you wondering what it’s like to navigate Edinburgh? Easy-peasy, thanks to its compact, navigable streets and localised landmarks – think the Castle, Royal Mile, Scott Monument and Calton Hill – all within a short stroll from each other. That means no fussing over public transport or taxi queues, giving you extra time to explore all of the hidden gems and places in between. If that sounds right up your alley, we’ve compiled the best accommodation in Edinburgh for every traveller.

1. Nira Caledonia

Hotel

Elegant, cream-toned room at Nira Caledonia with a comfortable bed, a high-backed armchair, a dresser and flowers.
Courtesy of Nira Caledonia / Expedia

A short walk away from the Royal Botanic Gardens, by way of the cobbles and clocktower of Stockbridge, this hotel is steps away from the capital’s smartest neighbourhood. It’s in a whisper-quiet location where it’s easy to blend in as a local, but also close enough to all of the city’s big hitters. Within half an hour’s walk, you can visit the Castle, Holyrood palace, walk up Arthur’s Seat, as well as explore numerous gardens and historical monuments. Beyond the ornate exterior, the hotel houses the best of Edinburgh, and features floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing New Town’s Unesco-listed Georgian terraces. Then, there’s also Blackwood’s Bar & Grill, where the main attraction is prime Perthshire beef and Berwickshire lamb.

2. Hotel Du Vin & Bistro

Hotel

Black and white bath on cinderblocks below trio of photos in a smart suite at Hotel Du Vin & Bistro. Bathroom door opening onto a double bed.
Courtesy of Hotel Du Vin & Bistro / Expedia

Located between The Meadows and the Royal Mile, the Hotel du Vin exists between the tourist side of Edinburgh, with its tollbooths and steampunk towers, and the student quarter, with its cafes, terrace bars and curry houses. That puts you steps away from the National Museum of Scotland, the busy bars of Grassmarket and Cowgate, as well as close to a riot of Fringe festival venues come August. If all that doesn’t seem ideal, then consider doubles with five-star appeal at four-star prices and a classic French-style bistro and bar. If you’re craving something different, the street food at nearby Ting Thai Caravan is also worthy of a chef’s kiss.

3. Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

Hotel, Luxury

Large double bed with white sheets and carved headboard in ornate suite looking out onto a gothic clocktower at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.
Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, The Caledonian / Expedia.com
Connoisseurs look no further. With the Edinburgh Gin Distillery practically underneath your feet, hidden away in an underground cellar, this hotel is perfect if you’re looking to experience Edinburgh’s finer side. The boutiques of George Street are close at hand, while the adjacent Princes Street Gardens wind through oak and hazel to Edinburgh Castle and all the medieval glory of the Royal Mile. An even bigger draw is the hotel’s rich history – for instance, it used to be the terminal and ticketing hall for Princes Street Station.

4. Kimpton Charlotte Square

Boutique Hotel, Luxury

Large blue shelving unit filled with books, trinkets and mirrors above a long blue sofa with colourful cushions and red and gold velvet chairs at Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel.
Courtesy of Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel / Expedia

Geared towards a young, if well-travelled crowd, this rambling series of townhouses is so close to the many pubs of Rose Street and the splashier clubs of George Street that you’ll be enjoying a cold one just minutes after check-in. The hipster-vibe rooms feature record players, scarlet-red bedside telephones and punky safari prints, and there is also a tucked-away pool, sauna and steam room for rainy days. Hungry? Try Syrian-inspired charcoal kebabs, and mint and pomegranate cocktails at Baba.

5. Norton House Hotel and Spa

Spa Hotel

Pale stone exterior and sweeping lawns of Norton House Hotel. Wooden tables and chairs with umbrellas sitting in front of a conservatory.
Courtesy of Norton House Hotel / Expedia

If a red-eye flight out of Edinburgh Airport is part of your plans, then few other hotels are better placed. A five-minute drive from the terminal, this country house charmer ditches the stratified urban look for old-school glamour, full Scottish breakfasts and afternoon tea. There are also many attractions nearby – take time to visit Edinburgh’s three Forth bridges, all masterpieces in their own right, take a waterside saunter along the Union Canal from The Bridge Inn at Ratho, and stop for fish and chips in South Queensferry.

6. No. 11

Boutique Hotel

Four poster bed with white and dark blue sheets against a tree wallpaper feature wall in a large suite with big windows at No. 11.
Courtesy of No 11 Boutique Hotel / Expedia

Rave-worthy hotels are a rare find in Edinburgh’s salt-tanged suburb of Leith, putting this Georgian-era townhouse – located a short walk away from Waverley Station and Calton Hill – head and shoulders above the rest. Once a historic regimental club for kilted veterans of the British Army – the entrance tiles were once smashed by beer barrels as they were wagon-wheeled through the front door – this boutique hotel now excels at understated luxury. Handily, The Gardener’s Cottage, one of Edinburgh’s most fabulous lunch spots, is nearby on London Road.

7. Dunstane Houses

Hotel, Luxury

A bed and desk with chair in a traditional style hotel room at Dunstane Houses. Large gold-framed mirror on the wall.
Courtesy of the Dunstane Houses / Hotels.com

Moneyed Murrayfield, ground zero for Scottish rugby fans, is the backdrop to this Victorian-era duo of townhouses. Inside, the rooms showcase enough design flashes to fill a World of Interiors magazine, but even then they aren’t the main attraction. That would instead be the location: families will love the hassle-free access to Edinburgh Zoo and the path down the Water of Leith to Dean Village and beyond. Couples should beeline to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and make sure to look out for the random Antony Gormley statues popping up in the river and on the road.

8. Le Monde

Hotel

Green velvet sofas and wicker chairs around marble topped dining tables in an art deco style dining room at Le Monde.
Courtesy of Le Monde / Expedia.com

This George Street boutique is a test for your mind as much as it is your body. The individually-distinct globe-trotting themed rooms – from Havana to Moscow to Rio – will test your geography, while the cocktail masterclasses and indulgent buttery scone teas will test your willpower. You’re here to dose-up on culture and shopping, so with the city’s must-see museums and best selection of boutiques in the near vicinity, planning the days has never been easier. For expert barista coffee with a twist, try Urban Angel.

9. The Raeburn

Boutique Hotel

Stone exterior of The Raeburn framed by two ornate standing lanterns.
Courtesy of The Raeburn / Expedia.com

For picnics in Inverleith Park – where locals swear you get the most sumptuous view of the Edinburgh skyline – and lost-in-the-city walks along the Water of Leith, this mansion can’t be beat. The Raeburn is the beating heart of Stockbridge community life, and is situated among the neighbourhood’s knick-knack shops, barbers and butchers. On Sunday, sample paella or a wild game pie at the farmer’s market, then return to the hotel brasserie for a pint in the beer garden. As for rooms? How about drench showers, espresso machines and plasma TVs.

Travelling on a budget? Not to worry – take a look at our selection of the best cheap hotels in Edinburgh and save your spending for the sights. If a more lavish accommodation takes your fancy, treat yourself and book a stay in one of the city’s best luxury hotels. Not sure what to do whilst you’re there? Browse the top most unusual things to do in Edinburgh for a one of a kind Scottish experience.

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