The Most Romantic Hotels in Edinburgh

Cheval The Edinburgh Grand is a perfect choice for couples looking for a romantic getaway
Cheval The Edinburgh Grand is a perfect choice for couples looking for a romantic getaway | Courtesy of Cheval the Edinburgh Grand / Expedia
Photo of Mike MacEacheran
Contributor30 November 2020

Edinburgh’s swoon-worthy Gothic spires, fairytale wynds and theatrical setting make it Scotland’s most underrated romantic city. It has lovey-dovey viewpoints – think Arthur’s Seat, the Castle, Calton Hill – that nowhere else can quite match. Plus, its hotels feature candlelight and flower bouquets as standard, with luxurious baths, on-the-house bubbly and decadent dining to help set the mood. It’s the Scotland of fantasies and a match made in couples’ heaven for anyone craving a getaway à deux.

Prestonfield House

Hotel, Luxury
Map View
Luxury double room at Prestonfield House
Courtesy of Prestonfield House / Hotels.com
With its full-figured views of Arthur’s Seat, fuss-worthy restaurant, swoonsome service and heart-thumping decor inspired by Gothic romance, this love nest is a dream destination for couples. Extravagantly upholstered rooms have Jane Austen star quality, with palace antiques, gilded portraits and primary colour clashes aplenty. Even the four-poster beds are fit for a Queen of Scots. Keen to avoid a lover’s tiff? Save your competitive side for another city break and avoid the croquet lawn and putting green.
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Le Monde

Hotel
Map View
The Most Romantic Hotels in Edinburgh
Courtesy of Le Monde / Expedia
Despite its enviable address on George Street, this city centre bolthole seeks inspiration from other landmark spots around the world. It’s a well thought-out concept, with the likes of Paris (Moulin Rouge pinks and burgundies), Reykjavik (a glacier stone centrepiece), New York (loft apartment with exposed brick walls) and Tokyo (framed kimonos and a sunken bath) all featured on the globe-trotting room tour. Our destination of choice? Atlantis, with the talking-point aquarium headboard, is the one to go for. Elsewhere, the bar and restaurant channel the same Phileas Fogg vibe. Order a Havana mojito or a Middle-Eastern mule and delight in afternoon tea with French bubbly. The city outside almost seems an afterthought. Perfect for lovers though, right?
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The Scotsman

Hotel, Luxury
Map View
Courtesy of the Scotsman Hotel / Expedia
Once the austere press HQ of The Scotsman newspaper, this Baroque-era building sits above Waverley Station – no lugging suitcases around the capital here. Inside, rooms offer a greatest hits of Edinburgh views from the get-go, with the Mound, Calton Hill and Princes Street Gardens all framed at the far end of the bed. Decor is as two-tone as the paper that used to be produced here – soft beiges and porridgy creams. There’s a bar for late-as-you-like nightcaps, but with the chockablock Royal Mile six doors down, there’s romantic drinks and dinner options right on the doorstep, too.
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No. 11

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of No 11 Boutique Hotel / Expedia
A quiet suburban sanctuary just off Leith Walk, this elegant four-storey Georgian townhouse is a hidden secret behind Calton Hill. Appealingly simple, its snug doubles and suites are the place to whisper sweet nothings; in particular, the two Georgian Suites, with fit-for-two roll-top baths, feature wallpaper and four-poster beds that cry out for pillow talk. The ground-level Brasserie offers a classic Scottish tasting menu, but another close-at-hand option is Roberta Hall’s the Little Chartroom, where the cooking will have passions running high.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, The Caledonian

Hotel, Luxury
Map View
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – the Caledonian / Hotels.com
Hilton-owned city hotels tend to be no-surprises-in-store places. This isn’t the case here, as this building was designed for Princes Street Station in 1903, and the reception, foyer and public lounges are part of what was once the ticketing hall and main station hangar. Cue nostalgia in the history-infused Caley Bar –with 100 top-shelf whiskies – find a fast-track to modern thrills at the UK’s only Guerlain spa and enjoy a delightful meal at the lauded Grazing by Mark Greenaway restaurant. Meanwhile, the sigh-worthy views of Edinburgh Castle are as good as you can get.
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  • The Balmoral

    Hotel, Luxury
    Map View
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    Courtesy of the Balmoral Hotel / Expedia
    Let’s get one thing straight: no other hotel is better located, and when royalty comes to town – the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Oprah included – they all stay here. A landmark, turreted hotel, it features country-house decor alongside first-rate fabulous cuisine at its Michelin-star restaurant, Number One. The misty grey, creamy oatmeal and heathery purple rooms evoke all the romance of the Highlands, while the west-facing views of Edinburgh Castle are proposal-worthy. Don’t be fooled by the storied clocktower, either: it runs a few minutes ahead so locals don’t miss their train at nearby Waverley Station.
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    Cheval The Edinburgh Grand

    Hotel
    Map View
    Cheval The Edinburgh Grand
    Courtesy of Cheval the Edinburgh Grand / Expedia
    Located in one of the city’s sweet spots, overlooking reinvigorated St Andrew’s Square, the former city centre HQ of the National Bank of Scotland is now a stack of chi-chi apartments with open-plan kitchens and all the mod cons. You want historic details in a place like this, and it delivers, with chessboard marble floors, wall-to-wall wood panelling, polished banker’s-style brass lamps and a fourth-floor cocktail club strewn with booths for whispering aplenty. If you like second-to-none steak, make a reservation at the outpost of Hawksmoor, located in the old vaults on street level.
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    The Witchery by the Castle

    Hotel, Luxury
    Map View
    The Witchery by the Castle, Edinburgh
    Courtesy of the Witchery by the Castle / Expedia
    Take a jaunt back in time to the 18th century and pretend you’re Casanova-style lovers at this eclectic mix of townhouses reborn as palatial apartments. The words sensuous and luxurious are bandied about by Edinburgh’s best hotels all the time, but here the rooms really live up their reputation: adult-only, they’re filled with theatrical touches like Venetian masks, and every suite tells its own story. There are flamboyant tapestry beds, chapel-like bathrooms, switchback stairs, Gothic artefacts and libraries straight out of Hogwarts. Our tip? Splash out on nights in different rooms, then reach for the do-not-disturb sign.
    These recommendations were updated on November 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.