The Best Hotels to Book near Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland
Norton House Hotel and Spa blends country vibes with a prime spot close to both Edinburgh centre and the zoo | Courtesy of Norton House Hotel and Spa
Big kids and little kids alike will love Edinburgh Zoo, the second most popular attraction in Scotland after Edinburgh Castle. Bed down in one of these top hotels within easy reach of the Corstorphine conservation centre, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Over 1,000 rare animals live in 82 acres (33ha) of hilly parkland, just west of Edinburgh city centre. In fact, Edinburgh Zoo is the only zoo in the UK that houses Queensland koalas and giant pandas. Visit Tian Tian and Yang Guang in their outdoor enclosure or learn how to take nature photographs at one of their onsite workshops. We’ve put together a rundown of the best places to stay whilst you’re here.
Courtesy of the Torfin / Hotels.com
The Torfin is a stylish gastropub with rooms, just a 12-minute walk from Edinburgh Zoo. Upstairs, you’ll find modern double and king-sized rooms, featuring dark blue walls, furry blankets and stag-themed art. All include breakfast, which can be delivered to your room on request. After a day at the zoo, dig into hearty grub in the dining room. The varied menu ranges from Catalan-style chicken and duck spring rolls to their signature dish – beer-battered Scottish haddock served with chips, pickled onion and tartar sauce.
Courtesy of The Dunstane Houses / Hotels.com
Whisky fans, head this way. This is the only hotel in Edinburgh that serves Highland Park 40-year-old whisky, as part of a collection of more than 80 of the country’s finest single malts. Five-star accommodation is spread over 35 rooms in two restored Victorian townhouses, ranging in size and splendour from Cosy Wee Singles to the Dunstan Suite; survey the city and Pentland Hills from a copper bathtub in the bay window. Don’t miss the Scottish Brunch or the English-style afternoon tea.
Courtesy of The Edinburgh Lodge / Hotels.com
This stately building was built in 1836 as a clergyman’s house attached to the neighbouring church. It houses 14 double and twin ensuites, all of which have plush sofas, bay windows looking out to the street and marble bathrooms with walk-in rainfall showers. The Old Town and Zoo are reached with a short ride on the Number 26 or 31 buses (both stop right opposite the hotel). Breakfast is available for an extra fee and there’s free parking outside the lodge.
This welcoming boutique occupies a listed Edinburgh townhouse of dark stone and is ideally appointed for city-centre sightseeing as well as a visit to the zoo. Start off with a hearty Scottish breakfast in the dining room and finish the day with a wee dram in the bar, which is decked out with sleek leather armchairs, wood-panelling and a boxy bay window looking out on the street. Those with kids should book a Family Room, sleeping three. Haymarket train station is a two-minute walk away.
Courtesy of Murrayfield Hotel
Rooms at this chic three-star exude a cool, light elegance, spread across the main hotel and a separate house just down the road. Book the Family Room sleeping four; couples should upgrade for a four-poster bed and original fireplace. The inhouse Bothy Restaurant showcases the finest of Scottish produce, from haggis and salmon to flights of malt whisky – including one focused on Johnie Walker’s finest offerings – and a variety of Scotch gin. Murrayfield Stadium is right opposite, whilst the zoo is a 20-minute walk away.
Leonardo Edinburgh Murrayfield
Courtesy of Leonardo Edinburgh Murrayfield
Equipped with its own indoor pool, the Leonardo is a great option if you want to keep the kids entertained after a trip to the zoo. There’s also a well-equipped gym, a chill-out zone with a coffee machine and newspapers, plus a sauna and steam room. The Westview Restaurant lives up to its name by offering an expansive perspective on the city’s western extremity, as well as snacks, mains and flatscreen TVs. A breakfast of berries, yoghurt, fruit and juice is available for an extra fee.
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh
Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – the Caledonian / Hotels.com
Occupying an early 1900s rail station, this five-star Hilton has a reception area dominated by black marble columns and a Titanic-style staircase. Luxury amenities include the only Guerlain spa in the UK, an indoor pool and two classy restaurants. One is centred around the seven-course tasting menu from Masterchef finalist Dean Banks, whilst the other showcases the vibrant creations of Edinburgh-born chef Mark Greenaway. Drinks are served in the piano lounge or in the club-like Caley Bar, plus cocktails and seafood are on offer at The Courtyard. The zoo is 3mi (5km) away.
Norton House Hotel and Spa
Courtesy of Norton House Hotel and Spa
Dating from 1840, this stately country manor was once owned by the Ushers, the family that founded the Glenlivet distillery as well as the Usher brewery. Bedrooms in its main building display a period design with original features, while those in the west wing favour modern sophistication. Take afternoon tea or cocktails in the Conservatory Lounge. Sample traditional dishes such as braised Scottish lamb at The Brasserie, a modern dining space decorated with contemporary art. The zoo is a 15-minute drive away.