The Witchery, with its unique quirks and outrageously opulent decor, casts a hypnotic spell. Perhaps Scotland’s most famous hotel and eatery, this stunner is run by restaurateur and hotelier James Thompson. Those who like understated and subtle — steer clear. This sanctuary of all things pleasurable hosts nine theatrical suites, each differently decorated but all as fabulous as the next. From classic oak panelling and roll top baths for two, to transcendent views (it’s just at the foot of the Castle at the top of the Mile), champagne galore, cosy nooks and crannies and breakfast hampers, the fun never ends. The restaurant, described by Andrew Lloyd Webber as ‘the prettiest restaurant ever’, is unbeatable and transforms the greatest Scottish produce into edible art.
The closest thing to The Grand Budapest Hotel in Edinburgh, The Balmoral, with its timeless elegance and endless pizzazz never fails to steal the show. Strategically placed right in the centre at the end of Princes St, this national icon could not be more ideal. The Michelin-starred dining, whisky selection, swish spa, Castle views, gorgeous interiors, and attention to detail all produce a glorious concoction of lavishness. Oh, and take note of the grand old clock — you will never miss a train again.
The kind of place you wouldn’t mind moving straight into, Prestonfield is a five star boutique hotel, and then some. The beautiful building is the masterpiece of architect Sir William Bruce, who built it in 1687. The 23 rooms of pure luxury, stunning grounds at the foot of Arthur’s Seat, delicious food and unprecedented Scottish hospitality, put this pick at the top. Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta Jones, Elton John and Winston Churchill have all graced the premises. Those looking for grandeur will feel right at home.
Only Edinburgh could get away with such a place. And just like the city, it’s a juxtaposition of new and old. The Glasshouse, came about in 2003 following the conversion of Lady Glenrochy Church, and is perfect for theatre lovers due to its handy location next to The Playhouse. Those who like their hotels like the buildings in a sci-fi movie will love it. There is stunning Scottish art on the walls, chic contemporary furniture, comfy beds and breathtaking views of the city. And to top it all, the rooftop garden feels out of this world.
This is the hotel for those who like the finer things in life free from unnecessary pomp and frills, and it is a prime spot for folk looking for some Fringe, University, or museum activity. The cigar room, whisky snug, custom sleigh beds, snuggly robes and roll top baths are such a treat too. Like the rest of Edinburgh, this place has a colourful history as a former science lab and asylum, although today, being locked up in this place wouldn’t be so bad!
Devilishly decadent, Angels Share is suave, sleek and sexy. Whether an intense shopping spree, cultured expedition, or chilled getaway is on the cards, the location (which is a hop away from Princes St), couldn’t be more appealing and each room pays homage to a Scottish star. This hotel is a contemporary dreamland combined with exquisite historical architecture, and could never lose its halo.
Twelve Picardy Place is a modern, low-key three-story Georgian townhouse hotel next to all the fun. This boutique hotel is the perfect mix of comfortable and polished. Have a wander around and satisfy that appetite with a perfectly crafted steak at STEAK Restaurant or STEAK On Stones. Perfect for those of us who are looking for a calm and classy hotel experience..
The Principal, which is comprised of Georgian Townhouses from 1775, is a beautiful spot. Located on the ever-so-classy George Street, this place combines a great location with a serene interior. Timeless furnishings, lashings of marble, oak, and leather, and a colour palette from Scottish late-19th century landscape artists, produce a timeless ambience. Foodies will love The Printing Press, a restaurant that is steeped in the capital’s literary heritage. Beautiful and right next to the best shopping, sights, eats and nights — you cannae go wrong!