Where to Book Your Stay in Scotland for a Local Experience

Find out where to stay to have the awesome Scottish landscape at your fingertips
Find out where to stay to have the awesome Scottish landscape at your fingertips | © Rob Ford / Alamy Stock Photo
Siobhan Warwicker

Ticked the big tourist sites in Scotland off your list and looking for a new way to see this magnificent country? These hotels, apartments and B&Bs provide immersive experiences that will show you a destination in a brand-new light, whether it’s homely touches, opportunities to meet locals or trying out an activity. See a new side of the country as we show you the best places to stay in Scotland – bookable on Culture Trip – to fit in like a local.

1. Motel One Glasgow


Cushioned and leather seating in the lobby of Motel One Glasgow, with a sheep figure and chandeliers made up of fairy lights
Courtesy of Motel One Glasgow / Expedia

This design-led budget hotel beside Glasgow Central station is a love letter to the romantic railway journeys in Scotland, with industrial-style fittings and photos of scenic stations by local photographers displayed in the lobby. Mingle with fellow travellers in the One Lounge, which serves toasties and snacks – but a real taste of Glasgow comes in the form of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers waiting in your room.

2. 15Glasgow

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

A romantic one-bed guest room at 15Glasgow, with a brown tufted headboard, pops of pink and flowers
Courtesy of 15Glasgow / Expedia

Make yourself at home in this high-class B&B on the edge of Glasgow city centre. The 19th-century terrace house has all of its original features and five bright, airy rooms kitted out with Scottish Fine Soaps toiletries. By the time you’ve pottered around the private garden, played games in the lounge and enjoyed a complimentary nightcap or two, you could easily feel like you’ve moved into the place.

3. Dakota Glasgow

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel, Hotel, Luxury

A sleek black-and-grey guest room at Dakota Glasgow with framed sheet music surrounding the headboard
Courtesy of Dakota Glasgow / Expedia

The Dakota has real style, with muted tones and suites that take on a Manhattan loft feel. You won’t just find guests propping up the bar – since it claims stakes to the “best cocktails in Glasgow”. Locals visit, too, thanks to an original cocktail list and premium spirits. At this place to stay in Scotland, you can also retreat to the outdoor heated Cigar Terrace or the library lounge to sit with a book in one hand and a whisky in the other.

4. Glasgow Guest House

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel

A classy bedroom in shades of brown at Glasgow Guest House, with abstract art above the bed
Courtesy of Glasgow Guest House / Expedia

Four miles (6km) from the city centre, in the suburb of Bellahouston, this 10-room guesthouse will instantly make you feel at home. The popular neighbourhood offers a peek at the more lived-in side of the city and is close to galleries and the biggest parks in Glasgow. Get to know your fellow guests at the sitting area outside, in the shared kitchen or the lounge, where squishy armchairs face a fireplace and books, board games and brochures are laid out.

5. Auchenlea Bed and Breakfast, Glasgow

Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse

An table set for breakfast and a bench in a garden at Auchenlea Bed and Breakfast, with lawn and roses
Courtesy of Auchenlea Bed and Breakfast / Booking.com

There’s an instantly relaxing quality to this cosy guesthouse in a century-old renovated farm cottage in Bargeddie – a village in the Glasgow suburbs where horses graze on the bordering fields. The sunbathed conservatory is the place to hang out with fellow guests in winter, while in summer, the garden is decked out with seating and a barbecue. Year-round, the B&B serves up Scottish cooked breakfasts and warm hospitality from the husband-and-wife team behind it.

6. Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile


The restaurant at Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile, with blue banquettes, potted plants, and plant wallpaper
Courtesy of Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile / Expedia

Bagpipes wail and shops flog their tartan all along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, but this touristy location feels local when you check into a serviced apartment at the centre of it all. Rooms have all the amenities of a holiday rental, but with the conveniences of a hotel, such as a communal lounge, breakfast buffet and activity zones for kids. Book an early checkin (from 10am) to make the most of this fabulous location.

7. Holyrood Aparthotel, Edinburgh

Serviced Apartment, Apartment

Two beds at Holyrood Aparthotel set against a two-toned wood headboard and draped with burgundy bedspreads
Courtesy of Holyrood Aparthotel / Expedia

These well-equipped two- to four-person rooms in central Edinburgh feel like Airbnbs with extras, with an on-site gym and the option of Grab & Go Breakfast Boxes. But the best bit is the excursions you can book through the site. One of the “insider” tours is whisky tasting away from the crowds, guiding you to good-quality scotch at four hidden bars.

8. Golf View Hotel and Spa, Nairn

Spa Hotel, Hotel

A classy and spacious one-bed guest room at Golf View Hotel and Spa, with a tufted pistachio headboard and wood furnishings
Courtesy of Golf View Hotel and Spa / Expedia

Brooding hills and the atmospheric Moray Firth shore are a fitting backdrop to a dinner of scallops and fish, just some of the local produce at the Hickory restaurant at the Golf View Hotel and Spa. If you head to the bar for a nightcap, you’re likely to find others doing the same, as the sun sets on this beautiful Highland scene. The friendly seaside resort of Nairn is often cited as a “near-perfect place to live”, with forest trails and coastal activities.

9. Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh

Hotel, Luxury

A one-bed guest room at Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, with a floating desk and two chairs with tartan pillows
Courtesy of Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa / Hotels.com

Move over, single malts – it’s all about Scottish gin at the Sheraton, a well-heeled place to stay in Scotland where some rooms come with castle views. The One Square Bar has more than 100 varieties of gin, including its own One Square Gin made nearby (you can also have a go at making your own). If you reserve a club room or suite, you and other guests will be served drinks and canapés in the Club Lounge each evening.

10. Glencoe House, West Highlands

Hotel, Luxury

A large bedroom in a suite at Glencoe House, with a pillowy bed, pistachio-coloured walls and a large red area rug
Courtesy of Glencoe House / Expedia

While you’d be very rich indeed to “feel like a local” at the 10-acre (4ha) Glencoe House property, the team behind this luxury place to stay in Scotland works hard to provide insight into the local identity. Many of the paintings are for sale through Scottish contemporary galleries, and staff will help immerse you in your surroundings via all sorts of activities, from salmon fishing in lochs to tasting your way around three distilleries nearby.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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