Whether you’re planning a New Year’s break, visiting for a festival or just fancy an escape to Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh is a mesmerising city that will leave you wanting more.
A one hour and 15-minute flight or four hours and 40 minutes by train from London, the city can be easily reached and has something for every type of traveller.
For those who love to learn while away, the National Museum of Scotland is a must-visit and it would be hard not to miss Edinburgh Castle, the city’s most iconic landmark, which sits proudly on the top of a volcanic crop. For a spot of retail therapy, head to Jenners, the upmarket department store often referred to as the ‘Harrods of the North.’ For the active traveller, a climb up Arthur’s Seat, the 251m high extinct volcano in the centre of the city will reward you with some fantastic views, while a visit to the zoo to spot the UK’s only giant panda exhibit will certainly be a highlight.
With so much to see and do while you’re there, you’ll need to make some plans before you go and the first thing to check off your list is your accommodation. This part is easy as we’ve shortlisted our top five favourite Edinburgh hotels below, read on to see why we think they deserve a visit.
The Bonham Hotel
With views of Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street Gardens you know you won’t be far from the top spots that this city has to offer. The five-star Bonham Hotel sits in the resplendent West End area on a secluded crescent and is comprised of three Victorian townhouses, holding 49 rooms, with gorgeous interiors. The finest room is the executive suite, which has a separate lounge, period features, bay windows overlooking Drumsheugh Gardens and offers a turn down service, complimentary whisky and bathrobes.
The resident restaurant and bar, No.35 at The Bonham serves up European inspired food with a Scottish twist and hosts blues music nights as well as Champagne and pamper afternoons alongside a local spa.
Greywalls Hotel, Gullane
This five-star country house hotel offers the perfect opportunity to explore the best of both worlds, from the delights and sights of the city to this relaxing, opulent waterside country retreat. With 23 rooms, a French restaurant, tennis courts, croquet lawn and outstanding views over the gorgeous gardens as well as East Lothian, the Firth of Forth and Muirfield championship golf course, this is an idyllic spot to spend some time away. Edwardian splendour and classic French cuisine blend well here – head to Chez Roux restaurant for an array of dining options before retiring to your room, adored in a classic style.
Nira Calendonia Hotel
Comprised of two Georgian townhouses, the Nira Calendonia Hotel is a boutique offering with 28 bedrooms, all with their own period features, character and charm. Expect eclectic furnishings, 21st century comforts, and a cosy bed to recline on, while facilities include 24-hour room service, a mini bar and Nespresso coffee machines in each room. Upgrade your stay by opting for a Jacuzzi suite, which offers the typical smart, yet, classic interiors in a 40sqm space with a jacuzzi bathtub to relax in. The city centre hotel also holds Blackwood’s Bar and Grill where you can expect to see locally sourced meats and seafood prepared on the Josper grill – push the boat out with the Chateaubriand Deluxe with a whole grilled Scottish lobster. Yum.
Norton House Hotel and Spa
For those looking to enjoy the best of the bustle in the city before escaping to a 19th century hotel and spa in the countryside then Norton House Hotel and Spa is the pick for you. Located just 20 minutes from the city centre, the 4-star hotel built in 1840 holds 83 bedrooms and 4 feature rooms, oozing opulence and grandeur to reflect its 55-acre setting. Head to The Conservatory Lounge and drawing room for a Champagne afternoon tea or opt for The Brasserie to enjoy traditional Scottish cuisine.
The spa and health club sits within the walled gardens and offers up eight rooms with a long list of treatments to choose from, sauna and steam rooms, an indoor and spa hydrotherapy pool as well as a relaxation lounge. For the ultimate luxury stay choose the Kingdom Suite, the best there is, which holds a lounge and dining room in purple hues, spacious bathroom with two sinks, a large private balcony and floor to ceiling windows.
Ten Hill Place Hotel
This modern city centre hotel holds 129 bedrooms with comfort and a charitable nature at its core. The uniqueness of this hotel comes from its ownership – the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh – who invest all profits back into the college to support surgical training, which benefits societies across the world.
The contemporary styled restaurant is run by executive chef, Alan Dickson and head chef, Jamie Reid, both award-winners, who offer up local treats such as tartare of Highland beef and oak-smoked Scottish salmon – and those are just the starters.
Head for the Skyline Junior suite, which offers fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding city and beyond through wall to wall sloped windows. Expect to find robes and slippers, an exercise bike and hypo-allergenic duvets and pillows as well as a bottle of Delamotte Champagne, an Algotherm Cosmetique Marine pamper treatment bag and scented candle if you opt for the Skyline package.