Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland, has enough unique and intriguing things to see and do to keep you busy for weeks, but before you visit, you need to know where to stay. When planning your trip to Edinburgh, you’ll find a vast choice in places to stay, from Airbnbs and budget hotels, right through to the quirky and the ultimate in luxury. Once called Auld Reekie by its own residents because it smelled so bad, Edinburgh is now a sophisticated and classy city while still being authentically Scottish. Edinburgh has accommodation to suit all purses and all desires, whether you want simple, cheap, and cheery or opulent and eccentric.
The Old Waverley Hotel
The Old Waverley is a traditional and original hotel in a fantastic location, on Princes Street, Edinburgh’s high street, right across from the train station. It’s comfortable inside and if you’re on a budget, it offers fantastic value. The views from the upper floors are impressive, especially from the front of the hotel, where you can see the Scott Monument. You’re right in the center of the action, but bear in mind this is a budget hotel for a reason. The decor leaves a lot to be desired and nothing appears to have been updated for some time. If you’re looking for somewhere to sleep in the center of town that’s traditional and comfortable, The Old Waverley will do you just fine. If you’re looking for luxury, read on!
You can stay in an Airbnb for a very reasonable price in Edinburgh if you’re not too choosey about the location. Some Edinburgh Airbnbs are incredible inside. I stayed in one that had four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fitted kitchen, and a beautiful living space for a very good price. However, I hadn’t checked exactly where it was, and when I stopped for directions in the city center and was met with a look of “You’re brave,” I realized I was in a “lively” part of town! I’ve got to say, though, it really wasn’t so bad. The apartment itself was lovely. Alternatively, you can pay a bit more and bag yourself an apartment that’s more upmarket in its surroundings. Edinburgh has a wide range of Airbnbs, and some are hidden gems.
Travelodge And Premier Inn
You won’t find a cheaper, or more basic hotel than a Travelodge, and Edinburgh has an incredible nine separate Travelodge hotels! I’ve stayed in the Edinburgh Central Princes Street, which was certainly a “no-frills” hotel but offered great views from the top few floors and had everything I needed. There was no concierge on duty after 11 p.m. and entry was by your customer key card. Alternatively, you could stay in a Premier Inn, also a budget hotel, which has an incredible 15 hotels in Edinburgh. If you do choose one of these, watch the location as some are stretching the distance a little. Six miles out of the center may still technically be Edinburgh, but it won’t be easy to get to the attractions and back every day from that distance.
The Lantern Guesthouse
If you’re really on a budget, you can find some lovely cozy bed and breakfasts a short walk from Edinburgh center for a very impressive price. A room at the Lantern Guesthouse starts at just £40 per night, which is pretty hard to beat. This very comfortable bed and breakfast has only three rooms, all with double beds, en-suites, and free Wi-Fi. Situated on a quiet street in a historic Edwardian building, a stay at the Lantern gives you the best of both worlds. You’re tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of the city in an area that’s secluded and very quiet, yet you’re still within walking distance of all the attractions.
Just 10 minutes south of the city center is this Victorian villa, where you can spend the night in comfort and style. Benahavis Grange is your host’s home and has just two rooms available for guests, one king en-suite and one twin en-suite. If you like the personal touch, this guesthouse is for you. The hosts, Andy and Sam, are very attentive to guests, always available for advice and tips, and will even invite you to dine and have drinks with them! A stay at Benahavis Grange is more like staying as a guest in someone’s home than staying in a hotel. Both rooms are situated on the second floor, and there is a staircase to climb to get to them.
Cheval Edinburgh Grand
Cheval The Edinburgh Grand has an incredible 50 luxury apartments, all offering a memorable stay. The building was once the headquarters of the Bank of Scotland, and the upper floors have the most incredible views over the city and beyond to the hills. The Hawksmoor is the stylish on-site restaurant where you can dine in luxury and gaze at the original features of the design and architecture that once adorned the bank. Or, the Cheval can arrange a grocery delivery for you if you’d prefer to cater for yourself in your luxury suite. There’s even a pet-friendly policy here, so you can bring your dog along for a luxury stay, too! If you’re really pushing the boat out, you can stay in the Penthouse Suite, which has the most incredible rooftop patio.
Rutland Hotel And Luxury Apartments
This luxury accommodation is set in a stunning Edwardian building that houses a series of hotel rooms and luxury apartments. The Rutland offers you choice and style, but what’s really compelling about this hotel and apartment building is that every room is different. The hotel side of the Rutland is the definition of boutique as it’s small at just 12 rooms, while the apartment side has only eight units. This keeps the complex interesting, as each room has been decorated and designed individually. There’s a restaurant and bar on-site, so even if you prefer the freedom of an apartment with a fully equipped kitchen, you can still dine in the restaurant and enjoy a tipple in the bar.
The Witchery by the Castle is more than a hotel; this is an experience in luxury and completely unique. The Witchery doesn’t have hotel rooms as such, it has “suites,” and only nine of them, so it’s intimate and quiet in addition to being sumptuous. The interiors of all the rooms are wonderfully gothic, and you can choose to stay in The Library, The Armoury, The Guardroom, or even The Inner Sanctum! Note: Some of these rooms are on the first floor and accessed by a winding stone turnpike staircase dating back to the 16th century, which may be difficult for anyone with mobility issues. Ground-floor rooms are available. As well as the usual hotel room accessories, every room at The Witchery has GHD hair straighteners for complimentary use. This hotel is most definitely at the top end of the range, and a room here will set you back around £400 a night.
Fingal is perhaps the most unusual, most luxurious hotel you can find in Edinburgh. This is a hotel on a ship, berthed in the port in Leith, two miles from Edinburgh’s city center. This former Northern Lighthouse Board ship was first commissioned in 1963 and was renovated into a floating hotel that opened its doors in January 2019. There are 14 bedroom cabins on the main deck and eight larger bedroom cabins on the lower deck, plus a presidential suite. Above all that is the Lighthouse Bar plus a small dining area called The Bridge. Fingal offers a unique luxury hotel stay like no other. Prices range from £200 a night right up to the top end of luxury at £1,000 a night, but we’re worth it, right? If you’d like to give someone else the gift of a luxury experience in Edinburgh, Fingal does a range of gift vouchers that span from afternoon tea to a stay in a luxury suite.
Captivated? Read up on how the Fingal is connected to the royal family’s retired yacht, plus seven reasons to visit the Brittanica, which is moored nearby.
Make sure you check out where your hotel or guesthouse is situated before you book. Edinburgh is a sprawling city with very different neighborhoods. You can stay in the center of town or in a quieter area away from the bustle. If you choose a quieter area, you will have a short walk to get to the center and much of it will be hilly. Built on seven hills, it’s hard to escape the climbs in Edinburgh, so make sure you are where you want to be positioned for your stay.