The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is a gorgeous city with medieval heritage, seen in its cobblestone streets and stately castles. Travelers can head to historic buildings, numerous museums, and even take a literary pub tour. The city is also home to range of accommodations, from budget to luxe, and many are quaint boutique properties offering a lot of charm. After visiting dozens, we evaluated how they stack up to see which are the best of the best and can now share our findings. Take a look at the best boutique hotels in Edinburgh and start planning your getaway!
A three-room B&B, 20 Albany Street is housed in a particularly attractive Georgian building on a peaceful and residential street within walking distance of Edinburgh's main station and city center. The grandest and most luxurious room in this boutique features an enormous bed and beautifully finished period bathroom with a clawfoot bathtub; all rooms are cozy with electric kettles, small flat-screen TVs, and safes. Hearty Scottish breakfasts and afternoon tea with homemade cakes are included in the rates, which -- although they're certainly steep for a bed and breakfast -- are reasonable for the quality of accommodation. Wi-Fi is free.
The Rutland Hotel is a Georgian house that's been converted into a 21st-century luxury boutique hotel with 12 rooms, a family-friendly apartment, and a bovine-themed steakhouse. It's in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End, close to bustling Princes Street and the Financial District. The property is glitzy -- expect silver spray-painted gothic chairs; a chic bar that remains noisy into the early hours; and rooms with views of Edinburgh castle -- but it's not too sophisticated to offer guests home-baked muffins on arrival. Breakfast, which includes plenty of Scottish fare, comes with a fee. The hotel is quiet (it has heavy soundproofing), stylish, and in a convenient location for visiting the city.
This 18-room luxury boutique hotel is an elegant, exclusive property set in three Georgian houses on a posh residential street in Edinburgh’s New Town. Upon arrival, guests are enveloped in an aura of traditional sophistication, quality, and service worthy of Downton Abbey. Butler service is included, and the attentive staff will press trousers, shine shoes, do personal shopping, serve afternoon tea en suite, draw baths, and more. Guest rooms are ultra luxurious, with canopy beds and immense marble bathrooms. But some decor could use updating, and there have been occasional housekeeping issues. The elegant restaurant serves modern Scottish cuisine, and pre-dinner drinks are available in the comfortable drawing room.
The 18-room luxury Prestonfield House is an opulent boutique hotel on a historic, 20-acre country estate in southeast Edinburgh. The epitome of Scottish luxury, the Prestonfield overflows with fine antiques, oil paintings, and lush fabrics to create a quirky, theatrical feast for the eyes. Each guest room is individually designed and furnished. The common threads are decadence and quality, which carry into the menu at the hotel's destination restaurant, Rhubarb, and the endless fascinating nooks and crannies in this unforgettable hotel.
No. 11 Brunswick Street is an upscale, charming boutique hotel in a quiet area on the edge of the city center. Built in 1822, the property still retains some of its beautiful original features, such as ornate cornices and ceiling roses. The 10 rooms are chic and elegant, with luxurious bathrooms. There’s an excellent restaurant that uses local produce for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. The property may not have all the facilities of a large city center hotel, but it offers a peaceful and stylish retreat.
The Raeburn is an upscale, family-run boutique hotel set in a charming Georgian building in Edinburgh's affluent Stockbridge neighborhood. Although having undergone a smart, contemporary renovation there's still plenty of period charm throughout, and both bar and restaurant are popular with locals. The 10 guest rooms are well-finished with plenty of luxury touches -- even roll-top baths in some -- and in-room tech is also impressive. While it's a bit away from most of Edinburgh's tourist attractions, it's one of very few hotel in this lovely area, and one that justifies its high-end price tag.
The Tigerlily is housed in an historic Georgian townhouse, but inside, it's thoroughly modern. This stylish 33-room boutique hotel has few amenities -- just a small lobby, a restaurant, and a bar (no fitness center or spa here). But it attracts guests with its gorgeous rooms and convenient New Town location, within walking distance of sights, restaurants, and shops. The rooms are high-tech, with flat-screen TVs at the foots of the beds and pre-loaded iPods, and have wood floors and sophisticated contemporary style. Rooms are individually decorated, and many feature bright color accents and statement patterns; all have high-end extras such as plush bedding, fresh flowers, and sleek bathrooms with upscale White Company toiletries.
The 60-room Hotel Indigo is an upmarket boutique occupying a row of period Georgian properties in the New Town of Edinburgh. Interiors are colorful, hip, and contemporary throughout, especially in the impressive bar and restaurant. Rooms follow the same smart, funky decor scheme and offer flat-screen TVs along with sleek walk-in showers -- though internal soundproofing can be an issue. Overall it's a standout property with a particular attention to design.
The 28-room Nira Caledonia is a seriously upscale boutique occupying a charming 18th-century property in Edinburgh's New Town. While the cobbled street setting is particularly charming and close to local amenities, it's not really within walking distance of most popular tourist attractions. The rooms however are particularly gorgeous and full of high-end touches including Nespresso machines, huge flat-screen TVs, and luxe bathrooms, some with Japanese-style jetted soaking tubs. While it lacks some of the facilities you might expect at this price, an outstanding breakfast and top-notch dining contribute to making this one of the finest properties of its kind in Edinburgh. Wi-Fi is free.
The 10-room Twelve Picardy Place is an upscale boutique hotel housed in a historic Georgian townhouse on the edges of Edinburgh's New Town. Interiors feature trendy, contemporary design that is hip and elegant, with two stylish restaurants as well as a cool basement bar with outdoor courtyard. Rooms are equally stylish, clad in gray hues and featuring lovely wallpaper of Scottish architecture and city scenes, and equipped with 3D HD TVs, fully-stocked minibars, and bathrooms with luxurious rainfall showers or soaking tubs (or both). Guests should be aware that there is no elevator and some rooms can be affected by street noise.
Set in three Victorian townhouses, the 49-room, upscale Bonham is a stylish boutique hotel in a quiet, historic Edinburgh neighborhood, around the corner from all the action. The property manages to combine Georgian architecture, an old Edinburgh vibe, a well-curated modern art collection, and glam decor to create a one-of-a-kind environment far more luxurious than the price would indicate. Guest rooms are individually designed and decorated, with striking furniture, high ceilings, ornate woodwork, and gorgeous bathrooms. The hotel also serves full Scottish breakfast with local ingredients, and has an elegant restaurant and bar serving afternoon tea.
The 15-room Kildonan Lodge Hotel is a family-owned upper-middle-range property located just outside of Edinburgh's city center and about a seven-minute bus ride to the Royal Mile. Lovely Victorian-era interiors include an elegant lounge with a fireplace and a beautiful restaurant that serves dinner several days of the week as well as a full Scottish breakfast (included in the room rate). Elegant, comfortable rooms are individually decorated with a mix of classic and contemporary decor and all have flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and coffee- and tea-making facilities. A separate Garden Lodge at the rear of the property has three bedrooms, plus a cozy lounge and glass conservatory, and is suitable for larger parties or families that desire more privacy.