Cool and Unusual Hotels in Edinburgh

Top 20 Cool And Unusual Hotels In Edinburgh 2023

47 mins read

The spectacularly beautiful city that nearly everyone wants to visit, Scotland’s majestic hilly capital is so striking and immaculately preserved it could easily have just stepped out of a gothic novel…or even a Harry Potter film set.

Although it’s a compact city it’s a place where you could easily get lost exploring the maze of cobbled lanes and come-hither nooks for days. I’ve always been a huge fan of Edinburgh with its quaint, elegant, majestic and intriguing vibe, and millions of other visitors can’t seem to get enough of it too! 

The beautiful city is also famously one of the most cultural cities on the planet – home to the beloved annual Fringe festival as well as several excellent independent cinemas, literary museums, gorgeous boutiques and art and music events galore.

To help celebrate the city’s love for the offbeat and the unique…as well as impeccable design, from my many trips here are the best cool and unusual places to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland (in no particular order)…

Best For Instagrammable Decor

Tigerlily

cool hotels in Edinburgh

Billed as Edinburgh’s most “talked about boutique hotel,” the 4-star highly-rated Tigerlily Hotel is unique in almost every single way! 

I loved the imaginative and totally eclectic decor which was a true delight for the senses in this George Street hotel and it was also close to all of the city’s main attractions.

The New Town location is within walking distance of the Scott Monument, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh Castle and all the trendy bars and restaurants for which the area is famous. 

Bedrooms at this cool and trendy hotel are mismatched but decadent, offering superior comfort teamed with bold statement pieces like damask satin throw pillows and curtains and plush headboards, while the bathrooms are little havens of peace and tranquillity.

Luxury touches like beautiful artwork, smart screen TVs, Bluetooth speakers and fully stocked mini bars add comfort to style. Breakfast is served via complimentary room service.

The Tigerlily restaurant serves seasonal delicacies, whilst the in-house bar has a tempting After Dark cocktail menu.

My favourite must-dos for visitors are the Boozy Brunch on weekends and indulgent Afternoon Teas with their luxurious variant, the Champagne Afternoon Tea which includes a crisp glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé.

The lobby, dining, and bar areas have been carefully curated and are full of eclectic touches and fantastic decor that perfectly reflect the creative heart of the city.

Pros

Stylish bar and restaurant

Best For Trendy Design

Virgin Hotels Edinburgh

Virgin Hotels Edinburgh a historic old town hotel2

Virgin Hotels Edinburgh a historic old town hotel Virgin Hotels Edinburgh a historic old town hotel1

This hip, upscale hotel is located in a charming historical building just off the Royal Mile and may well become your favorite place to stay in Edinburgh! 

Located in Old Town within easy reach of the National Museum of Scotland, and Edinburgh Castle, the hotel blends in well with its historic neighborhood.

Timeless elegance is combined with contemporary comfort, with a breathtaking entranceway glass-domed rotunda and wood-panelled library.

The rooms at the 5-star exceptionally rated Virgin Hotels Edinburgh are just gorgeous with high ceilings, a restful neutral palette, flowing drapes and comfortable beds and are enlivened with quirky and Scottish-themed artwork. 

Some rooms have bay windows, picturesque views of the street and Edinburgh Castle, and balconies. The suites all have a unique design and layout, with luxurious features like wood panelling, an attic snug with Moroccan decor and enough space to throw a party.

My favourite spot was the cosy Commons Club bar with exposed stone walls and low archways which served creative cocktails and the restaurant by Executive Chef Steven Wilson has a seasonal Scottish menu.

The breakfast with fresh local ingredients is a big hit with guests and there’s a fitness centre to keep you energized and focused on your travels.

Pros

Castle view from some rooms

Cons

The minibar can be pricey

Best For Couples

Kimpton Charlotte Square

Best boutique hotels in Edinburgh

Luxury boutique hotel in Edinburgh

Chic boutique hotel Edinburgh

With its picture-perfect traditional Georgian stone facade, the unique upscale boutique hotel Kimpton – Charlotte Square is actually made up of seven interconnected townhouses.

The location in the historic New Town, facing one of the city’s beloved garden squares, is close to Princes Street, George Square, the financial district and Waverley Railway Station.

I loved the eclectic interiors at this 5-star exceptionally rated spot. They blend classic details, modern style and artisan construction, creating luxurious spaces that are a pleasure to spend time in.

One of the best hotels in the city, there were outstanding features like the picture wall that celebrates the history of the area, tapestries hung on walls around the diner-style seating for informal dining, rich woods and fabrics, and touches of tartan create a unique and luxurious ambience.

Rooms are restful and well-designed spaces with a flat-screen Smart TV, luxury 300 linens, a fridge with complimentary fresh milk and mineral water and a welcoming box of treats. There’s also an indoor swimming pool, fitness room and spa with a range of treatments.

Guests can enjoy breakfast and all-day food and drinks in The Garden (my favourite part), located in the inviting interior courtyard with a glass roof, hanging plants and comfortable seating.

There’s also BABA, a Middle Eastern mezze and charcoal grill restaurant and cocktail bar. Aizle by chef Lewis Vimpany, with farm-to-table seasonal Scottish cuisine beautifully served on handmade ceramic dishes, is also located in the lush Garden Room.

Pros

Lavish glass-roofed courtyard

Exquisitely tasteful guestrooms

Best For Millennials and Gen Zs

Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge

Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge a cool and trendy hotel Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge a cool and trendy hotel2 Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge a cool and trendy hotel1

The eco-friendly LEED Gold status building has the recognizable Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge combination of bright, funky decor and convenience! 

The great location in the Stockbridge district puts you within walking distance of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street, Assembly Rooms, Royal Botanic Gardens and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The playful Moxy style makes this the perfect hotel for partying Millennials and Gen Zs. The stylish, soundproofed rooms are equipped for rest and work and have 42-inch flat-screen TVs with Chromecast, USB ports and UK and European plug sockets, and super-cool decor with leather details.

A favourite spot for guests (and me!) was the rooftop bar with cocktails, craft beer, outdoor terrace seating and amazing views of the Castle.

Another popular gathering place is the lively Bar Moxy in the lobby with quirky decor, foosball, comfy sofas, small plates, local gin, coffee, handcrafted drinks and bar games – this was my favourite fun spot in the hotel! 

There are quiet spaces to get some work done as well, and they’ll even give you a complimentary welcome drink when you check in since the bar doubles as the front desk. 

For a gorgeous and comfortable stay, there’s also a laundry room including an ironing space, fitness centre, and a continental or à la carte breakfast served in the lobby.

Pros

Walking proximity to famous attractions

Best For Scenic Views

The Glasshouse

The Glasshouse ediburgh

The Glasshouse

There’s one of Scotland’s finest independent luxury hotels hidden behind the charming Gothic exterior, located on the East end of Princes Street.

Beyond the historic facade, which used to be the Lady Glenorchy Church, there’s a modern, unique and luxurious space with stunning views of the rooftop garden, the city centre and historic Calton Hill. I loved that The Royal Mile is just five minutes walk, and the Waverley Railway Station and York Place Tram Stop are close by too.

With a snug/bar complete with a fire bowl, a fabulous rooftop garden and plenty of whimsical design touches throughout, the 5-star exceptionally rated The Glasshouse Hotel I would say it has a feel of the 1970s about it but executed in a thoroughly modern way. 

Bedrooms at the retro-cool hotel are bright and airy with floor-to-ceiling windows, sleek furnishings, and sumptuously soft beds.

Among other comforts, you’ll find full air-conditioning, heated bathroom floors, flat-screen smart TVs, free Wi-Fi and a complimentary minibar. Some of the bedrooms even have their own balconies leading out onto the rooftop garden. 

Guests can begin the day with a Full Scottish Breakfast at the Brasserie, head to the Snug for afternoon tea or their all-day seasonal menu, and have drinks on the patio. 

All of this style and comfort plus top-notch service have earned The Glassdoor a 2023 Travelers’ Choice award at TripAdvisor. 

Pros

Enchanting rooftop garden

Lavish glass-walled restaurant and stunning views

Cons

Parking is away from the hotel

Best For Trendy Aparthotel

Eden Locke

trendy hotel in Eddinburgh

Eden Locke

Uber-hip and perfectly presented, the 4-star exceptionally rated Eden Locke Edinburgh is a design-led aparthotel situated at the heart of George Street.

The traditional Georgian facade opens to peace and tranquillity, just minutes away from the bustle of the Royal Mile and other major attractions.

The 72 apartments are gorgeous, peaceful havens, with tasteful decor in a soft tropical palette with green, living plants scattered throughout the rooms and common spaces.

The studios and one-bedroom apartment suites have design touches like padded leather headboards, retro telephones, oversized clocks and soft-patterned throws, while bathrooms may be small but they do offer huge walk-in showers.

All practical needs and comforts are taken care of here, with TVs, bed linens, a workspace, USB outlets and a shared laundry area. The fully equipped kitchens have designer cooking utensils, a refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, toaster and microwave. 

The communal space at the hip accommodation centres around a sumptuous coffee lounge and bar, complete with giant cushions for really relaxing, making this the perfect place to catch one of the many events of the hotel’s ever-growing cultural programs of talks and classes. This was my favourite spot.

I think you will love your stay at Eden Locke and to prove it, it’s even won a 2023 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award.

Pros

Cutting-edge sleek ambience

Utterly tasteful soft decor

Luxurious walk-in showers

Best For Romance

Malmaison Edinburgh City

Malmaison Edinburgh City an ultra chic boutique hotel2

Malmaison Edinburgh City an ultra chic boutique hotel Malmaison Edinburgh City an ultra chic boutique hotel1

Located right in the centre of New Town in St. Andrew Square, Malmaison Edinburgh City is close to Princes Street and a short walk to the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle and the National Museum of Scotland.

You’re within reach of the best of the city, with shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries nearby and public transportation to take you further afield. 

The cheerful and eclectic mod decor, with unique artwork, window seats and accents like bright red rugs and plush throw pillows, is a stylish complement to the comfortable setting and the spectacular views of the city or the Forth.

King or super king-sized beds, monsoon showers, free WiFi, bespoke toiletries by Arran Aromatics and 24-hour room service make sure you’ll have all the luxurious necessities for your stay.

The Bar with unique and striking decor, custom lighting and a living green ceiling of overhead plants is a great place to relax with signature cocktails, delicious bar food and an awesome selection of spirits and single malts. I loved the atmospheric Chez Mal which serves contemporary cuisine, starting with a tasty breakfast.

There’s a seasonal menu for lunch and dinner. Of course, they serve afternoon tea as well, with a choice of cream teas or an updated version of the classic selection of sweets and savouries.

Pros

Striking oasis of colourful decor

Tempting varieties of afternoon teas

Short walk to famous locations

Cons

Some rooms are a little dark

Some rooms have sloped ceilings

Best For Innovative Design

YOTEL Edinburgh

Modern hotels in Edinburgh

Coolest hotels in Edinburgh

Trendy hotel in Edinburgh

With its minimalist design cabins, relaxed dining, and unique ambience, the Yotel Edinburgh brings modern chic to Scotland’s capital.

Situated on the famous Queen Street, it sits at the heart of the city, making it the perfect base for exploring the very best of the city. You’ll enjoy its own unique vibe, a minimalist haven within a historic city of grand architecture.

The rooms are bright and bold cabins, with a fascinating blend of luxury and minimal style, creating a unique experience within this unique city.

They have air-conditioning, free wifi, multiple USB ports, and YOTEL’s signature mood lighting and fully-adjustable SmartBeds. Some rooms also have sweeping city views.

The Komyuniti bar and lounge is well-suited for watching the world go by on Queen Street as you relax with a classic cocktail or local beer, or order a meal from the all-day menu.

You can get tea or coffee here all day, as well. Breakfast choices every morning include a buffet, full English/ Irish, or continental.  

Guests can use the co-working spaces and fitness centre at the hotel, and check out the programs and events at the impressive Imaginex 360-degree screening room – my personal favourite spot! 

Pros

Interactive vibrant lobby

Industrial-chic minimal rooms

imagineX 360-degree screening room

Cons

Few rooms don’t have windows

Best For Independent Boutique

No.11 Boutique Hotel

No.11 Boutique hotel a discreet upscale boutique hotel No.11 Boutique hotel a discreet upscale boutique hotel1 No.11 Boutique hotel a discreet upscale boutique hotel2

This is a seriously impressive unique independent boutique situated in a classic Georgian townhouse close to the city centre, within walking distance of Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street.

Completed in 1822, the building beautifully preserves features like the classic portico with Doric columns, a grand entrance hall, and ornate cornices and ceiling roses.

The 16 individually-designed guest rooms at No.11 Boutique Hotel blend period and contemporary styles, with canopied four-poster beds, dark mahogany wood detailing, rich fabrics, quirky wallpaper and touches of colour. My room was spacious and just pure class! 

Ornate mirrors and free-standing tubs (which I thought were super-cute!) add to the luxurious ambience of this highly Instagrammable hotel. The smaller double rooms under the eaves have quaint sloping roofs and dormer windows, while others have high ceilings and city or garden views.

Rooms also have tea and coffee-making equipment, free wifi, TVs and luxury toiletries. There’s a private garden for guests to enjoy, and it’s easy to find parking spots in this quiet neighbourhood.

An incredible full-cooked breakfast is served every morning, with haggis as well as tasty vegetarian and continental options.

The No. 11 Brasserie has an extensive wine list and serves lunch and dinner using the best and freshest Scottish ingredients including seafood, beef, game, herbs and produce.

Its excellence was recognized with the award of the highly-prized AA Rosette in 2022/23 to Head Chef Stevie.

Pros

Modern minimal chic decor

Vegetarian and continental breakfast options

Cons

Breakfast isn’t included

Best For Unique Stay

Ocean Mist Leith

Ocean Mist Leith an iconic and unusual boat hotel Ocean Mist Leith an iconic and unusual boat hotel2

One of the most unique and stylish hotels in the Scottish Captial is actually a superb-looking luxury yacht moored permanently on the Water Of Leith Shore, with panoramic views from the Castle to the Victoria Swing Bridge.

The upscale exceptionally rated Ocean Mist Leith has been restored in historic and luxurious Art Deco style with leather and mahogany furnishings, brass detailing, and all kinds of nautical touches.

The location is close to everything to see and do in Leith and just ten to fifteen minutes by bus or taxi from Edinburgh City Centre.

The Ocean Mist has an interesting and checkered past. Built in 1919 as a minesweeper, the boat was converted into a pleasure yacht soon after. It served as a torpedo recovery vessel during WWII and then resumed its leisured existence, eventually falling into disrepair. In 2018 it was restored and turned into a boutique hotel. 

The 17 cabins are individually designed with 1920s glamour and contemporary comfort. You’ll find bespoke furnishings, leather seating and wood headbands. A complimentary breakfast and kind and cheerful staff will make your stay even more memorable.

My personal highlight though was The Castle View Bar which is a place to relax on a Chesterfield sofa and enjoy the view with a cocktail or a glass of port, or you can unwind at the Bridge Lounge with tea or coffee.

Pros

Breathtaking bridge lounge

Best For Themed Rooms

The Witchery

The Witchery Edinburgh

Themed hotel in Edinburgh

Haunted hotel in Edinburgh

This place seriously has the wow factor! Located at the top of the Royal Mile, the 5-star exceptionally rated Witchery Hotel is a fine hotel indeed.

Tucked away in a collection of historic buildings at the gates to Edinburgh Castle, the wonderfully unique Scottish abode offers beautiful baroque surroundings and first-class accommodation within walking distance of the city centre.

Offering just nine exclusive and indulgent suites, each one is as opulent and glamorous as the next with a gothic theme and four-poster beds, roll-top baths for two, velvet, silk and brocade furnishings, gilding, woodcarving and candle-light.

There are also tech necessities at this small luxury hotel, like Bose speakers, smart TVs and an Amazon Echo music system, plus complimentary snacks and plush toiletries from Penhaligon. 

Guests will find a complimentary bottle of champagne (complete with an ice bucket) waiting for them on checking in, and you can have a breakfast hamper delivered to your room.

The Original Dining Room has a first-class reputation. I loved the exceptional dining experience locaed in a sixteenth-century building with oak panelling, tapestries, and a painted ceiling.

It’s the perfect setting for Chef Douglas Roberts’ menu of classic cuisine made with the finest Scottish ingredients including game and seafood. The Secret Garden restaurant is undoubtedly one of the prettiest restaurants in the world. 

Unlike anywhere you will have stayed before, I promise the Witchery boutique hotel is one of the finest gems you will find anywhere in Edinburgh.

Pros

Retro chic historic vibes

Near to Edinburgh Castles

The glamorous vintage dining hall

Cons

Limited vegetarian options

Not for the budget-friendly crowd

Best For Panaromic Views

Angels Share Hotel

fun hotel in Edinburgh

Lively hotel in Edinburgh

Party hotel in Edinburgh

Celebrating the very best of the city’s vibrant creativity, the 4-star exceptionally rated The Angels Share has a distinctively Scottish feel throughout and is located just a 2-minute walk from Princes Street. 

Each of the carefully crafted bedrooms at this funky and fun-gothic style accommodation is individually themed around Scottish cultural icons like Sean Connery and Ewan MacGregor (I thought this was a fun touch!), as well as being swathed in gloriously Scottish textiles and high thread count sheets.

They come with contemporary touches like free wifi, LCD TV, luxurious toiletries a selection of teas and coffees along with Tunnock’s teacake and a fully stocked mini-bar.

The accommodation also has a stylish restaurant with high-back leather booths, that serves locally sourced produce and of course, plenty of Scottish delicacies for all to enjoy.

The afternoon tea and the Sunday Roast may be the best ever, and guests can ask for a formal introduction to that famed Scottish dish, haggis. 

The chic bar with elegant crystal chandeliers and a curated whisky list with over 200 kinds also serves cocktails, drinks and beer while you listen to the DJ or watch a live band, representing Scotland’s finest talents.

Guests have expressed their appreciation of this unique and stylish hotel by choosing it for a 2023 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award.

Pros

Trendy Gothic-themed decor

Romantic intimate ambience

More than 200 cocktail choices

Shuttle service to the airport

Cons

Bathrooms are a little dark

Best For Onsite Dining

21212

Unique hotel in Edinburgh

Hip hotel in Edinburgh

Set in the grandly titled London Road Gardens off Royal Terrace, 21212 Edinburgh is as impressive as the location suggests.

Nearby attractions include the Edinburgh Playhouse, the Royal Mile and the National Museum of Scotland, and the Waverley Railway Station is easily accessible.   

Relaxed glamour is the theme, using the building’s high ceilings and tall windows to craft an elegant, retro look that blends classic pieces with modern thinking. Its modern Scotland is set against a traditional backdrop and is something to experience and enjoy.

There are just four large bedrooms, all on the upper two levels of the Georgian townhouse, with views of the gardens in the rear and the city in the front.

Rooms are well equipped with luscious, soft carpets and beautiful furniture. The decor in shades of grey, gold and silver-grey with fabrics like brocade, satin and voile creates a warm look, and each room has a separate lounge area, flat-screen TV, free wifi and toiletries.

A continental breakfast is served every morning, and two private dining rooms and a Michelin-starred chef mean dining is a serious business here. Chef Paul Kitching offers a unique menu, with contemporary French influences, using local produce to stunning effect.

This is a gorgeous hotel that if you stay I promise you won’t forget in a hurry!

Pros

Tranquil luxurious ambiance

Cons

No coffee machine in rooms

Best For Art Lovers

24 Royal Terrace Hotel

Artistic hotel in Edinburgh

Funky hotel in Edinburgh

24 Royal Terrace Hotel edinburgh

The exceptionally rated 24 Royal Terrace Hotel hotel is home to a carefully curated collection of art, cool bedrooms, and a smart bar, centrally located in the city’s leafy Royal Terrace.

The grand Georgian townhouse on a quiet, cobbled street at the foot of Calton Hill is close to the Edinburgh Playhouse, Omni Centre and the Edinburgh Waverley Train Station.

Interiors feature a black and white chessboard floor leading to a red-carpeted spiral staircase under a glass cupola, as well as boldly coloured walls almost completely covered with contemporary and classic works of art.

Bedrooms at this beautiful boutique hotel are stylish and comfortable with plenty of traditional tweeds, and tiled bathrooms with soaker showers are modern and practical. Guests can also enjoy super-fast wifi, smart TVs, on-demand streaming and BluCube Speakers if they fancy a night in.

The hotel garden is the perfect spot to enjoy the long northern summer evenings in the city, and you’ll want to visit Dinna Tell, the bar, lounge and Secret Garden which serves cocktails, whisky and foodie treats. 

Guests can also look forward to Tony’s Welcome to Whisky Experience, where the hotel’s resident expert will introduce you to the arts of nosing, tasting, and drinking whisky, along with its significance in Scottish history and culture. This was a fun experience and one I’d definitely recommend!

Pros

Mesmerizing authentic paintings

Breathtaking garden and sea views

Experience the whisky-tasting art

Best For Funky Vibe

94DR

94DR Edinburgh Boutique Hotel

Best boutique hotels in Edinburgh

94DR Edinburgh Boutique hotel

This is a gorgeous boutique guesthouse just outside the city centre, billed as “new luxury for a new age” and offers stylish home-from-home accommodation just five minutes walk from Holyrood Park and the foot of Arthur’s Seat.

Interiors mix Victorian features with a modern design with the addition of modern Scottish artwork which creates a sophisticated but relaxed ambience throughout.

Bedrooms at the 5-star exceptionally rated 94DR Hotel Edinburgh offer a high-end design whilst the bathrooms have steaming hot power showers and roll-top baths. 

Public spaces include a formal drawing room, a media room, a library bar, and even an orangery. There’s a terrace leading out from the orangery, with a Louisianna Egg BBQ grill and Valoriani Italian wood-fired pizza oven that guests can use, and an enclosed garden with a quiet corner with a wood stove and seating.

Breakfast is always included in the stay and guests can choose from a morning visit from a breakfast chef or a delivered breakfast hamper.

Dining options include Michelin-star dining, home-cooked suppers, restaurant-at-home packages or a self-catering plus option (this option will see fridges and bars fully stocked with the best of local food and drink, ahead of arrival).

If a group of more than 12 people books at a time then the accommodation is exclusively theirs. I thought this place was just fabulous!

Pros

Hot power showers in bathrooms

Cons

Whole house has to be booked

Best For Great Breakfast

Dakota Hotel

Sleek hotel in Edinburgh

Dakota Hotel Edinburgh

The towering building located just south of the Forth Bridge is home to this chic hotel, just 25 minutes away from the city centre.

Located in the quaint village of South Queensferry, the 4-star exceptionally rated Dakota Hotel Edinburgh is a short drive away from the Royal Highland Centre which hosts that iconic Scottish event, the Royal Highland Show.

Guests can also explore the pretty village with its cobblestone streets and the nature trails at the nearby 17th-century Hopetoun House, or take a boat trip on the River Forth to Inchcolm Abbey and Island. 

The chic, modern interiors are softened with plush textiles, and overstuffed sofas, while a vintage aviation theme runs throughout the communal spaces. Bedrooms are comfortable with high-quality bedding, fluffy pillows, and drencher showers in the en-suite bathrooms. 

The Dakota Bar with brick walls and a fireplace is a cosy space to enjoy coffee, afternoon tea, or cocktails.

At the Dakota Grill, you’ll find what is quite possibly the best steak in town, and a menu of comfort foods and seafood with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Remember to leave room for dessert, as I recommend the cheesecake! 

A 2023 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award winner, the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle bus service to Edinburgh airport, based on availability, and free parking.

Pros

Polished sleek aesthetics

Award-winning dining and great breakfast

 

Best For Rooftop Bar

Market Street Hotel

Market Street Hotel

design hotel Edinburgh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first Scottish member of Design Hotels has a contemporary Scottish Baronial style with a golden stone facade that blends in with the surrounding historic architecture, locally made fabrics, natural materials such as white oak, and custom-made furniture.

Market Street Hotel is situated in Edinburgh’s Old Town, which is an ideal place to check out the great architecture and the old traditional pubs. It’s a stone’s throw away from Edinburgh Waverley Station, making it easy to get there by train.

I was especially fond of the wooden shutters like those found in the original Old Townhouses, fabric wallpaper, a natural decor palette and wood accents make the rooms homely places.

There’s no shortage of high tech either, with flat-screen smart TVs with Chromecast and Apple TV, and free wifi. The bathrooms at the Market Street Hotel are finished in marble with stone basins and rainfall showers, and stocked with vegan toiletries by Votary.

The Vista rooms have views onto Market Street and beyond, with all the famous city landmarks, and the Mhor Suite opens onto a private terrace.

Guests can have breakfast at the rooftop Nor’ Loft with croissants, pastries, artisan bread, fresh fruit and even a Full Scottish. The restaurant also has a Champagne Table, small bites, and Our Picnic with a selection of sweet and savoury bites served on a genuine picnic table with a view. 

Pros

Effortlessly beautiful golden stoned facade

Panoramic private terrace

Cons

Reservations required for breakfast

 

Best For Location-Near Prince’s Street

The Rutland Hotel

The Rutland Hotel

The Rutland Hotel Edinburgh

This bright, contemporary West End hotel comes complete with a popular restaurant and its very own gin distillery (my favourite part!)

The 4-star exceptionally rated The Rutland Hotel offers an elegant style to go with the Edwardian facade and seems to be effortlessly hip without even trying.

Herringbone flooring, baroque mirrors, and retro furnishing combine beautifully to give the bedrooms an interior design magazine feel, whilst bathrooms are sleek with white metro tiling, slate floors, and walk-in showers or Jacuzzi baths. 

Some rooms have street views and the Castle View rooms look straight out at that impressive grey stone edifice.

The cool and unique hotel is also home to the Huxley Bar serving fine burgers and filling food, as well as the Kyloe Restaurant which serves up lots and lots of Scottish fayre and is famous for its Aberdeen Angus steak.

The gin distillery becomes its very own venue as the sun goes down, transforming into the Heads and Tales gin emporium and cocktail bar, with dim sum to accompany the tipples.

The location at the end of Princes Street between the financial and shopping districts couldn’t be better for exploring everything the city has to offer.

The Scott Monument is just five minutes walk away and you can cut through Princes Street Gardens to reach Edinburgh Castle in a quarter of an hour.

Pros

Vibrant youthful ambience

Street or Castle room views

Tempting on-site restaurants

Best For Romance

Hotel du Vin

Hotel du Vin

Hotel du Vin edinburgh

A classy hotel with a historical feel, the 4-star highly rated Hotel du Vin Edinburgh brings bistro dining to the Old Town.

With dark woods, exposed bricks and wine-themed artwork throughout, the hotel has a cool vibe akin to a trendy wine cellar, but it somehow manages to retain a cosy and welcoming feel – which is quite a feat! 

The hotel sits in the Old Town near the Royal Mile, between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, just right for all the shopping, art galleries, dining and museums. 

My dedrooms featured tartan accents, intricate wallpaper and custom-made sleigh beds, and there are a few with quaint sloping roofs and window seats.

The bathrooms are truly spectacular with industrial-style walk-in showers. The Signature Suite has a private balcony, and many rooms overlook the inner courtyard.

The Bistro du Vin serves all meals starting with breakfast, with seasonable cuisine and an impressive wine list. Guests will want to try the traditional Afternoon tea and Sunday Lunch, and weather permitting, al fresco dining in the courtyard. For rainy days there’s the Whisky Snug and the heated Cigar Bothy.

The style and comfort plus a very friendly and helpful staff have earned Hotel du Vin a 2023 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award. 

Best For Families

The Bonham

Upscale hotel in Edinburgh

Boutique hotels in Edinburgh

A majestic building in the quiet west end, The Bonham Edinburgh is ideally placed for all the main attractions the city has to offer. This includes Princess Street, Calton Hill, Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, EICC and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

The 19th-century city centre townhouses have the historic, luxurious atmosphere of a genuine Edinburgh legend. The hotel’s beautiful art collection includes Tiffany lamps, a J. & L. Lobmeyr chandelier in the library and original paintings by famous artists. 

The lovingly-restored rooms vary from the beautiful Townhouse to the opulent suites, all with period features and bespoke furniture.

All have handy Nespresso coffee makers and a selection of coffees, plus a welcome tray with breakfast, Earl Grey and fruit teas, hot chocolate, shortbread and sweet treats. Rooms and suites have views of the Drumsheugh Gardens or over the city towards the Firth of Forth.

Guests can start the day with breakfast in the elegant setting of No. 35, offering continental and cooked choices. The restaurant serves all means with a menu featuring traditional dishes with a European twist.

My favourite spost was the dog-friendly bar and lounge which also serve afternoon tea, along with coffee, bites and a range of drinks, cocktails and beer.

If you want the epitome of traditional style, The Bonham is the ideal choice.

Pros

Luxurious and upscale decor

Rich garden view from rooms

Dog-friendly lounge and bar

Comparing the most Extraordinary Hotels  Edinburgh 

The Top 20 Cool and Unusual Hotels in Edinburgh are compared on the basis of multiple attributes in the following tabular formats. 

Hotel Name Location Price Range (per night) Fitness Facilities Distance to Attractions (km) Nearby Restaurants
Tigerlily George Street $549-$581 No 0.5 6
Virgin Hotels Edinburgh Old Town $531-$1781 Yes 0.4 8
Kimpton Charlotte Square Charlotte Square $467-$894 Yes 0.5 10
Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge Freer Gait $470-$503 Yes 0.9 6
The Glasshouse Greenside Place $447-$510 No 0.1 6
Eden Locke George St $253-$290 No 0.5 4
Malmaison Edinburgh City Andrew Square $594-$1049 No 0.6 5
YOTEL Edinburgh Queen Street $504-$720 Yes 0.6 3
No.11 Boutique Hotel Brunswick St $281-$427 No 0.4 3
Ocean Mist Leith The Shore Leith $387-$400 No 2.4 2
The Witchery Royal Mile $1521-$1610 No 0.3 6
Angels Share Hotel Hope Street $326-$420 No 0.5 4
21212 Royal Terrace $375-$432 No 0.2 3
24 Royal Terrace Hotel Royal Terrace $369-$433 No 0.5 5
94DR Dalkeith Road $1500-$1650 No 1 4
Dakota Hotel Queensferry $270-$410 No 3.2 3
Market Street Hotel Old Town $400-$450 No 0.7 5
The Rutland Hotel Rutland Steet $500-$680 No 0.5 3
Hotel du Vin Bristo Place $400-$675 No 0.7 4
The Bonham Drumsheugh Gardens $430-$610 No 1 5

Where do tourists usually stay in the city?

Edinburgh Royal Mile

The Scottish city is filled with gorgeous areas and options to stay. Especially popular is the charming and historic Old Town where world-famous spots such as the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle are located. It’s a buzzy place with quirky shops, cobbled streets and immaculately preserved medieval architecture.

Other popular spots include New Town which has Georgian-style architecture and gorgeous upscale dining options and shops. 

Where are the coolest places to stay in Edinburgh? 

Edinburgh Autographer

To be honest, everywhere in the city could be considered cool and trendy but some of the areas with a youthful, trendy vibe include The Grassmarket which is quite bohemian with buzzing pubs and independent shops and Dean Village which is a peaceful, charming and picturesque spot located along the Water of Leith, and for a really unique stay head to The ancient Vaults, located in the South Bridge, which are spooky underground chambers and tunnels.

How much are hotels in the city? 

It’s a place that can be considered to be relatively expensive when compared with other cities in Europe but the trade-off is you get to stay in one of the world’s most elegant and extraordinary cities! Prices of lower-starred hotels and those with the best deals start from around £85 a night.

How to get to the Scottish Capital?

Many people fly into Edinburgh Airport and get a taxi ride from there (which takes around 30 mins), you can also get there by train as it’s well connected to many other cities in the UK. Bus and coach trips are also another popular option.

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