Photo Courtesy Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh
Contributor Chris Occhiuzzi shares his list of favourites … whether you live there, or are passing through, we know you’ll enjoy the top luxury Edinburgh hotels
We all deserve to live in the lap of luxury – even if just for a little while. Whether you’re an international dignitary, a financial wizard, or even a down-to-earth small business entrepreneur, it feels good to be treated like royalty when the opportunity presents itself.
There are plenty of Edinburgh hotels which provide the chance of living luxuriously for as long as you’re they’re guest. It’s an option for locals and visitors alike – escape for a few days and indulge yourself.
From internationally known names to Scotland’s finest you may not know, luxury is simply a phone call – or maybe a few clicks of the mouse – away. Exquisite accommodations, cuisine and beverages that dance on the palette, spa experiences to take your breath away, they’re all available at the best luxury Edinburgh hotels.
We’ve made a list of the top luxury Edinburgh hotels for you to peruse and help you plan your next trip.
The Top Luxury Hotels in Edinburgh
Everyone has their own idea of what the best hotel in Edinburgh should offer. At The Balmoral Hotel, a legend in its own right featuring a beloved century-old clock tower, they aim to stimulate the senses and creative side of their guests.
From the customized tartan colours to the classic Scottish art carefully selected and presented through the building, The Balmoral also features whisky ambassadors with 500 malts. Their award-winning Balmoral afternoon tea is renowned throughout the city and nation, while they provide the opportunity for their guests to enjoy amazing experiences from two brilliantly creative individuals.
One of Scotland’s top Gaelic poets, Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, is the Balmoral’s Poet-in-Residence – or Bàrd air mhuinntireas, if you prefer. Guests of the hotel can book one of several experiences with Marcas, where he consults with the guests and provides lovely words written in the historic tongue. Be it a pre-composed poem, an original poem made just for them, or the gold package: an original poem and reading performed by Marcas at an event or special occasion.
For those seeking historical sites and visual stimulation, The Balmoral Hotel collaborates with famed photographer Ian G Black to provide their guest with an Instagram Walking Tour.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: Learn more about what this stunning Edinburgh hotel has to offer at The Balmoral
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh
Made famous by Hollywood films and mainstream media alike for the affinity dignitaries from across the globe have for the famous Waldorf Astoria brand, the Waldorf Edinburgh lives up to the name… and the high luxury standards.
Easily one of the best places to stay in Edinburgh, the 120-year-old Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh: The Caledonian is an iconic location only minutes away from the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Old Town, and provides luxury at every turn. Amazing views of Edinburgh Castle as well as being only few steps away from the from the Princes Street Gardens make it easy to take in world class attractions.
Meanwhile, style and sophistication are in abundance at the Waldorf Edinburgh’s dining establishments – be it Grazing by Mark Greenway for its fine dining experiences, Peacock Alley (for a light lunch or afternoon tea), or the Caley Bar, where a quality dram or pre-meal cocktail awaits.
While touring sites and sipping tea is good for some, others simply want to be spoiled. Well, you can do that too at the Waldorf Edinburgh. Visit on your own or with friends and spend a weekend in Edinburgh getting pampered at the United Kingdom’s only Guerlain Spa in the Waldorf Astoria. Get a facial, a massage, a scrub, and go for a sauna before a dip in the pool.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: See accommodations, menus, and photos of the Waldorf at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh
The Witchery by the Castle
What would luxury be without fantastic meals? Well, it wouldn’t really be luxury. The Witchery by the Castle knows this better than most Edinburgh hotels as it’s world famous restaurant takes things up a notch.
Located among a collection of historic buildings by the gates to Edinburgh Castle, the Witchery features an award-winning menu served from noon through to the last reservation at 11:30 pm. Try the legendary Angus beef steak tartare, haggis, Scottish lobster, or other locally sourced delicacies.
You’ll certainly enjoy the amazing dishes, especially when you choose which atmosphere to dine in: either the Witchery dining room, featuring 16th century oak panelling and candlelight; or the Secret Garden room with a hand-painting ceiling and private terrace perfect for cocktails or dining – or both.
But, to be considered among the best hotels in Edinburgh, one still needs quality accommodations. And the Witchery is no slouch in that department. They only have nine suites and have made indulgence and glamour the main themes. As they note, the suites are not suitable for children, making them perfect for a romantic rendezvous.
Perhaps even more impressive than their food and accommodations is the list of accolades the Witchery has accumulated through the years.
Read them first, and then have a look at the rest the hotel has to offer at www.thewitchery.com/accolades.
Once home to Lady Glenorchy Church, this 170-year-old building was converted into The Glasshouse Hotel in 2003. Featuring 77 exquisite bedrooms, The Glasshouse is considered by many to be the best hotel in Edinburgh – luxury or otherwise.
With magnificent views of the city centre, The Glasshouse provides guests with welcoming service, a contemporary and cozy interior, and the ability to envelope themselves in the hotel’s two-acre rooftop garden. A recent refurbishing of the reception area gives the space an interesting contrast between modern lines and brilliant lighting opposite the historically gothic façade – an ode to its former life as a chapel.
Luxury living needs luxury refreshments, and The Glasshouse Edinburgh ensures its guests are well taken care of in that department. Stop by the Snug – handily located in the physical heart of the hotel – for an afternoon tea or to enjoy the all-day dining menu beside an open fireplace.
Or enjoy the hotel’s exclusive collection of Scotland’s national drink. With almost 100 Scotch whiskies to choose from, sip on a dram by the fireplace and allow the day to drift away. For both novices and connoisseurs alike, the staff can take you on a trip through the world-famous Scottish whisky regions with their Glasshouse Whisky Map.
Not a fan of whisky? Not to worry. There are plenty of cocktails and other beverages to enjoy.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: Learn more or book your stay at the Glasshouse Edinburgh at The Glasshouse
Owned by visionary Scottish hotelier James Thomson, Prestonfield House stands apart from other Edinburgh hotels. With a mission to create a unique luxurious and opulent experience, Prestonfield House – a winner of Hotel of the Year, plus numerous other accolades and awards – is for good reason one of Edinburgh’s top rated hotels.
What makes the hotel so special is its dedication to individuality: rich textures and top-class materials adorn the rooms and suites, making each guest feel like royalty throughout their stay. And there are several room and suite styles to choose from. The Lord Provost Suite is full of dark reds, auburns and purple hues with an inspirational golden touch sprinkled around.
However, we’re most enamoured with the Churchill Suite – the namesake is obvious – where elegance reigns supreme. A gothic day bed and collection of militaria accent the suite, with the chic bedroom boasting fabulous red walls surrounding an antique French bed complete with red and gold hanging velvets. The Churchill’s amenities include two bathrooms: an en suite, and a guest bathroom lined in marble and red Venetian glass mosaic.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: Explore the other rooms, dining, and features of this elegant hotel at Prestonfield House
Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh
History buffs should have Scotland on their must-visit list, but specifically its capital city. Edinburgh is awash with iconic buildings and architecture that have stood for hundreds of years. And when enjoying one of those classic visits to the legendary city, it’s important to stay in one of the top luxury hotels in Edinburgh, but still be within walking distance to many of the places you want to see.
This is where the Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh comes into play. Situated neatly in the Old Town, the hotel allows its guests easy travel to Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile (hence the name), the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden, and much more.
Elegant, stylish, and welcoming, each room in this posh Edinburgh hotel has a stunning view of the city to enjoy. See the sites from above, and then from the ground level on a walking tour.
When you’re done walking about town, return to the hotel and dine at their restaurant, Cucina, with award-winning chef Andrew McQueen running the show. Cucina (literally meaning kitchen in Italian), presents Italian fare with a Scottish twist, elevating classic dishes to a whole new level.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: Learn more about tis elegant luxury hotel at Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh
Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa
The Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa takes the spa part of its name very seriously. Although the Sheraton name is known for quality and luxury, what makes this one of the best places to stay in Edinburgh is the One Spa.
Perfect for one of those weekend Edinburgh breaks or week-long spa retreats, the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa has all you need to relax and rejuvenate. Start with a pool experience like no other in the rooftop hydropool, complete with mineral-rich water. Dip into the indoor-outdoor warm water and let the body jets help improve your circulation. Relieve tension with floor jets that massage your feet, swan neck showers that relax your neck and shoulders, while jets in the airbeds provide the overall experience.
Once your muscles are a little more relaxed, get into the Thermal Suite, which offers an array of experiences to suit your needs. Next, try the Dry Salt Room with a Himalayan Rock Salt wall and colour therapy to help promote improved breathing, healthier skin, sounder sleep, better fitness and endurance, as well as overall wellness.
Heat rooms, saunas, and an ice fountain all combine to make visiting the spa at the Sheraton Grand Hotel a one-of-a-kind experience.
Reviews, Rates, & Reservations: Learn more and book your visit at Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa
Contributor Occhiuzzi is a staff writer at Dockside Publishing and founder of Muskoka Unlimited.