The best hotels in Edinburgh Old Town, from smart aparthotels to atmospheric boutique boltholes

The best hotels in Edinburgh Old Town, from smart aparthotels to atmospheric boutique boltholes

These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest travel guidance before making your journey. Our writer visited these hotels pre-pandemic.

There’s a lot to be said for staying right in the heart of a city centre – both for atmosphere and convenience – and few places have more atmosphere than the Old Town of Edinburgh. Whether you’re chasing ghosts of the past, the best restaurants, or the hottest bars and clubs in town, everything is close at hand along with a great choice of accommodation – whether its design-led chic, outrageously romantic, family-friendly, or a witty fun palace in nightlife-central. Here’s our pick of the best hotels in Edinburgh Old Town, including the top places to stay near the castle, Grassmarket, Princes Street, Royal Mile and festival venues.

Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland

8
Telegraph expert rating

An occasional whisper of Missoni branding still lingers here, but this stylish hotel has developed its own uniquely modern Scottish identity thanks to local designers and an enviably view-catching Old Town Location. For a hotel with 136 rooms it feels nicely personal – the intention here is for guests to linger and enjoy the sexy, relaxed vibe firmly established in the candlelit lobby. It is the only five-star hotel on the Royal Mile, located between the George IV Bridge and the photogenic charms of Victoria Street, and just about everything you might want to see or do is close at hand.


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From


£
118

per night

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The Witchery by the Castle

Edinburgh, Scotland

9
Telegraph expert rating

This extraordinary collection of fantasy suites near Edinburgh Castle is the ultimate romantic hideaway: sumptuous, indulgent, and slightly (delightfully) mad. Expect four-poster beds and generous breakfast hampers. Rooms are either above the famously atmospheric Witchery Restaurant, close to the castle gates, or a few steps away across the Royal Mile, secreted in Jollie’s Close. You cannot stay any closer to the heart of the city. It’s a restaurant with rooms, so there’s no residents’ lounge or bar – these suites are intimate, secret dens of high-flown delight. A bottle of Champagne on ice awaits your arrival.


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From


£
450

per night

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Hotel Du Vin & Bistro Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland

8
Telegraph expert rating

The Hotel du Vin group is known for its imaginative use of historically interesting buildings and this branch in the Old Town – close to the old Royal Infirmary and well-placed for exploring – is no exception. It’s quietly off-centre on the south side but still close to the Royal Mile and a brisk 15-minute walk from Princes Street; handy for all the Old Town attractions, the castle and the University. Interiors carefully mix original features with a sleek modernity: the wine theme is carried in artworks, there’s lots of dark wood and soothing wall shades and original brick has been sporadically preserved and exposed inside, to winning effect.


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From


£
79

per night

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The Inn on the Mile

Edinburgh, Scotland

8
Telegraph expert rating

This former Royal Mile bank – a scaled-down layer cake of classical stone with colonnade and pediment – has been successfully converted into a lively pub with unexpectedly serene hotel rooms above. There are nine bright, crisply contemporary bedrooms in high-ceilinged rooms and safely predictable instant pub food in the bar. It’s located on the corner of the Bridges and the Royal Mile, a great location for sight-seeing if you want to be in the thick of things – during the Festival it’s 24-hour mayhem and never what you would call peaceful. But the tables outside are a great place for people-watching and happily, the bedrooms have good double-glazing.


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From


£
102

per night

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The Grassmarket Hotel

Edinburgh, Scotland

7
Telegraph expert rating

Situated at the foot of Edinburgh Castle, just off the Royal Mile, there isn’t a more central location or a livelier one. Surrounded by the shops, bars, restaurants and clubs of the Grassmarket (the throbbing heart of Edinburgh nightlife), Cowgate and Old Town, it’s all about imaginative but comfortable fun where you flop. Think bright, bold graphics and a clean design. In rooms you’ll find Dandy comic book wallpaper and magnetic wall maps of the city to plan your sightseeing, as well as quirky local touches too, like Tunnocks teacakes. There’s an adjoining bar, and you can order meals to your room.


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From


£
75

per night

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Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Edinburgh, Scotland

7
Telegraph expert rating

The Grassmarket sibling to the nearby Apex Edinburgh City hotel has a fantastic location, right in the thick of things. It’s a five-minute walk to the castle at the top of the Royal Mile, or Greyfriar’s Kirk and the National Museum, and you can be at the Usher Hall in 10 minutes. There’s no shortage of pubs and cafés, as well as the best (and most expensive) cashmere shops in the city. It has a gym, sauna, swimming pool; slightly better views; and a clean, contemporary look. Expect lots of bold colours, black tiles and stripy carpets, but it’s pleasingly airy too, with a soothing green courtyard and floor-to-ceiling windows in the restaurant overlooking the Grassmarket.


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From


£
79

per night

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The Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland

8
Telegraph expert rating

If you’re looking for a slightly (but not alarmingly) cooler mid-range brand this could be the right hotel for you, particularly if you’re seeking a Royal Mile location stay with the family. It’s surrounded by bars, cafés and restaurants of every ilk (and enough shortbread available to pave the Royal Mile), plus almost every major tourist attraction in the city is within walking distance. Inside it’s contemporary all the way with a small spa, gym, pool and crowd-pleasing restaurant. There’s a useful three-hour laundry service and – luxury of luxuries – car parking, too.


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£
108

per night

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Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile

Edinburgh, Scotland

8
Telegraph expert rating

A winning alternative to budget hotels. You get a fitness room, continental breakfast and appealingly spacious reception/lounge area with your snappy self-catering mini-apartment, in an up-and-coming Old Town location. You’re sandwiched neatly between the Canongate end of the Royal Mile and the modern New Waverley development; it’s a five-minute walk from Waverley Station, with the Palace of Holyrood House and the Scottish Parliament, St Giles Cathedral and the National Museum of Scotland all a 10-minute walk away. There’s a great range of places to eat and drink nearby too, as well as a daily food and weekly flea markets in the public square right behind the building.


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From


£
49

per night

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Market Street Hotel

Edinburgh, Scotland

9
Telegraph expert rating

This design-led hotel brings both style and substance to a great city-centre location (you only have to cross the street from Waverley station to reach it). It’s sleek, it’s sensuously simple, it’s downright sexy. No cookie-cutter thinking here: modern design complements the local vernacular, from the sandstone exterior to the sliding oak shutters. And it isn’t design sacrificing function – everything works as well as it looks. The only drawback? The temptation to sip Champagne all day drinking in the Nor’loft’s views until it’s time to retreat to the zen-like sanctuary of your slickly stylish bedroom.


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From


£
121

per night

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Contributions by Rachel Cranshaw