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.
Edinburgh 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 and art and music events galore. To help celebrate Edinburgh’s love for the offbeat and the unique…as well as impeccable design, here are the best cool and unusual places to stay in Edinburgh (in no particular order)…
1. Tigerlily – a hip, trendy and very Instagrammable urban retreat
Billed as Edinburgh’s most “talked about boutique hotel,” the 4-star highly rated Tigerlily Hotel is unique in almost every single way. Imaginative and totally eclectic, boring hotel decor gives way to a delight for the senses in this George Street hotel, close to all of the city’s main attractions.
Bedrooms at this cool and trendy Edinburgh hotel are mismatched but decadent, offering superior comfort teamed with kitsch accessories and bold statement pieces, while the bathrooms are little havens of peace and tranquillity.
The Tigerlily restaurant seasonal delicacies, whilst the in-house bar has a tempting After Dark cocktail menu. 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.
- To book, check prices or availability for Tigerlily Hotel
2. Eden Locke – chic and stylish apartments in a central location
Uber-hip and perfectly presented, the 4-star exceptionally rated Eden Locke is a design-led aparthotel situated at the heart of George Street. Shoreditch style design can be found throughout the traditional Georgian building, with carefully placed whimsical touches that add interest and will make you smile.
The bedrooms are studio apartments with padded leather headboards, retro telephones and oversized clocks, while bathrooms may be small but they do offer huge walk-in showers.
The communal space at the hip Edinburgh 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.
- To book, check prices or availability for Eden Locke Edinburgh
3. YOTEL Edinburgh – a cool and modern design hotel perfect for millennials and Gen Zs
With its minimalist design cabins, relaxed dining, and unique ambiance, the Yotel Edinburgh brings modern chic to Scotland’s capital. Situated on the famous Queen Street it sits at the heart of the city, it is the perfect base for exploring the very best of Edinburgh, while offering its own unique vibe, a minimalist haven within a historic city of grand architecture.
Featuring meeting spaces perfect for your next event alongside Komyuniti, the restaurant, and bar that offers impressive dining and a laid-back bar area that take you away from the bustle of the city outside. Cabins are bright and bold, with a fascinating blend of luxury and minimal style, creating a unique experience within this unique city.
- To book, check prices or availability for Yotel Edinburgh
4. Kimpton Charlotte Square – a gorgeous upscale boutique hotel
With the columns rising in front of its stone façade, Kimpton Charlotte Square is a picture-perfect upscale boutique Edinburgh Hotel, but behind the traditional Georgian façade is a hotel full of surprises. A range of suites and rooms blend modern style and artisan construction, creating luxurious spaces that are a pleasure to spend time in.
However, it is the eclectic décor and dining experiences that really stand out, each room creating a treat for the eyes, whether that’s the picture wall that celebrates the history of the area or the tapestries hung on walls around the diner-style seating for informal dining, there is always something new to discover.
Fabulous service and superb surroundings, with a unique ambiance unlike anywhere else, Kempton is Edinburgh for those who love a taste of adventure.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kimpton – Charlotte Square
5. The Witchery – a stylishly unique historic themed boutique hotel
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 Edinburgh abode offers beautiful baroque surroundings and first-class accommodation.
Offering just nine exclusive and indulgent suites, everyone is as opulent and glamorous as the next with four-poster beds, roll-top baths for two, and plenty of quirky charm.
The Witchery Dining has a first-class reputation for offering an exceptional dining experience, while the Secret Garden restaurant is undoubtedly one of the prettiest restaurants in the world. Unlike anywhere you will have stayed before, the Witchery boutique hotel is one of the finest gems you will find anywhere in Edinburgh.
- To book, check prices or availability for Witchery Hotel
6. 21212 – chic guest rooms housed in a Georgian townhouse
Set in the grandly titled London Road Gardens off Royal Terrace, 21212 hotel is as impressive as the location suggests. Relaxed glamor is the theme, using the buildings high ceilings and tall windows to craft an elegant, retro look that blends classic pieces with modern thinking.
Two private dining rooms and a Michelin-starred chef mean dining is a serious business here, and you will not be disappointed with a fusion menu that uses local produce to stunning effect.
Rooms are well equipped with luscious, soft carpets and beautiful furniture. Its modern Scotland set against a traditional backdrop, and is something to experience and enjoy.
- To book, check prices or availability for 21212 Edinburgh
7. The Glasshouse – Gothic charm combined with chic modern decor
A funky hotel hidden behind a Gothic exterior, chock full of retro touches and located on the East end of Princes Street. 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 Glasshouse Hotel has a feel of the 1970s about it but executed in a thoroughly modern way.
Bedrooms at the retro-cool Edinburgh hotel are bright and airy with feature floor-to-ceiling windows, sleek furnishings, and sumptuously soft beds.
Some of the bedrooms even have their own balconies leading out onto the rooftop garden. Guests can dine in the Snug, have drinks on the patio or check out the Henderson Gallery, a space that is dedicated to the kind of Scottish art and creativity that so befits the ethos of the Glasshouse.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Glasshouse Hotel
8. 24 Royal Terrace Hotel – a unique and charming Edinburgh boutique
The exceptionally rated 24 Royal Terrace Hotel hotel that is home to a carefully curated collection of art, cool bedrooms, and a smart bar, centrally located in the city’s leafy Royal Terrace. Interesting interiors feature a black and white chessboard floor leading to a red carpet staircase, as well as boldly coloured walls almost completely covered with contemporary and classic works of art.
Bedrooms at this beautiful Edinburgh 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 broadband and Netflix accounts if you fancy a night in.
The ground floor ‘rt’ bar is small but stylish and offers cold tapas and plenty of local beers, while the hotel garden is the perfect spot to enjoy long summer evenings in Edinburgh.
- To book, check prices or availability for 24 Royal Terrace Hotel
9. Angels Share Hotel – a small Edinburgh hotel with a buzzing atmosphere
Celebrating the very best of the city’s vibrant creativity, 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 Edinburgh accommodation is individually themed around Scottish cultural icons, as well as being swathed in gloriously Scottish textiles and high thread count sheets and contemporary touches.
The hotel also offers a stylish restaurant with high-back leather booths, that serves locally sourced produce and of course, plenty of Scottish delicacies for all to enjoy. There is also a super cool cocktail bar to serve you something cool while you listen to the DJ or watch a live band.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Angels Share
10. 94DR – a stylishly quirky Edinburgh boutique hotel that prides itself on serving seasonal local cuisine
This is a gorgeous boutique guesthouse just outside the city centre, is 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 ambiance 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.
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. Just fabulous!
- To book, check prices or availability for 94DR Hotel Edinburgh
11. Dunstane House – a sophisticated boutique housed in a Victorian villa
The 5-star exceptionally rated Dunstane Hotel is a beautiful unique boutique hotel in Edinburgh housed in a Victorian villa just 10 minutes outside of the main attractions in the Murrayfield area of the city. With design-led features and an upscale feel, this small hotel easily rivals many of its larger, more central counterparts.
Deep coloured wallpaper and tasteful tweeds combine to give every bedroom an individual look that is made even more impressive by the addition of feature bathtubs, oversized sofas, and stunning four-poster beds.
The hotel bar is classy and wouldn’t look out of place in a large country hotel and the friendly staff are on hand to help you find the perfect “wee dram” during your stay. Guests can also enjoy small plates during the day, or step outside to explore restaurants in the surrounding area.
- To book, check prices or availability for Dunstane Hotel Edinburgh
12. Dakota Hotel – a sleek and chic design hotel
A towering black beast of a building located just south of the Fourth Bridge may seem an unlikely place to find an uber-chic Edinburgh hotel, but the 4-star exceptionally rated Dakota Hotel is luxurious and sleek, with a truly intimate feel you wouldn’t expect to find in a hotel of its size.
Bare brick walls are softened with dark coloured walls, plush textiles, and overstuffed sofas, while a vintage aviation theme runs throughout the communal spaces.
Bedrooms are sparse but comfortable with high-quality bedding, fluffy pillows, and drencher showers in the en-suite bathrooms. The hotel restaurant is relaxed and affordable with a focus on seafood, while the lobby has plenty of cosy corners to enjoy a pre-dinner drink or two.
- To book, check prices or availability for Dakota Hotel Edinburgh
This cool Edinburgh hotel oozes a Scottish Baronial style with locally made fabrics, natural materials such as white oak, and custom-made furniture.
You will also find wooden shutters, as found in the original Old Townhouses. The bathrooms at the Market Street Hotel are finished in marble with stone basins and rainfall showers, plus amenities by Votary – a vegan brand. Each room also has a flat-screen TV with Chromecast and Apple TV, plus a light breakfast bag is provided. However, you can also choose to have breakfast in the rooftop Nor’ Loft and enjoy the panoramic views!
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 meaning it’s ideal to get to by train.
- To book, check prices or availability for Market Street Hotel
14. Grassmarket Hotel – a cool hotel located at the foot of Edinburgh Castle perfect for visiting millennials and Gen Zs
A funky and trendy hotel that is located at the foot of Edinburgh Castle, right in the heart of the cities vibrant nightlife. This city centre crash pad offers simple but clever accommodation, making it the perfect place for weary revellers to lay their heads.
Rooms at the highly-rated Grassmarket Hotel are designed to amuse with comic book wallpaper and magnetic wall maps of the city, rain showers, and iPod docks with speakers in both the bedroom and bathroom.
Guests at this fun and funky Edinburgh hotel who fancy a bite to eat can take advantage of the connecting door leading to Biddy Mulligan’s bar serving hearty breakfasts and big Scottish pies, or you can step outside to enjoy any one of the many bars and restaurants that surround you.
- To book, check prices or availability for Grassmarket Hotel
15. The Rutland Hotel – a cool and creative upscale beauty
A bright, contemporary West End hotel complete with a popular steak restaurant and its very own gin distillery. The 4-star exceptionally rated Rutland Hotel offers an unassuming style 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.
The cool and unique Edinburgh hotel is also home to the Huxley Bar serving fine burgers and filling food, as well as the Kyloe Restaurant that serves up lots and lots of Scottish 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.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Rutland Hotel
16. Hotel du Vin – an upscale gem housed in a historic building
A classy hotel with a historical feel, the 4-star highly rated Hotel du Vin 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.
Bedrooms have feature walls and touches of tartan, while the bathrooms are truly spectacular with many offering double-ended bathtubs and industrial style walk-in showers.
The trendsetting Edinburgh hotel restaurant fully embraces its Bistro name tag and offers seasonable cuisine and of course, an impressive wine list. The cosy bar is great for a pre-dinner drink, and the courtyard is the perfect spot to relax in the Scottish sunshine.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel du Vin Edinburgh
17. Radisson Collection Hotel – a stunning upscale contemporary hotel offering fabulous views
A stylish hotel with a truly Scottish identity situated on the Royal Mile between George IV Bridge and Victoria Street. With Italian design touches throughout, and doormen wearing locally made kilts, the 5-star exceptionally rated Radisson Collection Hotel is a stunning blend of traditional heritage and European flair.
The bedrooms at this chic and modern Edinburgh accommodation are calm and comforting with cool shades of white and grey, with an occasional pop of tweed to add interest and texture.
The lobby and communal areas are beautifully designed and packed full of leather and industrial lighting juxtaposed by bold velvets and bright playful floral designs. The La Cucina restaurant serves well-executed Italian dishes and the Epicurean Bar gin-soaked afternoon teas.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Radisson Collection Hotel
18. The Bonham – an upscale boutique hotel in Edinburgh
A majestic building in Edinburgh’s quiet west end, The Bonham Hotel is ideally placed for all the main attractions the city has to offer, and the historic, luxurious atmosphere or a genuine Edinburgh legend.
A range of formal dining options give you a choice of cuisine, while you can enjoy afternoon tea in the traditional way in a club-style environment for a relaxed, enjoyable time.
Rooms vary from the beautiful Townhouse to the opulent suites, all with period features and bespoke furniture. If you want the epitome of traditional style, The Bonham is the ideal choice.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Bonham Edinburgh
19. The Village Club Hotel – a trendy and modern spa hotel
Located just outside of the city centre itself, but close to the Botanic Gardens, the 4-star highly rated Village Club Hotel offers practical and well-thought-out accommodation complete with its own gym, spa, and pub. Bedrooms are cosy and comfortable with premium bedding, quirky retro touches, and plenty of useful storage spaces.
The sassy and modern Edinburgh hotel has its own pub that services reasonabley priced food and drinks, or you can dine in at the Village Grill. The gym facilities are free for guests and you also have access to a decent spa offering a variety of treatments and packages. Unlike some of the more central city hotels, the Village Club also has plenty of free parking on site.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Village Club Hotel
20. 23 Mayfield – a historic boutique hotel in Edinburgh
A boutique guest house that takes you back to the majesty and splendor of the Victorian Era. Built in 1868, with each of the eight rooms at 23 Mayfield Edinburgh feature bespoke mahogany furniture and traditional décor for an authentic experience.
The guesthouse itself is a glorious Victorian property with easy access to many of Edinburgh’s attractions, including Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle. With a family room that includes a games console for family fun, a chessboard, and Connect 4, you can enjoy a relaxing time at the end of the day and enjoy the hospitality of a family-run establishment.
- To book, check prices or availability for 23 Mayfield Edinburgh
21. Ibis Styles – a cool design chain hotel
A chain hotel that will surprise you with funky bedrooms and retro touches housed in a Victorian building less than a mile away from the Castle and city centre. Bedrooms at the exceptionally rated Ibis Styles Edinburgh are fun and beautifully mismatched, with some offering additional sofa beds for extra guests or balconies with far-reaching views out across the city.
There is also a casual restaurant at this funky Edinburgh hotel serving cooked food all day long and a relaxed and friendly cocktail lounge and bar for those looking to wet their whistle before heading out to explore the city’s nightlife.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ibis Styles Edinburgh
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.