Royal Mile

Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Edinburgh 2021

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 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. Perched on a series of rocky crags and overlooked by the fairytale Edinburgh Castle its superb collection of medieval architecture, neoclassical buildings and historic monuments are juxtaposed with an equally impressive collection of boutique stores and cosmopolitan bars and Michelin starred restaurants.

Also, of course, Edinburgh is 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)…

Tigerlily – a hip and trendy 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.

  • Prices from £120 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Tigerlily Hotel

Hotels and Self-Catered Vacation Rentals in Tigerlily

Eden Locke – 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.

Hotels and Self-Catered Vacation Rentals in Eden Locke

The Witchery – a truly unique upscale gem

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 is one of the finest gems you will find anywhere in Edinburgh.

  • Prices from £250 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Witchery Hotel

Hotels and Self-Catered Vacation Rentals in The Witchery

The Glasshouse – Gothic charm with a chic modern twist

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.

Hotels and Self-Catered Vacation Rentals in The Glasshouse

24 Royal Terrace Hotel – a chic 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.

Angels Share Hotel – a small 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.

Dunstane House – a sophisticated boutique housed in a Victorian villa

The 4-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.

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.

Market Street Hotel – once voted Edinburgh’s most romantic cool hotel Edinburgh hotel

design 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.

Grassmarket Hotel – a funky hotel located at the foot of Edinburgh Castle

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.

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.

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.

Radisson Collection Hotel – a stunning upscale contemporary hotel

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.

94DR – a stylishly quirky Edinburgh boutique

A boutique guesthouse just outside the city centre, offering stylish accommodation just five minutes’ walk from Holyrood Park and the foot of Arthur’s Seat. Muted interiors are brought to life with the addition of modern Scottish artwork, creating a sophisticated but relaxed ambiance throughout.

Bedrooms at the 5-star exceptionally rated 94DR Hotel Edinburgh offer a contemporary design theme mixed with plenty of period features, whilst the bathrooms have steaming hot power showers and roll-top baths. Breakfast is included in your stay and Paul, the owner, will prepare you a gourmet breakfast to set you up for the day.

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 reasonable 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.

Ibis Styles – a chain hotel with a difference

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.

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Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. 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 over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.


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