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, gorgeous boutiques 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, Scotland (in no particular order)…
1. Tigerlily – a hip, trendy and very Instagrammable urban retreat said to be the most talked about hotel 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. 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 serves 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. Virgin Hotels Edinburgh – a new and already popular upscale design hotel located in the historic old town near Edinburgh Castle
This hip, upscale hotel is located in a charming historical building just off the Royal Mile and may well become your place to stay in Edinburgh. Within easy reach of Old and New Towns, the National Museum of Scotland, and Edinburgh Castle, the hotel blends in well with its historic neighbourhood.
Timeless elegance is combined with contemporary comfort, with a breathtaking entranceway glass-domed rotunda, wood-panelled library and the cosy Commons Club bar with exposed stone walls and low archways.
The rooms at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh have high ceilings, flowing drapes and comfortable beds and are enlivened with quirky and Scottish-themed artwork. Some have bay windows and castle views.
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.
- To book, check prices or availability for Virgin Hotels Edinburgh
3. Kimpton Charlotte Square – a gorgeous, Instaworthy and romantic upscale boutique hotel set in a refined Georgian building
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.
With fabulous service, superb surroundings and a unique ambience unlike anywhere else, Kempton is Edinburgh for those with great taste.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kimpton – Charlotte Square
4. Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge – a cool, funky and trendy eco-friendly hotel to stay in Edinburgh perfect for partying Millenials and Gen Zs
The eco-friendly LEED Gold status building has the recognizable Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge combination of bright, funky decor and convenience, and a great location in the Stockbridge district.
The Moxy is within walking distance of Edinburgh Castle, and near Princes Street, the Royal Mile, and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
The 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 is the rooftop bar with cocktails, craft beer, outdoor terrace seating and amazing views of the Castle.
For a comfortable stay, there’s also a laundry room, fitness centre, and a continental or à la carte breakfast served in the lobby.
- To book, check prices or availability for Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge
5. The Glasshouse – Gothic charm combined with chic modern decor in a great central location
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 The 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
6. Eden Locke – a hip, trendy and stylish all-suite hotel located in a central location in a Georgian townhouse
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.
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
7. Malmaison Edinburgh City – a striking and ultra-chic boutique hotel that offers colourful and glamorous decor
Leith is known as the trendiest district and the Malmaison Edinburgh City city fits right into the spirit with cheerful and eclectic mod decor.
Close to the waterfront and its shops, pubs and restaurants, and just 15 minutes from the Royal Mile, the hotel is a great base for exploring Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street and Holyrood Palace.
Style and comfort mingle in the well-designed rooms with quirky wallpaper and artwork and comfortable beds, and you can ask for a room with harbour views.
A delicious breakfast is served every morning and you can get drinks and the cocktail bar with a waterfront terrace and lunch and dinner with classic and French flavours at the Chez Mal Brasserie.
- To book, check prices or availability for Malmaison Edinburgh City
8. YOTEL Edinburgh – a cool, fun and modern design hotel perfect for sociable Millennials and Gen Zs
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, 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
9. No.11 Boutique Hotel – a discreet new upscale boutique hotel with stunning decor set in the heart of Edinburgh
This unique boutique hotel is situated in a classic Georgian townhouse close to the city centre, walking distance to 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, quirky wallpaper and touches of colour. There’s a private garden for guests to enjoy, and also wellness and beauty therapy treatments.
A full-cooked breakfast is served every morning, with haggis and smoked bacon as well as 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.
- To book, check prices or availability for No.11 Boutique Hotel
10. Ocean Mist Leith – a striking and very unique boat hotel that offers a distinctive and unforgettable experience
One of the most unique and stylish hotels in Edinburgh is actually a luxury yacht moored permanently on the Water Of Leith Shore, with panoramic views from the Castle to the Victoria Swing Bridge.
The 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 17 cabins are individually designed with 1920s glamour and contemporary comfort. A complimentary breakfast and kind and cheerful staff will make your stay even more memorable.
The Castle View Bar 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.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ocean Mist Leith
11. The Witchery – a unique and historic-themed upscale boutique hotel said to be one of the most atmospheric spots in the city
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
12. Angels Share Hotel – a small and intimate Edinburgh hotel with a fun, 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
13. 21212 – serene and chic guest rooms housed in a Georgian townhouse
Set in the grandly titled London Road Gardens off Royal Terrace, 21212 Edinburgh is as impressive as the location suggests. 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.
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
14. 24 Royal Terrace Hotel – a unique, creative and charming Edinburgh boutique filled with original artwork and overlooks Royal Terrace Gardens
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. 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 they 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
15. 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 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.
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
16. Dakota Hotel – a sleek, sexy and ultra-chic design hotel located in South Queensferry
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 Edinburgh 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
17. Market Street Hotel – a hip retreat which was once voted Edinburgh’s most romantic hotel
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 on 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
18. The Rutland Hotel – a cool, fun and creative upscale beauty with a colourful quirky design
A bright, contemporary West End hotel complete with a popular steak restaurant and its very own gin distillery. The 4-star exceptionally rated The 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 which serves up lots and lots of Scottish fayre.
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
19. Hotel du Vin – a popular upscale gem housed in a historic building just a short walk from the historic Royal Mile
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.
Bedrooms 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
20. The Bonham – an art-filled upscale boutique hotel located in a quiet location in the leafy West End of Edinburgh
A majestic building in Edinburgh’s quiet west end, The Bonham Edinburgh 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 gives 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
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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.
3 thoughts on “Top 20 Cool and Unusual Hotels in Edinburgh 2023”
great stuff, keep up the awesome work.
Wonderful looking hotels in a wonderful city!
Wow all these hotels look wonderful! Edinburgh is such a lovely city!