Photo courtesy Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian


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Let’s face it, we all deserve a little extreme luxury now and then, right? Whether you’re an international jet setter or, like me, simply enjoy splurging every now and then, it feels good to be treated like royalty whenever the opportunity presents itself. And frankly, no one does “royalty” quite like the Scots.

While there are plenty of fantastic Edinburgh hotels that fit the bill, those who really want to indulge themselves know it’s the city’s sumptuous 5-star hotels that offer the most memorable luxury experiences.

From internationally known brand names to great independent hotels in Edinburgh that you may (as yet) be unfamiliar with, these properties not only offer exquisite accommodations, but they’ve also made a name for the quality of their food and drink experiences, their first-rate spa services, and countless other world-class amenities.

Intrigued? Read through our guide to the best 5-star hotels in Edinburgh hotels… and get packing.


The Best 5-Star Hotels in Edinburgh, Scotland


The Balmoral
The Balmoral Hotel room
The Balmoral offers some of the classiest accommodations in Edinburgh (Photo courtesy The Balmoral)

Everyone has their own idea of just what the best 5-star hotels in Edinburgh should offer, and for me, the opulent Balmoral hotel ticks all the right boxes. Something of a local legend for its landmark century-old clock tower and impressive façade, this fixture on Princes Street oozes class.

From the customized tartans to the carefully selected classic Scottish art presented in its finely appointed public spaces, as well as its classy rooms and suites, The Balmoral is definitely the epitome of a fancy place to stay in Edinburgh. The hotel’s food and drink experiences are superlative, with highlights including over 500 single malt whiskies waiting to be sampled at the aptly named SCOTCH, its must-visit whisky bar (complete with kilted serving staff, of course).


The Balmoral hotel lobby at one of the best 5-star hotels in Edinburgh
The Balmoral’s lobby simply exudes opulence (Photo courtesy The Balmoral)


In need of a spot of tea? The award-winning Balmoral high tea experience is renowned and is widely regarded as one of the best afternoon teas in Edinburgh. In need of soothing poetry? The Balmoral’s Poet-in-Residence (Bàrd air mhuinntireas) is none other than, Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, one of Scotland’s top Gaelic poets. Guests of the hotel can book one of several experiences with Marcas including an initial consultation and the finished product, a personalized poem written in the historic tongue. If you can, splurge on the gold package: an original poem and reading performed by Marcas at an event or special occasion.

What about a photographic memento of your Edinburgh sojourn? The Balmoral Hotel collaborates with influencer / photographer Ian G Black to provide their guests with a fascinating Instagram Walking Tour. Yes, memories are made of this… 

LuxuryUK Recommends: Learn more about what this stunning Edinburgh hotel has to offer, including the latest rates and to make reservations, at The Balmoral.


Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh-room with a view of the city
Edinburgh’s Waldorf Astoria is a favorite of Hollywood A-listers Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian)

As popular among Royals as it is with Hollywood elites, the Waldorf Astoria brand needs little introduction. And the Waldorf Edinburgh – The Caledonian certainly lives up to the name and the high luxury standards. Deservedly ranked one of the best places to stay in Edinburgh, this historic 121-year-old shouts luxury at every turn.

It’s also perfectly located only minutes away from the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Old Town and offers amazing views of Edinburgh Castle from its best rooms and suites. The Edinburgh Waldorf is only a few steps away from Princes Street Gardens and other top attractions, making it easy to get in plenty of sightseeing.

Style and sophistication are very much on the menu 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. Get a facial, a massage, a scrub, and go for a sauna or a dip in the pool.

LuxuryUK Recommends: See accommodations, menus, and photos of the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, as well as the latest rates.


The Glasshouse Hotel
The Glasshouse is a leading Luxury edinburgh hotel set in an historic building exterior shown here copy
The Glasshouse is one of the most unique luxury hotels in Edinburgh (Photo courtesy The Glasshouse Hotel)

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. It’s certainly one of the most unique.

With magnificent views of the city centre, The Glasshouse provides guests with welcoming service, a contemporary and cozy interior, and the opportunity to enjoy the hotel’s two-acre rooftop garden. A recent refurbishment of the reception area gives the space an interesting contrast between modern lines and brilliant lighting opposite the historically gothic façade and is 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 the (real) 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.

LuxuryUK Recommends: Learn more or book your stay at the Glasshouse Edinburgh at The Glasshouse.


The Bonham Hotel
The Bonham Hotel with luxury rooms and luggae in one of the best boutique hotels in Edinburgh
The Bonham’s historic rooms and suites are centrally located (Photo courtesy The Bongam Hotel)

Boasting a rich history with buildings that were constructed in 1872 as townhouses for upper-class families and their servants, The Bonham Hotel is easily among the best 5-star hotels in Edinburgh, if not the UK.

Still featuring the amazing Drumsheugh Gardens, The Bonham was once the site of a private medical practice where hundreds of babies – affectionately known as ‘Bonham Babies’ – were delivered from 1939 through 1951. In 1951, the Private Clinic was sold to the University of Edinburgh and the building became the Muir Hall of Residence for students who came from outside of the city.

The rest, as they say, is history, and these days some of the best rooms offer guests, not babies, magnificent views of New Town towards the Firth of Forth. Welcoming lounges and a fashionable restaurant and bar highlight the interiors of the original houses. The restaurant, No. 35 at The Bonham, has a diverse menu with European-inspired dishes boosted by a Scottish twist using local suppliers and ingredients.

LuxuryUK Recommends: History fanatics are sure to call the Bonham Hotel the best hotel in Edinburgh. To book your trip or learn more, head to The Bonham Hotel.


The Witchery by the Castle
The Witchery by the Castle moody room
The Witchery is a must-stay, must-dine luxury experience (Photo courtesy The Witchery by the Castle)

What would luxury be without fantastic meals? Well, it wouldn’t really be luxury, would it? The Witchery by the Castle knows this better than most Edinburgh hotels as its world-famous restaurant takes things up a notch.

Located among a collection of historic buildings near 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 5-star 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.

LuxuryUK Recommends: For the latest rates and to make reservations at one of our favorite 5-star hotels in Edinburgh, Scotland, visit The Witchery by the Castle.


Prestonfield House
The Benjamin Franklin Suite at Prestonfield House
Check into the elegant Benjamin Franklin Suite at Prestonfield House (Photo courtesy Prestonfield House)

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 a 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. Talk about opulence.

LuxuryUK Recommends: Explore the other rooms and features of this elegant country house hotel in Edinburgh at Prestonfield House.


Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa
Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa-room at one of the best 5-star hotels in Edinburgh
Expect an extravagant stay at the Edinburgh Sheraton (Photo courtesy Sheraton Grand Hotel & 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 Edinburgh weekend 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 hydro pool, 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, and 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.

LuxuryUK Recommends: Learn more and book your visit at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa. 


Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh
Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh
The Radisson boasts a superb location in the heart of the Royal Mile (Photo courtesy Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh)

Its location in Old Town Edinburgh makes the Radisson Collection Hotel on the Royal Mile a superb location for luxury sightseeing. Just steps away from attractions like Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden, and much more, this 5-star property is a must-stay.

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.

And 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 fine Italian fare with a Scottish twist, elevating classic dishes to a whole new level.

LuxuryUK Recommends: Learn more about this elegant luxury hotel in Edinburgh, including the latest rates and to book a room, visit Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh.




Written by Bryan Dearsley, Editor of LuxuryUK and Co-Founder of Riley Luxury, and Contributor Chris Occhiuzzi.


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