Guide to Edinburgh Castle Hotels
Which is the Best Accommodation Close to Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is the most famous landmark in the city so it is not surprising that many visitors to the city choose to stay in hotels or serviced apartments close to the castle itself. Dramatically perched on the Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle dominates the Edinburgh skyline and is breathtaking both by day and by night.
So which hotels which are within easy walking distance of Edinburgh Castle and which ones offer the best views, either from the public areas or the guest rooms themselves? Remember that not all of the hotel's guest rooms will offer a view of the castle and you are likely to have to
pay more for a castle view room -- but most guests agree that this is worth the extra.
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Which hotel accommodation has the best view of the Castle? Read on.
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Witchery by the Castle
Witchery by the Castle - set right on the Royal Mile is a famous restaurant offering what has to be the ultimate in quirky and unique accommodation. It offers luxury bed and breakfast accommodation nearest to Edinburgh Castle and for many it is synonymous with the phrase Edinburgh Castle Hotel (even though it's actually a B&B). There are just seven suites with names such as the Library, the Vestry and the Inner Sanctum. Described by Conde Nast Traveller as an operatic fantasy, each of these gothic inspired suites are completely unique and some feature red velvet drapes, tapestries, four poster beds and the obligatory hidden nooks and crannies.
The 5-star Hilton Caledonian, part of the Hilton group of hotels, enjoys a prime location at 4 Princes Street. As one of the original railway hotels, it has been tastefully and luxuriously renovated and offers traditional yet elegant accommodation. It is about a 12-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle, but the views from some of the public rooms and guest rooms are incredible.
You will pay more for one of the Deluxe Plus rooms which offer the best views of the castle and the city - if this is out of your price range maybe opt for a meal or afternoon tea at the elegant Pompadour restaurant or a snack at the Castle Suite lounge. If your budget can stretch to a stay at the Hilton, though, you will enjoy some amazing views of Edinburgh Castle.
The 5-star Sheraton Hotel is a 15-minute walk to the castle and although not as central as some of the other hotels, it certainly has some of the best views. Many of the rooms enjoy views over Edinburgh Castle and they state on their booking site which are castle rooms - they are a little more expensive but reasonable. Alternatively, the informal Terrace restaurant overlooks the castle - or relax in the rooftop Hydropool which offers stunning views of the city. If you want a combination of incredible views and state-of-the-art leisure facilities, this might be a good option.
The 4-star boutique Rutland Hotel is located on Rutland Street, a 15-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle. This renovated Georgian townhouse has won many awards and offers stylish and contemporary guest-rooms, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, two of them with fantastic views over the castle. These are most expensive than other rooms but the supplement is reasonable.
As well as enjoying an excellent central location, the service comes with a smile and the hotel boasts two trendy bars, Lipgloss and the One Below, the first interactive iBar in the U.K, where guests can listen to their own iPod music in vaulted booths. With numerous extra touches and home comforts on offer at the Rutland, it may well be worth splashing out the extra money for a room with a view.
The 5-star Scotsman Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel which is situated on North Bridge, an 11-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle. Some of the premium rooms do offer spectacular views of the castle, such as Publisher and Director Suites and the Penthouse Suite. The Penthouse is set over two floors and boasts a private dining area, a library, a lounge and a study. The bathroom, with roll-top bath, gives out onto stunning views of the castle and there is also a terrace and barbecue area. As you can imagine, this luxury does not come cheap, but if you are looking for a romantic suite for the weekend it may be one to consider.
The trendy 5-star Missoni Hotel is located right on the Royal Mile, so it is perfect for both Edinburgh Castle and the other attractions of Edinburgh - including shopping and eating. Views from the hotel rooms and suites vary but some do have excellent views over the castle. It is not clear from their website which of their rooms have the castle views, but their top-floor suites, one with a balcony do seem to offer the best views - however these come at quite a premium.
The Missoni is not the closest to the castle in terms of distance as it takes approximately 10 minutes to reach there by foot, but the views of Edinburgh Castle are great if you manage to get a room with castle view. And of course you get the full 'Missoni experience' as it is a chic designer hotel decorated in the signature Missoni style, which offers state of the art technology in each of the guest rooms. If a view of the castle is important to you, check with the hotel when you make your reservation but expect to pay more.
The 4-star George Hotel is an elegant hotel situated on exclusive George Street, about a 9-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle, and perfectly located for the nearby bars and restaurants. The hotel has been tastefully refurbished and won the 'Best Hotel in Edinburgh' award at the Scottish Hotel Awards in 2009. Some of the deluxe rooms have views of the castle, but it is advised to check with the hotel before booking to make sure that you get your 'room with a view'.
The 4-star Apex International hotel is a stylish and modern hotel situated in the buzzing Grassmarket area and is a 15-minute walk from the castle. The Deluxe rooms have excellent views of the castle - and have their own balcony from which to enjoy it. Alternatively, Heights Restaurant is a 2 AA Rosette rooftop restaurant which offers break-taking views - check out the virtual tour on their website. The Apex international also boasts a leisure suite with swimming pool and gym - so you are searching for a hotel with leisure facilities AND that famous view, this might be a good option for you.
The 4-star Apex City hotel is located less than 100m away from its sister hotel the Apex international in the vibrant Grassmarket area of the city. The Master Suite does offer a view of the castle but with a separate living area it is considerably more expensive than the standard rooms.
Cheap Hotels Near the Castle
Ramada Mount Royal Hotel
The Ramada Hotel - this is a 3-star hotel located on Princes Street, about an 8-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle. About half of their rooms have castle views, so make sure that you book one of their Feature bedrooms. Or if you really want to push the boat out book an executive room which has its own balcony with fabulous views. The Princes Dining Room restaurant which serves Scottish, Oriental and Indian cuisine, also has views of the castle. If you are looking for an inexpensive but comfortable hotel in a prime location then this may be suitable for you.
Old Waverley Hotel
The 3-star Old Waverley Hotel hotel is located at 43 Princes Street, about a 10-minute walk from the castle and right next to Waverley train station. It is a traditional and reasonably priced hotel, with some of the guest rooms offering views of Edinburgh Castle - however it is not clear from their website which these are, so if you are considering a stay at the Old Waverley this should be clarified when booking.
Royal British Hotel
The Royal British Hotel - is a 3-star hotel, located on Princes Street in the heart of Edinburgh. Whilst, from the reviews of the hotel, it might not be a first choice, there is a refurbishment programme underway and it does offer great views of the castle from the Glendale Restaurant and Bar.
Apartments Close to Edinburgh Castle
Princes Street Suites
Princes Street Suites - these 4-star serviced apartments are situated at one end of Princes Street, and offer studios suites, 1-3 bedroom suites and a fabulous penthouse suite, all kitted out in a contemporary and elegant style. They are about a 17-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle, so are not the closest in terms of distance. However, the Penthouse Suite has a balcony offering panoramic views of Edinburgh, including Arthur's Seat and Edinburgh Castle. It is not a cheap option, but with 3 bedrooms, it can accommodate up to 12 guests, so it might be a good option for a special family gathering.
Conclusion - Best Edinburgh Castle hotel
Due to the layout of the castle and the position of the entrance, the nearby hotels offering the best views are not necessarily the ones which are closest to reach on foot. This means the hotels in the Grassmarket or on the Royal Mile have better access to the Castle than hotels on Princes Street which may have the better views of Edinburgh Castle.
Many travellers visit Edinburgh primarily for Edinburgh Castle so it would be foolish to look for anything other than a hotel which gives the best access on foot and the best views of the castle itself. There are nearby hotels in all budget categories and we have covered budget hotels, luxurious hotels as well as serviced apartments. And they all share one common theme - they offer amazing views of Edinburgh Castle.
If your budget does not stretch for luxury hotels, then enjoy dinner in one of the hotel restaurants which enjoy incredible views over Edinburgh Castle such as the Pompadour Restaurant at the Hilton Caledonian, the informal Terrace Restaurant at the Sheraton Hotel or the 2 AA Rosette restaurant at the Apex International. A perfect way to see the castle lit-up so dramatically after dark.
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Staying in a real castle hotel near Edinburgh
There is one castle hotel near Edinburgh which would be an excellent way to end a holiday in Scotland's Capital City. People usually choose to stay in a castle hotel on their last night or if it's on a special occasion like a romantic break or a wedding.
Dalhousie Castle Hotel
Dalhousie Castle is a thirteenth-century castle converted into a 4-star luxury hotel with two restaurants and a spa. Part of Dalhousie's charm lies in its beautiful, romantic setting in parkland on the River Esk, as well as the sense of history that comes with staying in a real Scottish castle.