An insider's guide to the best cheap hotels in Edinburgh, including the top affordable places to stay for chic rooms, great breakfasts and views of Edinburgh Castle in locations including Princes Street, the Royal Mile and Old Town.
If you want something more stylish and better equipped than a hostel – more flighty, flexible and just plain bonkers than a traditional guest house or budget hotel – then this wildly imaginative, full-on fun palace is for you. The interiors are all polished cement, brash bold graphics and rough-chic furnishings; this is East London comes to East Scotland. Furnishings and facilities are not scrimped on in the rooms either: extremely well-stocked mini-fridges, big LCD TVs and iPod docks. There is also plenty to do: you can hire a bike, join in the twice-weekly running club or try the urban gym on Saturday morning if you’ve ever fancied giving parkour a go.
Doubles from £45
Read the full review: Stay Central
B + B Edinburgh
Bed and breakfast accommodation in a fascinating listed building combining economy with real character - it is worth staying here just to see the galleried library lounge, not to mention the eccentric atmosphere, period features, generous breakfasts and excellent value for money. Carefully retained high-Victorian period features dominate the public rooms here — all fabulous fireplaces, painted ceilings, acres of marble and overwrought brass. Upstairs in the bedrooms the look is firmly contemporary/boutique on a budget. Breakfast is a steal: no curling eggs or flabby bacon as everything is cooked to order — as good and generous as in many four-star hotels.
Doubles from £65
Read the full review: B + B Edinburgh
24 Royal Terrace
When Alan Campbell’s remarkable collection of contemporary art outgrew his house, he didn’t buy a gallery; he bought a small hotel and filled the walls with pictures worth half-a-million pounds. A black and white chessboard floor leads to a river of red carpet sweeping up a graceful staircase, the soaring walls a compelling, colourful gallery of paintings stretching to a glass cupola high above. Claim your complimentary champagne in the smallish, stylish ‘rt’ bar, where you can enjoy a filling cold tapas selection, perfect before catching a show at the nearby Playhouse.
Doubles from £150
Read the full review: 24 Royal Terrace
Designed as a place to crash, this labyrinthine, listed building is a lesson in simple but stylish comfort. There is nothing corporate or bland about this hotel; it’s for the young… and the young-at-heart. Staff are friendly and helpful — no bowing and scraping, but plenty of helpful enthusiasm. Room interiors are clean, simple and bang up-to-date, with ‘Dandy’ comic book wallpaper and magnetic wall maps of the city to plan your sightseeing. A connecting door in the lobby leads to Biddy Mulligan’s bar, where you will find an unusually sustaining continental breakfast (£10).
Doubles from £54
Read the full review: The Grassmarket
The building is a Georgian classic, with a lovely cupola over sweeping stairs, plenty of Edinburgh’s signature plaster work and tall windows with unusually wide horizontal panes. The interior tends toward charcoal, pale grey and light silver, with dark reproduction furniture, a bit of muted tartan tweed here and there and the occasional feature wall. Staff are comfortably friendly; reception is manned 24-hours. Guests have access to a sunny, private courtyard garden — a pleasing place to relax in fine weather. With well-regarded chef Willie Lonnie cooking in the brasserie, the intention is for No. 11 to become known as a restaurant with rooms.
Double rooms from £70
Read the full review: No. 11
There is an air of Edwardian reliability about this comfortable, if slightly lived-in, former home of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. There is plenty of memorabilia around the hotel related to Shackleton’s expeditions. Rooms come in a slightly bewildering array of sizes (from snug to suite) and styles: from four-poster country-house to refurbished and contemporary. There are three lounge areas where you can have a tea, drink or a quiet chat, as well as a splendid terrace in the garden.
Doubles from £79
Read the full review: Channings Hotel
Parliament House Hotel
Here is a quietly characterful hotel, with modestly contemporary rooms, unexpected views and an unpretentious bistro restaurant. I’d stay there just for the carefully preserved fantastically ornate Victorian lift cage with a comfy built-in leather bench and an old-fashioned phone you can receive calls on. Bedrooms are gently modern. They have some slightly dated furniture, but beds are new, with soft headboards and useful adjustable reading lights. Continental buffet breakfast, and cooked-to-order options at a good price.
Doubles from £75
Read the full review: Parliament House Hotel
Ten Hill Place Hotel
Don’t overlook this really rather smart hotel owned by the Royal College of Surgeons. It's a calm and comfortable base rather than a place for romantic lingering: the majority of the hotel is purpose-built with a practical and inoffensive contemporary design. Staff are a nice core of local Scottish folk, generally younger and with a friendly but polite manner. The 78 rooms are comfortable and thoughtfully designed with sleek furniture, heathery colours and king-size beds. There's a brisk and modern wine bar in the foyer with a limited but excellent value menu.
Doubles from £79
Read the full review: Ten Hill Place Hotel
Royal Scots Club
Non-members can stay in this private club at one of Edinburgh’s grandest addresses, founded in 1919 in honour of the members of the Royal Scots Regiment who died in the First World War. Expect Grinling Gibbonesque carved staircases, marble fireplaces and regimental photographs. It’s the sort of place you expect to find a retired Major asleep behind his newspaper, glass of whisky at hand. The rooms combine warm rich colours and old-fashioned opulence with up-to date facilities. Breakfast, high tea and dinner are served in the delightfully old-fashioned dining room, all starched white napkins standing to attention and sparkling glass.
Doubles from £95
Read the full review: Royal Scots Club
Old Waverley Hotel
This is an honest, sonsie-faced hotel in a premier location. You don’t come here for contemporary style, heritage paint colours in 10 different shades of bruise or loads of facilities; you come for the great location, terrific views of the Old Town and Edinburgh Castle and straight-forward old-fashioned comfort. Staff are genuinely friendly and polite — there’s real warmth in the welcome. Rooms are clean and comfortable, with carpets in primary colours and plenty of polyester, although bathrooms are surprisingly smart. The lounge/bar overlooks Princes Street and the castle beyond, and the pleasant Cranston Restaurant serves three-course lunches.
Doubles from £79
Read the full review: Old Waverley Hotel
All prices cited are starting rates for double rooms, based on two people sharing, in low season. These prices are subject to change in high season and during popular holidays and events.