An insider's guide to the best hotels near Edinburgh Playhouse, including the best for classic Georgian architecture, stylish décor, grand bedrooms and pre-theatre dinner menus, in locations also close to Princes Street, Calton Hill and Edinburgh Castle.
Don’t let the high-Gothic entrance fool you, The Glasshouse features lots of groovy furnishings (including a snug/bar complete with fire bowl), a fab rooftop garden, retro-styled bedrooms overlooking the city or garden and a restaurant that only opens when it feels like it. Not exactly made of glass but there’s lots of it about: sweeping windows, semi-glass staircase, and glass baubles, vases and objets dotted around. Décor is a bit 1970s with plenty of orange, tan and cherry-reds, pendant lampshades, boxy leather sofas and wood veneer furniture. It's a little off-piste – but in a good way.
From £ 98 per night
Goldilocks could not help but approve of such carefully appointed bedrooms, where everything is just right. There are deeply comfortable king-sized beds with Egyptian cotton bedlinen, iPod docking stations, cable television, home-baked goods, Green & Black's chocolate and Nespresso coffee machines. The Garden Room is a particularly charming, with a sunroom leading on to the pretty walled garden. What's more, with only four rooms for guests, staying here feels very spoiling.
From £ 109 per night
The four bedrooms above this Michelin-starred restaurant are no afterthought; there is a confident hand at work in rooms that are as striking as the food, displaying a sometimes surprising but always sensual contemporary/baroque style and unexpectedly leafy views. Big, plump and swanky, without a frill or flounce in sight, these are proper bedrooms with grown-up colours of cappuccino, bitter chocolate and sage green with flashes of silver to up the glam. Soft carpets, deep sofas, huge beds and white shutters keep things light and relaxed while walls of mirrors, funky floor lights and glass screens add fun.
From £ 112 per night
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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. The style is firmly contemporary boutique, but not confined to restrained neutrals. Colour – rich purple and yellow, acid green or bright blue – is applied deftly and patterns are used with confidence. There are 16 distinctively furnished rooms, with views either to the garden or the Firth of Forth. 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.
From £ 50 per night
The Hotel Indigo brand, which works hard to appeal to both business and leisure markets, has a deliberately site-specific identity in its 'neighbourhood' story, giving each Hotel Indigo a very specific connection to the location. There are references to Edinburgh everywhere, alongside the chain’s immediately identifiable turquoise, burnt orange and brown colour scheme. The local story continues in the bedrooms with complimentary haggis-flavoured crisps, Edinburgh shortbread and Tunnocks teacakes. The restaurant offers pre-theatre. The Turquoise Thistle restaurant is open all day, serving continental and cooked-to-order breakfast, and lunch, afternoon tea, pre-theatre and dinner menus.
From £ 64 per night
Time to re-adjust your thinking about guesthouses – this class act gives many boutique hotels a run for their money in both the style and comfort stakes. Tall windows, a luxurious but uncluttered style and skilled use of colour makes for serenely calming bedrooms, and there is real confidence in the design of the ethereal blue-grey sitting/dining room, lifted by the colourful jolt of an emerald green sofa and armchairs. With a great location on the edge of city centre and a breakfast as delicious as the decor, this is as sophisticated as B&B gets.
From £ 95 per night
Combining function with fun, the designers at this Edinburgh New Town hotel swallowed a Scottish dictionary and came up with sharp, modern vibe that feels bright and fresh. Colours are brash, with tartan carpets and Scottish themed wallpapers — imagine Brigadoon re-designed by Roy Lichtenstein. The 103 themed rooms (stag, thistle, Scottish banknote or highland cow) are colourful and clean, with double, twin and family versions available. The star rooms are on the top floor, with generous balconies giving terrific views over the city. Book early and grab a castle-view one for the Festival or New Year fireworks.
From £ 44 per night
With only a number on the door to guide you, arriving at this pretty Georgian house is like staying in an incredibly thoughtful friend’s home. It's a great way to get a feel for what it is like to live in the city, and hard to believe such tranquility is possible so close to busy Broughton Street with its cafés, restaurants and shops. The three comfortable bedrooms are all on the garden level at the back of the house, and have been decorated in a cosy, classic style, with pretty antiques, that is entirely in keeping with the age and style of the building.
From £ 90 per night
Formerly the Black Watch Regimental club — the cracked encaustic tiles are said to have been caused by beer barrels being rolled into the front door — No. 11 is now a quiet 10-bedroom hotel with an ambitious brasserie-style restaurant and attractive bedrooms. It's boutique rather than bumptious, with a decor that 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 – perhaps best described as dialled-down contemporary.
From £ 68 per night
Beautifully restored classic Georgian on the outside (with a huge extension hidden behind – the layout is positively topsy-turvy), but inside the lime-green statement chairs at the entrance in the low-lit lobby are a declaration of intent: this may be a mid-market chain hotel, but that doesn’t mean it’s middle of the road in design. There are subtle references throughout to Robert Stevenson – designer of the Bell Rock lighthouse and grandfather of author Robert Louis Stevenson – a pleasing nod to the past. The hotel is practically next door to the Playhouse.
From £ 89 per night