Best Edinburgh Hotels For A Wonderful Christmas Experience

Waldorf Astoria Christmas Decorations Edinburgh

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Looking to spend time in Scotland’s capital this winter and need an Edinburgh hotel?

Whether you are Christmas shopping, checking out the dreamy decorations or planning a festive meal and experience, this guide details where to stay in Edinburgh in December.

You may also like our guides, where to meet Santa in Edinburgh this year, festive things to do and where to enjoy a Christmas dinner.

Magical Christmas Hotel Breaks in Edinburgh

Hotels Near Edinburgh Christmas Market

Edinburgh’s Christmas Market takes place in Princes Street Gardens which is smack bang in the middle of the Old Town and the New Town.

This means you can book a room in any of the majestic Old Town hotels and still be comfortable walking, or mulled wine staggering distance, to your bed.

Alternatively, there are plenty of options in the New Town too, with some being a stone’s throw away from the festive action. So let’s take a look at hotels near Edinburgh’s Christmas market.

Note: Princes Street is Edinburgh’s biggest shopping street where you will find most of the big high street stores such as Primark.

If you prefer high-end fashion you are just two streets away from George Street and a five-minute walk from Multrees Walk near Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrews Square and Harvey Nichols.

St Jame’s Quarter is an indoor shopping mall located two minutes from Harvey Nics.

If you want to support local while you shop, Cockburn Street, pronounced co-burn, is a five-minute walk from Waverley Train Station.

You may also want to plan an afternoon in Stockbridge or Leith to check out local crafts and makers.

Stuck on the Scottish accent? Check out our guide to Scottish words and lingo here.

Edinburgh's Christmas Market at night with Christmas lights

Princes Street Hotels (New Town)

Hotel Indigo

For affordable yet stylish accommodation in Edinburgh’s City Centre, Hotel Indigo on Princes Street is perfect for you. 

Located opposite Waverley Station and The Balmoral Hotel, this hotel offers you a view directly over to Edinburgh Castle. 

The period building gives you the traditional feel, yet its decor and rooms are very modern.

The hotel has a wonderful restaurant called, 20 Princes Street and the celebrated Juniper Bar with its big windows and cocktails list.  

You can easily reach the Christmas market in only a two-minute walk, or enjoy a wander along George Street to see the buildings alight with their Christmas decorations. 

Prices from £67 per room per night.

Hotel Indigo also features in our Fringe accommodation guide.

The Balmoral Hotel – 5 Star Luxury

One of Edinburgh’s most popular hotels, The Balmoral Hotel is an experience, not just a hotel.

Waverley star and tree and Balmoral Hotel clock

With its Michelin-starred restaurant, festive afternoon teas in the Palm House and prime location directly next to Waverley Station and Princes Street Gardens, this New Town hotel is the one to book for a special occasion.

That’s The Balmoral in the backdrop of this festive Princes Gardens scene!

Edinburgh Christmas Market. Night. Winter.

Did you know this is where JK Rowling finished the final book in the Harry Potter series, Deathly Hallows?

It took place in room 552 which is now called J.K. Rowling Suite.

In the room, Rowling signed a marble bust of Hermes, if you reserve the suite you can spend the night with it!

If you are a Potter fan you’ll want to read our guide to Harry Potter locations in Edinburgh.

Prices are from £450 per room per night.

If you’d like to find out more about the Balmoral, you can read our Balmoral Hotel review, we stayed in a Deluxe Castle View room, 314.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to stay in a real castle, check out our castle hotels in Scotland article.

JK Rowling Quote Signature Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh Accommodation Harry Potter

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

Looking for a historic hotel stay with luxury in the city centre?

The Caledonian Hotel, now known as the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian is situated at the end of  Princes Street in the city’s lesser-known West End.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian at Christmas is simply stunning. Festooned with lights and trees, it gives you a truly magical feel. 

Waldorf Astoria Christmas Lights Edinburgh

From the hotel you have uninterrupted views of the Castle. 

A short 5 minute walk takes you to the beginning of Princes Street Gardens where you can enjoy the walk along towards the Christmas market. 

The hotel itself was built in 1903 and is beautiful inside with its art deco decor and features. There is a spa and swimming pool. 

With offers of Christmas afternoon tea in Peacock Alley, and cocktails in the tastefully decorated Caley Bar, you will really feel the Christmas spirit here.

The Waldorf features in our festive things to do in Edinburgh guide.

Waldorf Astoria Christmas Decorations Edinburgh

Aparthotel Near Princes Street

If you are looking for accommodation that is stylish and yet easy on the wallet, the Princes Street Apartments are the right choice for you. 

Situated 200 yards from Waverley Station, they are easy to reach and allow you to begin your festive celebrations immediately. 

If you’re here to explore a little, then the apartments are only a few minutes’ walks from Calton Hill which gives you a panoramic view of the city.

Offering you the added bonus of self-catering amenities if you wish, the prices start from £54 per apartment.

For eating out in Edinburgh check out our guide here.

These restaurants are also doing festive menus in December. Turkey anyone?

Calton Hill Edinburgh with purple sunset looking over New Town buildings

The Royal Mile Hotels

The Royal Mile in the Old Town is the heart of the historic neighbourhood in Edinburgh. 

This street is very popular with tourists as Edinburgh Castle is situated at the top, lined with restaurants and pubs, you won’t be stuck for things to do here. 

At the bottom of The Royal Mile is Holyrood Palace, the Scottish Parliament and Arthur’s Seat. You can easily spend two days just in the Old Town itself.

During the festive season, The Royal Mile is pedestrianised and filled with so many festive activities for all the family to enjoy such as the Torchlight Procession on the 30th of December and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay party on the 31st.  

It may look a little different in 2020, but there will be plenty of lights and decorated shop fronts for you to enjoy.

Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh Activities_

Carlton Hotel Edinburgh

The Carlton Hotel Edinburgh overlooks The Royal Mile while offering quiet rooms with comfortable beds.

Located on the North Bridge, just steps away from the bustle of the Mile and its many shops, restaurants and bars, this four-star Hilton Hotel is a popular choice. 

The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Restaurant has a traditional British menu as well as some of Marco’s classic dishes.

Nineteen Hundred Bar offers a lounge, light meals and a drinks list.

Prices from £86 per room.

The Witchery by the Castle

For grandeur, and a room just below the Castle, then don’t look any further than The Witchery by the Castle.

This hotel is sheer, unadulterated luxury with opulence dripping from every corner.

Sempill Suite Witchery Edinburgh Hotel

The rooms overlook the rooftops of the city giving you views that are simply breathtaking. 

The restaurant is award-winning with a menu packed with Scottish produce.

Prices are from £653 for a suite.

The Witchery Accommodation Royal Mile Edinburgh_
The Witchery By The Castle Accommodation Food Hotel Old Town Edinburgh

Cheval Old Town Chambers Apartments

For accommodation that is both luxurious and gives you the freedom of self-catering on The Royal Mile, then Cheval Old Town Chambers is perfect.

Just a few minutes’ walk from Waverley Station, these apartments offer you all the modern amenities in a traditional building. 

Stunning views over the city mean you can see the Christmas lights and market in all their glory before heading into the fray. Prices are from £147 per night.  

St Giles Cathedral at Royal Mile in Edinburgh Activities

Old Town Hotels

House Of Gods Hotel

Social media sensation, House of Gods Hotel, is a wonder to watch on Instagram and attracts a young, camera-ready crowd with its clever marketing and midnight snacks.

Aptly located in the underbelly of the Old Town (Cowgate) close to Edinburgh’s notorious Vaults, House Of Gods mirrors the dark behaviour recorded in the city’s underground.

A stay at this gothic hotel encourages a night of debauchery with its two bars and butler service.

House of Gods Hotel Edinburgh Old Town Bedroom, Dark red lighting, velvet drapes

While this Old Town hotel is more about red drapes than red ribbon bows, it deserves a feature for its 10/10 house goals.

Baby, it’s cold outside but you can warm up in your room’s copper bath.

Read our full and impartial House of Gods review.

George Street Hotel

Known for its upmarket shopping, many restaurants and bars, George Street in Edinburgh also boasts many trendy hotels. 

At Christmas, George Street is filled with buildings that are covered in the most amazing yet tasteful lights.

In previous years, George Street has been one of the main attractions with a tunnel of lights and ice sculpture tour.

This year you can enjoy subtle lit up trees lining the street and window shop displays.

The Dome is a must on Christmas bucket lists.

The facade is wrapped in fairy lights and there is a huge Christmas tree in The Grill Room, The Dome at Christmas has quickly become an institution.

You won’t be surprised to read that The Dome features in our best Christmas restaurants guide.

Le Monde Hotel

Festive hotels in Edinburgh don’t come much better situated than Le Monde, next door to The Dome!

Unique and very chic, this hotel is minutes away from Waverley Station and close to the luxury shopping of Multrees Walk. 

Rooms are from £145 per night.

Le Monde also has an iconic dining area with a vintage feel bar which was shortlisted for the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards! A perfect Instagram photo spot.

Le Monde stylish bar with tables Edinburgh

InterContinental Hotels – Edinburgh The George

Across from Le Monde, is another stunning building. The George Hotel at Christmas is normally beautifully decorated. 

When all lit up, this traditional building offers some strong competition to The Dome which it faces. 

The George Hotel is located in a Grade II building and its facade was built in 1775. It is made up of a collection of Georgian townhouses and is a popular wedding venue for couples.

The stylish Printing Press Bar & Kitchen serves Scottish food and drink.

Rooms are from £202 per night.


Tigerlily is a fun, boutique hotel with a downstairs bar and restaurant that pulls in a young crowd.

Situated closer to the Charlotte Square end of George Street, this hotel welcomes you with its door framed with Christmas garlands.

Inside you can expect Tigerlily’s signature chic decorations and girls in Gucci belts.

Try the Burntislander Iced Tea, that’s the name of the town Gemma (Everything Edinburgh) grew up in!

Rooms are priced from £212 per night.

As far as Edinburgh Christmas Market hotels go, with George Street, you are right in the heart of the city with easy access to the events and the market at Princes Street Gardens.

Haymarket Hotels

The Haymarket area of Edinburgh offers you some fantastic Christmas accommodation near popular winter activities such as Edinburgh Zoo.

The Leonardo Edinburgh Murrayfield, formerly The Capital Hotel, is in a fantastic location to access the zoo. 

Buses run regularly to the city centre to allow you to access the Christmas market and other attractions. 

With a swimming pool and fitness centre, it is a great budget option to stay and enjoy a Christmas break. 

They even offer a Christmas day lunch to save you from all that washing up!

Rooms are from £32 per night.

The Grosvenor Hotel Edinburgh

The Grosvenor Hotel Edinburgh is located in a traditional townhouse building giving you a feel for old Edinburgh as it would have been.

The rooms are big and modern and the staff is friendly.

Situated near Haymarket Station, it is a 20 minutes walk away from the Christmas fun of the city centre.

Prices start at £43 per night.

Leith Hotels

Leith is a little more on the outskirts of the city centre but is one of the more hip places to visit at Christmas. 

Here you will find a local farmers market every Saturday, beautiful lights decorating the walkways of the Water of Leith and local artisan shops to fill your ‘shop local’ needs. 

It is only a short bus ride or a 50-minute walk away from the city centre so you can easily access the city attractions too.

Leith is ideal for those who prefer to stay in a neighbourhood over the city centre.

Flux Leith Shop

One very special place you can easily access from Leith is Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens.

The gardens have their very own light walk and projection show.

Leith has a shopping mall and entertainment centre called Ocean Terminal. Here you will find The Leith Collective which sells local crafts.

Leith Collective Gifts Shops Ocean Terminal Leith_


Directly in the heart of Leith and on the waterfront, Malmaison offers you a great boutique hotel within walking distance of Michelin-starred restaurants and bars.

There are two Malmaison in Edinburgh so be sure you know which one you are booking.

The owner of Everything Edinburgh has stayed at the Leith hotel.

Rooms are modern and the building is a former accommodation for sailors. Bet those walls have some stories!

Rooms are from £79 per night.

Malmaison Leith Hotel

No. 11 Boutique Hotel

No. 11 Boutique Hotel and Brasserie is set in a Georgian Townhouse.

Some rooms have balconies and a stand-alone feature bath.

It is beautifully decorated for Christmas and has a lovely restaurant on the premises.

I have eaten here and it was delicious.

Rooms are from £53 per night.

Luxurious Hotels in Edinburgh 

Giving The Balmoral Hotel (above) a challenge, my personal favourite luxury hotel in Edinburgh is Prestonfield House

This holds a special place in my heart as I was married here. 

The historic building is filled with different rooms.

The gardens are beautifully kept and lovely to walk around.

Rhubarb restaurant is one of Edinburgh’s finest and was featured in the Channel 4 show, Married At First Sight.

To see this hotel at Christmas is to step into a wonderland of sparkles and lights.

It is on the outskirts of the city so you need a taxi ride to the city centre where you can then go and enjoy everything Edinburgh has to offer.

Prices are from £355 per night.

Final Words

A Christmas in Edinburgh hotel experience is something everyone should add to their bucket list if they are fans of shopping, afternoon teas, decorations and festive spirits in a glass! 

 Visiting Edinburgh at Christmas and wondering where to stay? This guide details the best places to see decorations and most festive Edinburgh hotels. Click to find out about magical Edinburgh Christmas experiences in the Old Town and events happening around Scotland’s capital.

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Let us know below.

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About the author: Hi, I am Ruth. A Highlander living in Fife longing for the mountains of home but I can’t give up the delights of the big city!

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