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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.
Magical Christmas Hotel Breaks in Edinburgh
Hotels Near Edinburgh Christmas Market
Edinburgh’s Christmas Market normally 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 in 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 H&M and Zara.
If you prefer high-end fashion you are just two streets away from George Street and five-minute walk from Multrees Walk near Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrews Square and Harvey Nichols.
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.
Princes Street Hotels (New Town)
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.
The Balmoral Hotel – 5 Star Luxury
One of Edinburgh’s most popular hotels, The Balmoral Hotel is an experience, not just a hotel.
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!
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 £180 per room per night.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to stay in a real castle, check out our castle hotels in Scotland article.
Caledonian Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh
The Caledonian Hotel at Christmas is simply stunning. Festooned with lights and trees, it gives you a truly magical feel.
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 and cocktails in the tastefully decorated Caley Bar, you will really feel the Christmas spirit here. Prices from £161 per night.
The Waldorf features in our festive things to do in Edinburgh guide.
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 walk 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?
Prefer Airbnb apartments? Check out our city centre guide here.
The Royal Mile Hotels
The Royal Mile in the Old Town is heart of 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.
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.
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.
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 means you can see the Christmas lights and market in all their glory before heading into the fray. Prices are from £147 per night.
Old Town Hotels
House Of Gods Hotel
Social media sensation, House of Gods Hotel, is 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 city’s underground. A stay at this gothic hotel encourages a night of debauchery.
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 brass bath.
George Street Hotel (2021)
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 list. 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.
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 vintage feel bar which was shortlisted for the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards! A perfect Instagram photo spot.
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.
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.
Rooms are big and modern and the staff are friendly.
Situated near Haymarket Station, it is a 20 minutes walk away from the Christmas fun of the city centre.
Prices are from £43 per night.
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 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.
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.
Directly in the heart of Leith and on the waterfront, Malmaison offers you a great boutique hotel in walking distance to Michelin starred restaurants and bars.
There are two Malmaisons in Edinburgh, don’t get them mixed up like Gemma did promoting them on Instragram. They didn’t take too kindly to the free marketing mix up.
This is where Gemma and her husband, Craig stayed the weekend of their big Scottish wedding party after eloping to Austin, Texas the year before.
Rooms are modern and the building is a former accommodation for sailors. Bet those walls have some stories!
Rooms are from £79 per night.
No. 11 Boutique Hotel
For a cosy hotel, check out No. 11 Boutique Hotel and Brasserie 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 in 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 that you can relax in.
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.
A Christmas in Edinburgh hotel experience is something everyone should add to their bucket list if they are fan of shopping, afternoon teas, decorations and festive spirits in glass!
There are so many different festive activities that you can enjoy in Edinburgh and even though 2020 may be a little different to previous years, we still can make the most of what the city has to offer.
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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!