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Wondering what it’s like to spend a night at the House of Gods in Edinburgh? This guide provides an honest review so you can decide if staying at this boutique accommodation in the Old Town’s Cowgate is for you.
House of Gods Hotel Overview
The House of Gods (233 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JQ) is an opulent hotel aimed at young(ish) couples who are looking to splurge on a night in Scotland’s capital.
The rooms and the hotel bar, Lilith’s Lounge and restaurant, Casablanca Cocktail Club, offer enough entertainment for a one night staycation.
You won’t need to make plans outside of the hotel unless you want to dine at a nearby restaurant but definitely set aside most of the evening for the hotel room, especially if the suite is your room of choice.
You’ve probably seen photos of Edinburgh’s most dramatic hotel on Instagram which stops the scroll with every post.
The marketing team really ‘get’ who their audience is.
They’ve also collaborated in giveaways with companies who fit the look, such as the edgy pizzeria dominating Edinburgh, Civerinos, and cheeky Bross Bagels, yes that’s Mama Boss (hero) drinking fizz in the HoG copper roll top bath.
This very clickable content continually provides free advertisement for House of God and they share customer’s posts (user generated content) on their own Instagram Stories so if you stay, be sure to tag them for a feature.
The owners are Mike and Ross Baxter. Both have years of experience in hospitality (Kip, Hackney in London and The Baxter Hostel in Edinburgh).
According to LinkedIn, Ross went to a local Edinburgh High School and studied at Aberdeen University.
OK, enough of the business and marketing chat, let’s get into bed with Edinburgh’s sexiest hotel.
The Area – The Cowgate (Old Town)
House of Gods is located at 233 Cowgate, about 8 minutes walk from Edinburgh Waverley.
The route is pretty hilly so if you are laden with luggage you might want to jump in a taxi on Market Street.
If you’re up for the lively trek, you’ll pass cafe culture on Cockburn Street, see a snippet of the Royal Mile, walk down Blair Street past Civerinos (pizza) and two great pubs, The Piper’s Rest on Hunter Square (Scottish) and The City Cafe (retro diner with boozy milkshakes).
The House of Gods hotel and its Lilith’s Lounge hotel bar and Casablanca Cocktail Club sit next to the only open arch of the South Bridge which runs above it.
South Bridge was part of the New Town developments of the 18th century, however, they didn’t quite go to plan.
It was intended that trades people would open shops in the bridge but the conditions were dark and damp so they refused and the city’s poorest people moved in.
This underground life is well documented during a South Bridge Underground Tour.
Even if you are local to Edinburgh it is really worth joining a group tour to see what the caves look like and to learn about the lives of those who moved down there.
But back to above ground!
The Cowgate has lots of entertainment on it such as Stramash for live music and Supercube for karaoke.
The Grassmarket is only a few minutes away where you’ll find pubs, a rooftop bar (Cold Town House) and the inspiration for Diagon Alley, Victoria Street.
While House of Gods is located in a very central position, it doesn’t matter because when you check in, you’ll soon realise there is no need to leave.
House of Gods Hotel Rooms
There are three types of rooms at House of Gods.
The Cabin takes inspiration from private rooms on the Orient Express and is the most compact of the three options.
The Classic has a four post bed and looks to Versailles for extravagant decor ideas.
Finally, the crème de la crème, The House of God’s Suite with its four post bed and Victorian bath.
Not only are there a variety of rooms to choose from there are also options to make your stay more OTT.
For example, butler service that brings you cookies and milk at night and a breakfast hamper in the morning.
Bar tabs to be devoured at the hotel bar or next door club/restaurant.
You can also add on packages like chocolates, rose petals and balloons which our neighbours did.
We only know this as we observed the aftermath of the debauchery at their hotel doors.
See, there isn’t any reason to leave after you check in!
The Check In Process
To check in, you make your way to the House of Gods hotel and enter via the Lilith’s Lounge front door.
You’ll find the bar to your right, fireplace to your left and the huge disco ball above.
Each table has its own animal lamp and the lighting is dimmed down low.
Turn left at the end of the bar and you’ll be greeted by a friendly receptionist.
It’s likely that before you have checked in you’ll receive a Whatsapp message from staff to say they are looking forward to meeting you.
Whatsapp is the best way to contact reception from your hotel room as there is no telephone line, they know how their target audience communicates!
Checking in is finalised with a member of staff walking you to your room and explaining any extras your booking has tagged on.
Note: Drop some crumbs on the way to your room because getting back out is a challenge. Luckily there is always a member of staff around to show you how to get out.
House of Gods Suite
Our room for the night was suite number 207 and regardless of walking past a number of dark oak doors we never heard a peep from another guest all evening.
That is thanks to the signature soundproofing.
As you enter the suite you are faced with a long hall papered in cool animal stamp-like print, a toilet with lux tiles to the right as well as a couple of coat hangers and stools with fringes.
Turn the corner and I dare you not to swoon.
The four post bed is smothered in heavy bedding and red velvet drapes.
This was the first time I’d slept in a four post bed or a bed with curtains and I loved drawing the rich material over at night.
It felt like we were sleeping in a vintage train carriage or a scene from Game of Thrones, thankfully not the bedding episode, couldn’t bear that pressure.
I slept extremely well, but my partner, who was on the window side, woke up early doors when the city started to stir but managed to fall asleep again.
There are two bars in the suite, one on top of the dresser and the other is hidden.
As I mentioned above, there is no phone but that doesn’t mean there are no communication devices.
You’re on House of Gods time now dah’ling, you press the button for Prosecco, cookies and milk at night or your breakfast hamper in the morning.
A red envelope details what you need to know about your stay and if you have a question, just hop on WhatsApp.
Don’t worry about all the modern appliances. If you can’t work something just let the reception know via WhatsApp and they’ll help solve it.
As you can see from the screenshot of my conversation with the staff, I couldn’t switch off the air con so they did it remotely for me.
Other hotel amenities are discreetly placed around the room.
The TV with Netflix looks like a sheet of ice on the wall and the coffee machine is hidden behind the make up mirror.
The only downside to a gothic red room is the lack of light but that’s why you’re booking the suite, right?
It’s a room for undressing, not getting dressed.
The best light for applying make up and doing your hair is in the bathroom as the make up mirror light doesn’t quite let you see your whole face.
If you want to take photos, pack a hand held light ring to shine above your camera to avoid using the harsh flash for every image.
The standalone Victorian bath fits two and the water fills up pretty speedily for a deep tub.
Remember to hit the ‘secco button before you start to soak.
There’s also a wet room shower which again, fits two comfortably.
In the morning you can request your breakfast hamper before check out and enjoy the picnic in your suite before you set about your day around Edinburgh’s Old Town.
The wicker basket is an added fun element and includes orange juice, yoghurt, a warm muffin and Bross Bagels.
Bizarrely, our bagels were garlic which doesn’t go well with strawberry jam as my partner discovered one bite too late!
Nonetheless, bedroom picnics are the way to go when contending with Scottish weather.
House of Gods Bars
Underneath the hotel is Lilith’s Lounge where you can enjoy drinks under the disco ball.
That’s herons on the walls by the way and it’s Gucci paper.
Just next door to the hotel building is Casablanca Cocktail Club which you should make a reservation for if you plan to drink or dine there.
Casablanca is a low lit, classy yet comfortable joint with a cocktails list presented to patrons via a magazine.
Absolutely no expense spared or straying from the marketing brief at this bar/restaurant.
Depending on your reservation, you may have a bar tab.
We had £10 to spend. I ordered one espresso Martini and one vodka and my partner had one beer totalling £24.
The staff across the hotel and both bars are very chilled and friendly considering the look of grandeur House of Gods portrays.
They dress hip but there’s no feeling that you’re not good enough for the clique and the customer comes first.
During the summer, House of Gods has a beer garden called Paradise Lost which is in keeping with the bars and hotel – red velvet, lamps, banging soundtrack and cool serving staff.
If you are looking for a special occasion stay at an Edinburgh hotel with Witchery vibes but aimed at a younger audience then House of Gods is the chosen one.
My partner and I both really enjoyed our overnight stay and would recommend the suite to visitors who want a holiday away from home without straying too far from the suite.
Finally, if you can’t budget an overnight stay, a night at the bar will give you a taste of the aesthetic and attention to detail in the decor.
Definitely make a trip to the Lilith’s Lounge loo to check out the decor.
Yup, those pussies are Gucci too.
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