It’s always nicer to go out for an evening of entertainment when you know it’s only a short walk from the hotel to the theatre. Best of all, you’re within walking distance of some of the best restaurants in town. In fact, you can sleep above a Michelin-starred restaurant in luxurious and glamorous hidden bedrooms. Not only are these choices conveniently located for shopping and visiting the city center, they are all close to Calton Hill with its landmarks, arts center, excellent restaurant and 360 degree views. Or head to Leith for two more Michelin-starred restaurants, passing several newcomers along the way.
Here are grand hotels: one with a proper theatrical Gothic entrance opening into a hotel that is a statement in glass; another, one of Edinburgh’s oldest hotels, as chic as it gets. For something more intimate, there are more sedate proposals, including two elegant and sophisticated guest houses, guaranteed to surprise and delight. These are the best hotels near Edinburgh Playhouse.
Don’t be fooled by the Gothic entrance, The Glasshouse features plenty of groovy furnishings (including a cozy bar with fire pit), a fabulous rooftop garden, retro-style rooms with city or garden views, and a restaurant which only opens when you want to. Not exactly glass, but there are plenty of them: panoramic windows, half-glass staircase and glass balls, vases and scattered objects. Decor is a bit 1970s with lots of orange, beige, and cherry red, hanging lamp shades, leather sofas, and wood-veneer furniture. It’s a little off-road, but in a good way.
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Boucle d’Or couldn’t help but approve of these carefully appointed rooms, where everything is perfect. There are deeply comfortable king-size beds with Egyptian cotton sheets, iPod docking stations, cable TV, homemade pastries, Green & Black chocolate and Nespresso coffee machines. The Garden Room is particularly charming, with a veranda overlooking the pretty walled garden. Plus, with only four guest rooms, staying here is very spoiling.
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The four bedrooms above this Michelin-starred restaurant are no afterthought; there’s a confident hand at work in rooms as striking as the food, displaying a sometimes surprising but always sultry contemporary/baroque style and unexpected leafy views. Big, plump, and chic, with no frills or ruffles in sight, these are true bedrooms in grown-up colors of cappuccino, bittersweet chocolate, and sage green with pops of silver to up the glamor. Plush rugs, deep sofas, huge beds, and white shutters keep things light and relaxed while walls of mirrors, funky floor lamps, and glass screens add fun.
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A black and white chessboard floor leads to a river of red carpet sweeping down a graceful staircase, the vertiginous walls a mesmerizing and colorful gallery of paintings stretching to a glass dome above. The style is decidedly boutique contemporary, but is not limited to restrained neutrals. Color – rich purple and yellow, acid green or bright blue – is skillfully applied and patterns are used with confidence. There are 16 individually furnished bedrooms, with views over the garden or the Firth of Forth. Claim your complimentary champagne in the small and stylish ‘rt’ bar, where you can sample a selection of cold tapas, perfect before taking in a show at the nearby Playhouse.
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There’s nothing stuffy about Edinburgh’s oldest hotel; it’s chic/contemporary on a large scale everywhere. With a hip(ish) cafe, brasserie-style bar and restaurant, and stunningly modern rooms and suites, most of what could have been lost in old-fashioned character is gained in style. The look is delicately tailored boutique in Farrow & Ball tones of oak, smoke, moss and mist with sleek leather accents. The quality and attention to detail are outstanding, with graceful references to the building’s literary history. Fortunately, not everything has been modernized: there is still a concierge in a kilt and the parquet floors still creak here and there.
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It’s time to readjust your thinking about bed and breakfasts – this class act gives many boutique hotels a run for their money in terms of style and comfort. Tall windows, luxurious yet understated styling and skilful use of color create serenely calming bedrooms, and there’s real confidence in the design of the ethereal blue-gray living/dining room, enhanced by the colorful jerk of a emerald green sofa and armchairs. . With a great location on the outskirts of the city center and a breakfast that’s as delicious as the decor, it’s as sophisticated as B&B.
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Combining functionality with fun, the designers of this Edinburgh New Town hotel have swallowed a Scottish dictionary and created a sharp, modern vibe that feels bright and fresh. Colors are fiery, with tartan carpets and Scottish-themed wallpaper – imagine Brigadoon reimagined by Roy Lichtenstein. The 103 themed rooms (deer, thistle, Scottish banknote or highland cow) are colorful and uncluttered, with double, twin and family versions available. Star rooms are on the top floor, with generous balconies offering stunning city views. Book early and grab one with a view of the castle for the New Year’s Eve festival or fireworks.
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With just a number on the door to guide you, arriving at this lovely Georgian house is like staying at the home of an incredibly caring friend. It’s a great way to get a sense of what it’s like to live in the city, and hard to believe such tranquility is possible so close to the bustling Broughton Street with its cafes, restaurants and shops . The three comfortable bedrooms are all on the ground floor at the back of the house and have been decorated in a cozy and classic style, with lovely antiques, entirely in keeping with the age and style of the building.
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Formerly the Black Watch Regimental club – the cracked encaustic tiles are believed to have been caused by beer barrels being rolled into the front door – No 11 is now a quiet 10-room hotel with an ambitious brasserie-style restaurant and attractive rooms. It’s boutique rather than pompous, with decor that tends towards charcoal, pale gray and light silver, with dark reproduction furniture, a bit of muted tartan tweed here and there and the occasional wall – perhaps best described as composed contemporary.
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A beautifully restored classic Georgian on the outside (with a huge extension hidden behind – the layout is positively upside down), but inside the lime green chairs at the entrance to the dimly lit lobby are a statement of Intent: This may be a mid-range chain hotel, but that doesn’t mean it’s middle of the road when it comes to design. There are subtle references to Robert Stevenson – designer of the Bell Rock Lighthouse and grandfather of author Robert Louis Stevenson – a pleasant nod to the past. The hotel is practically next to the Playhouse.
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