Hotel du Vin Edinburgh

Old Town, Edinburgh, United Kingdom Book from Book from £214 per night

Sophistication in a superb spot in the city, with top-notch contemporary comforts and a dash of cosy Scottish charm.
This opening from one of the UK's best-loved small hotel groups occupies a plum spot near the castle in Edinburgh's World-Heritage-listed Old Town. As with all Hotel du Vin properties, it makes the most of a historic heritage, having been largely converted from a former poorhouse lunatic asylum. The result is as far from a lego-like new-build as possible. Instead, in its tall rooms and multi-level layout, the architecture cleverly mimics the steep, warren-like closes and higgledy-piggledy topography that characterise the neighbourhood.

The interior design, too, honours the historic and characterful, but with a contemporary twist. Look out for the vast chandelier made from suspended crystal glasses that shimmers over the lobby. There are classic leather armchairs, internal glass walls, a whisky snug, a nouveau Scottish bistro, and (unlike some of the more showy hotels that have recently opened in Edinburgh) just a smidgen of tastefully subdued tartan. A great example of contemporary Scottish style.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • The trademark Hotel du Vin comfort factor - great bathrooms and exceedingly comfortable beds go without saying
  • The buzzy but relaxed bistro is a definite step up from your average city centre hotel restaurant, and delivers a superb breakfast buffet
  • A truly excellent wine list, with more choice by the glass than usual
  • Even in its early days (we stayed a month after it opened), service was excellent and attentive
  • One of the best locations in Edinburgh - all the main sights are within easy reach on foot

Lows

  • Although it may feel like an independent boutique property, this is a chain hotel
  • The decor throughout is rather dark, with very muted hues in the bedrooms - making winter nights cosy, but a little oppressive in summer
  • There’s no spa or pool, nor any on-site parking (and valet service is not cheap)

Best time to go

The cosy décor and lack of outside space lends itself to pampering winter weekends away, but the prime Festival location means you’ll have to book early if you want to book a room during August. The proximity to the city’s sights and attractions should provide plenty of incentive for a trip at any time of year, however.

Our top tips

For a central perch with excellent views, clamber up Calton Hill, at the east end of Princes Street.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 47
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The Hotel du Vin’s 47 rooms and suites have fantastic beds with their queen-sized Vi-spring mattresses and Egyptian cotton bedlinen. They all come with plasma TVs and air conditioning; there’s a library in reception as well as a supply of board games in case the dreich Scottish weather does its worst while you’re there. Imaginatively stocked minibars include complimentary teas, freshly ground coffee and posh hot chocolate.

We last stayed in a Superior Double, in the attic of the older part of the building, which meant added character thanks to beams and a sloping ceiling. Like the other rooms in this category, the bathroom also had a huge, Aston Matthews, free-standing bath as well as a walk-in monsoon shower (the standard doubles have a shower over the bath or, in some cases, just a shower). Some of the Standard Doubles in the new-build section are rather small, designed for guests travelling alone, but those hadn’t been finished when we checked in so we weren’t able to get proper measurements. Twin beds options are now available with a Standard Twin and a Superior Twin, the latter has a free-standing bath and walk-in monsoon shower.

If you do need more space, there are three categories of larger rooms to choose from. Studio Suites come with a seating area that can double up as a triple room thanks to a pull-out bed, while Large Suites do the same but, as the name suggests, are substantially bigger. The top-of-the-range Executive Suite also has its own (small) private terrace with a view of Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano in the city centre. It's also worth bearing in mind that rooms overlooking the inner courtyard may get noise from smokers in the cigar bothy through the evening.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • CD player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • TV

Eating

The Hotel du Vin Bistro is popular with guests and non-guests alike. Since our last visit, the à la carte menu has changed from serving classic comfort food to a sophisticated French twist. Instead of traditional haggis with neeps and tatties you can now tuck into a steak hache with a sauce au poivre or lemon sole coated in a beurre noisette. For dessert, savour the delectable-sounding chocolate moelleux and honeycomb. The al fresco menu contains a number of intriguing nibbles that we can wait to try such as mussel popcorn or a steak and chestnut mushroom skewer.

We remembered the breakfast buffet as one of the best we’ve come across. Today the spread appears to remain particularly wholesome with choices of delicious fresh pastries, yoghurts, and crunchy granola. We are pleased to hear that nowadays the juices are freshly squeezed and classic crepes are served alongside crispy bacon and succulent sausages.

The hotel’s Mezzanine bar is surprisingly small, which makes it ideal for an intimate aperitif. This being Scotland, there’s also a separate Whisky Snug on the ground floor. Deep-backed sofas, soft lighting and velvety cushions give it a country house feel. Guests can take afternoon tea here or in the courtyard. The hotel runs regular wine events on Sunday evenings, and tastings can be arranged.

For visitors staying for more than one night, there’s no lack of choice when it comes to eating out in Edinburgh. The old port area of Leith is the city’s current culinary hotspot, with Michelin-starred chefs more prominent than ships these days. In the immediate vicinity of the hotel, The Outsider and The Tower restaurants are both reliable mid-market choices for a decadent night out.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Stroll down the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace and the Scottish parliament building via spooky Mary King’s Close, an underground network of streets. Finish off with a wander around the elegant Georgian New Town if your legs are still game

  • Culture vultures shouldn’t miss the big three: the National Museum of Scotland, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery

  • Bar-hop your way around George Street’s stylish bars

  • Visit Greyfriars Kirk, the first church to be built in Edinburgh after the Reformation, to hear the story of Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier who famously followed the remains of his master to the church graveyard for 14 years

  • Strike out along the Water of Leith Walkway, a wildlife-rich riverside path that weaves semi-secretly through the centre of the city. One of the most interesting short sections runs from Stockbridge to the Gallery of Modern Art through quirky Dean Village

  • Wrap up warm and head out on a windblown hike up to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano in the city centre

  • Many of the best Edinburgh Festival venues are right on your doorstep if you’re in the city in August. The world’s largest arts festival, it’s actually a collection of different, overlapping festivals encompassing everything from theatre and comedy to music

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Shopping / markets
    • Traditional cultures
    • Wine tasting

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome. High chairs are provided in the restaurant and pull-out beds in some of the larger rooms means the bedrooms can provide flexible sleeping space for younger families. Cots and additional extra beds can be provided in some of the rooms. Others have a sofabed that can sleep 2 kids under 10. There is also a baby listening service for guests hoping to dine sans enfants in the evening.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Location

Hotel du Vin is right in the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town, less than 5 mins’ walk south of the Royal Mile.

By Air
Edinburgh International Airport is a 20-30 minute drive away, with a wide range of international and domestic flights - click the links at the bottom of this page for details. A taxi from the airport cost around £25 in 2008 and will take around 25-30 minutes to reach central Edinburgh. Airlink shuttle buses run between the airport and Princes Street / Waverley station in not much more time (and for much less money). Or, the Edinburgh Shuttle is a door-to-door shared taxi service that costs £10pp each way (2008).

By Train
Waverley train station is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the hotel. Edinburgh is on a mainline rail route, easily reached from stations such as Inverness, coming from the north, or London, from the south.

By Car
There is no on-site parking at the hotel but valet parking can be arranged (see Rates). The NCP (Quartermile) car park is located within walking distance and hotel guests receive a 20% discount. If you want to hire a car, see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be provided when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to the UK and getting around

Airports:

  • Edinburgh International 13.0 km EDI

Other:

  • Beach 6.0 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
8/10
Food
9/10
Service
7/10
Value
8/10
Overall

The hotel is in a great location, in walkable distance to all main attractions. It's a boutique style hotel and the rooms are well appointed, our room had a bath within the bedroom (not to everyone's taste). There is a shower cubicle too with a great power shower. A separate toilet. There is a hotel courtyard for when it's dry outside but the bar area inside is fairly limited. Quirky. Expensive but we did visit during the Tattoo and festival. Breakfast was good. Overall would recommend

9/10,

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Rates for Hotel du Vin Edinburgh

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