Accommodation in Scotland is of a high standard, usually, in all price brackets. Here are some of our favourite places. And even more we can’t afford.
Where to Stay in Scotland
Welcome to our main accommodation in Scotland page. Here are some of our ideas, recommendations and happy memories – plus feedback from others. Now, make no mistake, if you are thinking of touring Scotland, no matter your budget, you should be able to find plenty of good places to stay. That old cliché I used to have to write on those endless tourist brochures – the one about ‘Scotland has been welcoming visitors for generations etc’ – actually is true.
Put simply, there are a lot of places that have got it right these days. Sampling TripAdvisor reviews confirms this. That’s the best way – as well as noting our comments, obviously! – though the national tourist board - VisitScotland - also operates a quality assurance scheme using star symbols for all types of accommodation in Scotland and you should bear this in mind as well.
Anyway, accommodation in Scotland is varied and some of the hotels, guest houses and B&B places we recommend – for a variety of reasons – have been put on this page into a loose tour format. For most mentioned here, either we – or Johanna as a tour guide in particular – have stayed. Some we definitely could not afford to frequent but Johanna has had positive feedback from clients and we use that as a basis for our own comment!
There's a couple of thoughts on luxury accommodation in particular on a wee blog post here. Do you need a turn-down service every night? Just sayin...
Two things to note, however. Firstly, please be aware that this page may carry affiliate links that you can use to book accommodation. In this case, a small fee comes our way. Secondly, we should also point out that we have no relationship with any of the establishments mentioned here. Heck, they might not even know they are mentioned (unless you tell them). And I’ll let you know if those circumstances change. (Remember, our independent point of view is the key to the WHOLE website.) Right, having got that off our chests, let’s start from the middle of Scotland with just a sample or two.
Accommodation in Scotland – Glasgow and Edinburgh
Johanna recently returned full of praise for Hotel Indigo in Glasgow – modern, friendly, centrally situated with a multi-storey carpark nearby, and the hotel is in a building of historic interest and lovely art. I wasn’t there (awwwhh!) but it sounds as if it was ticking a lot of boxes. Also in Glasgow, Hotel Du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens has been popular with her clients for years now, always to be relied upon – the concierge is especially knowledgeable and helpful. Great ‘West End’ location. For the more budget-conscious, try the Z Hotel just off George Square in the city centre. Johanna has stayed here a few times. Some rooms have no windows - as this was a former printworks - but friendly staff, great location and the complimentary wine and cheese every evening more than make up for that!
Moving over to Edinburgh, we both like the Apex Waterloo Place. Good central location on the continuation of Princes Street; simply competent and comfortable. (And no excuse for you not walking to the top of Calton Hill for the view, as it is so near.) Also it has the distinction of being the first custom-built hotel in Edinburgh. It was good enough for Charles Dickens on a speaking tour….oh, and the Scottish Six Nations rugby team, much more recently. (I happened to notice.)
(Pictured here) Looking westwards, towards Princes Street in the very centre of Edinburgh. Apex Hotel with its red flag, and left, the clock tower of The Balmoral Hotel with the Scott Monument behind. A sunny June day sitting outside Howies Restaurant adjacent to the Apex.
Boutique-style or B&Bs
On the topic of great boutique-style hotels, clients also speak highly of the five star G&V Royal Mile Hotel in the heart of the Old Town of Edinburgh. (And not just because of the good-looking young doormen in kilts of debatable hues.) And there is a wealth of friendly B&Bs in the city. (Actually, it’s awash with them – whole streets-full.) Bruntsfield or Stockbridge are two attractive residential areas to consider - with good bus links to the city centre.
(Pictured here) Smart kilts on display – the uniform at the door of the G&V Hotel near the Royal Mile, Edinburgh. Form an orderly queue for photographs, if you please..
Accommodation in eastern Scotland
Staying on the subject of bed & breakfasts, let’s move on to accommodation in St Andrews, as it’s only an hour (and a wee bit) away from Edinburgh. There are a whole raft of upmarket places to stay such as Ogstons on North Street and Hotel du Vin - and of course many hotels catering for golfers: we mean here large comfortable places with easy parking, such as the resort of Fairmont St Andrews on the edge of town with its own golf course - (J recalls a sumptuous breakfast spread here!) as well as The Old Course Hotel and Rusacks Hotel
Moving slightly off-the-beaten track up into the Perthshire/Angus border on the very edge of the hills, in the town of Alyth, you will find the fantastic Tigh na Leigh Guest House. Only five bedrooms – and such bedrooms – this is in our own ‘really, we shouldn’t tell you about this place’ category, but, hey, we’ve gone and done it now. A guest house with dinners by arrangement – and such dinners – well, it’s all a bit of a find really. Oh, and Chris and Bettina might remember us. ‘Hmmm, haven’t seen them for a while’……they might say. We’ll be back as soon as we can.
Where to Stay - close to the Highlands
We were on the edge of the Highlands at Alyth – a good base for discovering the Angus Glens. If time permits and you have your own vehicle, then skirt the hill-edge all the way north-east, taking the road to Fettercairn then over the Cairn o Mount (listen for the stags roaring in October at the top). You then roll down to the valley of the River Dee , near Banchory, and you’ll have a fine time at the Raemoir House Hotel. (Again, Johanna’s clients certainly did.) It’s a classic hidden-away country house – cosy, warm, welcoming with log fires. Johanna also stayed at Banchory Lodge Hotel in Banchory - a Georgian mansion right beside the River Dee - peaceful and delicious food.
We have lots more accommodation tips
Well, it’s an easy drive from Deeside (the valley of the River Dee that certainly includes Ballater) to Inverness, the Highland Capital. We hope this has given you a few suggestions for places to stay in Scotland if you are planning and also booking your own touring itinerary. If you are heading for the Highlands and the Scottish islands then take a look at the page links below - where we give a further selection - we know some great places!