The Witchery by the Castle

Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2NF, Scotland

A Gothic fantasy in an ancient collection of stone buildings twisting around each other, basically next door to Edinburgh Castle, the Witchery is one of Edinburgh's most hauntingly atmospheric places to stay, and it's next level luxurious to boot. Run by legendary local restaurateur James Thomson (he also owns the decadent Prestonfield property, and a handful of other swanky joints in Edinburgh), the Witchery is a hotel for top-end treat trips, and (of course) its restaurant is stellar too.


Rooms are no-holds-barred luxe: thick drapes, carpeted walls and velvet chaise longues combine with flatscreen TVs that appear magically out of the windowsill at the touch of a button. Each room is different, across two buildings on either side of the Royal Mile, and accessed by atmospheric spiral stone staircases. All feel like palaces, and have four-poster beds (obviously).

Magician Derren Brown loved the large, tapestried Armoury suite so much when he stayed there that he left a secret message...


Bathrooms are extremely opulent, including bright tiles, velvet curtains and freestanding roll top baths for two people. We weren't kidding when we said this romantic hotel was a special occasion kind of joint.


There's no lobby as such, but staff at the reception desks are friendly and professional, and lead guests to their rooms past atmospheric stone sculptures and magical 16th century architecture.

YOU SHOULD KNOW While the hotel feels like a hidden retreat, it's worth remembering that it is right on perhaps Edinburgh's busiest thoroughfare.


The Witchery by the Castle is perhaps most famous as a fantastic and indulgent Scottish restaurant, and it doesn't disappoint. At the front, there's a grown-up dining room, all wood panelled walls and leather and alloy, and at the back, there's a secret garden restaurant in a former school playground, complete with a beautiful painted ceiling and an outside terrace. Food is, obviously, exceptional.

Breakfast is either served in the restaurant, where guests can have the full cooked Scottish breakfast. Alternatively, staff will serve a continental breakfast in your suite.


There's no bar, but guests can order up drinks to their rooms until 10pm.


Getting Around

If you want to leave your suite (and be warned: you might not), you only really have to fall out of the front door to find the delights of Old Town. Other sights are further afield, but still within a short stroll.


For a considerably more relaxed lunch, Oink (3-minute walk) is a hog roast joint with great pulled pork sandwiches. Or for a break from all the antique opulence at your hotel, try Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar (6-minute walk), a modern restaurant with great Scottish food from a up and coming young chef.


The Scotch Whisky Experience (1-minute walk) is next door, if the 'water of life' is your poison. If that doesn't sate your taste for whisky, The Devil's Advocate (5-minute walk) has 400 varieties - but it also has lovely seasonal cocktails in an old Victorian pumphouse setting.


Gloriously over the top, gothic, seductive, and dripping with glam, the Witchery is the perfect place to stay for anyone looking for serious pampering, or to treat that someone special with the same. You'll have to save your pennies first, though...



Phones: 0131-225-5613

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