This flamboyant and fabulously gothic bolthole is all your historical fantasies rolled into one. If it doesn't make your pulse race, quite frankly you haven't got one. James Thomson opened this restaurant with rooms in 1979 in a clutch of 16th-century buildings tucked away beneath the castle and it's still, more than three decades later, the ultimate romantic retreat. There are nine suites: Vestry, Sempill, Old Rectory, Library, Inner Sanctum, Heriot, Guardroom, Amoury, and The Turret (added in 2013), scattered through a higgledy–piggledy warren of buildings. Peppered with antiques and ornately carved four–posters and strewn with rich brocades and velvets, hedonistic tubs for two, and the odd suit of armor, it's the antidote to years of mealy-mouthed minimalism. Breakfast can be taken in the equally theatrical restaurant (all wood–paneling and candlelight at night) but why struggle out of bed when they'll bring a gourmet breakfast hamper to your suite?
Restaurant, free parking at sister hotel Prestonfield, free Wi-FiWeb site The Witchery
MapCastlehill, The Royal Mile Edinburgh
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