There are times and places for luxury just as there are for frugality. This is the reason that there exists a great number of hotels that cater to all different kinds of budget. If you have read our articles listing our pick of the ten best budget hotels in Edinburgh and also Which Luxury Hotel to Choose in Edinburgh, then you'll already have a rough of idea of the variety available for travellers looking for a trip away, no matter what kind of budget they are restricted to. The focus here is on the luxurious however, and not just any kind of luxury: our aim is to pick the three best 5-star hotels in Edinburgh. This list will hopefully encourage travellers to entertain the notion of trying out any one of these three hotels, which we at About Edinburgh Hotels have chosen as the very best establishments that anyone can stay at in the whole of Edinburgh and perhaps even the whole of Scotland.
1 .Chester Residence
Some may find it surprising that the Chester Residence has topped this list, not because of any fault with this hotel but because of the almost unbelievably luxurious nature of the Balmoral Hotel which some may feel deserves to top this list. The thing about the Chester Residence is that it simply has a unique charm that just about trumps even the sumptuousness of The Balmoral Hotel. This is probably the reason why this hotel is the 2014 recipient of TripAdvisor's Traveller's Choice award for both the small hotel categories.
And it is the relatively small nature of this hotel that makes its luxurious nature even more pronounced and the fact that it beats out the grand Balmoral Hotel all the more impressive. If the 96% rating on TripAdvisor isn't enough to convince you, then simply listen to what it has to offer: five different categories of apartment ranging from Penthouse to Classic; a fantastic location in the city; stunning architecture and a grand stature; luxurious packages including romantic getaway, honeymoon, and pampering packages including various massages and relaxing indulgences. The Chester Residence truly is the pinnacle of luxury and extravagance in Edinburgh, making it our top recommendation (along with that of almost everyone who has ever stayed there) when choosing 5-star hotels in Edinburgh.
2. The Balmoral Hotel
Balmoral's position at number two is in no way a reflection of anything negative on the hotel's part. In fact, if one were to visit the Balmoral without knowledge of the other hotels on this list, it would likely impress you as much as to convince you that it is the best hotel in the entire UK, let alone Edinburgh alone. It isn't surprising that people enjoy the experience so much, since even from the walk to the hotel one can see just how grand of an experience you are about to receive. The building is itself a landmark of Edinburgh and was opened in 1902 and known as the North British Hotel until late in the 1980s.
Even if you take the heritage of the building, its architecture, and its impressive size as a given, you cannot help but marvel at above-and-beyond nature of the rooms and the things you can do in the hotel. There are two fine-dining restaurants Hadrian's and Number One, with the former offering contemporary Scottish cuisine whilst the latter is a Michelin-starred restaurant offering the height of culinary perfection. The spa is also an experience in of itself, the bars also provide an excellent place to socialise and be merry; don't forget to have afternoon tea here as well: you will not be disappointed. The only thing more impressive than the lavish activities is the room choice: deluxe suites, junior suites, classic rooms, and many more room types mean that there is a room for everyone at the Balmoral Hotel.
There is almost nothing to detract from the impressive nature of the Balmoral Hotel aside from a few bad experiences posted on TripAdvisor, and even these have been met with swift and lengthy responses from the team at the hotel. Satisfaction and sublime experience is clearly the main aim of this hotel, and were it not for the unique nature of The Chester Residence, this would hold the position of our pick of the top 5-star hotel in Edinburgh.
3. Old Town Chambers
The website rightly describes the Old Town Chambers as being the heart of and very much a part of Edinburgh. This is another hotel with an extremely grand building and history emanating from its walls. This hotel has a range of rooms to offer including penthouses, 1-3 bedroom suites, studio apartments, and a townhouse. All of these rooms are exquisitely decorated and have a distinctly modern feel that contrasts beautifully with the classic nature of the building's exterior. The penthouse suites are of course the height of luxury, with two balconies and even a private chef at your service as well. The townhouse is another luxurious options which sleeps 4 and has its origins as far back as the 14th century, offering a truly spectacular place to stay.
Such is the luxuriousness of the hotel that they are able to host corporate functions as well, with the private chefs of the penthouse suites making for quite a display and a unique venue for business matters. In all, this hotel is exquisite, falling behind only the Balmoral and the Chester Residence in its excellence. More information can be found at the Old Town Chambers website where booking options are available as well as pictures and information about the hotel, its rooms, and the packages that it offers.