Hogmanay, the Scottish word for celebrating New Year, is usually a three-day festival of revelry that gets underway on December 31. We've rounded up the best hotels for celebrating Hogmanay in Edinburgh, including the top places to stay for Scottish New Year's balls, reeling ceilidhs, sumptuous banquets, unbeatable views of the firework displays, proximity to the Hogmanay Street Party, and for taking part in the traditional Loony Dook dip in the Firth of Forth.
Principal Edinburgh George Street
The elegant Principal George Street hotel is one of the oldest hotels in the city, with a prime position on one of Edinburgh's best shopping streets. It has a beautiful Georgian ballroom which will be used to glamorous effect for their Gala Ball on New Year's Eve, complete with piper, pre-dinner drinks, a four-course dinner and dancing until the wee small hours of the morning. A three-night Hogmanay package includes an upgrade to a Superior room, breakfast, a glass of champagne and two special extras: a £20 shopping gift card at Jenners department store and the luxury of late check-out. Double rooms from £479 per night.
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Ring in the New Year from the rooftop at the Glasshouse Hotel. A three-night package starts with a welcoming mug of hot chocolate followed by live music in the Snug Bar and a three-course dinner. On New Year's Eve there will be a champagne reception and five-course dinner (with wine pairing) followed by a ceilidh in the Calton Suite, located in the two-acre rooftop garden. If you can tear yourself away from the party, there are great views of the fireworks from nearby Calton Hill. An extended breakfast on New Year's Day is followed by a buffet dinner in the evening. Rates from £2,250 for two.
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For those who want something a little more secluded, the outrageously opulent Prestonfield House hotel is offering a three-night New Year's stay for two, including champagne and breakfast, for £425 per night. Pack the black tie and tartan (and maybe the glass slippers, too) for the Hogmanay Ball, where after a champagne reception and four-course dinner you will be entertained by a ceilidh band in the hours leading up to midnight and a disco beyond. Tickets for the ball are £125 per person.
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Radisson Collection Royal Mile Edinburgh
Stroll up the Royal Mile to watch the fireworks or, if the crowds or the weather get too much, get in early and book Room 507 for a grandstand view across the city. You're also at the start of the torchlight procession and a few steps away from the candlelit concert at St Giles Cathedral. For Hogmanay you can stay for £543 in a standard double room, including a full Scottish breakfast.
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It's a glamorous, glistening, all-gold holiday season at the Balmoral this year, with a stirring start to Hogmanay celebrations from the Royal Burgh of Stirling pipes and drums. There will be a champagne and canapé reception, followed by a four-course dinner (with selected wines), created by executive chef Jeff Bland from the hotel's Michelin-starred Number One restaurant. Then there's the Gala Ball where a ceilidh band will ensure everyone is reeling – and that's before the fireworks begin. Hogmanay Ball accommodation packages start at £910 per person for a two-night stay in a classic room, including breakfast and the ball.
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Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
Roll up for a Hogmanay Circus at the Sheraton Grand, which will be hosting a New Year's Eve ball with a difference. There will be live jazz, magic tricks and acrobatics, kicking off with champagne and canapés while you mingle with the performers, followed by a five-course dinner with circus acts between courses. Step out into Festival Square to watch the fireworks, followed by dancing. Tickets for the Hogmanay Ball cost £240 per person; a three-night stay (minimum) in a double room costs from £360 a night, including breakfast.
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Old Waverley Hotel
This hotel is a little more modest than some others in the centre of Edinburgh, but it does boast a first-class view of the street party and castle. The Old Waverley also serves a celebratory five-course Hogmanay dinner, with places going for £75 per person. It's on from 7pm until 9pm, which means you can enjoy your meal and be right on hand to join the famous street party afterwards (tickets cost £31 per person; edinburghshogmanay.com). A double room with breakfast for three nights during the Hogmanay period is priced from £314 per night.
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Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
This glamorous grand duchess of Edinburgh hotels dominating the West End of Princes Street, is a great vantage point for all the New Year's Eve madness. Glittering Peacock Alley, displaying all its festive finery, is the venue for the Caledonian's Hogmanay Ball, promised to be strictly traditional Scottish affair with ceilidh dancing, a four-course dinner and midnight stovies and champagne. A two-night stay, including a full Scottish breakfast and entrance to the Hogmanay ball, starts at £1,928 for two.
Read the full review: Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
2 Cambridge Street Edinburgh
Not a fan of big hotels? Things are still bound to go with a bang (every guest is given edible dynamite on arrival) at this hugely characterful bed and breakfast that feels out of the madding crowd but is actually right behind the castle. It's a five-minute walk to the street party; two minutes to the Ceilidh Under the Castle. And if you really don't want to leave your cosy hideaway, you can watch the fireworks exploding overhead from the doorstep before retiring for the night in anticipation of a fabulous New Year's Day breakfast. Double room with breakfast from £160 per night.
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Consider positioning yourself in nearby South Queensferry for the traditional New Year's Day 'Loony Dook' – a swift dip in the freezing Firth of Forth. The Orocco Pier Hotel is offering a two-night New Year package, which begins with a bottle of champagne and box of chocolates on arrival. It also includes two tickets to the black tie Hogmanay Bash – including champagne reception, four-course dinner, dancing and fireworks. New Year's Day brings brunch and a three-course dinner in the Samphire restaurant. You'll also get a full Scottish breakfast before departure. Rates start at £620 for two staying in a classic room.
Read the full review: Orocco Pier