If you’re hitting one of the Christmas markets in Glasgow or Edinburgh this month, forget the car, indulge in the Glühwein, and stay at a fabulous hotel
The last word in luxury, voted Conde Nast Traveller’s best hotel in Europe, The Balmoral is the hotel other hotels aspire to be. You also couldn’t be closer to the Edinburgh Christmas Market, making it the ideal location for a festive visit. If you’re bringing the kids, the Winter Family Package offers two rooms, one of which is 50% off, breakfast, free meals for under-threes, and half-price food and drink for 4-12 year olds. Prices start at £419 for the package, and make sure to also book a table for the grown-ups at the Michelin-starred Number One.
A favourite of former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, Nira Caledonia offers bespoke sophistication in a Georgian townhouse in the New Town. Each individually-styled room offers goose-down pillows, L’Occitane toiletries and even a digital radio alongside all the usual amenities. In future years they’ll be offering guests the chance to book out the entire hotel for Christmas, so if you’ve got a big family, get planning now.
Radisson Collection Royal Mile
One of the most desirable addresses in the city, just a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle, the former Hotel Missoni has been given a makeover in recent years but retains its sense of style. Sunday to Thursday rooms start from £139, so it’s haute couture with a fast fashion price tag. Top off your stay with a meal in Cucina or a drink in the Epicurean bar, or time your visit to coincide with one of their monthly brunches, a Dubai-style feast for £25 per person.
Unbeatable views of Edinburgh Castle over the Usher Hall are one of the big attractions of The Sheraton, but the modern rooms featuring Scottish textiles, colour-changing mood lighting and bathrobes and slippers. Indulge in a Soak Your Senses session, where the expertise of the One Spa is brought to your own room with ESPA bath oils, a pot of herbal tea and therapeutic music. Discounts are available on advanced booking, while families booking two rooms can get 50% off the second room.
ABode Glasgow Hotel
With room categories ranging from Comfortable to Fabulous, ABode’s Bath Street branch offers a hearty Glasgow welcome in the city centre. From the original cage lift to the quirky wallpaper and furnishings, there’s a real sense of fun that will make your trip to the city truly memorable. Their Autumn Escape package offers prosecco, dinner, bed and breakfast from £109 per night.
Blythswood Square Hotel
Every effort has been made at Blythswood Square to preserve and emphasise its original Georgian features, including the elegant proportions of the rooms. Modern expectations of luxury are very much at the forefront, however, with comfortable beds, complimentary treats and marble bathrooms. It’s even dog-friendly, so Rover won’t have to miss out on the Bratwurst at the Christmas market.
Hotels don’t get much more up-to-date than CitizenM, with its social media-friendly aesthetic and technologically advanced bedrooms, where you can alter the colour and intensity of the lighting to suit your mood, and shut the curtains from the comfort of your bed. If your budget is tighter but your desire for style is limitless, this hotel is probably the answer.
The Regent Street branch of the Dakota chain provides modern oasis in Glasgow city centre. Shades of grey are everywhere, giving a softer feeling to the stylishly masculine interiors. Monsoon showers, bespoke toiletries and Sky TV complete the package. Downstairs meat is the star at The Grill restaurant, or there are creative cocktails aplenty in the bar.
Where to go:
St Enoch Square, Glasgow, 9 Nov – 23 Dec
A traditional German market with chalet-style stalls, two new bars and a landmark windmill for all those Instagram selfies. Hot food includes a crispy duck rotisserie, bratwurst sausages, crepes and a hog roast.
George Square, Glasgow, 25 Nov – 31 Dec
A vintage wonderland with a helter skelter, carousel and the chance to meet Santa at the daily advent calendar. 50 artisan traders from around the world are sure to have the perfect gift for anyone, and to top it off you can relax with a Glühwein in the bar.
East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, 16 Nov – 4 Jan
Princes Street becomes a carnival of Christmas again this year, with gift and food stalls, the big wheel and the 60-foot-tall Star Flyer. Get lost in the Christmas tree maze to work up an appetite for waffles, mulled cider and candy floss.