The Glasshouse Hotel

Striking design in Edinburgh’s center

There is nowhere quite like The Glasshouse Hotel in the Scottish capital. A swath of sleek glass architecture weaves around a more than 170-year-old stone church in a breathtaking fashion guaranteed to excite design enthusiasts.

Lady Glenorchy Church had seen better days before it was resurrected in 2003 as a boutique hotel. Push beyond the grand Gothic façade of this central bolthole to find a modern marvel. The 77 bedrooms and suites have a fresh vibe, and the windows make the most of the light and help conjure up a feeling of airiness.

That sense of space is echoed throughout, not least on the expansive rooftop garden, which is a major draw. Other reasons to linger at The Glasshouse: it offers superb room service and a welcoming whisky lounge.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The mix of modern design and historic charm gives The Glasshouse a distinctive feel. It hasn’t dated too much since opening, either, thanks to a major revamp in 2018.
  • Unique in the Scottish capital, the rooftop garden is the reason many regulars return to the luxury hotel. This two-acre oasis is no mere afterthought with real grass and neat little touches like palm trees and deck chairs for those looking to soak up the ambiance with a cool cocktail in hand.
  • The newly refurbished Snug Lounge is a welcome nod to more traditional upscale hotels in Scotland. It’s the sort of den where you will want to recline on a leather sofa in the evening, working your way through an impressive range of nearly 100 whiskies.
  • Location is key at this city-center hotel. While you’re close to many major Edinburgh attractions, the adjacent Calton Hill park and its surrounding trails and greenery give the property the air of a rural retreat within the Scottish capital.
  • Don’t be afraid to order in at night. The excellent room service menu includes steak cooked just how you like it with proper fries (rather than chunky Scottish chips) and seafood from Scotland’s North Sea.

Things to Know

  • We recommend getting up to that rooftop garden early in the morning and in late afternoon to catch the sun rising and setting over Calton Hill and Edinburgh’s skyline.
  • If you’re a light sleeper, avoid the street-facing rooms on the lowest level as they can be prone to noise both from the busy road and from revelers making their way back from a night out.
  • Breakfast in the Brasserie can get busy. If you’re in a hurry, opt for breakfast in bed instead, hopefully with that Calton Hill view you secured when booking.

The Rooms

  • Light and space are key features throughout the 77 well-appointed rooms and suites at the Edinburgh hotel. The stylish look manages to be unmistakably Scottish (think tastefully curated art rather than tartan twee) with a Japanese minimalist streak (wooden screens create an extra sense of space).
  • If you really like the sound of that expansive roof garden, snare a room on the same floor to get direct access to the gorgeous green space. Other options for a slice of outdoor living include rooms with balconies.
  • Make the most of the floor-to-ceiling windows by booking a room on the upper floors with views across the city or back toward the hulk of Calton Hill.
  • All rooms come with Aromatherapy Associates toiletries and Nespresso coffee machines.

Nearby Attractions

  • Check the roster for Edinburgh Playhouse next door. This cultural grande dame dates back to 1929 and catching a musical or classical concert here is a charming experience, given its ornate interior and sense of history.
  • Climb up Calton Hill if you can. This was illustrious Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s favorite Edinburgh viewpoint, not because it’s the highest or grandest, but because you can see both Castle Hill and extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat from the 338-foot perch.
  • The boutique hotel is in a prime position for the massive new Edinburgh St James development. This sprawling ultra-modern oasis is set to become one of the city’s premier shopping and retail areas with more than 850,00 square feet of leisure space.

24-hour room service
Meeting rooms
Getting There
2 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA
TEL13 1525 8200
EDI (18-26 min)   GLA (1 hr-1 hr 20 min)  
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