Betwitched by The Witchery


I was obsessed with the idea of staying at this “restaurant with rooms” the moment I saw it mentioned in a travel magazine (thanks, Marissa). The Witchery by the Castle stands in the heart of the Old City, steps below Edinburgh’s beautiful castle.  Suites are often booked months in advance and fall into the “special occasion” price category with rare exception. I rationalized The Mister’s 50th birthday combined with Valentine’s Day combined with a visit with Daughter #3 qualified as a “special occasion x 3.”   I can rationalize anything if I want it badly enough and I’m sure you would agree a stay was justified.   Alas, we did not dine at The Witchery Restaurant, but we did have the good fortune to book one of the eight sumptuously decorated suites for our weekend in Edinburgh.



The suites are housed in a collection of  buildings dating back to 1635 and restored to their present glory by brilliant owner and restauranteur, James Thompson.   After a fast and comfortable train trip from London, we walked up (and I mean UP) the hill to The Witchery. Roxy met us at reception and happily lugged our suitcases up the winding stone staircase and stopped at a heavy, wooden door with a brass plate stamped “The Library.”  It would be an understatement to describe the Library Suite as opulent, decadent, and luxurious. The antique-filled, almost theatrical decor wraps guests in a transformative experience.  It was hard not to “ooohhh and ahhhhh” my way around the suite as Roxy uncovered hidden door after hidden door.   Champagne upon arrival, breakfast hampers in bed, luxurious bathrooms hidden behind book-lined  doorways, bathtubs for two and discreet, attentive service are all part of The Witchery experience.


Our stay at The Witchery was the first time in my life I ceased to care about touring schedules, event agendas or ticking off sites in a city.  I just wanted to stay in our fabulous little bolt-hole in Edinburgh and luxuriate in my surroundings. I suggest you do the same.

Things to know:

There are 8 Witchery suites:  The Library, Inner Sanctum, Old Rectory, Vestry, Armory, Semphill, Guardroom  and the Heriot.  No two are alike, so spend your time choosing a favorite here .  I’ll have to go and stay 7 more times to determine which suite I think is best.  I’ll do it for you.

The suites do book up quickly.  I booked 5 months ahead.  Check their website for offers.

The Witchery is centrally located on the Royal Mile.  It was very quiet when we were staying (off-season), but if you are concerned with noise from the potentially busy street, choose a suite without street-facing windows.

The Witchery has a “sister” hotel adjacent to Royal Holyrood Park, a short distance from the Royal Mile. You can find details at Prestonfield House .