The Witchery by the Castle is a wonderfully romantic and extravagantly sumptuous boutique hotel situated in a collection of sixteenth century buildings on Castlehill, immediately beside Edinburgh Castle. Its name reflects the fact that James VI had hundreds of alleged witches tried and executed at its location, and it is rumored that the place is haunted by at least one of these unfortunate spirits.
In 1979, James Thompson took a series of rundown buildings and established one of Edinburgh’s most luxurious restaurants with a small number of individual and original suites. Since then, the Witchery has expanded a little and now has nine suites. It is one of Edinburgh’s most luxurious and romantic destinations, described by Cosmopolitan as one of the seven wonders of the hotel world.
Opulent suite at the Witchery — Photo courtesy of The Witchery
Each suite is unique and has its own charm and atmosphere. There’s the flamboyant and theatrical Vestry suite, dressed in red, gold and black gothic fabrics, an ornate pipe organ headboard with vestments draped in the bathroom.
The Sempill suite features a massive, velvet-draped four-poster bed and ornate antique furniture. The Old Rectory suite boasts a huge gothic bed created from a set of pulpits with gilded pinnacles, several luxurious seating areas and seven large windows looking out onto Princes Street. The Guardroom features a tapestry-hung four-poster bed and stunning views of the Old Town.
Included in the nightly rate is a complementary bottle of champagne and one of their now-famous breakfast hampers featuring hot, freshly baked patisseries, fresh fruit, yogurts, charcuterie and beverages in beautiful silver teapots. Whichever suite you choose, you can be sure to have an unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most luxurious and unique boutique hotels.
The Witchery also features a world-class restaurant serving food in two distinct and entrancing locations. Diners can relax in the darkly gothic Witchery, with its red leather seats, ornate oak paneling and flickering candles. Or you can unwind in the beautiful and secluded Secret Garden complete with beautiful French windows, intricately painted ceiling, and ornate stone and wood carvings.
In each setting, patrons are treated to the best local produce lovingly prepared and served with flourish and panache. Considering the quality of the cuisine and the beauty of the surroundings, the price tag is remarkably reasonable and it would be a mistake not to combine a stay in one of their exclusive suites with at least one meal. However, beware – returning to normal life after such a magical experience could prove difficult!