Craig Williams, a 35-year-old from Clermiston, was found seriously injured in Ocean Drive in Leith shortly after 2am on Sunday.
The hotel worker, originally from Wales, was rushed to hospital by ambulance, but died from his injuries later that morning.
Colleagues at the Edinburgh Marriott Hotel in Glasgow Road, where Mr Williams had worked in the housekeeping department for more than a year, today described him as “warm and friendly” and said he would be missed.
Mr Williams is understood to have been out with friends in the Leith Walk and Pilrig area on Saturday night before taking a bus to Ocean Terminal shopping centre.
One eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said she saw police surrounding the victim in the early hours of Sunday morning as he lay motionless in the road, but did not realise the severity of the incident until later.
She said: “We didn’t hear a bang. I just saw him lying on the floor with the police there. We thought he was drunk and they were about to take him home. But then in the morning police were everywhere so we realised something had happened.”
Peter Dornom, general manager at the Marriott, said: “It is with great sadness that we learned that a valued associate, Craig, had tragically passed away.
“The team at the hotel are deeply shocked at the loss of such a good friend and colleague who was always prepared to help others and kept us all going with his warm and friendly smile.
“Our sincerest sympathies are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Friend and co-worker Debby Wallwork posted a tribute online which read: “Craig was a cheery guy with a big heart, his Welsh tones shouting ‘hiya’ would always bring a smile to your face.
“Craig was a dedicated and valued member of the team at the Edinburgh Marriott Hotel, often going out of his way to help others and he would always make us laugh.
“There was no room to feel down when you were in his company. Craig has left a huge gap in our hearts. He is much loved and will be missed dearly by all his friends and colleagues.”
Police said they had spoken to a 25-year-old male driver of a silver Vauxhall Astra in connection with the incident.
They said the man cooperated fully with officers before being released pending further inquiries.
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “It appears that he fell asleep in the bus lane and was then allegedly struck by a passing motorist.”
A preliminary report has been submitted to the procurator fiscal.
Anyone with information about this incident should contact police on 0131-311 3131 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.