Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian
What We Love
- Sweeping, dramatic Edinburgh Castle views from many bedrooms and from The Pompadour restaurant
- Guerlain Spa with 50-plus treatments, a pool, a sauna, a steam room and a bubble pool
- Savvy concierge and smooth service, from the restaurants and bars to the spa
- The hotel is filled with character
What To Know
- Rooms without views of Edinburgh Castle are uninspiring
- High-quality lunch and dinner options, but breakfast is served buffet-style
- Some of the lower-floor bedrooms suffer from noisy traffic
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Built as the grand hotel for the equally grand Princes Street Railway Station back in 1903, “The Caley” harkens back to the old world. The striking red-sandstone hotel is very much intact, and a major multimillion-dollar renovation in 2012 both preserved and breathed new life into what could have become a relic. Parts of the old station are still visible, especially in the main public space, Peacock Alley. Marble flooring and staircases befit this luxury hotel’s fame. Oil paintings, sculptures and greenery predominate, while antique clocks remind guests of the hotel’s former glory as one of the UK’s most famous railway hotels.
Bed and Bath
All 241 guestrooms have subtle mood lighting and a color palette of creams, browns and grays that reflect the ambience of the hotel. Most rooms benefit from large windows, especially welcome when the room has views of Edinburgh Castle. Plush damask furnishings and an engaging collage of classic and modern art brighten the rooms further, as do oversized mirrors and the occasional original period fireplace. Following the recent refurbishment, bedrooms also boast high-speed internet connections and flatscreen TVs, while bathrooms are decorated in marble and burnished chrome.
The Pompadour by Galvin is the hotel’s signature eatery, with fine dining and a celebrated tasting menu (plus castle views). The Galvin Brasserie de Luxe offers fresh shellfish and bistro-style fare in a hip setting. The Caley Bar serves lighter meals and drinks in railway-themed surroundings, while Peacock Alley is a showstopper, a lavish public space that evokes five-star luxury and the old railway station. It is an atmospheric venue for afternoon tea or evening cocktails. The Guerlain Spa excels with its six treatment rooms and eclectic therapies, as well as a bubble pool and a 24-hour fitness center.
In the Area
The Caledonian lies at Edinburgh’s heart, with easy access to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town and New Town. Edinburgh Castle, museums and galleries are close at hand. For a romantic stroll, a jog or kid’s play time, Princes Street Gardens is nearby. Edinburgh boasts many Michelin-starred restaurants, and nearby Castle Terrace, with Edinburgh-born chef Dominic Jack at the helm, may be the best. Superb Scottish seafood is offered at Ondine, while an impressive team provides great value and local ingredients at The Field. The Grassmarket area is filled with character and perfect for a nightcap, but it gets rowdy; instead, the nearby Oxford Bar, where fictional Edinburgh detective John Rebus drinks, is more relaxed.
How to Get There
We called in to this Hotel last weekend for a coffee and cake during the afternoon.
The experience was a delight. Staff were attentive without being intrusive. Presentation was beautiful and definitely value for money.
We returned on the Saturday lunchtime on our way to the Rugby International and partook in a Scotch Pie with a pint. This was very nice too....Will return if we come back to Edinburgh
Staff were incredibly kind, room was elegant and the amentinities were top-notch. The location is ideal for any trip to Edinburgh - close to the castle, near the shops and museums.
The woman who checked us in (Rei Anna - spell?) was so sweet! She upgraded us, took us on a tour of the facilities and sent us up an incredible chocolate and fruit dish.
My only regret was having just one night there!
Staff was friendly and helpful. Rooms were large and beds comfortable. Location is central to most everything. Ten minute walk to Edinburgh Castle. Food is great. Close to shopping. Easy access. Am staying again in April.
This lovely hotel is made excellent by its delightful friendly staff who, without exception, were very well trained, smiling, friendly, professional and genuine. The Reception team and door staff were particularly good. This is how you build loyalty - warmth and attention to detail. We will be back!
popped in for a drink whilst passing and what a fabulous place. very exquisite and welcoming. well worth a visit for a cup of tea and a cocktail! all the staff presented themselves professionally and what a lovely experience.