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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
Excellent Hotel with superb and caring staff. Superb location near the city centre!
Our room was excellent but needed more lighting.
Maintenance to fix our radiator in the bathroom was first class and immediate.
Refreshments and bar service outstanding.
Worth every penny. All members of staff from the reception, butler, cleaning, spa, restaurant, etc were brilliant. Not "stuffy" and got the balance right between class and friendly. Thanks also for the gift.
Location also brilliant but the experience was the highlight.
Our check-in was perfect, upgraded room at 9am, with a tour of Peacock Alley and background history by lovely Simone. The room itself was spacious and comfortable, with an ample sized bath. The entire hotel overflows with charm. We had plenty of hot water, but I had to get used to mixing the taps. The king size bed was outfitted in luxurious linens with wonderful pillows. The art in the room was photos of the building when it was a train station. The concierge and bellman were both very helpful, as was Willie who stood outside to assist with directions. The location of the hotel is close to shops, restaurants and of course Edinburgh Castle. The breakfast buffet was among the best we have experienced. We will return for another night before departing Scotland and are looking forward to it.