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Waldorf Astoria - The Caledonian, Edinburgh, Scotland

Guest Writer, Jennifer Johnston

For a romantic escape in the heart of historic Edinburgh, Waldorf Astoria - The Caledonian is the perfect luxury hotel from which to explore Edinburgh’s many attractions. 

  • Location: In the heart of Edinburgh on Princess Street.
  • Accommodations: The hotel has 241 rooms over six floors. There are Queen Deluxe rooms, Premium Deluxe rooms, and Queen Carriage Rooms, replicating the style of a train carriage featuring dark dramatic walls and copper wash basins.  Premium Deluxe rooms come with a view to Edinburgh Castle. All rooms are carpeted, with marble tiled bathrooms, complete with slippers and plush bathrobes 
  • Dining options: There are two restaurants operated by Michelin starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin, the Pompadour by Galvin with one of the ‘prettiest’ dining rooms found in the city and the Galvin Brasserie de Luxe.  A sumptuous buffet breakfast is served each morning in the Brasserie Breakfast Room, try a sample of haggis or black pudding with your crunchy bacon and eggs.
  • What else is there: The hotel has a focus on health and wellbeing with a modern leisure club fitness centre, spa and wellness centre including a 10-metre lap pool. The hotel is the only spa in the United Kingdom featuring the French luxe brand, Guerlain. The relaxation room within the spa offers beauty and skincare treatments and a double room for couple pampering.
  • What’s nearby: Besides Edinburgh Castle, the hotel is within comfortable walking distance of the Royal Mile and Princes Street gardens, and it is a stone’s throw from Rose Street, with shopping and a number of pubs, bars and dining venues.
  • Why go: It’s historic, romantic and in the shadow of the iconic Edinburgh castle

The Space

From the moment you walk through the grand arches of the old railway station, you experience this historical icon and the warm welcome of Scottish hospitality as you’re greeted by smiling tartan trousered doormen.  The foyer is inviting with a spectacular glass chandelier drawing the eye and soft muted tones imbuing a sense of luxurious calm. Beyond the foyer is Peacock Alley, where it’s easy to imagine the original station concourse and ticket office. The covered space, with its double storey height and glass atrium roof provides a relaxing, light and airy lounge area with chairs and sofas casually arranged to encourage quiet conversation. In the evening a few local musicians gather around the grand piano, taking special requests from guests. The original Caledonian Railway clock station clock, which survived a station fire of 1890, keeps time on one of the walls of Peacock Alley.

Where We Stayed

Our double had the largest floor space I’ve experienced in any hotel room in Scotland. The subtle décor in muted tones of grey and bronze wall paper with Scottish thistles a subtle reminder of where we are. The three metre drapes covering the window blocked out all form of extended daylight hours – in summer it stays light until 10.30pm. The alcove entry to the room was a well thought out feature as luggage could be stored far away from sleeping quarters. The bathroom with generous deep bath and celtic inspired feature tiles and muted marble tones looked inviting. That was until I turned on the shower, which sprayed an ineffective mist in a strange direction leaving water all over the bathroom floor. The shower pressure was also disappointing. Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan soul toiletries and generous sized bath towels helped to make up for the lack of a good shower, as did slipping on the soft Waldorf bathrobe and padded slippers. I’m not sure about the purpose of the set of electronic bathroom scales. Are they to allow you to work out how much weight you’ve put on during your Scotland holiday as you wait for your bath to fill? Loves 

  • The bed, which was indulgently comfortable.
  • The buffet breakfast – the choices are vast, the service impeccable and the haggis is worth a try! 
  • The wellness spa with pool and steam room, which was ideal to unwind and relax in after a day pounding the cobblestoned streets.
  • The many “train” references retained in the 2011 refurbishment, in acknowledgement of the hotel’s railway association.
  • The inclusive room rate includes a full buffet breakfast, complimentary high speed Wi-Fi and an in-room Nespresso machine.

Insider Tips  

  • Request a room with a view - to be watched over by the beautiful Edinburgh Castle is an inspiring reminder of the city’s Scottish history.
  • The number 22 bus, which departs from around the corner, takes you down to the Ocean Terminal where you can tour the de-commissioned royal Britannia ship.

The Details

Waldorf Astoria - The Caledonian is located at the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2AB,





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