The Caledonian in Edinburgh has everything you would expect of a great Scottish hotel. There is the historic and imposing facade; This Waldorf Astoria hotel was formerly an early 1900s train station, which has been beautifully restored. There are views of Edinburgh Castle up the hill, thanks to the hotel’s fantastic location. And of course, there are the charming kilted doormen, ready to welcome you to this large but comfortable property.
The Caledonian Hotel Review
Rooms and facilities
The Caledonian has 241 rooms and suites decorated in soft, neutral tones or deep smoky blues and stormy grays, with gold accents and traditional furnishings. Floor-to-ceiling windows in many rooms add to the drama (although you’ll be glad to know there are blackout blinds!). Top marks go to the plush beds – you can’t help but drift off to a restful sleep. There are convenience touches — like an ironing board and Nespresso machine — plus luxury bathrobes and toiletries.
This hotel is well serviced in terms of facilities, with a particularly impressive gym (especially if you’re used to the old fashioned treadmill that most hotels make). This fitness center is large and well-equipped, and there’s also an indoor pool, steam room, and sauna. The spa offers treatments in partnership with 111SKIN and Ground Wellbeing – the deep tissue massage is excellent.
Food and drink
Your first stop should be Peacock Alley. Located in the heart of the hotel, this cozy lounge exudes a certain old-school glamour, with live harp and piano. We had a wonderful breakfast here, but guests stop in for a coffee or a cocktail throughout the day.
For fine dining, head to Dean Banks at Pompadour, where you can experience the seven-course tasting menu. We dined at Grazing by Mark Greenaway, which offers a warm, relaxed atmosphere and a feast of tasty food.
And, if you fancy a pre-dinner cocktail or nightcap, head to the Caley Bar, where you can also sample some of Scotland’s finest whiskies.
Sorry to go back to the food, but the afternoon tea taken in Peacock Alley is not to be missed. Not only are the cakes and sandwiches sensational, but the overall ambiance is perfect; traditional but not stuffy, sophisticated but not pretentious. They don’t even look up if you ask for a doggy bag!
What to do nearby
The Caledonian is in a prime location for exploring the rest of Edinburgh. As well as Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens are just across the road, and you can easily stroll down the Royal Mile, as well as enjoy the shops near the New Town.
City-breakers and festive stays.
Stays at the Caledonian start at £280 a night room-only. For more information, visit the website.