Originally built in 1903 as both a hotel and a train station, Princes Street Station was dismantled in the late 1960s, leaving just The Caledonian Hotel. After being purchased by the Waldorf Astoria chain in 2012, the hotel quickly rose to prominence as one of Edinburgh’s most recognisable landmarks and finest hotel options for Scots and worldwide visitors.
The hotel’s luxurious amenities and rich history lend an air of distinction to the world-famous Waldorf Astoria name, whilst he history of the Caledonian remains and leaves an air of contemporary Victorian elegance, a combination of Hollywood glitz and a touch of warm Scottish friendliness. Charming doormen wearing full tartan and bowler hats welcome guests to a haven of luxury, where they can relax. An award-winning chef’s creations and the most incredible traditional afternoon tea is also served beneath the station’s original Victorian clock.
The prime location at the crossroads of Lothian Road and Princes Street makes this hotel accessible to shoppers, tourists, and business travellers alike. The airport can be reached in 30 minutes via the city tram, which stops just a few minutes away, and the majority of the Old Town and New Town can be reached on foot in around 20 minutes. The newly opened Johnnie Walker experience is also just on the other side of the road. The hotel’s front-facing rooms and suites also offer breathtaking views of the Castle, adding to its already desirable location.
Rooms & Suites
Each suite is named after a notable Scotsman, such as Sir Walter Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or Alexander Graham Bell, carrying on the tradition of honouring Scotland’s rich history. Thick, luxurious black-out drapes, along with high-thread-count sheets, ensure a restful night’s sleep. Turndown service in the evenings includes refilling the water supply, slippers by the bed, and thoughtful chocolates on the pillow. The luxury of a complimentary Nespresso machine and minibar in the morning is hard to resist, and the plush robes and slippers provided by the hotel are an added bonus.
We stayed in the stunning Sir Walter Scott Suite, which features original artwork inspired by the author and a panoramic window overlooking the famous Edinburgh Castle. The suites are ideal for guests staying with family as the separate living area is the perfect spot to relax in the evening, which features a modern colour palette of blue and grey and royal blue velvet chairs.
We also enjoyed the spacious marble bathroom with its opulent amenities, including the fluffy bathrobes, Aesop bath products, walk-in shower, and double-sized tub that allows you to admire the Edinburgh cityscape while you soak.
Dining & Afternoon Tea
While the Hamilton & Inches station clock continues to chime, the former concourse has been roofed over to make way for Peacock Alley, a signature feature of all Waldorf Astoria hotels. Breakfasts, light lunches, and afternoon teas are served here. In 2019, Mark Greenway debuted Grazing, a casual street-level restaurant that celebrates Scottish food. The cuisine has a focus on vibrant, seasonal flavours, our favourite dishes included the crab starter to share and the venison for main.
In the morning, guests can also indulge in a lavish breakfast service at Peacock Alley, the former station concourse that has been transformed into a magnificent setting for cooked-to-order breakfasts, followed by coffee, drinks, and multi-tiered afternoon teas. Peacock Alley’s afternoon tea showcases savoury freshly-cut finger sandwiches, decadent sweets and a selection of home-made scones with clotted cream and jam. There are also over thirty fine loose-leaf teas and herbal infusions to choose from.
The Waldorf Astoria, Caledonian is home to one of the best spa’s in Edinburgh, with services ranging from massages, to facials, and pedicures, but the best remedies for tired, travel-worn skin are the body wraps and exfoliating treatments. Harley-Street-inspired skincare brand 111SKIN is used in many of the spa’s treatments, whilst Irish brand Ground Wellbeing is used for many holistic body rituals on offer.
There is also a large fitness centre with both resistance and cardiovascular machines available to guests. The heated indoor pool is perfect for early morning laps or family fun in the water. The whirlpool is as enjoyable as it sounds, and the sauna or steam room are great for de-stressing and spending some time relaxing.