Hotel review: The Caledonian, Edinburgh

The Caledonian in Edinburgh has everything you would want from a grand Scottish hotel. There’s the historic, imposing frontage; this Waldorf Astoria hotel was previously an early 1900s railway station, which has been beautifully restored. There are the views of Edinburgh Castle up the hill, courtesy of the hotel’s fantastic location. And naturally, there’s the charming doormen in kilts, ready to welcome you in to this large but cosy property.

the caledonian edinburgh

The Caledonian hotel review

Rooms and facilities

the caledonian edinburgh

The Caledonian has 241 rooms and suites decorated in either soft, neutral tones or deep smoky blues and stormy greys, with gold accenting and traditional furniture. The floor-to-ceiling windows in many rooms add to the drama (although you’ll be pleased to know there are blackout blinds!). Top marks are awarded for the sumptuous beds – you can’t help but sink into a blissful sleep in these. There are handy touches – such as an ironing board and Nespresso machine – plus luxurious dressing gowns and toiletries.

the caledonian edinburgh

This hotel is well-served in terms of facilities, with a particularly impressive gym (especially if you’re used to the piddly, ancient treadmill that most hotels rustle up). This fitness centre is big 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 at the heart of the hotel, this comfortable lounge exudes a certain old school glamour, with live harp and piano music. We had a wonderful breakfast here, but guests stop by for coffee or cocktails throughout the day.

For fine dining head to Dean Banks at The Pompadour, where you can experience the seven-course tasting menu. We dined at Grazing by Mark Greenaway, which has a warm, laidback atmosphere and a flavour-packed feast of dishes to choose from.

the caledonian edinburgh

And, if you fancy a pre-dinner cocktail or quick nightcap, head to The Caley Bar, where you can also sample some of Scotland’s finest whiskies.

Hotel highlights

the caledonian edinburgh

Sorry to bang on about food again, but afternoon tea taken in Peacock Alley is not to be missed. Not only are the cakes and sandwiches sensational, but the whole ambience is perfect; traditional but not stuffy, sophisticated but not pretentious. They don’t even turn their noses up if you ask for a doggy bag!

What to do nearby

the caledonian edinburgh

The Caledonian occupies a prime location for exploring the rest of Edinburgh. As well as Edinburgh Castle, the Princes Street Gardens are just across the road, and you can easily stroll to the Royal Mile, as well as enjoying the nearby shops of the New Town area.

Best for

City-breakers and celebratory stays.

Stays at The Caledonian start at £280 a night on a room-only basis. For more information, visit the website.