Centrally located, historically celebrated, and oozing with charm – The Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel is one of Edinburgh’s finest hotels. Whether you’re staying a few nights in the Scottish capital or dropping by for a lavish afternoon tea in the Peacock Alley, everyone who passes through Edinburgh should have their very own Cally experience one way or another.
The “Cally” Experience
As I exit my black cab and the rain begins to fall, a welcoming face expresses his joy to see me as if I’m the last guest to arrive at an exclusive party. “Welcome to the Cally!” he proclaims… and the Caledonian experience so begins.
While my room is not ready at check-in, the receptionist is swift to offer me a seat and coffee waiting in the nearby peacock alley – a staple in Waldorf Astoria properties around the globe. After a double espresso and a traditional Scottish shortbread, I take a tour of the hotel and return to reception to complete the check-in process. Shortly thereafter I am whisked away to the third floor as the bellman shows me to my room.
There are two things that hit me like a tonne of bricks as soon as I enter my suite – firstly the size. The rooms inside The Caledonian are huge, I mean HUGE. Given the history of the property as traditionally a railway station, the rooms are not only huge but the ceilings are spectacularly high – all in all making for a very grand experience. And the second? The view. My suite looks out toward the castle with an unobstructed view of Edinburgh’s most popular city attraction.
The room is also outfitted with all the usual expectations – a Nespresso machine, luxurious Salvatore Ferragamo bathroom amenities, and even a generous serving of Scottish shortbread (yum!).
Dinner at Glavin Brasserie de Luxe
After a lengthy trip exploring Scotland, for my last night in Edinburgh at the Caledonian I really didn’t want to stray too far from the hotel for my evening meal. I went one step further and booked a table at the Brasserie downstairs – a casual dining affair with French flair. The room itself was enough to earn merit points – it was almost as welcoming and inviting as the staff (of whom were spectacular).
I opted for a healthy entrée of asparagus and a similar choice for my main – a vegetable salad. After months of eating out reviewing restaurants around Europe, it was exactly what I felt like. But I couldn’t go past the apple tart for dessert – beware, it’s an extremely rich and calorific indulgence! While the food was enjoyable, it was the service that made the Brasserie such an enjoyable experience and I would recommend it for the service alone.
Book this hotel if…
The Waldorf Astoria Caledonian is one of Edinburgh’s finest classic hotels. That very fact combined with a recent refurbishment leaves the hotel hard to fault, and I really couldn’t pick any major faults from my short stay. It would have been preferable to check-in early, but of course these things can never be guaranteed and the staff were prompt to offer me a seat in the nearby peacock alley. The room was very large and well appointed, indeed the best room I encountered during my stay in Edinburgh. If you want a room with a view, go no further than the Caledonian and be sure to request a castle view room – you won’t be disappointed!
World of Wanderlust was welcomed to The Balmoral as a guest, however my opinion is as always, my own.