Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

An Edinburgh icon with fabulous fine dining

Opened in 1903 as The Caledonian, a grand railway hotel in the heart of the city, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian maintains its magnificent rose-tinted sandstone façade, intricately sculpted stone arches and unmistakable whiff of Victorian grandeur. Visit today and you’ll find it also incorporates a level of luxury, comfort, service and sophistication that is distinctly 21st century.

Still affectionately known by locals as “The Caley,” the Waldorf Astoria boasts 241 sumptuously appointed rooms and suites, which form a “V” shape around the hotel’s beating heart, Peacock Alley lounge. It also has a roomy gym and pool, a luxurious Waldorf Astoria Spa and a lavish whisky bar.

But the real highlight here is the food. This Edinburgh stay is home to two of the city’s top restaurants: Scottish fine-dining venue The Pompadour and inventive bistro Grazing by Mark Greenaway. What’s more, Peacock Alley also serves up indulgent afternoon teas each day. One thing’s for sure, you won’t leave this hotel hungry.

Our Inspector's Highlights
  • The lively Peacock Alley is a lobby lounge in the former railway station concourse and ticket office. It’s the social hub of the hotel, serving snacks, afternoon tea and cocktails throughout the day, often with live jazz accompaniment.
  • Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh — The Caledonian’s Waldorf Astoria Spa spans two floors of fitness, including a 12.5-meter pool and five treatment rooms. There’s everything from anti-aging facials to Margaret Dabbs mani-pedis, but you should opt for the signature treatment: the full-body, medium-pressure Caledonian Chic massage.
  • The Caley Bar offers more than 100 different drams of Scotch (plus a menu of whisky cocktails), with staff happy to offer expert guidance.
  • With Edinburgh Castle always in view and Princes Street Gardens just across the road, the luxury hotel offers a great city-center location. Yet the fact it’s on the edges of both Old Town and New Town means it remains a quiet refuge, even during August’s hectic Fringe Festival.
  • The décor throughout the property is stunning, from the grand chandeliers and carpeted staircase of the lobby to the pastel shades and distressed mirrors in the rooms.
Things to Know
  • Waldorf Astoria has more castle-view rooms than any other Edinburgh hotel, so take advantage. Bypass both the inward-facing accommodations and those looking over Rutland Street to pick one of the rooms or suites where you will wake up to an unforgettable vista.
  • If you want to enjoy a fine-dining experience at The Pompadour (and you should), book in advance. This is true any time of year, but especially during summer.
  • As you climb the grand staircase between floors, take a good look at the exquisite stained-glass windows. Each one depicts the coat of arms of a different town or city in Scotland; they are all places that were frequented by trains leaving from this station.
  • The unusually wide corridors are a remnant of Victorian and Edwardian times, when society ladies wore billowing hooped dresses. Occasionally, the corridor widens even further, creating passing points for an “inferior” lady to give way to her “superior.”
  • Look out for Peacock Alley's grand Victorian station clock, set five minutes fast so passengers didn’t miss their trains.

The Rooms
  • This Scotland hotel has 241 rooms and suites, with more to come. Each accommodation has a plush Serta mattress and Egyptian cotton sheets, blackout curtains, large TVs, Nespresso machines and, crucially, bedside USB chargers.
  • The rooms come in one of two color schemes (half are light gray, the other pale blue), but all have accent walls with Timorous Beasties gold thistle wallpaper. Décor is clean and pared-back — softly shaded rugs, dark velvet chairs and unobtrusive artworks.
  • Modern bathrooms feature showers or bathtubs with sleek Carrera marble finishing. Also included are Salvatore Ferragamo bath products, luxurious bathrobes and slippers.
  • Named for the Scottish inventor, the Alexander Graham Bell Suite sprawls out across 947 square feet of living space, including a lavish lounge with high ceilings, plush couches, a traditional fireplace, a dining area and fantastic views of the castle.
  • The largest (and most family-friendly) room is the Caledonian Suite at 1,291 square feet.
The Restaurants
  • Waldorf Astoria’s headliner restaurant, Dean Banks at The Pompadour, is one of Edinburgh’s finest. Sit down in sumptuous surroundings for a seven-course seasonal tasting menu that showcases the best Scottish ingredients from land and sea. If you can pry your eyes from the artful fare, the tables have wonderful views of Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle through the panoramic arched windows.
  • Grazing by Mark Greenaway is equally impressive. The eponymous chef represented Scotland on BBC2’s Great British Menu, and since 2018, this high-end bistro has showcased some of his most inventive dishes, like barbecue shiitake mushrooms on toast, and hake (a delicate white fish) with black-and-white-striped cannelloni.
  • A tradition in Waldorf Astoria hotels across the world, Peacock Alley serves as an elegant gathering spot for afternoon tea and evening cocktails.

24-hour room service
Indoor pool
Meeting rooms
Pet friendly
Getting There
Princes Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, EH1 2AB
EDI (16-24 min)   GLA (55 min-1 h 10 min)  
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