This review is based on staying at the hotel for ninety plus nights over a period of five months. It really did become home for me and I owe the staff a big thanks for making being away for so long a lot less painful then it could have been.
The hotel is a converted railway hotel that has undergone an extensive refurbishment. Some of the public spaces are very impressive, particularly Peacock Alley. Despite this, do take into account that this is an old building so some things will never be as slick as a modern building such as the Sheration next door. If you want to stay somewhere with character and feel like you're staying somewhere with some Scottish soul then be prepared to put up with a few minor flaws.
The location at the end of Princes Street is perfect. Central but not noisy even during the Festival. There are plenty restaurants and bars within few minutes walk away and the Royal Mile is a twenty minute walk.
I have stayed in a wide range of rooms at the hotel, from the Queen Classic rooms to the Sir Walter Scott suite which was amazing. I have always found the rooms to be clean, with very comfortable beds and apart from the Queen Classic room which were small, spacious. As with other guests, I did experience that hot water in certain rooms is a bit unpredictable but I was always moved when I brought this up. Wi-fi in certain parts of the building is patchy.
The gym is large and has a lot of machines (both cardio and weight in two separate rooms). However it could do with more free weights i.e. barbells. I also thought the staff at the gym could do more to help guests rather than just sit in the office but that's just my personal preference.
The room service menu is extensive and of good standard. However it is very expensive, the tray charge alone is £5 so even a basic meal will cost £25-30.
The limited vegetarian options in the Galvin brasserie meant I only ate there a few times but other colleagues thought the food was excellent value but the venue lacked atmosphere. The Peacock alley bar was great, the perfect relaxed venue to end the day and bar staff in the Caley bar were incredibly friendly.
The main reason why this hotel became my preferred place to stay in Edinburgh was the service, from the initial check in to the staff at breakfast and in the Caley bar. Everyone did there best to make sure my stay was as problem free as possible. Of course, there were occassional issues with incorrect room charges and room service taking too long but these were rare and as anyone who travels extensively will tell you, these things happen and are easily resolved.
I don't have an opinion of what a five star hotel should be, but if you want to stay in a place with character, great rooms and great friendly staff, then I wouldn't hesistate to recommend this place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, or the "Caley" as it has become affectionately known among Edinburgh folk, was and still is the epitome of style and excellence. The large, rose-coloured Permian sandstone facade, quarried in Dumfries, dominates the skyline of the city's west end. The hotel has not only remained a focal point for more than one hundred years, but a symbol of the very best of Scottish hospitality. The Caley's pivotal position at the very heart of Edinburgh has always been its greatest asset. Created out of the 19th century railway boom, the five star hotel is looking to the future with confidence and pride in its ability to keep pace with the times. The hotel's reputation is as justified now as it was when the hotel first opened its doors in 1903. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton International Edinburgh
- Hilton Edinburgh
- Edinburgh Hilton
- Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian Scotland