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“Edinburgh's Best” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

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Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
Ranked #53 of 150 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Edinburgh's Best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013

Despite living in Edinburgh, I had the occasion to stay here recently. Familiar with the historic reputation, I was completely blown away by the recent renovations and the first class service.

In short, this hotel is emblematic of the style, comfort and hospitality and will provide a first class welcome to all who stay - both local and visitor alike.

Thank you for making my stay so memorable.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gdavidson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. I am ecstatic to read that you were blown away by the renovation works following your stay in Edinburgh in February. Although you are from Edinburgh, this is certainly the impression that we are aiming to give to attract locals to the hotel.

Furthermore, I appreciate your kind feedback, and hopefully you are able to return to the 'Caley' in the future.

Kind regards,

Chris Logan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 290 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013

I was looking for a smart and luxurious hotel for a weekend break treat that my partner and I were doing for our mothers in Edinburgh. We chose The Caledonian as it was a Waldorf Astoria and so we knew it would be smart- and it looked lush and traditional. It was a great choice.

We found out from the very welcoming Front Office Manager (Christina Keuter) all about the history of the hotel over the days we stayed here. In fact all the staff were very welcoming and happy to talk about the hotel and the city, right from the Doormen, through to check-in, in the Spa, restaurant and especially Christina and her assistant. They would always greet us, chat and make suggestions every time we saw them over the 3 days we stayed here.

The hotel is well over 100 years old and used to be the station and hotel for The Caledonian Railway. The area that used to be the platform is now a massive covered space that acts as the lounge. It is a dramatic room that is stylish and great to sit in for afternoon tea or drinks in the evening after dinner. The brasserie serves a huge and brilliant breakfast. The spa and gym is a bit of a trek to get to, but quirky and well equipped once you find it in the basement. The pool was small and a bit too full of kids during our stay for my liking.

The hotel is huge with very long passages and a huge grand staircase to all floors. The rooms are all different and unusual. So it is unlike most hotels these days with generic and standard rooms.

We had booked 2 rooms with views of the Castle. They both had amazing views and the rooms were quiet, even though on a busy part of Princes Street. The rooms are not huge, but have a distinctive up-market feel to them with grey walls and gold thistle wallpaper. The ceilings were really high. The bathrooms was great with a massive bath.

The hotel is towards the bottom of one side of Princes Street and was easy to walk into the main part of the street and surrounding areas with shops and restaurants. There is a goof bus service right outside and easy to catch buses out to Leith to see the Royal Yacht Britannia, and nearby is also the stop for the hop-on hop-off bus tours.

The feel of the hotel was up-market, and welcoming. The whole stay felt very special and was perfect for the treat weekend.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bembridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. It was a pleasure for Christina and I to look after you, and we appreciate your positive feedback. Moreover, I am also delighted that you were able use the majority of our facilities, including our wonderful Guerlain Spa, and hopefully we shall have the opportunity to welcome you back to the 'Caley' again in the future.

Kind regards,

Chris Logan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
173 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2013

I Stayed over the Easter weekend with my husband and son. We used the Valet parking, and our bags were taken into the hotel. Our room was immaculately clean and we were shown how the heating controls, tv and safe worked by the Bellboy. We liked the extra touch of a creme egg for each of us in the room.

We were in room 304 and the views out of our window were wonderful with clear views of the Castle and other parts of Edinburgh.

The Hotel is a Historic building,but, I would of liked more information regarding the history of the building other than just the clock which was situated in Peacock Alley.

All the staff we encountered from Reception, Concierge were very professional, expect for two trainee girls at breakfast, and this is where the hotel service has been let down. Our first day at breakfast was lovely. The choice of food was very good and even the fussy eaters would find something, the waiter very polite, poured our choice of juice, offered us toast, asked if we required any help or required anything further.

On the second and third day however, the service went downhill. We were served both days by two different trainee girls and although I understand that everyone has to start somewhere and learn, I do not think that any attention was paid by them during training. Both days our juice decanter was just plonked down on the table, not even poured into our glasses, I had to ask for toast, giving them plenty of opportunity to ask us, and even had to request side plates for the toast. My plate was then attempted to be taken before I had finished eating, and our tea for two was a small pot for one, their attitude was they didn't care.

If we had not of been given such good service on the first day, I wonder if I would of noticed those things.

We also had an issue with two items that became out of date in our mini bar during our stay. when we arrived we had Hummus and another items in the fridge, unsure if someone had left this previously we checked on the mini bar price list and found that is was part of the mini bar. The items were dated 29th and 31st March, we arrived 29th March. We did not dispose of the items as we didn't want to be charged and presumed Housekeeping would check the Mini bar each day. However, on checking out on 1st April, the items were still in the mini bar. The clocks also changed during our stay and we received a letter in our room stating that all clocks would be taken care off, unfortunately, our Alarm clock at the side of our bed had not been changed. Apart from those issues Housekeeping was fine, but, please remember attention to detail.

I did inform the Reception staff on check out of both the problems we encountered, and to be fair they were very apologetic, and they wrote the issues down, which I presume will be looked into.

This would not put us off staying in this hotel again, and perhaps reading this you may feel I am being a little harsh, but, when you are a paying guests for five star hotel, you should receive the correct etiquette from all staff members that represent that hotel.

A word of warning if you are a light sleeper, Edinburgh is a city that never sleeps, which my husband and I experienced 3am every morning, with loud voices out on the street, even though we were on the third floor. Although, this is NO FAULT of the hotel if you are a light sleeper, make sure you request a quiet room but, if you request this you may have to sacrifice the lovely views over the castle.

We saw lots of attractions, to many to mention but a few to mind,The Georgian house, Gladstone's land, Royal Yacht Britannia, mercat tour of the Edinburgh valuts. The buses to the attractions are very frequent. The bus stops are at the side of the hotel and remember to bring some change with you as they will only take correct money. The fares on the buses are fixed fee of £1.50 single for an adult and 70p single for a child or £3.50 each for all day ticket.

I would highly recommend The Mussel & Steak Bar for meals on West Bow Street, but, make sure you book as they get very busy and it is quite small inside.

We will return to the The Caledonian hopefully next year with our other family members.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank peanut31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Dear guest.

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. Although in general, you have been positive in your feedback, I am extremely disappointed to hear of the breakfast service on the last two days of your stay, and I would like to convey our most sincere apologies for the shortfall in our service. Your feedback has been shared with our Food & Beverage Manager, who will revise it with the team, to avoid any similar occurrences in future. Likewise, he will discuss your comments regarding the minibar products, and address this with the team responsible for this. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused.

On the other hand, with the assistance of your observations, I do hope that you are able to return to the 'Caley' and we can make your 'almost perfect' stay into a PERFECT one!

Kind regards,

Chris Logan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2013

Just back from 2 days at the Caley. As Edinburgh born and bred, but away for 15 years now, I fulfilled a boyhood dream and brought my wife for our 10th anniversary.

Excellent in almost every respect. Menu Degustation at the Pompadour restaurant was very good - helpful Scottish waiters and a sommelier from Wales who did a great job introducing the wines. Dinner lasted 3 hours and we had a lovely table overlooking the castle.

The leisure club is fine - I had it to myself most of the time. Plenty of good equipment.

My wife enjoyed afternoon tea in the beautiful peacock alley. Breakfast also first class.

Just 2 comments:
1. This hotel should consider some kind of double glazing on the bedrooms that overlook the busy Lothian Road. The rumble of buses and lorries and the wail of sirens is actually quite noisy. (We were on the first floor)
I know the traditional Victorian design might be spoiled a bit, but the Pompadour restaurant which is on the mezzanine floor just above ground has a kind of secondary glazing and it is tranquil in comparison.

2. After afternoon tea in peacock alley, which was great, we were presented with a chit to sign, the first line of which read "TIP ------". Considering that we had already had a discretionary service charge added to our bill, I thought this lacked class (to say the least..). I'm not against tipping (I did tip the concierge) but I doubt I would be alone in finding this kind of presentation a bit tasteless. Anyway, just a small thing...

All in all, highly recommended hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rfb1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. It is wonderful to hear that you were able to return to Edinburgh after such a long period of time, and I am honoured that you chose to stay at the 'Caley' for such a special occasion. You have certainly departed feeling more than satisfied, with thanks to the service received from our team in our Pompadour by Galvin Restaurant, as well as our Guerlain Spa and Peacock Alley.

Moreover, I also appreciate your feedback with regards to the secondary glazing, and verbiage used on our guest checks. These are both examples of how we are looking to make the relevant improvements as a Waldorf Astoria hotel, and it is only through your constructive comments that this is possible. Thank you once again!

Kind regards,

Chris Logan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2013

I stayed at the Caledonian with my wife and six month old son over the Easter weekend and we all had an absolutely fantastic couple of days.
This is an amazing hotel that provided us with everything we wanted from our stay. The staff members were attentive, polite and seemed completely determined to enhance our experience.

The king deluxe room was perfect, great view of the city, plenty of space for the three of us and quiet enough for our son to sleep peacefully in the travel cot provided by the hotel.

Peacock Alley, the lobby lounge at the hotel is really nice, the staff are engaging and really made us feel relaxed. We spent each early evening having a drink here and it was a really good way to enjoy the hotel.

We also visited the swimming pool, which is small but adequate for children and anyone who wishes to do a bit of exercise during their stay. The changing facilities were clean and well equipped.

All in all a fantastic stay, a thoroughly recommended hotel in a great position made all the better by the people that work there.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PandKWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. I am delighted that we were able to surpass your expectations over the Easter Weekend, and I am sure that your 6 month old son appreciated the experience! By all accounts, the facilities used, including our wonderful Peacock Alley, and our fabulous Guerlain Spa were a hit. Therefore, I shall certainly pass on your comments to the relevant team members who were working over the weekend.

Moreover, we hope to welcome you all back to the 'Caley' again in the future.

Kind regards,

Chris Logan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2013

We stayed at The Caledonian for 2 nights to attend a wedding and celebrate our wedding anniversary. The setting, tea room, and halls were beautiful and luxurious. Our room was also very nice. Meticulously clean and done to a very high standard. My only small gripe would be that the bathroom didn’t have a tub which I was looking forward to but the quality in the rest of the room more than made up for it. The hotel location was central near Princes Street and it was very easy to get around from where we were staying.

The service in the hotel was surprisingly poor and unseasoned for a 5 star hotel. We arrived after the check-in time and was told that our room was not ready. Rather than inviting us to the tea room to have a coffee or to the bar for a drink we were just told to wait as the room would be ready in 15 minutes. There was a maintenance problem in our room (pump in heating unit broken - fair enough happens sometimes) and were told that they would fix it in the morning. No concession or apology of any sort offered alongside. We pushed back and were moved into “an identical room” but really mistakes that inconvenience customers in 5 star hotels shouldn’t be the patron’s problem, the hotel should have offered something to acknowledge the inconvenience of repacking suitcases, etc. Yet, we didn't even get an apology. The wake-up call on our last day was 10 minutes late and when we tried ordering room service after getting back late from a wedding it was a shambles and we cancelled our order. There was no interaction with hotel staff that left a markedly good impression during the duration of our stay.

On the balance I would probably stay here again if staying in Edinburgh but I would really hope that the hotel would make an effort to bring their service to a more fitting standard for a hotel of this quality.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. Overall, I am pleased to read that you had a pleasant experience whilst celebrating your Wedding Anniversary. Needless to say however, I am concerned by your comments on the service issues mentioned. I shall certainly review our communication procedures, as this is definitely not the standard we expect from our team members, and hopefully as stated, you shall return to the 'Caley' again in the future.

Kind regards,

Chris Logan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thurso Scotland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

We were really looking forward to a couple of nights here at an advanced purchase rate of £179 b&b. As gold card holders we were disappointed to find free breakfast no longer on offer, so decided to pay the £20 extra a night per room...decided not to take up the two £15 vouchers offered for each person for each night. Our maths obviously better than theirs!
So on arrival...no upgrade available. Hilton website suggested differently...
Room was smallish but spotless and well appointed. A wee cadburys creme egg a nice touch.
BUT throughout our stay there was an unmistakeable smell of sewage right along the corridor and in the reception area. My son travelled through from Glasgow and it was the first thing he commented on. Receptionist seemed puzzled by our reporting it, but henceforth it was either that or a very strong whiff of air freshener...
Brasserie staff very pleasant, but not value for money. Peacock Alley impressive and food tasty and more reasonable. Leisure club was spotless.
Beautiful bathrobes, but one had dirty scuff marks which we reported to reception. It was never replaced...
None of the above was helped by the lack of direct access to Princes St...
This was all followed by a night at Hilton Grosvenor in Glasgow. For £65 we got: instant upgrade; complimentary breakfast; complimentary bottle of wine. Faith restored by this.
Waldorf makeover seems to scoff at Hilton loyalty, as others have pointed out. Hilton brand still appears to reward it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank susanderek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. I appreciate your constructive feedback, and there certainly some positives and negatives to take away from your comments. As stated, it is correct that our HHonors members do not now receive breakfast inclusive in the rate, however there are many other advantages of the loyalty scheme, and this is certainly not a reflection on the importance of our valued HHonors members. I am also disappointed that you feel that our Galvin Brasserie De Luxe was not value for money, as this is an observation that I have very rarely experienced since the restaurant opened.

We shall by all means take your comments on board, and as always, I embrace all of the feedback received as it is only through this feedback that we can make the relevant improvements to our service. I hope that we will indeed be able to restore your faith in our brand, and you will choose to return to the 'Caley' again in the future.

Kind regards,

Chris Logan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

Property: Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
Address: Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 2AB, Scotland (Formerly Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > West End
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Edinburgh
#9 Spa Hotel in Edinburgh
#18 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#30 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
#30 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
#33 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian 5*
Number of rooms: 241
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

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