There are very few people that have never heard the name Waldorf Astoria.
The Waldorf Astoria New York is an essential destination for enthusiasts of the Art Deco style. Recognized as one of the world’s most significant examples of Art Deco art and architecture, this New York City luxury hotel is a living museum of decorative ornamentation, design, remarkable paintings and beautiful motifs. Presently it’s closed for a massive refurbishment project and it’s gratifying to know that’s what the brand does. It buys classic famous hotels and refurbishes them to exacting standards and re-opens them and that’s just what they did to the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, known locally as the “Caley”, is one of Edinburgh’s most significant landmarks. This amazing hotel has undergone a luxury relaunch following a £24 million investment and renovation programme to bring this landmark Scottish property into the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts portfolio.
‘The Caley’, has embodied the very best in Scottish hospitality for over a hundred years. Situated at the west end of Princes Street, this former Victorian railway hotel nestles in the shadow of the historic Edinburgh Castle and is just a two-minute walk from the designer stores and fashionable bars of George Street.
With two exquisite restaurants operated by Michelin-starred brothers, Chris and Jeff Galvin –
The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe –
The Hotel is also home to the UK’s only Guerlain Spa, a relaxing haven in which one can unwind and escape with many exclusive and indulgent treatments as well as state-of-the-art fitness facilities. This former Victorian railway-building hotel, nestles in the shadow of the imposing Edinburgh Castle and its reputation for style and excellence has attracted generations of locals, international visitors and notable personalities for over one hundred years. So a few weeks ago I sent of a mum and daughter to experience a “special birthday” present in this iconic Scottish landmark hotel. They arrived on a cold but dry Monday lunchtime and were show to their junior suite.
Beautifully positioned with a stunning view of the world Famous Edinburgh castle.
Explained Grace “Meticulous attention to detail goes into the presentation of this exciting and beautiful hotel, Its location could not be better and you are close to just about everything in Edinburgh” “Our room was just beautiful and a delightful space in which to sleep” Next time I’m back for a shopping trip, it’s going to be the Caley for me.
The rooms in the Caley are classed in four grades, ranging from ‘classic’ to the ever-popular ‘suites’. Rooms are beautifully appointed with the diamond white linens blending into marshmallow mattresses.
You can make a Nespresso, do some forgotten ironing or relax with a chardonnay in the sumptuous fluffy dressing gowns.
Bathrooms are forensically clean with smart, with glorious showers and Ferragamo toiletries. Paying a little extra for a ‘Castle View’ room is well worth the money. The Caley features a large lounge called Peacock Alley that used to be the concourse of the former railway station, which was situated next door to the hotel. It has now been turned into an attractive, lounge space with interesting lights resembling peacock feathers. Here you can have drinks along with snacks or even afternoon tea. Or if you prefer you can just relax.
The hotel also features a beautiful swimming pool. Changing facilities are excellent with an abundance of fluffy white towels freely available. Added to this the hotel boasts fitness and Spa facilities. When staying in such a beautiful hotel the beds are extremely important and by all accounts the Caley’s are just wonderful, but when you create such a wonderful space as the Caley, service can be a big deciding factor in ensuring that your guests return again and again.
Because Grace and Jessica had made no bookings for dinner they asked the concierge for advice on local medium priced eateries. Within a few minutes George had a number of suggestions for the ladies and one was chosen. A concierge facility is always the best place to go to for local knowledge and George made sure his guests got the best table at the right price. Explained Grace: “
George was amazing, there was nothing he didn’t know about the city and where to go. He was like a tourist app all wrapped up in a smart uniform and a gentleman to boot” The Caley is very well situated for all that Edinburgh has to offer and all the main attractions are within walking distance, as is Waverley railway station.
AN AWARD-WINNING HOTEL
Luxury Travel Guide Awards 2018 – Luxury City Hotel Edinburgh
World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017 – UK Luxury City Hotel
World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017 – N. Europe Luxury Spa Hotel
World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017 – N. Europe Luxury Business Hotel
Condé Nast Traveller 2017 – Top 10 UK Business Hotels #9
Scottish Hotel Awards 2017 – National Wedding Team of the Year
Scottish Hotel Awards 2017 – Gold Laurel
Scottish Wedding Awards 2017 – Wedding Venue of the Year
TripAdvisor Green Leaders 2017 – Silver Level
The Caterer 2016 – Hoteliers Hotels Top 100 #64
Scottish Hotel Awards 2016 – Events Hotel of the Year – Regional
Scottish Hotel Awards 2016 – Informal Dining Hotel of the Year – Regional
Scottish Thistle Awards 2016 – Most Hospitable Hotel
World Luxury Hotel Awards 2015 – UK’s Luxury Business Hotel of the Year
World Travel Awards 2015 – Scotland’s Leading Business Hotel
World Luxury Spa Awards 2017 – Best Luxury Hotel Spa in the UK
Scottish Hotel Awards 2017 – People of Excellence – Regional Spa Therapist – Louise Banna
World Luxury Spa Awards 2016 – Best Luxury Hotel Spa in the UK
Scottish Hotel Awards 2015 – Spa of the Year
The Herald Look Awards 2015 – Spa of the Year
The Food Awards Scotland 2017 – Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year for The Pompadour by Galvin
Bookatable by Michelin’s Awards – Galvin Brasserie de Luxe listed in the Top 100 Best Restaurants in Scotland
Square Meal UK Top 100 – Number 33 – The Pompadour by Galvin, 2015
AA Three Rosettes – The Pompadour by Galvin, 2013 – 2017
Michelin Bib Gourmand – Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, 2015 – 2016
One Rosette – Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, 2013 – 2016
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is a portfolio of 26 iconic properties in the world’s most sought after destinations. Unified by their inspirational environments and True Waldorf Service, Waldorf Astoria hotels deliver unparalleled, bespoke service from the moment a guest books through check out. Waldorf Astoria is a part of Hilton, a leading global hospitality company. Experience Waldorf Astoria by booking at www.waldorfastoria.com. Learn about the brand by visiting hhttp://news.waldorfastoria.com or following the brand on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Edinburgh is a very accessible city and is very easy to get into from the airport. One of the best and most affordable ways to get into the centre is the Edinburgh Pass. This is a pre-paid smart card that gives you free admission to more than 30 attractions. It’s good for 1, 2, or 3 consecutive days, and is activated the first time you use it. The pass also includes a separate ticket for Airlink, the express bus between Edinburgh Airport and the centre. The typical savings is £60 on a 3-day pass, and like any inclusive pass, the more you use it, the more you’ll save, so it’s best for sightseers who want to visit as many attractions as they can. The pass includes a 100-page guidebook to help you plan. The child version of the pass is good for kids ages 5 to 15, and includes all of the attractions on the adult pass with the exception of Dynamic Earth, the Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour, and Auld Reekie’s Terror Tour. Also included are dozens of discounts on coach tours, self-guided walking tours, gift shops, and food and drink. The website is very organized with detailed information about each attraction, as well as suggested itineraries and downloadable maps.
Some of the most popular attractions and best values include the Auld Reekie Terror Tour, an extremely popular underground walking ghost tour (save £12), the Edinburgh Zoo (save £14), and the Edinburgh Dungeon (save £14.95). The card is available at many outlets. You can buy it at Expedia, Orbitz or Travelocity or you can buy it once you get to Edinburgh but these are not great options as you may pay more. The best place the buy the card is at the Viator website. Viator guarantees the lowest prices, no-fee cancelling, no-fee date changes, 24/7 customer care, and airline miles (with a minimum spend).
All Included Attractions
- FREE return airport transfer
- Almond Valley Heritage Centre
- Auld Reekie Tours Terror Tour
- Auld Reekie Tours Underground Tour
- Cadies Witchery Tours – Ghost Tour
- Cadies Witchery Tours – Mystery Tour
- Children’s Scary Haunted Underground Experience’
- Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh
- Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
- Dynamic Earth (Child Pass not valid here)
- Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World
- Gilmerton Cove
- The Edinburgh Dungeon
- Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour
- Edinburgh Zoo
- Glenkinchie Distillery
- Geernyonder Tours – Hidden Gardens
- Hopetoun House
- John Knox House
- Maid of the Forth
- Lauriston Castle
- National Museum of Flight including Concorde Experience
- National Trust – The Georgian House
- National Trust – Gladstone’s Land
- National Trust – Newhailes
- Nelson Monument
- National Museums of Scotland
- The Queens Gallery
- Scottish Mining Museum
- Scottish Seabird Centre
- Surgeon’s Hall Museum
- National Gallery of Scotland Impressionism