The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh ~ The Caledonian, a luxurious five-star Hotel, Wedding Venue and landmark in Edinburgh

Today I am excited to spotlight on Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh ~ The Caledonian, a luxurious five-star Hotel, Wedding Venue and landmark in Edinburgh, standing at the west end of Princes Street.

I visited in celebration of my daughters 16th Birthday and its magic stole my heart completely.

I think the first feeling you have is a sense of welcome, quickly followed by a sense of awe.

From being greeted by the doormen to the concierge, and the knowledgeable and friendly reception staff to everyone working throughout the hotel nothing is too much trouble, and from the moment you walk through the doors it just feels special.

I have been to many hotels with wonderful customer service, but the Caley takes it up, not just a notch but to a whole new plane.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh

A grand Edinburgh institution for nearly 120 years, the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh is set above what was once a grand Victorian railway, and has been a city landmark throughout its history with its stunning red sandstone facade.

Constructed from 1899 to 1903, it was part of the Caledonian Railway’s Edinburgh Princes Street railway station.

The hotel was built on top of the stone, V-shaped station building that had been recently built as a replacement for the previous wooden station, which was damaged in a fire in June 1890

When first built, the hotel had 205 rooms, with decor in the style of Louis XV, and grand arches at the front of the hotel also provided access to the railway station below.

Closure of the station in 1965, and its demolishment in 1970 provided room for expansion of the hotel, and the cast iron gates at the entrance to a car park in Rutland Street are the only remainder of the station outwith the hotel.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Exterior

Something to note about the hotel is its Grand staircase (and it is very grand!)

As you climb between floors you will notice the gorgeous stained glass windows.

Each one depicts a coat of arms of a different town or city in Scotland that trains from the original Princes St Station frequented

Another special feature is the stations clock which now hangs on the wall of the Peacock Alley lounge which used to be to be the stations main concourse and ticket office.

This railway legacy just increases the hotels character, and the atmosphere of romance it invokes.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Grand Staircase

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Grand Staircase

In whatever capacity you are staying at the Hotel having a lovely place to lay your head is really important.

The hotel has 241 rooms and suites arranged over 7 floors. Rooms in the hotel come in two colourways, light grey or pale blue with Timorous Beasties gold thistle wallpaper being a luxurious accent feature,

To carry the railway theme along further as part of their accommodation portfolio they have the Queen carriage rooms which feature railway exclusive themed décor, tea and coffee facilities.

These iconic rooms celebrate the rich railway history of The Caledonian with every detail, from the metalwork to the polished burr veneers, is reminiscent of the finishes which would have featured in the Victorian railway carriages that once transported travellers from around the world.

We stayed in a Two double bed premier room with castle view, and to say this view of the city’s most iconic site, the imposing Edinburgh Castle, is unparalleled would be a massive understatement, its jaw dropping.

There were two double beds with plush mattresses and Egyptian cotton sheets, blackout curtains and modern amenities such as LCD TV, and a Nespresso coffee machine..

Luxurious bathrobes, slippers, plush white towels and exclusive Aesop bath products complimented the huge bathroom in marble finishing, with shower over bath and separate toilet cubicle.

It also has to be noted that there is a separate changing room where the wardrobes are, and the storage capacity was immense, which is handy if travelling with a family, and things like ironing board, and iron, in room safe and umbrellas are there for your convenience.

There is also complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel  and rooms which has massive appeal, and can be really important whether travelling for Business or with children such as with our trip, and a huge desk which is very useful for work.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Two double bed premier room with castle view

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Edinburgh castle view

Now lets talk cuisine.

To start the day there is a hearty breakfast selection both continental and cooked.

There was plentiful pastries, breads, muffins as well as cold meats, cheeses, fruits, yoghurts and cereals.

The porridge (a favourite of mine) was particularly lovely, and the full Scottish selection was great too all washed down with wonderful fruit juices and steaming hot tea to set you up for exploring.

There are several options for fine dining although we did not eat dinner in the hotel.

Dean Banks at The Pompadour, engages all 5 senses to change the way you experience food with the signature 7- course tasting menu showcasing the best Scottish produce from land and sea. The focus is on sourcing sustainable produce, with a strong passion for Scottish seafood.

Alternatively you can experience dining in the relaxed and welcoming environment of Grazing created by celebrated Edinburgh chef Mark Greenaway. His menu incorporates locally sourced ingredients with unique concept dishes.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Grazing by Mark Greenaway

If you fancy a luxurious afternoon indulgence or if all the city exploring has given you an appetite. you can experience Afternoon tea (with Its theme changes seasonally) in Peacock Alley.

Located in the beating heart of the hotel, the stylish sophistication of the lounge draws you in.

From a place to sip cocktails, to have a business meeting or just to relax its amazing.

On both days we stayed at the hotel we popped in for tea ( they have many many blends) with its scrumptious accompanying shortbread which went down an absolute treat.

If you fancy a wee tipple there is also the adjoining Caley Bar’s with its collection of more than 100 whiskies.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Peacock Alley Lounge

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Peacock Alley Lounge - Afternoon Tea

The Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh embodies a peaceful sanctuary and the utmost tranquillity, and is an impressive setting to revive your mind, body and soul.

From custom-built Guerlain cabins to their exclusive use of Guerlain products and techniques, every aspect of the Guerlain Spa is designed to relax the body and mind, promoting inner well-being and balance, and believe me we all need that.

I didn’t use the Spa whilst at the hotel but my trip down for a look brought a cheery welcome, and show around of what was available for our hopefully soon trip to the hotel once more.

If exercise options are more your speed there is a wide range of contemporary cardiovascular and resistance equipment and weights in the exercise room or have a splash about or do your laps in the lavish, heated indoor swimming pool.

My husband and kids immensely enjoyed their early morning dip before we  set off for our activities of the day.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Guerlain Spa Lobby

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Guerlain Spa

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Swimming Pool

The hotel also has some wonderful Wedding facilities too, and there are several lovely spaces to host your celebration at the Caledonian.

The Trianon and Versailles Suite which boast hand painted neoclassical murals can host small numbers of 35 for a Ceremony and 20 for Dinner, whilst the Boardroom with its traditional oak panels can accommodate up to 80 for a Ceremony and 60 for Dinner.

Most popular for weddings however is the glorious Castle suite accommodating 192 with its incredible high ceilings, exquisite wildlife frescos and magnificent chandeliers. The Castle lounge located beside it is the perfect complementary space for a drinks reception.

The outlook from the Suite towards the Castle is absolutely stunning, and the nearby Princes St Gardens, and Dean Village are picturesque backdrops for those wedding photos.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Castle SuiteWaldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Versailles SuiteWaldorf Astoria Edinburgh - Versailles Suite

To close we loved every minute of our stay  at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh and cannot wait one day to return to sample its delights once more.

Whether you visit for a Wedding, Minimoon, Honeymoon, family break or a romantic stay it will be an unforgettable experience.


To Contact Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian


Email: (General Enquiries) and (Wedding Enquiries)

Phone: 0131-222-8888

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UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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