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Caledonian Edinburgh Ready To Show Off (And Joins Waldorf Astoria Hotels)

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  Site Where: Princes Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, EH1 2AB
September 25, 2012 at 9:46 AM | by | ()

Just before the summer, we looked at the many things Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has up its sleeve, with places as far and wide as Jerusalem, Panama, and Berlin welcoming this luxury brand of the Hilton group in the next few years.

This month however it’s time for Edinburgh, where the historic Caledonian hotel reopened its doors after a £24 million ($39 million) overhaul, and officially became The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

With over a hundred years of history, the restoration seeks to bring back the origins of The Caledonian as a luxury railway hotel. Marble flooring, a sweeping staircase, and the vast chandelier you can see in the picture above dominate the reception and lobby. In a nod to its famous New York sibling, the Peacock Alley is the central meeting place of the hotel and the spot to have a drink or meet for afternoon tea.

There are 241 rooms in total, including six suites. Entry-level Classic Rooms start at 20 sq m in a variation of bed types: single, twin, and queen. Deluxe Rooms are the next step up, some with views of Edinburgh Castle. King Junior Suites have an open-plan lay out, with Queen One-Bedroom Suites the largest of the accommodations (interestingly, the reservation system only displays Queen Junior Suites and King One-Bedroom Suites).

All rooms have flatscreen TVs and Nespresso machines, but unfortunately, WiFi is charged at £14.99 ($24), unless you’re HiltonHonors Gold or Diamond.

Aside from the 20 sq m indication for entry-level Classic Rooms, descriptions talk about rooms “varying in size, but not in elegance and charm”, which we guess is probably a result of the restrictions of an historic building. Depending on your needs, it may be worth a call to the hotel to ensure you can select the most suitable room, including the options of a shower or bath in the bathroom.

Dining & Facilities
Brothers - and Michelin-starred - Chris and Jeff Galvin oversee the hotel’s two restaurants: The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe. Both have a focus on French cuisine, with the latter being a more informal bistro. In addition to the Peacock Alley we mentioned earlier, there’s the Caley Bar for drinks. A number of meeting spaces include the Scottish Heritage listed Castle Suite, complete with Scottish wildlife frescos and views of Edinburgh Castle. A Guerlain Spa is due to open in November.

We’re positively surprised by the range of rates we can find for October (or perhaps we’re jaded by London hotel prices?). A Queen Classic Room can be had for £119 ($193) on an advance purchase basis, but a special offer at £174 ($282) is flexible and includes a $50 (or local currency equivalent) hotel reward. An upgrade to a castle view is £70 ($114) more.

Now all we want to know is when the London Waldorf Hilton, which still sports Le Méridien’s ill-fated Art+Tech look, will finally get its long-overdue revamp to become the Waldorf Astoria London? With the new Spanish competition across the street, we think it’s high time!

[Photos: Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts]

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