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Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, Scotland
There's something special about a grande dame city centre hotel: the tartan-trousered doormen, acres of marble and light patina of glamour. The 'Old Lady' is right in the heart of the city at the west end of Princes Street with castle views (and shopping) guaranteed. You'll find two restaurants with well-regarded Scottish chefs, and Peacock Alley - the old railway ticket hall - now a glittering gathering place for cocktails, afternoon tea and people-watching. And then there's the popular Caley Bar, so you might want to pack your glad rags. Bedrooms are classy (many of them looking at the castle) and there's a small swimming pool with a view; there's just about everything you could wish for.
We enjoyed watching the Festival fireworks from the windows of the Pompadour Restaurant.
On the edge of Princes Street Gardens, you're within walking distance of Edinburgh's Old Town sights and New Town shops.
By plane: flights from London to Edinburgh take 1 hour 25 minutes. The hotel is a 20-minute drive. Parking costs £25 per day. skyscanner.com
By train: 4 hours 30 minutes from London. The hotel is a 10-minute drive (or 15-minute walk) from Edinburgh Waverley. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Anyone who relishes the anonymity of a big hotel, is celebrating an important occasion or just wants some sparkle in their stay will love this hotel. Gliding down the main staircase and into Peacock Alley, you can't help but feel you're making an entrance.
Service & Facilities
The doormen in their snazzy tartan trews were affable and helpful.
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- On-site parking
- Free Wi-Fi
'Pet-friendly' rooms are available, but your best friend isn't welcome anywhere else and you'll pay £50 per dog for their bed and bowl.
Single rooms are rare but the Deluxe Single Room has a castle view. The Carriage Rooms have deep, dark colours, polished wood and a gentlemen's club vibe.
Deluxe, Carriage, Premier, Two-bed Premier, Junior Suite, Suite, Two-bedroom Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, Nespresso machine, access to the Waldorf Astoria Spa, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
We loved the gorgeous hand-painted wall panels and wedding-cake plasterwork in the Pompadour. We'd walk over hot coals for Mark Greenaway's soft shell crab.
Peacock Alley: all-day dining venue and late night lounge. Open daily.
The Pompadour: fine dining, locally sourced produce. Open for dinner, Wed-Sun. Seven-course tasting menu from £110.
Grazing: modern Scottish cuisine. Dishes include lemon sole and beef short rib. Open for dinner, Tue-Sat.