Do Not Disturb : The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Edinburgh

By Walker, Ruth | Scotland on Sunday (Edinburgh, Scotland), December 8, 2013 | Go to article overview

Do Not Disturb : The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Edinburgh


Walker, Ruth, Scotland on Sunday (Edinburgh, Scotland)


THE grand old lady of Edinburgh hotels had seen better days. Well, she was pushing 100. But, having worked there as a chambermaid when I first left school, I felt a strange connection to the place, peeling paintwork and all. Returning now, after a GBP 24 million refurbishment by theWaldorfAstoria group, it is almost unrecognisable. The former Victorian railway hotel is lighter and brighter, and has been brought up to date while retaining elements of its past: old architectural drawings of the original building, for instance, line the plushly carpeted first floor corridor. She"s changed, has the Caley, and she"s looking swisher than ever - if you need proof, just consider that Chanel chose it as its base when the label showed at Linlithgow Palace last year - but, happily, she"s kept the charm that made her such an Edinburgh institution.ROOM SERVICEOur room, my London friend declared excitedly, was larger than her Richmond flat. And what a view. We looked across the churchyard of St Cuthbert"s and Princes Street Gardens straight on to an uninterrupted vision of the Castle. As far as rooms with a view go, there can be few better options in Edinburgh. The two double beds were so comfy I wanted to move in permanently, and the tea and coffee making facilities deserve a mention, since so many hotels are stopping this invaluable service. The marble bathroom was spacious and well appointed and the bathrobes softly divine. The only criticism was that it was simply too hot. We managed to master the air conditioning on the second night.WINING AND DININGAfter the refurb, Chris and Jeff Galvin took over the kitchens at the Caledonian, and the Pompadour is the high-end, destination dining option. But we chose to eat in the Brasserie instead, a Parisianstyle bistro whose excellence was recognised with a Bib Gourmand in the 2014 Michelin guide. …

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