The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria begins welcoming guests following £24m upgrade

The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria begins welcoming guests following £24m upgrade

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is delighted to announce that The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, has started to welcome its first guests following the hotel’s luxury re-launch. Indulged with a significant £24 million investment and renovation programme, the highly anticipated unveiling of this landmark Scottish property marks a significant new addition to the world renowned Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts portfolio, bringing the brand’s internationally recognised standard of luxury service to Edinburgh.

Following a restoration project spanning the hotel’s public spaces, bedrooms, spa, restaurants and bars, the property provides an unparalleled guest experience that continues the legacy of the Waldorf Astoria name and is set to secure The Caledonian’s reputation as the very finest hotel address in Scotland.  Centrally located on Edinburgh’s Princes Street and with stunning views up to the imposing castle that dominates the city, The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel is a haven of luxurious accommodation, fine dining and exceptional service.

John Vanderslice, global head of luxury and lifestyle brands for Hilton Worldwide, said, “The successful launch of The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel underscores our commitment to grow our portfolio of one-of-a kind properties in a variety of leading destinations across the globe. The Caledonian has been carefully restored and perfectly showcases our world renowned Waldorf Astoria brand, with fine culinary and spa experiences.”

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts currently includes more than 20 landmark destinations around the world, with European properties including: London Syon Park, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel; Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel; Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts; and the soon to open Waldorf Astoria Berlin.

“Edinburgh is a truly international city and we are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase Waldorf Astoria, at a hotel with over 100 years of tradition in Scottish hospitality,” said Simon Vincent, president, Europe, Hilton Worldwide. “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in delivering this new luxury vision for The Caledonian, which I am sure will quickly be established as a leading luxury hotel in Scotland and our European portfolio.”

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Location & History
Enjoying a superb location in the heart of the city centre, The Caledonian is situated at the west end of Princes Street and is the closest luxury hotel to Edinburgh Airport. With its origins as a true railway hotel, The Caledonian first began its reputation as a venue for the rich and famous and locals alike in 1903. With a guest list reading like a who’s who of the silver screen, the original hotel played host to Hollywood stars from Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Elizabeth Taylor, to Bing Crosby and Sir Sean Connery.  In 2000, the property became a Hilton Hotels & Resorts branded hotel, before undergoing a major transformation to join Hilton Worldwide’s luxury Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand.

Accommodation & Design
Following a glorious restoration, The Caledonian inspires at every level. Drawing inspiration from the glamour of the golden age of classic rail journeys, the hotel’s public spaces feel steeped in tradition. The reception and lobby have been stripped back to their former glory, giving a grand sense of arrival with marble flooring, sweeping staircase and a glittering chandelier of fine amber and crystal droplets dusted with gold. Continuing the subtle railway and station references, bespoke luggage inspires the furniture, with luxury leathers, bronze metalwork, dusted gold and warm rosewood joinery.

At the heart of the hotel, the stylishly sophisticated Peacock Alley exudes the glamour and traditions of the original Waldorf=Astoria New York, whose Peacock Alley has been the meeting place of high society since its opening in 1931. Here guests of the city can relax and enjoy delicious cocktails or a signature afternoon tea in a stylish and informal environment.

The property offers 241 timelessly elegant guest rooms including six sumptuous suites.

Dining - The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel has been elevated to a leading gourmet destination in Scotland. In an exciting partnership with Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin, who have brought their culinary expertise and talent to Scotland for the first time, The Caledonian is proud to offer two exceptional new restaurants - The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe.

The Galvins have appointed award winning Craig Sandle as executive chef of the restaurant, who joins from the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.  With their renowned dedication to perpetuating the very best in traditional French haute cuisine, the à la carte and tasting menus at The Pompadour by Galvin feature classical French-inspired dishes, prepared with an accent on locally-sourced seasonal Scottish ingredients, as well as traditional Scottish and English favourites.

The chic but informal Galvin Brasserie de Luxe brings Parisian style to the heart of Edinburgh and the design theme pays homage to the grand urban French bistros of Paris and Lyon, with its highly polished surfaces, ceramic tiles, archetypal lighting, and reflecting mirrors. The atmosphere is redolent of the bustling cosmopolitan railway hotel restaurants of the past. The menu features a blending of classic French brasserie favourites and local seasonal specialities, to include Prixe Fixe, plats du jour, Scottish Crustacea and à la carte menus.

The Caley Bar has received a full make-over and will be instantly recognisable as an Edinburgh classic.  Guests can choose from a handpicked drinks list and classic original cocktails including the signature ‘1903’.

Wellness & Spa - opening in November 2012, the boutique Guerlain Spa will provide a tranquil sanctuary of luxury and relaxation, offering personally customised therapies for men and women. Legendary Parisian spa brand Guerlain has carefully developed treatments targeting the face, body, hands and feet for top to toe spa pampering in an intimate, exclusive environment. Combining a unique pressure point massage and muscular exercise techniques with luxurious, cutting-edge products, Guerlain is particularly famous for its legendary facial treatments, specifically designed to provide relaxation, as well as a radiant, smoother and a more youthful skin appearance.

Meetings and Events
The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel is one of the most splendid venues Edinburgh has to offer for meetings, conferences and events, boasting eight refurbished flexible meeting rooms and the truly special Castle Suite, as well as a highly dedicated team to ensure the smooth running of every meeting or event. From weddings, parties, gala and social events to meetings and business lunches, The Caledonian offers a bespoke service.

The Scottish Heritage listed Castle Suite is adorned with golden eagles and Scottish wildlife frescos and has stunning views up to Edinburgh Castle. The room maintains its traditional character through modern amenities subtly integrated into its design to create a welcoming atmosphere to meet every requirement. The Castle Suite benefits from the adjoining Castle Lounge, an ideal location for exhibition stands, coffee breaks and post meeting receptions. With an abundance of natural daylight and a grand piano, it will certainly add value to any meeting or event.