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Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh Caledonian Review

I’d been looking forward to this trip for some time. The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh Caledonian is often quoted amongst the best hotels in the UK.

The hotel is certainly fabulous. It’s an iconic hotel, overlooking Edinburgh Castle. The décor is pristine and the breakfast is one of the best I’ve had in the UK. The hotel also has a lovely pool.

It's a massive hotel, with over 200 rooms. That being said, the trip wasn’t perfect. I was disappointed with my treatment as a Hilton Gold.

What I Liked

  • Fantastic Location
  • Beautiful décor
  • Large Hotel
  • Excellent Breakfast
  • On site spa and pool
  • Good service

What Could be Improved

  • Disappointing treatment as a Hilton Gold
  • My room looked over the inside of the hotel

The Booking

I booked a really great deal. I booked a Hilton Impresario rate. It came with the following benefits:

  • Three nights for the price of two
  • Complimentary Breakfast
  • £75 food credit
  • Double Hilton Points Credit

I stayed for three nights and paid £680. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a fantastic price.

The Location

The Location of the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh Caledonian is terrific. You’re 10 minutes walk from Edinburgh Castle. Indeed, the hotel is in the shadow of the castle. You’re also 10 minutes walk from the Royal Mile.

One of the most famous attractions in Edinburgh is Arthur’s seat. It’s a large hill. Formerly an extinct volcano. At the top, you get a stunning view of Edinburgh. To walk from the hotel to the top of the hill is one hour in total. A pretty great hike in my view.

The hotel is 15 minutes walk from Edinburgh Waverly. Which is the main train station in the city. It’s basically a walk down one road – Princes Street.

It's a 20 minute drive to the airport. My taxi cost me £25. You can also get a direct bus to the airport. You won’t find a better location in Edinburgh, than the Waldorf Astoria.

The Hotel

The Waldorf Astoria is a large hotel with lots of facilities:

  • Prime location in Edinburgh
  • Majestic décor. Grand staircases and high ceilings
  • Beautiful lounge/bar on ground floor
  • Pool and (overpriced) spa

The hotel decoration was very impressive. You can see the images in the slideshow. There were grand staircases, high ceilings and exposed brickwork. The hotel feels luxurious and classy as you walk around.

The ground floor lounge was majestic. You can get a drink or a meal throughout the day. It’s a lovely space, with high ceilings.

I mentioned the overpriced spa. Prices were around £250 for a 1-hour massage. This is a crazy price. I decided to pass on a treatment!

Waldorf Astoria is Hilton’s most luxury brand. I had high expectations coming in. The hotel satisfied those expectations. But there were disappointments.

I booked a family room with two double beds. It was one category below a room with a view of Edinburgh castle. I expected to get an upgraded room for two reasons. I’m a Hilton Gold and I booked a Hilton Impressario rate.

Both Hilton Impressario and Hilton Gold offer space permitting upgrades. More often than not, I get an upgrade. I was a little annoyed to get no upgrade whatsoever. Even worse, they gave me the worst room they could. I was given a room on the 2nd floor, that looked over the inside of the hotel.

I was told that the hotel was fully booked. I’m not sure this was true. The hotel is huge with 241 rooms. If they wanted to give me an upgrade, they could have. Fortunately, almost everything else about my stay was excellent.

I think they’re missing a trick however. The lack of elite recognition means I’m unlikely to return to the hotel.

The Room

I was staying with my wife and daughter. I booked a family room with two double beds. I stayed on the 2nd floor and had a room overlooking the interior of the hotel.

The room had the following features:

  • Two double beds
  • Window to the interior of hotel
  • Nespresso Machine and tea selection
  • Large desk
  • Room felt dark
  • Large bathroom with huge bath tub
  • Toiletries from Temple Spa

The room was a good size and had some nice facilities. Not all hotels have large bathtubs and a Nespresso Machine. These days, some 5* hotels have tiny bathrooms with instant coffee.

The decoration was a classic British style.

The room felt dull however. The widows were small compared to the room size. So even though the decoration was nice, there wasn’t enough natural light. That being said, it’s Scotland. It’s not bright on the best days!

The carpets were dated. There were a few stains, to bring down the atmosphere!

The bathroom was really nice. They had classy marble effect tiling. It was also a really large size, with a huge bathtub.

Alongside the Nespresso machine, they had a variety of organic teas. English breakfast, green tea and peppermint.

All in all, the room was good. I was just disappointed, not to get an upgrade.

The Breakfast

The breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh Caledonian was fantastic. There was a large buffet, and a large menu of cook to order items. The buffet had the following items:

  • Sausages. Meat and Veg
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Haggis
  • Mushrooms
  • Potato Scones
  • Eggs
  • Cereals
  • Cold cuts
  • Fruit
  • Yoghurt

Additionally, there was a good selection of cook to order items:

  • Porridge
  • Chia Seed Porridge
  • Bircher Muesli
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Waffles
  • Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Eggs
  • Bacon Roll

I tried a few dishes over my 3 days at the hotel. Everything was fresh and high quality.

One example are the mushrooms from the buffet. Normally, mushrooms at hotels are bland and tasteless. Why spend money on expensive mushrooms? The ones here were large and flavoursome.

I also tried porridge, sausages, bircher muesli, waffles, avocado on toast and potato scones. Everything was perfectly cooked and beautifully presented.

I personally love bircher muesli, but it’s not offered in many places. At least not the places that I go! I was happy to see if offered here, and made well.

The breakfast was the best I’ve had at a UK hotel. I still say that the best breakfasts are in Asia. Often, hotels offer a western spread as good as anywhere. You also get Chinese and Indian dishes.

The Health Club

The health club was high class. There was a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and small pool.

The jacuzzi was lovely and warm. The swimming pool was warm too. Many hotels don’t like to spend money to heat their pools. So kudos to the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh Caledonian! I went swimming 3 times in 3 days, so it must have been nice.

The Service

The service at the hotel was impressive. Better than most 5* hotels. The majority of staff were talkative and made us feel welcome.

The breakfast service was also good. They had a good number of staff working. You didn’t have to wait long for someone to serve you. The hotel doesn’t quite match up to St Regis or Four Seasons, but it wasn’t far away.


If you get a chance to stay at The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh Caledonian, I would definitely take it. It has a reputation as the best hotel in Edinburgh. On the basis of my trip, that reputation is deserved. It’s a fabulous hotel.

The hotel overlooks Edinburgh Castle, right in the city centre. There’s a lovely jacuzzi and swimming pool. The decoration is also really nice and classy.

I reviewed British Airways Business Class. I had an excellent flight. The name of the seat is called Club Suite. It’s an excellent product. Every seat has aisle access. The food was excellent and the TV screen was large.

I’ve also reviewed Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. That’s the name of their business class. That flight was less impressive. The seat was narrow and the TV screen was small. There were things that I did like. The food was well made and the crew were friendly.

One of my favourite flights was in Etihad First Class on the A380. The seat is actually an apartment, with a separate seat and bed. You can stand up and walk around the apartment! The crew were terrific and the food was high quality.

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