Although I visit Aberdeen twice a year, this was my first stay at the Caledonian. There were two of us travelling this time, and we wanted a more romantic accommodation than usual. We certainly got that, since this is a lovely, historic building in the city centre. The view from our suite over the Union Terrace across the street was gorgeous, particularly when a couple of days of late spring fog made it look like we'd been transported back a century or two. The suite itself was very nice, and it had a particularly stylish bathroom. Contrary to what a previous reviewer said, I thought that the breakfast buffet was really excellent, since it had all of the ingredients for a "full Scottish", a "Full English", or a continental breakfast, plus a few things I really wouldn't have expected (e.g. smoked salmon and Lorne sausage), all in a very attractive room. Wireless Internet was free and reliable, which is - shockingly - not always the case even in otherwise good hotels in Aberdeen.
My criticisms are fairly minor, and not the sorts of things that would prevent me from staying here again.
* The bed in our room had been advertised as King Sized, but was actually Queen Sized. When we brought this to the attention of management, the reply was "that's what WE call King Sized." Why set guests up for disappointment, when it would be better just to advertise the bed as Queen Sized in the first place?
* When the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel didn't get replaced by housekeeping after our first night, we assumed it was an oversight. When they still hadn't been replaced after the next night, however (by which time we had exhausted the initial supply), then we had to actually request that the front desk send some up. Since it seems unlikely that housekeeping would have forgotten two nights in a row, it is more likely the case that management has tried to cut costs by instructing housekeeping to try to get away with not replacing these supplies every day, which is sad and worrisome. Some things (such as the shoe polishing sponge) never did get replaced during our four-night stay.
* There was a KinderSurprise plastic egg underneath the coffee table in our suite, presumably forgotten by some previous guest. The fact that it was there made us wonder whether enough time is allocated to staff for vacuuming. The fact that it was still there when we checked out after four nights' stay made us wonder if our room was being vacuumed at all during our stay.
* Hotels in this price range can normally be expected to have installed some sort of fitness equipment, but this one hasn't. Given that, we might have thought that they would have entered into some sort of arrangement with one of the commercial gyms in town (there's a Pure Fitness about a 5 minute walk away), but they hadn't done that either.
* A missing pane from a stained glass window on the fourth floor had been covered with a bit of masking tape rather than being repaired. This is the sort of thing that causes concern about whether corners are being cut in areas that are not so visible.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mercure Aberdeen Caledonian Hotel, is perfectly placed for exploring handsome, vibrant Aberdeen, known to the world as the Granite City. Located in the centre of Aberdeen, overlooking Union Terrace Gardens and five-minute walk from the railway station, The Caledonian Hotel is a grand example of the city's distinctive Victorian architecture. It's close to many local attractions, and an excellent base for touring the Highlands. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Caledonian, Aberdeen Hotel Aberdeen
- The Hotel Aberdeen
- Caledonian Thistle
- Mercure Aberdeen Caledonian Hotel Scotland