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“Gorgeous and historic, but a little underwhelmed.”

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Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
Ranked #59 of 151 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 17 September 2013

I booked this hotel for our recent stay when I located a half off deal on Priceline.com. The reviews were great and the location was perfect. The hotel itself is absolutely gorgeous, but the hallways and rooms are in real need of updating and repair. The lighting and walls of the hallways just seemed to give off a dirty, old feel. The room itself was a bit better, but was just really tiny and set up oddly. The bathroom...the bathroom...I hated that bathroom!!! The shower curtain fought with me everytime I showered and I almost fell out of the tub once as the surface is so slick..though, they do provide a rubber mat for the bottom. However, they do provide you with Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries...a nice touch!

The location, however, is perfect! We walked to everything and only took a cab to and from the airport. The hotel sits in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and the views are amazing.

I would like to see the hotel once it has been rehabbed...I can just imagine how brilliant it will be!!!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Mandinkadell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this reviewResponded 23 September 2013

Dear Mandinkadell,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us at The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Overall I am glad to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and found the location perfect for visiting Edinburgh’s famous attractions. I am disappointed to hear you feel the bedrooms and hallways are in need of repair and updating. This is very unusual to hear, after our major refurbishment last year! However, we certainly value our guest feedback and I will personally pass your comments to our management team.

We hope we have the opportunity of welcoming you back to ‘The Caley’ in the near future.

Kind Regards,

Chris Logan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,091 - 3,097 of 3,867 reviews

Reviewed 16 September 2013

The Caledonian is a stunning property, with historical charm, architectural interest, and modern amenities. The friendly staff were attentive to our needs and requests. Conveniently located near the Royal Mile, the hotel has impressive views of Edinburgh Castle and is a 10 minute walk from the pubs, shops and restaurants on the Royal Mile.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
2  Thank Karen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GRMCaleyWA, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this reviewResponded 17 September 2013

Dear Karen D,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. I am extremely pleased to hear of your positive experience with us, and you have named many positive aspects of the hotel, the location being the most prominent. I have no doubt that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to the ‘Caley’ again in the future should you return to Edinburgh.

Kind regards,

Dale MacPhee
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 September 2013

We stayed two nights for our anniversary and was very happy with our room and the amenities, staff were excellent and breakfast was spot on. Excellent location and highly recommend the Kyloe Steak house accross the street, (see my other review for this) Only bad points were the cost of parking for residents though reduced this is still a rip off and also the fee for wi-fi? Come on UK, This greed needs to stop!

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Pacco212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GRMCaleyWA, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this reviewResponded 17 September 2013

Dear pacco212,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. I am delighted to hear that we were able to assist in making your Anniversary stay such a wonderful occasion. Hopefully you will choose to return to the ‘Caley’ again next year!

Kind regards,

Dale MacPhee
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 September 2013

Incredible stay! Booked as a birthday treat and it was pronounced 'the best birthday ever!'

Room and service were lovely, as was the afternoon tea. They mastered the fine art of tending to our every need without being intrusive!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank Robpaton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GRMCaleyWA, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this reviewResponded 17 September 2013

Dear Robpaton,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. Wow!!!! The best Birthday ever.... This is certainly a compliment of the highest order, and I am delighted that we were able to assist. I agree that the Afternoon Tea in the fabulous Peacock Alley is lovely, and hopefully you will choose to return to the ‘Caley’ again next year!

Kind regards,

Dale MacPhee
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 September 2013

I am only holding off from a 5th star because it didn't have that certain something?... That sense of going the extra mile?.... And I was disappointed that we weren't compensated in some way after we spent a sleepless night next to a room of 24-hour party people having a room party, that apparently management was unable or unwilling to shut down or control. We were forced to move because THEY were causing the problem, and not even a drink at the bar. As my children say, that's not cool.

But I don't want to give the impression this was Hotel 6, or amateur hour. It is a grand old hotel, with all the polish and paneling in place. Fantastic location, and my husband's delight in having haggis every morning for breakfast, my children were welcomes...overall we had a good visit

Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
Thank Snooglenook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GRMCaleyWA, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this reviewResponded 17 September 2013

Dear Snooglenook,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. It delights me read of your wonderful experience, and I am happy that you and your family enjoyed your time in Edinburgh. Needless to say however, I am slightly disappointed that we did not go the ‘extra mile’, as this is certainly our aim with the service given by our team members. I can only apologise for the inconvenience caused due to the noise levels from the other bedroom, and hopefully the replacement room was to your satisfaction. Moreover, I do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you and your family back to the ‘Caley’ in the future!

Kind regards,

Dale MacPhee
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 September 2013

The door men and reception team were all courteous and quick to give you attention upon arrival. I was particularly impressed with the housekeeping team because my room was spotless throughout my three day stay.

Apart from not having an iron in a room that was booked by my company for me to go on an business trip to Edinburgh, the room was comfortable with every other facility that I could wish for to make my stay run smoothly. However, I would expect an iron to be available in a room of a 5* hotel.

The hotel is in an excellent location to explore Edinburgh. The shops are on the door step, and there are plenty of bars and restaurants within walking distance. The castle is a ten minute walk away.

The food I ordered from room service was of a good qaulity and plentiful. It was also very well presented and served by charming staff.

The fire alarm went off late one night whilst I was asleep in bed. Along with a large group of other guests staying at the hotel, we quickly ran to the nearest fire exit and made our way down a number of flights of stairs to what we thought was the fire exit door that would lead us outside to safety. At this point there was at least 100 people behind me standing up the stairs waiting for me to exit via the fire door I had led them to. However, despite several attempts by both myself and a male guest we were not able to open the door because it was jammed.

At this stage people in the stair well started to understandably panic, especially as the alarm was still ringing very loudly in our ears. We frantically banged on the door as hard as we could in the hope someone outside might hear us. After what felt like a number of minutes a relative of someone who was trying to help me get the door open who had managed to exit the hotel via another door earlier thankfully heard our pleas for help. He managed to get the door open from the outside by kicking it several times. This thankfully seemed to work because after a number of kicks it finally unjammed and we all escaped. This was a very frightening experience for everyone who had been effectively trapped in the stairwell for what felt like eternity.

We then stood out in the street with the rain pouring down on us. No one from the hotel staff provided us with an update on what was happening or even thought to direct us to the designated emergency muster point away from the hotel. Instead all the guests huddled by the doors of the hotel trying to shield themselves from the torrential rain, which prevented anyone else from exiting the hotel. No staff made any attempt to ask the guests to move away from the doors to let others guests get out as they should have done if they had received proper training in what to do in the event of a fire.

Finally after about ten minutes some hotel staff appeared giving out what looked to be a small bowl of silver foil wraps to keep people warm. However, the staff provided no update for what was happening, and when asked they just shrugged their shoulders. They seemed to be more amused by the fact the guests were freezing cold standing in the rain looking dazed and confused. The only thing we could see to indicate that there maybe was a fire was the fire engine that was located outside the front door of the hotel.

Finally after about thirty minutes I heard another guest say we could go back inside the hotel. No staff appeared to be around that I could see in the foyer to let us know if we could use the lifts or not. This caused further confusion amongst the guests who were understandably hesitant to get in the lifts for fear of getting trapped. Instead everyone was crowded in the hotel lobby not knowing what was happening and whether we could go back to our rooms or not.

All in all I think the way this supposedly 5 star establishment managed what looked to be a genuine fire alarm situation was beyond appalling. It wasn't helped by the fact that the guests, which included several colleagues of mine, were provided with a letter the next day from the night management to apologise for the fire alarm going off, and to inform us that they are short of staff on the night shift.

Some of my colleagues informed me that the fire alarm had gone off before earlier in the week when again the hotel staff appeared clueless to what was going on. This information, coupled with the letter I received from the night management team, and with what I had witnessed when trying to escape to safety the night before during the alarm did nothing to instill any confidence in me that this hotel is safe to stay in.

I have since escalated to the company where I work that regularly use this hotel, and to the travel company we use to book it on our behalf my concerns on the processes this hotel has in place for when the fire alarm goes off. I think they need to be urgently reviewed by the company that own this hotel.

I reported the fire exit door being jammed the next day, but despite being assured by the reception team that all staff working at the hotel receive a thorough training programme for what to do if the alarm goes off, it was very evident from the events of the night before that not many staff working the night shift take the fire alarm going off seriously. The few staff I did see giving out the silver wraps were oblivious to the fact that some of the guests were scared, most were very wet from standing outside late at night in the pouring rain in their night clothes, and due to the fact that no one from the hotel had the decency to let us know what was going on there was an element of panic and chaos too. The staff instead appeared to be confused themselves or in some cases amused by the soaking wet guests. It was not the level of service you would expect in such a situation from a 5 start establishment.

Having a fire door jam when you are trying to escape what you think is a genuine fire is a frightening enough experience. However, having staff from the night shift team not think to keep their paying guests informed of what was going on in order to help calm them or think to inform them it was OK to use the lifts again left me feeling very disappointed in the Caledonian The whole situation with the fire alarm was in my view a fiasco. As a result I wouldn't stay at this hotel again because put simply I wouldn't feel safe.

Room Tip: Ask for one that is located by a fire exit door that easily opens!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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Thank KeelyP63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this reviewResponded 17 September 2013

Dear KeelyP63,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. Although the feedback provided by you is generally positive, especially with regards to the service which you received throughout the duration of your stay. I am extremely concerned to read of your panic throughout the fire alarm which sounded in the evening. Moreover, I would certainly not wish for you to remain with these thoughts, therefore I would appreciate if you would contact our Health & Safety Manager, Keith Leahey at your convenience, who will assure you of the safety of our building. Keith can be contacted at keith.leahey@waldorfastoria.com. And I do hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the ‘Caley’ again in the future.
Kind regards,

Chris Logan

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Reviewed 13 September 2013

Impressive ambience and overall impression. Intensive and polished service giving a high quality of all round experience. The service at breakfast was very impressive. Would look forward to staying there again if I ever come back to Edinburgh.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
Thank Peter F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GRMCaleyWA, Guest Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, responded to this reviewResponded 17 September 2013

Dear Peter F,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review following your recent stay with us. I appreciate your positive feedback on your overall experience at the 'Caley'. I am especially pleased to hear of the great service throughout breakfast, as our food & beverage manager has certainly made a special effort on this aspect of the hotel. I do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back again in the future.

Kind regards,

Chris Logan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

Address: Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 2AB, Scotland (Formerly Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > West End
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Edinburgh
#7 Spa Hotel in Edinburgh
#13 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#30 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
#33 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
#33 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range: £137 - £479 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian 5*
Number of rooms: 241
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, or the "Caley" as it has become affectionately known among Edinburgh folk, was and still is the epitome of style and excellence. The large, rose-coloured Permian sandstone facade, quarried in Dumfries, dominates the skyline of the city's west end. The hotel has not only remained a focal point for more than one hundred years, but a symbol of the very best of Scottish hospitality. The Caley's pivotal position at the very heart of Edinburgh has always been its greatest asset. Created out of the 19th century railway boom, the five star hotel is looking to the future with confidence and pride in its ability to keep pace with the times. The hotel's reputation is as justified now as it was when the hotel first opened its doors in 1903. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton International Edinburgh
Hilton Edinburgh
Edinburgh Hilton
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian Scotland

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