Completed in 1903, this magnificent red sandstone building is a typical Victorian railway hotel, all turrets, Corinthian columns and other architectural flourishes. Inside it’s just as grand, especially after the £24 million refurbishment saw it re-open as The Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel late in 2012.
The Caledonian Station, which it was built around, closed in 1965 but you can still see signs of it all over the hotel, most clearly in the Peacock Alley bar. This was formerly the station concourse and despite its gloriously glamorous makeover, it still very much feels like one. A few of its delicious cocktails and you’ll be seeing the ghosts of rail passengers past thronging the vast space.
Other rail relics to look out for are the original Hamilton and Inches station clock in the Peacock Alley bar, old photos and plans on display throughout the hotel, including in most of the 241 rooms, and the old railway arches at the side of the building. To really explore the Caledonian’s past, take the World Heritage Trail ‘A Great Scottish Railway Hotel’, a 45-minute self-guided tour through the hotel.
Doubles from £159 per night. http://www.thecaledonianedinburgh.com/
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