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Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

    Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
 in EdinburghHistory: 
    Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
 in Edinburgh


Edinburgh emerged as one of Scotland’s most vibrant cities by the end of the 19th century. Local industry flourished, attracting scores of ambitious people eager to participate in the country’s newfound prosperity. Accelerating this growth was the rapid expansion of new railways throughout the United Kingdom, transporting people at an unprecedented rate. Many businesses soon began spreading their railroads into Edinburgh, including the prolific Caledonian Railway Company.

In 1890, the Caledonian Railway Company added an extension onto its railroad line in Edinburgh that traversed past Princes Street in the West End. Shortly thereafter, the company began planning the construction of a new train station to service the nearby neighborhoods. For the undertaking, it hired the father-son tandem, John Dick Peddie and John More Dick Peddie. Together, they created an ambitious design that featured seven large platforms at both ends of the station, while a luxurious hotel sat in the middle to accommodate any disembarking passengers. Construction finally began in 1899, and when it concluded some four years later, the new building amazed all who saw it. Greeting visitors was the beautifully-crafted, rose-colored façade of the hotel’s front entrance. Once inside, guests found an extensive selection of 205 different lodgings, as well as gold-painted ceilings, marble columns, and a stunning grand staircase. With great pride, the Caledonian Railway Company christened the new building The Caledonian Hotel, in 1903.

Known affectionately as “the Caley,” the building became one of the most esteemed hotels in all of Edinburgh. Guests were enchanted by the exhilarating galas and sumptuous banquets hosted regularly at The Caledonian. In 1923, the business opened an immaculate restaurant called The Pompadour, which rapidly transformed the location into a premier dining establishment. And under the tutelage of General Manager Arthur Towle and his son Sir William Towle, the hotel’s reputation continued to blossom. By the mid-20th century, the popularity of The Caledonian had grown to such an extent that it was routinely attracting numerous, high-profile celebrities from around the world. Stan Laurel, Judy Garland, and Gene Kelly were just a few of the distinguished people to frequent the building during the latter part of its history. Roy Rogers even once rode his famous white horse, Trigger, up the grand staircase during a lively performance.

While the train station is no longer active, the hotel remains as popular as ever. When Hilton Hotels acquired The Caledonian in 2000, it was still entertaining countless visitors, including many movie stars, international dignitaries, and royal monarchs. The Caledonian Hotel was even the site of a highly-important European Council meeting that took place during 1992, during which prominent European politicians signed the Edinburgh Agreement and brought Denmark into the European Union. After a substantial period of renovations, Hilton relaunched the hotel as the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian in 2016. Today, The Caledonian continues to maintain its reputation as an internationally respected luxury hotel and has recently been listed as a Category A historic building by Historic Environment Scotland. Hilton is proud to operate the historic Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2018, dates back to 1903.


International Numbers

Austria 08000706176
Belgium 080081830
France 805542721
Germany 8007241217
Ireland 1800995320
Italy 800979444
Netherlands 08000200956
Norway 80054304
Spain 900814719
Switzerland 0800001798
UK 8009179622
Book by Phone: +1 866 670 3764
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