The Waldorf Astoria, Edinburgh
Right in the heart of Edinburgh’s Princes Street sits the historic and iconic, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian. From your first viewing of the Caledonian you are left with the sense that you have found a very special building, but its when you are greeted at the front door and welcomed into the brightly lit foyer that the staff, in Tartan pants, greet you like family. Our family recently had the pleasure of our lives, with a stay at the Waldorf Astoria, Edinburgh, here is everything I could capture to show how special it was.
*Though there are things one can’t take a picture to remember and those are the things like the smell of the hotel (they have their own scent) and the way your heart feels ten times larger while you’re their guest.
The walk up the grand staircase is so thrilling, even for children, that we rarely used the lift. You feel like you’re awfully special on a staircase like this one.
Our family happened to stay in The Caledonian Suite, a three-bedroom + living room Suite, all with Castle views out each window. The Suite itself is like a miniature hotel.
The front door to the Suite. Set back from all of the other hotel rooms, you feel like you’re entering your own private chamber.
The foyer inside the Caledonian Suite.
The view from one of the children’s bedrooms.
Our time in Edinburgh was a dream and honestly, if you stay at the Waldorf Astoria, you won’t find a reason to even want to leave the hotel. It is by far the most family-friendly experience we’ve ever experienced and to still be met with so much luxury was extremely impressive.
The Caledonian has thought of everything, from tiny robes and tiny slippers….
To their Book Master Experience, available upon request. One evening, while you are out to dinner, the staff will come in and set up a reading nook for your child; complete with tent, Gryffindor cape, and scarf and an illustrated copy of Harry Potter for your child to enjoy while they’re staying at the Waldorf Astoria. This was one of the children’s very favorite features and since we had two tents delivered to our room, the children took turns falling asleep inside them under the twinkle lights draped around them. Pure Hogwarts Magic!
Look beyond the book and you’ll see the Edinburgh Castle outside of the window!
Did you know Scotland is home to the boiled candy? Those hard candies that you suck on? The Caledonian pays tribute to the boiled candy by a sweet display of options. Some flavors seem familiar like lemon or mint with chocolate. Some flavors seem not so familiar with flavors like sugar and barley!
The Caledonian’s main gathering place is called Peacock Alley, this room is extraordinarily beautiful. It was originally a train station, but when the train station closed down, the Waldorf Estoria was able to expand the hotel. Such a tribute to the history of Edinburgh, by not removing the past to make room for the future. It’s a gentle reminder of how history changes, but we don’t need to always wipe it clean away. The original Train Station clock hangs in Peacock Alley, still running 5 minutes fast, in order to give passengers a kick in their step to board their trains.
You gather in Peacock Alley for afternoon tea, evening drinks, or any other time you’d like to lounge in the brightly lit room, thanks to skylights, and visit with your travel companions.
The children’s favorite activity in Peacock Alley was teatime with the substitution of hot chocolate.
The most delicious breakfast, either ordered off of a menu or full buffet; including a traditional Scottish breakfast, is served at Grazing, the Caledonian’s main restaurant.
And in the evening, dinner at Grazing is not to be missed. I had the best Fish and Chips of my life, with the best-smashed peas in the world. And they serve mushrooms on the log that they have grown on and then barbecue them before bringing them out to you. You get to cut them off of the log as you eat and it was such a fun experience for the children.
While we were guests at The Waldorf Astoria, Professor McGonagal of Hogwarts wrote Liam a special letter asking him to complete some tasks while he was a guest at The Caledonian. The very best 10th birthday present ever.
The touches were so creative, the note was delivered on his own copy of a Marauders Map and he was ready to get to work right away solving all of the questions. It led him on a scavenger hunt around the hotel, which we spread out over a few days to not let the fun end too soon. This was by far his favorite thing he’s ever done in his life and when he finished he was awarded a special gift.
That Golden Snitch is his most beloved possession now. What a truly special experience, that a hotel might bring your children one of the best times of their life? I never thought that could be possible. But The Waldorf Astoria, The Caledonian is otherworldly. I can’t ever thank them enough for what they’ve gifted to our family, not just with the stay and hospitality, but the memories, the joy, the grandest time of their life.
This trip was straight out of a storybook and the best part is that other children can have the same glorious experience. If you stay at The Caledonian, I recommend not hesitating to ask about all of the special features that they offer.
Also, don’t skip room service, because most of the hotel rooms have incredible views of the city and nothing beats eating with your family with this view and being able to stay in your slippers.
Nothing will ever compare to our time at the Waldorf Astoria and I know with certainty that is not just because we were their guests. A stay at the Waldorf Astoria, The Caledonian, is tremendous no matter what. We will spend the rest of our days hoping to get back here and to visit all of the other Waldorf’s. Not a bad life’s goal, I’d say.
A billion thank you’s to everyone at The Caledonian, you’re the most remarkable staff we’ve ever been acquainted with. Though our time was gifted by the hotel, our thoughts are our own and I even held back a lot because I didn’t want to give a toothache to any readers because this stay was the cherry on top of everything else in life.