One of Edinburgh's most iconic hotels has relaunched this week as the Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria hotel, following a £24m renovation.
The hotel has been operated by Hilton Worldwide since 2000 under its Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand and has now been converted to the luxury Waldorf Astoria & Resorts brand. It is the second Waldorf Astoria in the UK, alongside the London Syon Park property.
Located at the end of Princes Street, with a view over Edinburgh Castle, the 241-bedroom hotel is now home to two new restaurants overseen by Chris and Jeff Galvin - the Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe. Craig Sandle has joined the Pompadour by Galvin from the Number One restaurant at the Balmoral hotel, also in Edinburgh, to oversee a French-inspired menu using locally sourced ingredients. Galvin Brasserie de Luxe pays homage to the grand urban bistros of Paris and Lyon.
The Peacock Alley - inspired by the space of the same name in the original Waldorf Astoria in New York - will be the key public space for afternoon tea and cocktails, while a boutique Guerlain Spa is set to open in November.
The eight meeting rooms include the Scottish Heritage-listed Castle Suite, which is traditionally decorated with golden eagles and Scottish wildlife frescos.
Inspiration for the hotel's design has been drawn from the glamorous days of classic rail journeys, with subtle station references and bespoke luggage inspiring the furniture with a mix of luxury leathers, bronze metalwork, dusted gold and rosewood joinery throughout.
"Edinburgh is a truly international city and we are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase Waldorf Astoria at a hotel with over 100 years of tradition in Scottish hospitality," said Simon Vincent, president, Europe, Hilton Worldwide. "I would like to congratulate everyone involved in delivering this new luxury vision for the Caledonian, which I am sure will quickly be established as a leading luxury hotel in Scotland and our European portfolio."
The Caledonian initially opened as a hotel in 1903 and for many years played host to Hollywood stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Elizabeth Taylor.
There are now more than 20 Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts worldwide, including Trianon Palace Versailles and Rome Cavalieri.
By Janet Harmer
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