Stay at the Hilton Caledonian Hotel

How Good Is This Historic Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh?

Why Stay at the Caledonian Hotel,
5-star Luxurious Railway Hotel on Princes street

  • Elegant and historic railway hotel with Hilton-standard amenities and facilities.
  • Extensive leisure facilities including spa, heated indoor pool, a gym and health club
  • Three restaurants for both formal and casual dining and the Caley Bar on-site
  • Location: Very central location in the West End of Princes Street, in Edinburgh City Centre.
  • Rates: Average room price per night: £109-£301 ($171-$473) but special deals can save you up to 50%.

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Are you considering a stay at the Hilton Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh? You will not be alone as it is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, a historic and elegant railway hotel, now part of the Hilton family. It also boasts a heated indoor pool, a gym and health club. What is more, it is located on the prestigious Princes Street, perfectly situated in the heart of the city centre. But does this 5-star hotel stand out from the crowd?

I've read hundreds of reviews from guests who have stayed at the Hilton Caledonian over the years and the following is a clear and unbiased summary of what these guests really thought of their stay at this hotel.

What's special about the Caledonian Hotel?

  • As one of Edinburgh's grand railway hotels, built in 1903 by the Caledonian Railway Company, the Hilton Caledonian enjoys a sense of history and has been tastefully renovated to provide elegant and traditional surroundings.
  • The hotel provides extensive leisure facilities, including a gym, indoor heated pool and the Living Well health club.
  • The staff are friendly and efficient, going out of their way to ensure that guests have a comfortable and memorable stay.
  • Location: Location is everything, and the Caledonian Hilton does not fail to impress, being situated in the heart of the city centre at 4 Princes Street, with stunning views over Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street Gardens.

Read discounted room rates.

What do guests really think?

There were some very mixed reviews on the Caledonian Hilton. Whilst most guests had extremely positive reviews on the service, surroundings and facilities, there were also some very negative comments, particularly concerning the size and maintenance of the guest rooms.

  • For most reviewers, the very central location is the Hilton Caledonian's crowning glory, right in the midst of the city's shopping and dining areas and close enough to walk to Edinburgh's attractions.
  • Some reviewers believed that the Caledonian Hotel reserves its worst rooms for those travellers booking through discount sites.
  • The hotel started an extensive and costly refurbishment programme in 2008, however this does not seem to be complete at the time of writing, as some guests are still posting negative reviews on the subject. The negative reviews, however, should not detract from the fact that a higher percentage of guests loved the experience of staying at the Caledonian Hilton.
  • The health and leisure facilities offered by the hotel are extremely popular with the guests, and whilst some reported that they are a little dated, they are spotlessly clean. The therapists in the spa are efficient and professional yet very friendly, and the overall spa experience is extremely relaxing.
  • A few reviewers believe that the hotel charges too much for extras such as £15 for Internet access and they also commented that the prices for the mini-bar and in the Caley Bar are extremely expensive.

The Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh City Centre

Scottish Tourist Board Rated 5 Star Hotel

5 Princes Street,
Postcode: EH1 2AB
Tel: +44 (0)131 222 8888
Official Caledonian Website

How far is the Caledonian Hotel from the bus and train stations?
1 miles (1.6 km) approx

The Caledonian is on the West End of Princes Street itself, close to both the New Town and Old Town.

Visit Scotland star rating: 5 star Hotel
Hotel Reviews: Caledonian reviews

Online booking

My Recommendation

The Caledonian Hilton is a traditional and historic hotel in the heart of the city centre, with the standards of an international chain of hotels. Its got an excellent location and long history being one of the two original railway hotels in Edinburgh.

Although there were some negative reviews, mainly on the size and quality of the guest rooms, these were on the whole outweighed by positive reviews from people who have found their stay at the hotel to be above average and extremely good value for money.

I would advise however that you check what type of room you are booking. The hotel seems to be suited to both business and leisure travellers, but also to families with children, as the swimming pool will keep the kids occupied on the coldest of days.

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In Depth Review of the Hilton Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh

Historic and luxurious railway hotel. Ultra central location on Princes Street.
Average room price per night: £109-£301 ($171-$473)

What is the Caledonian Hotel like?

Although part of the Hilton chain of hotels, it seems that the Caledonian Hotel has managed to keep its original Edwardian charm and elegance. However, it seems to be a little out-dated in certain areas. The main attraction, however, must be the excellent central location and stunning views over Edinburgh Castle.

Five Star Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh

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Building and room design

  • The Caledonian Hotel is still undergoing renovation, and there were extremely mixed reviews on the guest rooms. They seem to vary greatly both in size and quality. The positive reviews spoke of large, newly refurbished and spacious rooms, with walk-in wardrobes, excellently decorated with huge bathrooms.
  • The less positive ones described the basic rooms as needing a lick of paint.
  • Some rooms have great views (including views of Edinburgh Castle), whilst others face inwards or towards the car park and have no view.
  • The levels of noise experienced by guests also differed, with some guests reporting excessive noise from the lifts, the outside street or from the Henry J Beans, while others did not have any problems.

Staff and level of service

  • Most guests were very impressed by the efficiency of the staff and the atmosphere within the hotel, several citing individual staff who had helped to make their stay more enjoyable. There were some reviewers, though, who complained of complacent or unfriendly staff, though these were in the minority
  • Many of the reviewers who had used the spa facilities were extremely complimentary on the service and expertise offered by the therapists.

Food and drink

  • There are three restaurants, the formal Pompadour, the brasserie-style Chisholms, located in the old railway station and the informal American-style eaterie Henry J Beans, located next door to the Hilton Caledonian.
  • Pompadour, an extremely elegant and formal restaurant with magnificent views of Edinburgh Castle, offers modern Scottish cuisine, and was reviewed very favourably thanks to the quality of the food and the service.
  • There were some excellent reports of Chisholms, as some reviewers felt that this was a cut above many chain hotel restaurants.
  • The Caley Bar offers over 250 malt whiskies, and many guests loved the fact that the bar was welcoming and friendly. A few however were shocked at the expensive prices.
  • Although some people were extremely happy with their breakfast and reported that it was of excellent quality, a large number of guests felt it to be poor quality, and disorganised. Many also thought it too expensive.

Location and parking

  • As previously mentioned, the Hilton Caledonian is perfectly located at number 4 Princes Street, and many reviewers felt that this is one of main reasons why the hotel is so popular. It is perfect for travellers as the shopping and dining areas are at their doorstep, and Edinburgh Castle is a 15-minute walk away.
  • It is also extremely convenient for business travellers as the hotel is just two blocks from the Convention Centre.
  • Parking is available at £9.50 per night for guests (at the time of writing), although the normal rate for the car park is £15.00. A couple of guests did not know about the discounted parking rates, so be aware of this.
  • Edinburgh airport is a 30-minute drive away. There are inexpensive shuttle buses available.

Nice touches

  • Many guests reported being upgraded to more spacious rooms with better facilities.
  • The Hilton Caledonian seems to cater well for children, with free offers on children's food.

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Staying at the Hilton Caledonian, Edinburgh - Web links

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