Talk about a good way to use your Hilton Honors points, I was able to book 2 rooms with points at the famous “Caley” in Edinburgh Scotland. I did not expect to get much by the way of Diamond perks on the cities (and the hotels) busiest night of the year. When I booked these too rooms back in the Summer I needed a room with 2 beds and a room with 1 bed. The only option I had was a “Classic Queen” and “Accessible Twin” I did put in the notes that I did not need an accessible room but needed 1 room with 2 beds. I did not expect any upgrade on New Years Eve as it was clear the hotel was booked, the rates were out of this world for a standard room. I was just happy to be able to get rooms with points on New Years Eve.
We arrived at the hotel around 1130 in the Morning and the check in process started, the agent told me she was so sorry that they could only upgrade one of the rooms. She added that she would comp Breakfast for our party of four. Every other Hilton family hotel in the system give breakfast to Gold and Diamond members but the Waldorf brand normally doesn’t. So this was a great “upgrade” after a long new years eve out on the town a nice big Breakfast was the best upgrade in the world. (The hotel also expanded breakfast till like 3pm on New Years Day).
Our rooms were not ready yet the check in agent was great and super helpful, we checked our bags with the concierge who was also very helpful. We asked him for a good place to get traditional Scottish food for Lunch and we took his advice, it was great. One other cool thing was the traditional Scottish dress most of the staff had on really made this international chain feel more local. We also got 4 welcome drinks at the hotel bar as a Diamond.
After a long lunch we went back to the hotel to check on the rooms at this point it was right after 2pm, both rooms were ready. Once again they apologized for not having “a better upgrade” for us. The twin room was the room they did upgrade to a great very large deluxe room. It had a large sitting area one could have called it a Jr. Suite. The room was just perfect, everything was classic yet modern. The Caley, once a regular Hilton went under a multi million pound renovation and became a Waldorf a few years back.
The hotel has rooms that offer a great view of the Edinburgh castle, we did not have a room with this view nor did I expect it. However our room did have a view that was looking out to the end of Princess Street and our windows were 2 floors above the front doors of the hotel. We did enjoy people watching before and after all the New Years events. I was a bit worried about road / people noise in the room and we did hear something but it was a very loud night I would guess a normal night one would not have any issues.
The hotel is amazing, great old historical building with modern amenities inside. They also did a great job with Christmas decorations. Very classy! The other room we had was on the small side but it was what we booked. The queen bed just fit in the bed room and there was no view, still a very good quality room but on the small side. If you are going to splurge on this hotel spend a little more to get a deluxe room.
Breakfast was a great treat, the staff who had to work early on New Years day were just great. I mean like some of the best I have seen at any hotel. Happy New Year handshakes all around. Service was great, it was a buffet with made to order options and drink service to the table. Food was good and there was a man who kept the buffet hot and fresh. Service at its best!
Everything about this hotel gets top marks, location, service and rooms. The Caledonian makes you feel special as a guest, the price point is high, but at times you can find a good deal! (You do get what you pay for!) I have always been critical about service in the UK, I have until this stay found a hotel in the UK that is up to par with its European neighbors. Happy to say 5 star service and hotels can be found in the UK. If you have points to use this is one to use them on. Unless something changes it is important to note that Diamond (and gold) VIP perks at Waldorf branded hotels are lacking, with no breakfast for VIPs. I have really avoided the Waldorf brand because of this. There are some reports that changes are coming regarding this but time will tell.