Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh

Old Dec 9th, 2007, 06:00 PM
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Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh

G'day all!

We (hubby & I) are thinking of staying at the Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh in May 2008.

Wondering if anyone can provide feedback on it, specifically:
* Does it have an "Executive Lounge"?
* Do they give upgrades to Gold HHonors members?
* Anything you think we should be aware of or to avoid? (eg. busy side of street on weekends etc).

Thanks in advance.
jgbg is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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We stayed at a place last Aug called the Sailsbury Guest House. not too pricy, great restaurant on first floor, and a straight shot into the city, or a fair walk if you are so inclined.
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Old Dec 9th, 2007, 07:50 PM
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Stayed there ~3 years ago for my birthday. I had Gold status.

No Executive Lounge but I think I was given a breakfast cert which I ended up not using.

Upgraded to a very nice suite with a wonderful view of the castle, but I believe it was more to do with my birthday than my status.

Nice property. I only stayed for 1 night and not even that. I left the room ~8pm and came back around ~6-7am. I needed to catch a flight to London ~12pm, so I really didn't get to enjoy the suite too much.
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Old Dec 10th, 2007, 03:50 AM
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I read a few weeks ago that it is no longer owned by Hilton but will continue to be operated by them (?), so I assume this doesn't affect anything from HHonours point of view ?

It is on a busy junction right in the middle of town so there will always be a lot of traffic and people going past. The side facing the castle is the side on Lothian Road which is full of young drunks at the weekend; but there's nothing to be scared of, they only fight each other Luckily you won't be needing to get a taxi *from* the rank outside late at night.

Having said that, presumably they have double glazing so noise shouldn't be a problem; although I'd advise asking for as high a floor as possible.

It is in an excellent position for seeing the sights.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2007, 04:22 AM
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Ummmm. Caroline does kind of make it sound insalubrious. It's not at all.

I haven't stayed there for years, but it's a pretty classy joint. I too had a suite on the Lothian Road side, and you didn't hear the traffic at all.
sheila is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2007, 04:15 AM
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True, Sheila. I just tend to think that people unused to places like Lothian Road on a weekend night may be a bit freaked out by it, so I like to forewarn people. Of course those who know Lothian Road, like the predominantly elderly RSNO audiences queuing up at the bus stop after an Friday night concert (when the Usher Hall isn't shut), know it's fine. And The Caley is indeed quite a posh hotel.
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Old Dec 16th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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Husband and I are planning a trip to Scotland and maybe stay in Edinburgh hopefully in June for 5 days . We want to treat our two grown sons and daughter-in-laws (ages range from 36-42yrs. old).
I'm very excited but overwhelmed. I want to have some type of tenative itinerary plannned for their surprise gift.
Input to follow by all of us for fun so I can book hotel and day trips around Scotland.
Edinburgh is my place to start.
One daughter (in-law) has a very strong family clan history in Scotland (Cameron Clan) and I hope soon to get some input on castle's to visit. Us other five are first timer's.
I prefer something with history but with all the bells and whitles for our stay. Want to have some knowledge of advice.
Need help w/ideas and would greatly appreciate any advice.
Thank You,
farmkat is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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History, Bells, Whistles, Edinburgh.

That would be Dalhousie Castle.

By the by, a while ago I did a 5day tour for Fodorites based on Campbell castles- and goodness me, there are a lot of them.

I was about to ask you to email me or it when irealised it was sufficiently esoteric I might not have posted it before.

So here you go. In looking for it I discovered they wanted Urquharts too. So you'll have to weed them out.

And just so you're clear, this is not NEARLY an exhaustive list. Those Campbells were scarily acquisitive

(signed, spouse of and daugher of people with Macdonald in their names)

Day 1 Head west to Dumbarton (Dumbarton Castle- a Campbell Castle) then go on to the south of Loch Lomond and follow the road north as far as Arrochar, where you need to turn left. Cros the pass of the Rest and be Thankful and you will come down to the top of Loch Fyne and Inverary. In Inverary visit the Jail, (read “Kidnapped”) the castle which belongs to the Duke of Argyll Chief of the clan Campbell and is a great visit and the tall ship docked at the harbour. I think you may have ad enough by this stage, so go straight up the length of Loch Awe ( Half way along you pass the island on which stands Innis Chonnel castle- a Campbell castle—and at the top, you will see Kilchurn castle- a Campbell castle-, which is one of those Calendar favourites) and turn left and down to Connel Bridge. Oban is to the south of you and Barcaldine to the north.

If you want to make this a longer day, head south west from Inveraray towards Lochgilphead and if you want, go right round to Ardrishaig and see the Vital Spark. (Read Neil Gun’s “Tales of Para Handy”) When you come back to Lochgilphead, and visit Crinan with its canal. (actually the last time we were there, the Vital Spark was in the basin at Crinan) Have lunch either at the stunningly located Crinan Hotel or go down Loch Craignish (Craignish Castle- a Campbell castle) and have lunch at the Tayvallich Inn. Head up towards Oban through Kilmartin Glen which is famous for an array of Neolithic constructions- stone circles, standing stones and henge monuments amongst others. It’s well interpreted and well worth a visit. At the south end is Dunadd, the seat of the Kings of Dalriada. Again, it’s worth climbing to the top. Keep going north to Oban. (you can take a short side turn to Carnasserie- a Campbell Castle)The main attraction is the location and its nature as a travel hub. It is a lovely little town right on the coast dominated by a folly on the hill overlooking a lovely and very busy harbour. Lots of the Western Isles ferries sail from here. There are some good tourist shops and you can visit the Oban distillery. Take in Dunstaffnage Castle- a Campbell castle- which is a good place to see the sweep of the bay with Oban climbing up the hillsides and McCaig’s folly at the top.

Day 2. Drive north. As you pass the road to Port Appin, if you take a short detour, you will see in the water Castle Sween- a Campbell castle. Then go past the bottom of Glencoe (then take a right turn up into Glencoe. This is where the Campbells slaughtered the MacDonalds after Culloden. There's a long story but I won't bore you with it. There's a great song about it though. It's a tremendous place with overbearing hills. It's not called the Glen of Weeping for nothing.) to Fort William (a bit of a railhead town but it does sit below the majesty of Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain). then west, passing Glenfinnan, through Morar and Arisaig to Mallaig and get the ferry to Skye. Turn right and follow the road up from Armadale. The Isle Oronsay hotel is a wonderful place to stay; but it is not cheap. If you think it’s too much off to one side, you can stay just about anywhere on Skye in the middle. I’ve tried and like the Rosedale in Portree, the Sligachan, the climbers’ hotel and Greshornish House. Skye is lovely and romantic and is where Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped to after Culloden, dressed up as a maid to Flora MacDonald and about which the song was written (actually he went from South Uist to Skye, not from the mainland, but why
spoil a good story.)

Conscious of the fact that you have only a few days left, you need to decide if, rather than do the whole island, you might just go up as far as Portree, and then come back. As you come south you are approaching the Cuillins which are the most stunning mountains in Scotland. Stop and enjoy. Take half a day and walk up an easy one- Blaven or Bruaich na Friath.. Or you can visit Dunvegan Castle, Portree, Broadford, Uig, the Quiraing, Staffin, the Clan Donald centre and many more. Scenery terrific. An available castle is Kinloch Castle owned and run by Lady Clare MacDonald who is also a gourmet chef. Back on the main road to the mainland, you come over the last hill and see the most godawful bridge over the sea to Skye from Kyle of Lochalsh

Day 3. Just north of Kyle you will see signs to Plockton on the right. Take the detour. It's on every calendar of Scottish beauty spots you have ever seen. Drive down to Lochcarron and Achnasheen along the south side of the Loch. You will shortly pass one of the best signposts in the world. It says "Strome Ferry- (no ferry)". By pursuing this route you miss out Loch Ness, which in my opinion is no loss. With a short detour to the south you can cut it back in again. On this route, before you get to Inverness, you cross the Kessock Bridge over the Moray Firth. Before that, it might be worth a side trip to Craig castle- an Urquhart castle on the Cromarty Firth. You should stop at the tourist information office just before the river. It has a live closed circuit TV linkup to a Red Kite's nest; and you may see Dolphins in the river from the car park If you decide to do one of the dolphin boat trips please pick one of the boats which is "approved" ie doesn't hassle and hound the dolphins all day. Inverness is at one end of the Caledonian canal, which you need to see. It has nice pubs and hotels, but is essentially a sweet little town with little to keep you in it. It's what is nearby that matters. At this point, I would normally just take you south towards Perth, but, since you want to see castle Urquhart, you need to follow the signs down to Fort William and go as far as Castle Urquhart. Then turn round and come back to Inverness. Take a left and head towards Aberdeen on the A 96, just before you leave Inverness proper go back as far as Culloden-6 miles. You then want a side trip to Cawdor, which, apart from being famous from Macbeth, is (would you believe it?) a Campbell castle. Then cross over to Grantown, and stay about here.

Day 4 Come back onto the A9 then south towards Aviemore then Newtonmore and Kingussie. I can never remember which comes first, but at one there is a superb 17th century barracks built by the English to keep the Scots down after Culloden. (There is another Urquhart castle at Craigston, near Turriff, and you could come east instead of west at this point) Worth a trip. It's immediately adjacent to Insch Marshes which is another bird reserve- lots of brilliant ducks and waders. Somewhere here come off onto the old main road- less traffic and more scenic Next up you will come to Dalwhinnie- great whisky, great distillery. I don't know if it does tours but it's worth stopping if it does. Go south again on the A9. You will pass a place called House of Bruar which markets itself as "the Harrods of the North" It's a real fancy shop and I hate to say it but I love it. Worth stopping. A couple of miles further on is Blair Atholl, another planned village and a superb castle for a visit. the Duke of Atholl is the only person is the UK licenced by the Queen to have a private army. Go south again and stop at Killiecrankie and see the famous soldier's leap. If you don't know the story, learn the song. Then drive back down to Pitlochry which is a tourist dive, so don't stay long; although it is a good place to get your tweeds and tartans and woolens and things. You could take a side trip her along to Kenmore at the east end of Loch Tay, and see Taymouth Castle- a Campbell castle. Then drive on to Dunkeld, a lovely town on the Tay, with a beautiful historic square, a cathedral and some wonderful views. There's a pub in the village (the name of which I can't remember but it's the second one on the street on the right immediately over the bridge- you can't miss it) which is owned by Dougie Mclean one of Scotland's greatest contemporary singer songwriters. It can be a fine place to spend an evening.

Day 5 Keeping south you come to Perth -a very nice little city; capital of Scotland before Edinburgh and imbued with history. There are two large parks on the edge of the city centre, the North and South Inches.(Inch is from the Gaelic innis- a meadow)The story goes that a particular Earl of Perth wanting to be buried in the City Church, St John's, told the town magistrates " If you give me six feet, I'll give you two inches". Take time to climb Kinnoull Hill which proudly overlooks the town and the Tay and is surmounted by a folly castle built by another Earl of Perth, who had done the Grand Tour and thought that the Tay valley was just like the Rhine except it didn't have castles on its hilltops- so he faked a couple. Just after you come to Perth you cross over the "Wicks of Baiglie" and can see right down the Tay valley to Dundee. Myth says that Julius Caesar made it this far, and seeing the broad fertile valley stopped and said "Ecce Tiberus!" (Look, the Tiber!). Before you get to the Forth, past Kinross, you reach to Loch Leven, where Mary Queen of Scots was locked up in the castle on the island (v. romantic..the story of the escape- she then fled to her cousin in England for succour. She locked her up for 20 years then beheaded her.(perfidious Albion!) There is a very pretty bird reserve at Vane farm on the south side on the loch. At this point you want to back track a few miles and follow the road from Milnathort to the Yetts of Muckhart and on to Dollar to pck up, in Dollar Glen, Castle Campbell itself. Then keep on to the A9 again and south back into Glasgow.
sheila is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Oops. You said Cameron, not Campbell-(blushes)
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Old Dec 16th, 2007, 10:54 AM
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farmkat: You have gotten some great info from sheila (despite all the "Campbell stuff&quot -- but I recommend you start a new thread of your own. You are researching a trip to Scotland -- not just a stay at the Cally.

Lots of us are here to help you, but we need a dialog w/ you, preferably not on a thread about a different topic.
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Old Dec 16th, 2007, 08:33 PM
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No matter, Sheila, that was just fascinating! I've been glued to your post for the past ten minutes. Maybe someday I'll figure out what clan my great grandfather Clyde Whitlock (Whiteloch) belonged to. Hint, hint? They say there's a "White Loch" somewhere in Scotland,from which the family name came.

Do tell us more Scotland anytime!
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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We stayed at the Caley while it was being refurbished in 2005. We were HHonors silver at the time. They upgraded us from a smoking basic room to a nonsmoking (my preference) deluxe king on the top floor. They gave us a 10 a.m. check in time and let us checkout at 2 p.m. the last day.

I would advise asking for the top floor. I can't remembering air conditioning. If the room gets stuffy and you want to crack the window, being on the top floor means there is less noise.

It is a wonderful location. There is a stop for the airport shuttle yards away and Haymarket railstation isn't a bad walk. Nearly all the bus routes go by either the side or the front of the hotel.

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