Iconic Edinburgh hotel The Caledonian to undergo £35m transformation

The 120-year-old category A listed building will undergo a £35m transformation and will join Hilton's Curio Collection of hotels.

Iconic Edinburgh hotel The Caledonian to join Hilton’s boutique Curio Collection amid £35m refurbishment The Caledonian

A historic Edinburgh hotel which has welcomed a host of famous guests including US presidents, royalty and Hollywood stars, is to undergo a multi-million pound transformation following its sale.

The landmark capital hotel, The Caledonian, affectionately known as The Caley, was acquired in July 2023 by private real estate investment fund manager Henderson Park and Klarent Hospitality in a £85m deal.

The 120-year-old category A listed building, which is located in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, will see an investment of over £35m to transform the hotel.

Henderson Park and Klarent Hospitality’s investment plans will see improvements in the infrastructure, bedroom refurbishment as well as upgrading and restoring the public areas to enhance guest and visitor experiences.

There are plans to extend the hotel, expanding its capacity to over 300 rooms by early 2026, making The Caley one of Edinburgh’s largest hotels.

The flagship Edinburgh hotel will become part of Curio Collection by Hilton this summer, joining a global portfolio of “prestigious lifestyle hotels with one-of-a-kind stories to share”. Curio Collection by Hilton hotels are chosen for their individuality and character and are designed to reflect the unique spirit of the cities they call home. 

The iconic red sandstone building was constructed from 1899 to 1908 and was originally owned by the Caledonian Railway Company, where the hotel takes its name.

The new bedroom and suite concepts are inspired by the crests of the historic capital cities of Edinburgh, Stirling and Inverness. 

The original stained glass windows will continue to stand at the head of the grand staircase showcasing the crests of destinations the former railway station used to serve.  

Famous former guests who have stayed in some of the rooms have included the late Queen Elizabeth II and former US President Barack Obama, as well as Hollywood legends Laurel and Hardy, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin and Sean Connery.

Christophe Kuhbier, managing director at Henderson Park, said: “Our continued investment in The Caledonian is testament to our stewardship of this iconic hotel, which has been a bastion of Edinburgh hospitality over a century. 

“We look forward to working with Hilton and Klarent, our specialist hospitality operator and asset manager, to unlock The Caledonian’s full value potential on behalf of our investors and ensure it continues to enchant guests for many years to come.”

Peter Stack, chief executive of Klarent Hospitality, added: “As custodians of this landmark hotel, we have committed to the significant investment and transformation that will see The Caledonian as a world-renowned, leading hotel at the heart of Edinburgh. We are delighted to celebrate the hotel’s 120th anniversary and look forward to working with the hotel team creating the next chapter for The Caley.”

Stephen Cassidy, SVP and managing director, UK&I, Hilton, added: “The Caledonian has long been one of the top destination hotels in Scotland – loved by guests from all over the world and Edinburgh residents alike. The hotel is a hugely important member of the Hilton portfolio, and this exciting rebrand empowers its exceptional team to elevate the rich storytelling opportunities and continue to celebrate the hotel’s heritage.”

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