Dubai retail giant buys Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian for £85m
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian is a grand Edwardian railway hotel that has embodied Scottish hospitality for more than a century. First opened in 1903 as part of the old Princes Street Railway Station, the 241-room property was recently bought by Twenty14 Holdings, the hospitality investment arm of Lulu Group International, for £85 million (US$117 million).
Twenty14 recently announced that it not only completed the acquisition, but also planned to invest £20 million towards expansive renovations to be done over a two-year period starting 2019. Key among them would be the addition of 50 guest rooms, as well as a luxury upgrade of its historic Caledonian Suites through collaborating with local craftsmen.
‘We are excited to add The Caledonian to the portfolio of Twenty14 Holdings, and we look forward to adding to the experience it offers,’ Twenty14 Holdings managing director Adeeb Ahamed said. ‘With more than 100 years of history, The Caledonian brings with it a rich heritage, character and unique opulence. We are honoured to be part of this Scottish landmark that has a great significance for locals and visitors alike.’
Currently operated by the Hilton Group under its Waldorf Astoria brand, ‘The Caley’ has more than history, distinctive architecture and views of Edinburgh Castle going for it. It is home to two restaurants operated by Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin, the Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe. It also houses the only Guerlain spa in the UK, featuring the glamour and prestige of its Parisian counterpart.
The Caley joins a portfolio of luxury property worth $650 million across the UK, the Middle East and India which includes a five-star hotel to be developed by Galliard Homes at the iconic 1-5 Scotland Yard address, and the rehabilitated Sheraton Oman Hotel in Muscat.
Twenty14 Holdings is the hospitality investment arm of Lulu Group International, which has its roots in the Lulu retail conglomerate in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Founded in 2014 to capitalise on the growth in the global hospitality industry, the company has a strategy of investing in profitable luxury assets while preserving their historical legacy.