Affectionately nicknamed the Caley by locals, this grand Victorian sandstone railway hotel (past guests include Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor and Bing Crosby) was, to put it bluntly, more than a little tired before the multi-million pound refurbishment in 2012. Re-branded a Waldorf Astoria, it mirrors The Balmoral at the opposite end of Princes Street. Gastronomic restaurant (with whisky trolley) and brasserie: check. Peacock Alley, the buzzing lounge and bar area: check. Spa (the UK's first by Guerlain): check. There's also the Caley Bar, of course, for cocktails, and sleekly chic bedrooms in a cool color palette of smoky grey, silver and blue, some with castle views. However, this place gets the silver medal rather than the gold. Silver is not something to be sniffed at, but it's pipped to the post by its proximity to that other luxuriously revamped railway hotel down the road.