Peddie and Kinnear, 1890-3, ground floor and mezzanine (former entrance to Caledonian Station), incorporated into hotel with upper floors by J M Dick Peddie and Washington Browne, 1899-1903; later additions and alterations. V-plan (becoming A-plan, 1970-1) Flemish Renaissance hotel with Francois Ier dormers; 5-storey (including mezzanine) with 3 attic storeys arranged as tiered triangular curvilinear pediment with terminating obelisks at each level and finialled round-arched pediment, set in front of balustraded pavilion roof to N (entrance) elevation; 5-storey with basement and 2 attic storeys to E (Lothian Road) elevation; 5-storey with 2 attic storeys to NW (Rutland Street) elevation. Polished red sandstone ashlar with polished dressings; channelled ashlar to basement on Lothian Road; red brick at rear. Base course; cornice below thermal windows at mezzanine; entablature and dentil cornice between mezzanine and 1st floors; dentil cornice between 3rd floor and attics; blocking course at wallhead between attic dormers; cornice between attic storeys. Moulded architraves to corniced tripartites at 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors; semicircular pediments to advanced central light flanked by Ionic columns supported on volutes at 2nd floor of N elevation; semicircular pediments to central light at 1st floor of E and NW elevations; round-arched windows to tiered attic storeys, divided by single and paired columns; triple-arched entrance with flanking paired and pedestalled Corinthian columns rising through ground and mezzanine floors at N elevation, with pediment to central pair; similar paired Corinthian columns dividing bays along E elevation and flanking outer bays of NW elevation; giant pilasters with banded rustication to upper floors of bays surmounted by 2-tiered dormers at E elevation and flanking upper floors of 2 bays to outer left and outer right of NW elevation.
N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3-bay. Slightly advanced central bay with high-relief carved spandrels over tripartite window with Ionic columnar mullions and thermal window forming mezzanine above at ground floor; canopied revolving doors with thermal windows above in bays flanking. Carved female figure over paired columns dividing bays; regular fenestration above. 5 windows to lower attic, with paired columns flanking outer bays, single columns to remainder; 3 windows to middle attic, outer columns paired, inner ones single; single window to top attic, flanked by single columns; round-headed dormer windows to pavilion roof behind.
E (LOTHIAN ROAD) ELEVATION: 19-bay. Tripartite fenestration except single bay (7th from right) with blank niche at ground floor. Regularly fenestrated at basement. Thermal mezzanine windows to 11 bays to right (excluding single niched bay) at ground floor; thermal windows at ground floor with bipartites above in 2 bays to left; tripartites to ground floor and mezzanine in remaining bays to left; round-arched, doorpiece with Gibbsian surround, timber panelled door and semicircular fanlight in bay 3rd from left, raising cill of 2 lights at left of tripartite window above. Regular fenestration to 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors above. Semicircular pediments to regularly disposed bipartite dormers over each bay; 2-tier arrangement with large semicircular pediment over central and penultimate bays to left and right, comprising 4 round-arched windows to lower level, 2 to upper level with terminating obelisks, all flanked by single columns; small timber box dormers to mansard roof behind.
RETURN ELEVATION: single window at right of 3rd and 4th floors, bipartite at left of 4th floor; 2-stage attic dormer, as Lothian Road elevation, above.
NW (RUTLAND STREET) ELEVATION: 9 bays, grouped symmetrically, (window lights, 3-3-2-1-3-1-2-3-3) with 2 bays to outer left and right slightly advanced and treated as entrances at ground floor (bays to outer right converted as bar); carved caryatid mullions to thermal windows. Regular fenestration to all floors. 3 regularly disposed wallhead dormers with round-arched pediments over central bays; 2-stage arrangements as at Lothian Road over bays at outer ends; small timber box dormers set into mansard roof behind. RETURN ELEVATION: irregularly fenestrated at ground floor and mezzanine with some windows blocked; pilaster-style iron brackets fitted to wall at right at mezzanine level; regular fenestration to upper floors.
REAR (INTERNAL) ELEVATIONS: some red sandstone at mezzanine level (to rear of Lothian Road elevation), incorporating architraved windows; remainder principally regularly fenestrated.
Predominantly 2-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof; tall ashlar coped stacks; squat cylindrical cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: designed by Washington Browne, executed by Scott Morton and Co. Timber panelling to reception hall with paired Egyptian caryatids supporting reception desk; restaurant at ground floor incorporates some original station features, such as red sandstone arches and overdoor carvings (also feature at ground floor of exterior at rear, along with copper-cased lamp fittings with ornamental wrought-iron brackets). Station clock, by Hamilton and Inches, to bar wall; paired, black marble columns with decorative plasterwork capitals incorporating thistle motif in main hall; deep dentilled cornices and fluted pilasters to lounge; imperial staircase from main hall with cast bronze 'tree' balusters and timber handrail (part of Robert & Roger Nicholson redecoration scheme, 1958); wood panelling to 1st floor corridors; timber balustrade to staircase to 2nd floor.
FORMER SCREEN ENTRANCE TO STATION: cast-iron and timber screen, painted in red, black and gold, sited to SW of Rutland Street elevation comprising 2 segmental arches on engaged colonettes with segmental headed window between; open fretwork to spandrels; centred diamond motif to frieze below cavetto moulded, fluted cornice; smaller scale cast-iron gates with solid lower panels, set behind screen.
PIERS AND RAILINGS: red sandstone ashlar pedestalled and corniced panelled piers with square caps along NW (Rutland Street) elevation; 3 evenly disposed cast-iron cope-mounted lamp standards with glass globes and drum wells (central one lacks globe); decorative cast-iron railings on ashlar copes between piers and to entrance platts, penultimate bays to left and right; cope-mounted cast-iron railings between pedestals to paired columns to most of E (Lothian Road) elevation.