At the time of publication, The Caledonian owned only two hotels, one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh. It also owned a one third share in the Station Hotel at Perth, opened in 1865, the other partners being the North British and Highland Railways. The Caledonian began work on the Gleneagles hotel in 1914, but work was delayed by the Great War and shortage of money, so this did not open until 1924, by which time the Caledonian had become part of the LMS.
The Caledonian’s hotel at Central Station, Glasgow, opened in 1885. It followed the opening of the North British Railway’s Queen Street Hotel, purchased in 1877, and the Glasgow and South Western St. Enoch hotel, opened in 1879. In Edinburgh, the North British Railway hotel at Waverley Station was begun in 1895, and was not completed until 1902. At the other end of Princes Street – “the quieter end” according to the Caledonian guide- work began on their hotel in 1899, and was completed in 1903, being beaten by the North British by a year.. After over a century, and various changes of name and ownership, the rivals are still glowering at each other from opposite ends of Princes Street. It is interesting to note that the exterior view of the Caledonian establishment in the Guide, looking east along Princes Street, shows not a hint of the North British ,even if unfinished in 1903, with six floors above street level and surmounted by a huge clock tower.