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Next to Tokyo Station, the historic Marunouchi Building houses a restored hotel. (Photograph by Thomas Linkel, Laif/Redux)

All Aboard: Great Railway Hotels

Experience the luxury of a bygone era with a wholly modern spin at one of these world-class railway hotels.

> The Caledonian (Edinburgh, Scotland):

Though Edinburgh’s Princes Street train station shut down nearly 50 years ago, the century-old sandstone hotel built beside it has relaunched after a multimillion-dollar overhaul. 

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Peacock Alley at the Caledonian (Photograph by Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts)

Inside the original Edwardian facade are 241 plush rooms—188 of them constructed from former rail platforms and many of them overlooking the city’s 12th-century castle.

The station’s original clock takes center stage in the Peacock Alley bar

The British capital’s first railway hotel—an 1854 brick building designed, like the adjacent King’s Cross station, by Victorian engineer Lewis Cubitt—has been reimagined after sitting closed for 12 years.

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After undergoing substantial renovations, London’s Great Northern Hotel reopened in 2013. (Photograph by Great Northern Hotel)

It opened in 2013 with 91 rooms, including 21 cozy couchettes inspired by traditional sleeper cars.

There’s also a restaurant from Gordon Ramsay protégé Mark Sargeant that looks like a modern Orient Express carriage. 

> Tokyo Station Hotel (Tokyo, Japan): 

Situated inside the brick-and-steel Taisho-era icon that is the Marunouchi Building, Japan’s second oldest hotel is a national treasure.

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Tokyo Station Hotel (Photograph by Tokyo Station Hotel)

First opened in 1915—one year following the launch of Tokyo Station, the rail hub next door—it now houses 150 vaulted guest rooms and 10 restaurants (a sushi joint and a yakitori bar among them).

Recently restored, the property offers unparalleled views of the Imperial Palace

This piece, written by Christine Ajudua, first appeared in the November 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.