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“Lovely hotel in "Edinbra"” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #9 of 150 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
sao paulo, brazil
Level Contributor
72 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel in "Edinbra"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

We chose The Balmoral for our first visit to Edinburgh (or Edinbra, as the locals say), and couldn't have been happier. It is a lovely and charming hotel, with beautiful views and a very nice staff. We booked a junior suite, which was really big , with more than enough room to 3 people. Both restaurants are relly good, Number One being a more formal place, with gourmet dishes. My only disappointment was the charge for wifi. In my opinion, a 5star hotel should not have to charge for internet when you pay GBP 495/night for a room, but I hope they will consider that in the future.
Overall, a fantastic place to stay in this beautiful city.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank claudiaspiandorim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

I stayed for one night for my birthday, the location was not a problem and the hotel was nice. This being said the hotel did not live up to my or my partners expections for a five star rated hotel. This hotel seriously lacks attention to detail.
The quality lacked that of somewhere of a 5 star, and given that 5 star prices are charged, I left feeling somewhat cheated in the overall experience. Examples; discoloured/ dirty grout in bathroom tiles, major chips and poor quality of hallway skirting and door frames in the ground floor corridors, the restaurant was average, the service was slow, nothing special, when busy, the waiter seemed to disappear for long periods of time to deal with larger groups. The breakfast could have been served any where in the world it was not a scottish breakfast, and the scrambled egg was cold even when the waiter had only just brought it out.

This hotel is missing that little something I expect from a five star.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tom_Clair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2012

Spent a fabulous 3 nights at the Balmoral, there wasn’t anything we could fault. The staff were all extremely friendly & seemed genuinely interested in what you were doing that day or had done. Upon arrival we were greeted by a concierge outside dressed in full Scottish dress & inside were 2 other concierges wearing business suits. Check in was swift, efficient and our luggage was taken to our room without having to give the porter our room numbers. Our room 642 had a view of Calton Hill, I had booked just a classic room but had emailed to ask if possible could we have an external view if one was available. The room was modern, extremely clean (as was everywhere in the hotel) there was a large 32” flat screen tv, with plenty of channels including free sky sports which is rare. The bathroom was stunning, all marble & chrome which was kept polished in the morning when the room was cleaned and later was again cleaned with the turn down services. Toiletries supplied were by REN and really gorgeous they were replenished morning and evening. The bath was a large deep cast iron one, there was a shower spray on a handle and a huge shower head over the bath, the water was powerful and very hot which I love, the bath sheets were extremely large and at 5ft nearly covered all of me! Our personal toiletries were neatly arranged on a small flannel either side of the sink, male & female on opposite sides.
You had to phone down for the complimentary coffee facilities as they are not in the room unless requested, then it remains for the rest of your stay. When it was brought to our room the girl had already warmed the water so that it would not take long for us to boil it! She offered to make the coffee which we declined. While we were out on the evening the bed was turned down and on each side a small mat was placed along with some slippers. The bed was extremely comfortable and as the sheets got creased during the night when they made the bed the next day they must have either changed them or steam ironed them as each day they were as crisp as the 1st. The attention to detail was amazing, everything was thought of from the room to the rest of the hotel, it’s the little things that make it worthwhile paying the extra even if just as a one off treat which it was meant to be for us but now I’m not sure! The breakfast was superb there was everything for a continental, lots of different fresh fruit, smoked salmon, cooked breakfast, everything was perfect and plentiful. The drinks in the bar were expensive which we expected due to being a hotel, cocktails around £11, Sambuca £4, Peroni beer £5, coffees £4. The bar staff were extremely knowledgeable and i think each member had been trained about all the drinks & the cocktails,which were fantastic and extremly strong, their own home made Chilli Vodka Bloody Mary was fantastic, a must if you like spicy things, they grade the spiceiness from 1 to 10! We did not use the Spa or have afternoon tea, which looked fantastic. We paid £178 pn bed & breakfast, I had booked it before xmas but kept checking and the price altered so I cancelled and rebooked twice saving £129! Later on the price went back up to my original so it’s worth keeping an eye on any bookings you make.

Room Tip: ask for one on a higher floor with an exterior view if possible, on 6th floor many of the even numbe...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank maty8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2012

Balmoral is located right in the heart of city. We arrived in Edinburgh via train and we just have to walk few meters to reach the hotel. It has a heritage look and a very hospitable staff. We truly enjoyed our stay here, as everything is at a walking distance. The Castle, main road, pubs, shopping district all within a mile.

We got a nice big room, facing the clock tower and it also boasted of a big bathroom. One of our friends also used the SPA, which she thought was worth the money.

Stay here, if you can splurge. It is easily the best property in Edinburgh. They also have strong corporate discount scheme, so do check with your company before booking.

Room Tip: We arrived in a group of six and all of us got rooms of different size and view. So please mention a...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ShobhitAgarwal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
63 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2012

After staying in a number of country homes, castles, and townhouse hotels throughout Scotland, we splurged on our last night to stay in the gorgeous Balmoral. This is, indeed, a 5-star hotel in almost every respect.

The hotel itself is on historic Princes Street and is a stunning building which itself is a gorgeous part of the Edinburgh experience (Princes Street is currently under construction to put in some sort of trolley, so be aware that there will be cones and construction until around 2014). When our cab pulled up to the door, two kilted doormen met us at the curb and immediately had our luggage whisked up to our room. The receptionist was lovely, as was the concierge, we were upgraded (an anniversary) to an upper room with incredible city views, a gorgeous marble bath, and adequate contemporary decor. The bed was one of the most comfortable I've slept in! But, be warned, there is no wi-fi at all in most of the building, and you can supposedly opt to pay for it in the public areas, but I could never access it on my iPad (they do have a 2-computer business center, though, which allowed me to check email).

As it was our anniversary, they sent us a lovely card and macaroons up to the room. Just to warn you though, if you are an alternative couple, you may want to warn them in advance. My partner and I (both Mr.) received a card which read Mr. and Mrs. with the name which the reservation was under. For such a luxury hotel, these small details should be seen to by someone, even if it is the receptionist taking the reservation asking the name of the other member of the party. It's the 21st century folks! It was still a nice gesture, though, and I suppose speaks to the nature of a city which is 99% conservative white Anglo-Saxon.

We booked the dinner, bed and breakfast combo and used our dinner credit to switch from Hadrian's Brasserie to number one and . . . WOW! We cannot recommend number one enough. The service was friendly and perfect, the food outstanding, and this comes from a couple of jaded New Yorkers who eat at Per Se, Eleven Madison, etc. and detest stuffy, forced formalism. It was a brilliant evening of locally sourced Scottish fare prepared in an impeccably French manner.

We had drinks in the afternoon at the Balmoral Bar, but this was your typical hotel bar, serving decent cocktails (which is moderately rare in Edinburgh) but nothing terribly special. Tea at the Palm Court, which we walked through, looked lovely but had the stuffy formalism of the Plaza Hotel, New York. You could tell this was an "event" not a weekly occurrence for people. Breakfast the following morning was standard but the "hot full Scottish" breakfast did not offer haggis, which was a disappointment. We had much better breakfasts at small restaurants in the city.

We tried to get pedicures at the Balmoral spa, and partially succeeded. We're used to a particularly New York pedicure, and this one was decent, but seemed somewhat untrained. The girl who did it was friendly, chatty, lovely, but you could tell she didn't often do pedicures.

All in all, it was certainly a luxury experience, but at times carried with it the forced formalism that often accompanies these establishments. The decor wasn't really Scottish (aside from the kilted doormen) as much as contemporary luxury put upon a glorious old building. For the cost, I'm not sure it measured up for value to some of the smaller luxury hotels, but this is a grand old dame which requires, I'm sure, lots of upkeep to maintain her position in Edinburgh society.

Room Tip: Our city view room was stunning!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Forster84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Balmoral Hotel

Property: The Balmoral Hotel
Address: 1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Princes Street and Gardens
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Edinburgh
#3 Family Hotel in Edinburgh
#5 Business Hotel in Edinburgh
#7 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
#10 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
Price range (per night): $275 - $866
Hotel Class:5 star — The Balmoral Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 188
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
You will find The Balmoral at Edinburgh's most prestigious address, No. 1 Princes Street, where the Old Town stops and the New Town begins. Our hotel's majestic clock defines the city's skyline and since the day we opened in 1902 it has run three minutes fast to ensure you will never miss your train. The Balmoral is a grand railway hotel where our porters can still be organised to whisk guests from the station hall to the reception desk, and our kilted doormen will guide you into the hotel. Experience Number One our Michelin-starred restaurant, indulge in afternoon tea at Palm Court or drinks in the signature whisky bar, Scotch. A comprehensive range of treatments will help you unwind in the award-wining Balmoral Spa. The 188 opulent suites and stylish rooms have magnificent views of the city or the hotel's internal courtyard. The hotel's ten banqueting suites all enjoy natural daylight and stunning views of Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street or the historic Old Town and can accommodate a wide range of events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh
Balmoral Edinburgh Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

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