My review is based on a very quick, unplanned fleeting visit to The Balmoral in Edinburgh. It all happened very quickly- I was on the last inbound King's Cross train into Waverley Station, and due to earlier delays I had missed my connection, meaning that I was now forced to spend the night in Edinburgh. I telephoned The Balmoral Hotel to see if they had any rooms available, and indeed they did. Not only is this an Edinburgh landmark and the city's grandest hotel, but the location right outside the exit of Waverley Station at the heart of the capital made it very convenient, and only a short distance away. As such, I walked, baggage in hand, out of Waverley Station and to the doorstep of The Balmoral, arriving at quite an ungodly hour, well past midnight.
Upon arrival I was greeted by a receptionist, who proceeded to arrange a room for the night. I also asked for a timetable of the next days early morning trains, in order to know at what time I should wake up- this was promptly slid underneath my door soon after I had been escorted up. The hotel's decor was fantastic, and very evocative of the general feel that Rocco Forte hotels tries to achieve. While they have faced much criticism for their refurbishment of Brown's Hotel in London, with the consensus generally being that mixing both modern and old has created a bipolar atmosphere in the hotel, The Balmoral seems to have escaped that fate, with the grand feel of the hotel still very much in tact, with just the right amount of modernity to ensure convenience. The room itself was rather large, with a stunning view across to The Balmoral's old nemesis, the The Scotsman, a comfortable Queen bed, a separate dressing room, and toilet with both a shower and separate bathtub. All in all, what I'd consider very comfortable for a 7 day stay, never mind the 7 or so hours I actually was there.
I did get some room service for dinner, and while unremarkable, there was nothing wrong with the food- it was cooked well, and tasted well. Upon being awoken in the morning, I instructed the reception to finalise check out prior to me coming down, as that would ensure I can get maximum sleep as well as not miss my train- this was all handled well as I spent less than a minute in the grand lobby prior to returning to Waverley station and being whisked off to where I was due for an exam a mere three hours later.
- 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