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“A Fleeting Visit To A Storied Hotel”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #13 of 151 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 August 2013

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.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank malioil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 August 2013

It's an institution in Edinburgh. We stay every year during the fringe season, the staff are attentive, the rooms are comfortable, and the breakfast is great- ample selection of all kind of food.
Of course it's not inexpensive but it's a treat.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Granduelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2013

Just had an excellent stay at the Balmoral hotel whilst visiting the tattoo. All members of staff were very professional and friendly, always a smile. Facilities in room excellent. Enjoyed afternoon tea in Palm court and again service perfect. We got all the goodies we could not manage to eat packed in a wee box to take back to our room for later. The spa was lovely and relaxing and well worth bringing you swimwear. This is an amazing hotel with staff that really go the extra mile to make your visit special. My mum recieved a lovely plate of happy birthday sweets in our room which made it even more special. A truly wonderful experience. Well worth a visit.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank brunodog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balmoraledinburgh, General Manager at The Balmoral Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the trouble to write such a generous review following your recent visit to Edinburgh and The Balmoral. I am delighted to learn that you enjoyed your experience and it will be a pleasure to share your kind words with my colleagues throughout the hotel who looked after you and your mum during your stay.

We hope to welcome you back soon.

Yours sincerely

Franck X Arnold
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2013

My wife and I stayed at the The Balmoral to celebrate our anniversary and can safely say that it is the best hotel we have ever visited. The staff were exceptionally polite, professional and attentive. They anticipated our needs and were always on hand without being intrusive. When I booked the room I had told them that we celebrating our anniversary there and they really made an effort to make us feel special from the amazing room they put us in to the happy anniversary messages they left both in our room and written in chocolate on the top plate of our delicious afternoon tea, their attention to detail really showed how seriously they take customer service. I could go on and on about how brilliant our stay was but simply put the hotel and the staff are a credit to their industry and we will certainly visit again.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Stuart W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

This was the first hotel we stayed at in Scotland and our favorite. Room beautiful and good size so we did not feel cramped. Bathroom beautiful. We had a car with us and the valet's/concierege parked our car for us as it is a 15 minute walk. The cost is 25 pounds/day so costly but not their problem. Always people at front desk and concierege all the time. Beautiful flowers in lobby during day and different at night with candles lit. We went to the spa for a massage and wish we had gone sooner as the pool is beautiful and included without having to use spa services.
We loved it. Robe in room as well as slippers.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Peter-Janice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2013

The staff were very accomodatign and helped us with our allergies with some great breakfast substitutions. The smoked salmon was one of the best I've tasted and the buffet was great. Our room had good views over Edinburgh and were spacious and comfortable.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
2  Thank Maxito968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2013

The Rocco Forte- Balmoral Edinburgh it s not good enough. I would not recommend spending money in a place like this.
From the outside it looks much different, and the location is good, even the team of concierges is excellent I must say, but the rest
is definitely far from the five star hotel it claims to be,. I decided to book because we travelled with kids and the swimming pool would be fun for them,but it was icy cold. There s no room to walk around the chaise lounges without getting wet, back to your room you have to walk miles to get to an elevator and the hotel lobby looks like a public commercial center, noisy and chaotic.
The hotel itself is not a relaxing place, they have HADRIAN S restaurant beside the front desk open to non guests as well and its open door leads directly to the outside noise, so a lot of people come in and out, there s always traffic noise.. not nice.
We booked two connected deluxe rooms and I could not see any deluxe detail in any of them. The curtains blackouts have holes..and they are so cheaply hanged that a lot of light enters the room too early from the upper side of the window in the morning (it s summer) and there is nothing to do about it. (They also seem to have forgotten to put on the thin curtain that goes in between so you can have light without being seen from the outside )
There is more:
- The amenities they leave in the room from the cookies/ chocolates / bottled water to the toiletries are extremely poor quality.
- Old tartan covers at the foot of the bed (quite a shock)
- The room service menu is too restictred as it is the children menu. They didn t even have a pizza or a salmon sandwich, or they didn t want to prepare it when I phoned.
Because the guest knows there is salmon and bread. So the message from the hotel is WE DON T WANT TO DO IT.
- Walls are too thin you hear everything
- If you ask for king bed it will be to twins pulled together (!)
- Small TV s , the signal cuts often.
- Don t have wii or playstation if you ask for them
- Won t have a thermomether if you need one. (No first aid kit??)
- OF COURSE THEY CHARGE YOU FOR WI FI!!! That was the real warning signal!! I should have known the rest, only when I knew that... awful detail.
And even when you buy internet it, it s not good enough.
Don t go. You will not feel the warmth, relaxation and service you are suppossed to feel when you pay this money. It s a budget hotel charging like a Five Star.
-The only good thing: The team of concierges is excellent. David and his team were really nice and helped us with many things-

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank cucuruchito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balmoraledinburgh, General Manager at The Balmoral Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2013

Dear Guest,

Whilst pleased to read that you appreciated the central location of the hotel and enjoyed excellent service from my colleagues at the concierge, I was extremely sorry to learn that you departed feeling underwhelmed with several other aspects of your stay.
It is most regrettable that this is the first that we have learnt of your disappointment as I am certain that, given the opportunity, my colleagues would have made every effort to rectify any shortcomings during your stay. I have now shared all of your feedback with my management team to ensure that your concerns are addressed.
I truly believe that your experience is not representative of the high levels of service and experience that we try so hard to deliver to every one of our guests and I do regret the poor impression you have been left with. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you personally to discuss your comments further and would be grateful if you could contact me on the number below at your convenience.

Yours sincerely

Franck X Arnold
General Manager
0131 556 2414

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
#10 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
#10 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range: £164 - £645 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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