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“First Class”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #13 of 151 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 November 2013

Received a gift voucher for "Simply Dinner Bed and Breakfast" for two to stay at The Balmoral. From the first point of booking staff were wonderfully courteous and extremely helpful. My preferred booking date had no availability of the vouchers room type so I was given a free upgrade.
On arrival we were given a warm welcome from the traditionally Scottish doorman who took our bags and guided us through check in.
The room itself was an executive double, a good size and with a solid yet warm feel to it, the bed was perfect. The bathroom was a good size with a very good bath/shower. Despite facing the road there was no noise whatsoever from traffic which had been a concern before my visit as I've had this difficulty with hotels in Edinburgh before.
I had asked for flowers to be delivered to the room prior to my visit and a lovely, high quality bouquet was waiting for my partner on entry to the room - thanks to the concierge service. Dinner at Hardrians was good all round, maybe lacking some desert choices, but good quality food and attentive service without going over the top.
We had a light breakfast delivered to the room at no extra charge, lots of choice on both the continental and Scottish breakfasts.

Beautiful hotel in an amazing location with top quality staff and service. Will definitely be returning, hopefully for a longer stay that will include some use of the spa facilities!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank James N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,355 - 2,361 of 4,044 reviews

Reviewed 20 November 2013

Stayed here for 3 nights on business, upper floor- deluxe accommodation, and although the room is a true 5 star size, that's where the rating stops. Pros: great location, historic hotel Cons: very hard beds (no mattress toppers), street noise and EVERYTHING is an extra. Am an experienced traveler, I noted other reviews stating negative comments yet thought they were overstating an opinion - they weren't. The staff is curt and professional; there is no warmth. Isn't the job of a 5 star hotel to make you feel special?
And this lackluster review comes from someone who is on business expense. I wonder how a paying guest would feel. This is a 3 star hotel in sheep's clothing - nothing more.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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4  Thank perfectvacation
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 21 November 2013

Dear Guest

I am very sorry to learn that you left the hotel feeling so underwhelmed with your stay. Although our city centre location and listed building status can present challenges with insulating some of our rooms from external noise, we have taken steps to minimise any possible disturbance. I would be grateful if you could contact us with your room number so that our maintenance team can check the windows and ensure the seals are fitting correctly to minimise any noise pollution.

Our mattresses were selected following feedback and consultation with our guests but we appreciate that mattress preferences are particularly personal and it can be difficult to find something that matches each guest’s requirements. It is regrettable that we were not made aware of your discomfort during your stay as we would have made every effort to accommodate you.

Our warm Scottish hospitality is often cited as a highlight of our guest’s experience and is something we pride ourselves on. It is therefore most disappointing to learn that this was not your impression and I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you personally to discuss your experience so that we can understand where we have gone wrong on this occasion. I 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
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Had a lunch meeting and then spent the night at the Balmoral on a business trip through Edinburgh. The hotel has a great location and there was a lot of people coming and going the Tuesday I was there.

At lunch, the tea sandwiches were excellent and the staff was very attentive.

For my stay, my room was certainly adequate - comfortable bed, spacious and clean - but it wasn't anything spectacular. The décor could use a bit of a refresh. Paid a bit more for a nice view of the Castle, which was nice but not amazing.

Next time to Edinburgh I will explore some other options, but the Balmoral certainly has charm and is a good well-known option.

Room Tip: Hotel is on a busy street so nighttime noise could be an issue
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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Thank W T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

The whole trip to Edinburgh started out as something of an afterthought. We were heading to London to attend a family event and thought it would be interesting to add on a brief stay in Edinburgh, someplace my wife and I had heard great things about but never been. As soon as we arrived at the Balmoral we knew we had made a great decision. The hotel is old-school elegance combined with all the modern conveniences. The staff is wonderful, the rooms extremely comfortable, the location perfect. Everything we wanted to do and see was within an easy walk. Some of those outings ended back at the Balmoral to enjoy afternoon tea (incredible pastries) or the Scotch bar. This afterthought turned out to be the highlight of our trip. Three nights was not enough.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the castle.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Raymond H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

The hotel staff called us around three days before our arrival and asked if we would like to be picked up from the airport. We asked specifically how much this service cost and she explicitly stated it was free. So we agreed to be picked up.
When we checked out we were charged with 100 GBP for airport pickup service. We made a complaint at the reception and they said they would look into it. Meanwhile we still had to pay that 100 GBP. The staff called us back one day later and said that the lady who booked the airport pickup service said she had never mentioned the service was free. We disagreed and asked them to verify again. However, we waited for several days and nobody had ever called us back, so we needed to email the General Manager, who then followed up and offered us a 100 GBP discount for our next stay.
This is rather disappointing. I would not expect a five-star hotel to treat their customers this way. Perhaps we may give it another try and use our coupon next time, but I doubt our experience would be any better. Additionally, the breakfast was rather plain and not five-star quality. I've stayed in five star hotels before and had much better breakfast.
Positive sides: good, central location, nice and clean room

Room Tip: Always ask for a written confirmation on what the hotel staff says. After our incident, we do not kn...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Mai P
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 20 November 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the trouble to review the hotel and for highlighting the positive aspects of your stay such as the location, cleanliness and quality of the rooms. I am sorry to learn that you remain disappointed with our attempts to resolve the perceived miscommunication regarding your airport transfer. This is the first time that I have encountered this scenario and my investigations following our conversation found that our reservation team were well informed about the charges for this service. The offer of a credit was made as a gesture of goodwill and I do hope that you will take the opportunity to use this on a future stay with us so that we might be able to change your impressions of The Balmoral.

If I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me personally at the hotel.


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 18 November 2013

Stayed here for two nights after staying at the best in London and must say this is definitely a step or three below. Felt more like chain of hotel that is not positioned to compete with the top end hotels in Europe. Rooms are comfortable but sparse; beds adequate but not great; concierge adequate but not great....sent us to restaurant that we left without eating because of unpleasant odor that took away our appetites ...

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Spoek2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We decided last minute to have a wee treat and book a night in Edinburgh as my partner was at the Rugby on Sunday.

I toyed backwards and forwards as to wether I should pay to stay at the Balmoral (bearing in mind we live in Glasgow, so are fairly regular visitors to Edinburgh, ie. it wasnt a special trip)

There was one room left so I just went for it and I'm glad I did. Everything about it felt like a treat, the rooms were lovely, not huge (basic room) but well maintained and looked like it has had a fresh lick of farrow and ball paint. The bathroom is just fabulous whiote and grey marble with sean connery prints and lots of nice smellies.

Contrary to other reviews there was a coffee tray, and also 24 hours free wifi so for us it was faultless.

There was also a turndown service at night where they leave slippers by your bed on a mat saying good night.

We went out for food to the Dome (xmas decs out of this world) and then went to a few lovely quaint pubs on rose street.

We were then so tired we retired to our room and just enjoyed the view from the window seat!

IN the morning I went to the spa, which I felt was fantastic, hairdryers, toiletries, robes etc provided,

Location is just absolutely perfect, we went out for an early morning walk and beat the crowds which was wonderful.

We cant wait to go back!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank L_R_Htravels
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 20 November 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you so much for your fabulous review of The Balmoral following your recent impromptu visit. It is extremely rewarding for my colleagues and I to receive such fantastic feedback from our guests and it will be a pleasure to share your comments with the team.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Yours sincerely

Franck X Arnold
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
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: £167 - £675 (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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