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“Pretty underwhelming.”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #13 of 150 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 January 2014

I stayed at the Balmoral Hotel with my family for one night this week for a relaxing break. After checking in we had to wait a considerable amount of time to be shown to our room. We waited by the seats in the lobby as our room was being prepared. Our kids became unsettled after waiting so long, after the third time asking for an update we were taken into the Bar with our kids then asked to wait. Shorty after we taken to the Brasserie and given coffee and snacks for our inconvenience. It has to said the front desk woman did not seem to know what she was doing and had a poor grasp of English, I found this surprising. We were shown to our room by the gentleman at the front desk, he was friendly and polite. The room itself was smaller than I expected for such an expense (nearly £450 for one room/one night). There was a view of the castle but the window is so small it's barely worthy of the castle view status. The kids had a fold down bed and a cot all in one room with our double bed. One teddy was in the room for two children to fight over! No dressing gowns for the kids, discovered since that these should be provided. Our bed was actually two single beds with an annoying ridge down the centre! There was no coffee and tea making facilities, these have to called for from room service. The coffee/tea facilities given were just powdered instant that you would find in any travel lodge! The TV was a very old fashioned medium sized plasma with few channels. The bathroom was nice but not so big. Breakfast was good. The whole experience was pretty underwhelming. There was also a serious lack of general hotel information provided. I've stayed in far better in Scotland with superior service for less.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Fine Scotia M
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 January 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the trouble to share your views on Tripadvisor following your recent stay at The Balmoral. I do regret to learn that you felt underwhelmed by your experience overall and further regret that we were not aware of your disappointment during your stay. Having received your earlier feedback form, a member of my management team has made efforts to contact you. I sincerely hope that following this communication we will be able to assure you of our genuine commitment to providing the highest levels of service to our guests and hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the future.

Yours sincerely

Franck X Arnold
General Manager
0131 556 2414

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,118 - 2,124 of 3,853 reviews

Reviewed 5 January 2014

This hotel is ideally situated on Princes Street and beside Waverley Station. it is a short walk to the main shopping area and the Royal Mile is a few steps away. We had two nights here in a beautiful room which was well appointed and comfortable to return to. The staff are seriously helpful and go out of their way to help. Little things stand out like the friendly door staff who talk to you with comfort rather than deference. Another thing that impressed was when we could not get a place to sit in the busy lounges, the duty manager went out of his way to find us a place to have tea. All we had to do was wait a few minutes. This attention to detail makes it a venue worth every penny of the price tag. I would gladly return. We only took breakfast in the bistro and it was superb value and very fresh.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Colm104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

We spent two nights at The Balmoral at the end of our tour of the Scottish Highlands. The exterior of The Balmoral is beautiful and very impressive. We also thought that the location was ideal for accessing the old town, but not being smack in the middle of the tourist throngs on that side of the city. Inside, we thought that the hotel was nice, but the design seemed a bit confused, as if it wanted to pay homage to its past but with only a half-hearted attempt to modernize. In our view, the result was a bit disappointing, both in the common spaces and the rooms. Our room had a nice view out over the North Bridge and toward the old Scotsman building (now a hotel). Some dark wood paneling, tasteful wallpaper and more architectural details would have been welcome. Nevertheless, the service was very good and we enjoyed our stay - if the interior lived up to the exterior, it would have been even better.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank HMMIII
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

I'd like to say that my wife and I had a phenomenal time at afternoon tea at the Bollinger Bar at Palm Court. It was made even more enjoyable by the waiter that saw to us. A young Portuguese fellow named Ricardo. He made extra sure to go above and beyond what we could ask or expect for in regards to service. The food was superb but I would go back on the strength of this mans service alone. We had the champagne afternoon tea on the 27th of December 2013, it was a lovely experience, with a nice atmosphere, delicious scones, treats and sweets and the tea was really great. Not necessarily being a tea lover myself the tea itself was exquisite. Champagne and dessert was also amazing. I say all this and it was supposed to be an extended Christmas present for my wife! Top marks! Cheers

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ChristianAnders0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

Headed for afternoon tea at the Balmoral, lovely setting but somewhat spoiled as there was a constant stream of guests, visitors passing through the dining room, heading for the Spa, toilets and the conference centre behind.
I woulsd suggest in this instance that it did not turn out to be "My cup of tea" - although the choice of teas, sandwiches, cakes and scones was good, with the little "box" to take home uneaten goodies.
Chose to pass on the bubbly or driks in this instance - might be Ok for a one off or very special occasion, but in this instance I was not overwhelmed.
I hate to say it but I preferred Claridges in London, where the satff were less pretentious.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank StuartBlaikie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

We had a fantastic three nights here between Christmas and New Year. Got a very good deal from otel.com and really enjoyed ourselves. The atmosphere and decoration in the hotel helped us to get into the spirit of things, the staff were fantastic and our room was lovely. We paid a small amount to upgrade to a castle view - it was still a bargain. Breakfasts were excellent, there is a great choice of food, though make sure you get in with plenty of time, on Sunday the breakfast buffet is closed very promptly to allow the staff to prepare the room for lunch I'd guess, but it meant that we felt a little rushed. Having said that, I'd spent an hour in the spa beforehand (allowing teenage child to sleep in), so i felt nice and relaxed anyway. Our room was large and with a fantastic view. The bathroom was large and well appointed though the shower was an over the bath shower, not separate. There was however a good handle to make sure you did not slip and my tall son said that it was the first time in ages that he had had a shower where the water was well above his head rather than at ear-height! The hotel is well sited, especially at this time of year when the weather means that you might well wish to get to places quickly, staff were friendly and helpful, the bars relaxing... all in all a trip I hope to repeat.

Room Tip: Ask for floor five
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Scottishcari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

Forget the food in the "Cocktail bar".. the clue is in the title, yes, A Cocktail Menu - what a great idea ! Friends took me for a surprise afternoon and both the cocktails and service were simply superb ! Try the "Black Forest Gateau" cocktail, truly magnificent, just close your eyes and pretend you are back in the 1970's.. the only thing missing was the sound of T-Rex in the background ! Something a bit different for a great, sippingly, sumptious, slurpy yet sophisticated, girly day out !

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank 191266Fran
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

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: £170 - £659 (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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