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“Fading” 3 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
Falkirk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Fading”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

The Balmoral is beginning to look a little shabby in places, especially the corridors. Given the prices charged we should be able to expect better. Our last stay was pretty "average", we were given a room looking onto the internal courtyard and were kept awake all night by the constant loud drone of the ventilation system being funnelled up from below. The breakfast is good but not worth £25 pp.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gary290
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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English first
Shoreham-by-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

I stayed at this hotel for a birthday treat the weekend before Christmas. Well appointed room room with large windows & clear view to the castle. Plenty of wardrobe space & large bathroom. Bed was 2 singles pushed together and would have preferred a king size bed but slept soundly. The hotel had arranged "happy birthday" chocolates in my room on arrival. Nice touch! Concierge service is superb, i had the need to call on thier assistane prior to my arrival at the hotel and they managed to fufill my request perfectly & at speed. Hotel decor outside & inside was very good. Nicely decorated for festive season. Drinks in the bar were good & service was excellent. The brassierie was very busy during brakfast on both days but we didnt have to wait long & were not rushed to leave, again excellent service.
Overall a wonderful experience!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 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?
Thank Joanne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancashire
Level Contributor
68 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

Stayed here 30th and 31st December on their Hogmany package. First thing to say is that it is a beautiful hotel building, well positioned on Princes Street and next to Waverley Station. Look around however and the interior is in need of some renovation. We stayed in a Superior Deluxe King Room with Guaranteed Castle View and the best I can say is that it was acceptable. Housekeeping serviced the room very late on the 31st such that we were struggling for shampoo and also forgot to re-stock the fridge and the turn down service on the second night omitted to leave towels and slippers. The bed was very comfortable however.

The hotel was obviously busy because of the time of year and a large wedding. One of the bars (Hadrians) was actually so full on the 30th that we couldn't go in which was annoying given that we were residents and I am sure not all of those in the bar were. On the morning of the 31st however it became clear that the hotel was too full. We had to queue for 25 minutes to get into the breakfast room (also Hadrians) and we were then presented with poor and unattentive service, luke warm tea, a 15 minute wait for toast, various items missing off the buffet and poached eggs that arrived 30 minutes after sitting down. The overall feeling was one of chaos. The staff to be fair to them are exceptionally polite and apologised profusely but my view was that there simply were not enough of them to cope.

The Gala ball and dinner we attended involved a champagne reception and formal dinner. The food was excellent, as was the service. The event did promise a Michael Buble style singer who never did materialise and so after 2 hours of "Gay Gordons" and "reels" we sought sanctuary elsewhere in the hotel. The staff in the whisky bar deserve a mention for their welcome and service. We wouldn't attend this again and the same was true of guests on our table who had been before.

Breakfast the next morning was moved from the bar to one of the large function rooms. Unfortunately, we were still left waiting 20 minutes in a queue to get into breakfast. I would expect this in a Spanish 5 star but for what the Balmoral charges, it was unacceptable 2 days consecutively, especially when they add a surcharge for room service. The food itself and the breakfast experience once seated was thankfully considerably better than the previous day and more of what I had expected.

Overall, I do not think that this hotel deserves the 5 stars it happily boasts of. If it was a 4 star charging 4 star prices, I would have felt slightly less aggrieved.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SpikeyMikey
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 review, 8 January 2014
Dear Guest

I am extremely sorry to learn that you left the hotel feeling disappointed with your Hogmanay stay. Our Hogmanay Gala Ball has generally been well received and I am glad that you were impressed with both the service and quality of the food. I appreciate that a full ceilidh does not suit everyone’s preferences. The swing band did play some Michael Bublé favourites but, as advertised, this was during the cocktail reception only. Whilst I regret that you found the ceilidh too much, I am pleased that you were able to enjoy the remainder of your evening in the comfort of our new whisky bar, Scotch, and again found the service of a high standard.
The breakfast service was extremely busy during your stay and I am very sorry for the resulting delays you encountered. I have shared your feedback with our Food and Beverage Manager, who is already looking at how we can improve this aspect of our service for future occasions.
I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you personally to discuss your impressions and can be reached at the hotel on the number below.

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
Fife
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Maynooth, Ireland
Level Contributor
78 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 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?
Thank Colm104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
43 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HMMIII
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ChristianAnders0n
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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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