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“Wonderful Hotel”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #14 of 151 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 March 2014

We stayed at the Balmoral hotel yesterday, from the moment we arrived until leaving the standard of service was excellent, being in the hospitality business myself I can be very critical, but gladly I don't have anything negative to say.
The new whisky bar was exceptional and very welcoming, our bedroom was very clean and to a high standard.
Breakfast was lovely with again the hotel waiting staff very attentive.
I would recommend this hotel also for being so central.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Alice G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,089 - 2,095 of 3,926 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2014

Good bits

The booking process was easy, the location of the hotel ideal and the staff at the door and at reception were just lovely. You were always warmly acknowledged on returning to the hotel. These staff were extremely professional and welcoming.

Average bits

The deluxe room with a castle view did have a nice view and decent toiletries otherwise it was no better or worse than other city centre hotels and very much more expensive.

Poor bits

Breakfast service was absolutely dreadful. The first day we waited 30 minutes for a cooked breakfast and when is came the order was all wrong. We mentioned this at reception and received an apology and a gift sent to our room which was really a nice touch and would have been the end of the matter had it been better the next day.

The following morning they set the hot food out for self service (as we had not been the only ones to complain about poor service) which should have resolved the issue. There were however much fewer staff so we got a hot breakfast but no coffee, toast or orange juice. When the coffee and tea eventually came after about a 20 minute wait there was no milk in the jug on our table (a really basic error) and by the time they brought it the coffee was cool.

I had a tray of dirty dishes next to my table throughout breakfast which is not pleasant but which did prove to be useful as no one cleared away the cereal bowls, the hot food plates etc so at least I could dump them there myself. Bear in mind that this is supposed to be a 5 star hotel.

I would like to think that we were just very unlucky and that this is not the normal standard of service.

We had planned to eat in the hotel for dinners but the standard of service put us off that idea and we went and had lovely meals out with. We did however go to the cocktail bar to try the cocktail tasting menu (£29 per person) This was on a quiet Tuesday in February when there were only about a dozen people in the entire bar. The first comment from the server was that we should have booked and he would have to check that we could actually have this. The hotels website which I had checked before going indicates that you only need to book for a Friday and Saturday night. After making a performance of checking with the bar we were advised in a condescending manner that they could do the cocktail tasting for us. The cocktails were fine but nothing particularly special in terms of taste or presentation and the service again slow.

In conclusion this hotel appears to be living on reputation rather than the actual facilities and the service it provides. If all the staff were as efficient, friendly and professional as those on the door and reception it would be vastly better. The restaurant and bar service let it down.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Egglesbrech
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 March 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the trouble to share your impressions following your recent stay at The Balmoral. Firstly, thank you for highlighting your positive experience of our front office team members.
I am very sorry that you encountered some shortcomings in other areas of the hotel. I do believe that your breakfast experience is not consistent with our typical levels of service and quality. However, having received your feedback during your stay we have reviewed our procedures and taken steps to eliminate this scenario from occurring in the future. Similarly, I have shared your comments with our bar manager, who joins me in apologising for your disappointing cocktail tasting experience.
I sincerely hope that you may allow us the opportunity of welcoming you back in the future and would invite you to contact me directly if I can be of any assistance in making your arrangements.

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 13 March 2014

Fantastic friendly service from Tiago!!
Excellent cocktail waiter taking time to provide a excellent service!
Good atmosphere, tasty nibbles, great lighting, perfect location in the heart of the Edinburgh

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Thank Richard159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2014

Stayed here a a number of times in the last couple of years, and I have to say that this is by far and away the best hotel ive stopped in,everything about it is top notch, brilliant rooms, excellent bars and restaurants, and superb location. Love this place.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tom H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Disappointed in this hotel and in the LHW organization that allows hotels no to follow through their promises. First I did specify in my reservation that I wanted a room with view on the castle and reserved a deluxe room. We got a room in a courtyard with a wall in front of us. Internet is supposed to be included; they include a prehistoric system that allows you to wait 3 minutes to download one email; if you are not happy with it, you have to pay 15£ for a slightly better service. Continental breakfast was included as I am a leader's club member; well it is a sub continental breakfast. The room needed a refreshment and the ecstatic comments that I read about how great the rooms are, let me believe that I had either the worst room in the hotel or people have not stayed in a 5 stars hotel like the Bristol in Paris for instance. On the positive note, the personnel was attentive and professional; the bar and both restaurants were also nice with good service and good food; a personal note to the fellow working at the whiskey bar who was very helpful in educating us on scotch whiskeys. Edinburgh is a nice city in a need of a great hotel; this one is not and certainly should not be in the LHW portfolio

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank talamenthe
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 13 March 2014

Dear Guest

I was most concerned to learn of your disappointment from your review as well as having received your comments via our guest feedback form and I regret that we were not aware of your poor impression of the accommodation and breakfast during your stay.
Having received your booking the week prior to your stay, the hotel was already very full with an international rugby fixture being played in Edinburgh over the weekend. Whilst I am pleased that were able to accommodate your requests for a quiet room with twin beds, we unfortunately had no opportunity to allocate a castle facing room as these had already been reserved by other guests who had paid to guarantee the view. Had we of known of your disappointment, we would have made every effort to find a suitable alternative.
I would be grateful if you could contact me directly at your convenience to discuss your experience further and 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 Arnold
General Manager
0131 556 2414

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Reviewed 11 March 2014

I stayed one night here and my impression is nothing short of superlative. First, the structure - spectacular old world and so convenient to the train station where I arrived and to the storied castle. Unlike many grand hotels, this one was neither dusty, shabby or in any way run down. The staff sets a new standard in service. Exceptional front desk - one gets escorted to the room by a well informed and congenial manager. The wait staff at breakfast was incredible - so attentive. And you must not miss the whisky bar where you can sample over 400 single malts. Spa and health club was more than adequate. Memorable experience and a place to return to.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Sillymidon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

We were given, as a Christmas present, a voucher for two for the "winter cocktail tasting menu" in the Bar of the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. As long-time Edinburgh citizens we know the Balmoral, and indeed its bar, fairly well. However the Cocktail Tasting was new to us, and for various reasons we kept the voucher until the Spring. Having booked a table by telephone we were delighted with the comfortable position that had been reserved for us. The menu itself is a cocktail version of a five course dinner, with two choices of cocktail for the equivalent of the first course, and three choices each for the equivalent of the main and dessert courses. We found the choices we made pleasantly light and tasty. We were however particularly impressed by the attention of the bar steward, by name Tiago. He greeted us knowledgeably on arrival, and, although serving other tables with consummate expertise, was seemingly always at hand with advice or information as we went through the menu, but never intrusive. We cannot over-emphasise the part he played in making the afternoon a very happy one for us both. Thank you very much, Tiago.
M and G, Edinburgh

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Gordon S
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
#11 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range: £182 - £671 (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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