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“Special Service”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #13 of 150 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 December 2008

It's taken me a while to write this but what a fantastic place to stay. We escaped from small children for a birthday treat in early January - fantastic time to go as the hotel was quiet (main restaurant closed between Hogmanay and Burns Night) and so we got a great deal. Lack of restaurant didn't matter a bit as you are so central. Room very comfortable and facilities great but what really made it for us was the personal touch - eg the receptionist telling us which shops had good sales and which theatre productions were the best. The next day I received a birthday card and special chocolates - although a birthday had been mentioned only in passing to the telephone operator months ago when booking. Will definitely have to save up but we can't wait to go back again.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SpaStruck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,330 - 3,336 of 3,852 reviews

Reviewed 28 December 2008

Stayed for a wee shopping trip last year and absolutely loved it. They really do treat you so well here. Nothing is too much trouble.
They take your car away for you and bring it back when you need it within a few mins. The food was lovely, the breakfast inparticular was lovely.
The room had a lovely view and was spotless.

I wouldnt hesitate to go back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lilypods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2008

We have lived in Edinburgh for 3 years from Canada. Our first experience was great in 2005 and we loved it then. The hotel is in the centre of town and everything is at your fingertips.

The hotel has a great spa and gym which we have been members of since 2007. The pool is large and warm and almost never used. It is great for all purposes. The spa is great and you must visit..... All massages are wonderful as are the wraps.

If you are traveling with a family as we do (now 5), the hotel has changed in the last 3 years and now fully cater to families as the Four Seasons does. Though, they are just working their way through it, it is still very good. The food is fine for both parents and children.. It is a great Hotel to stay in and our rooms have always been large and very clean....Perhaps, it is a bit expensive if paying with North American Curency.... £280.00 per night for 2 adults and 1 child (that is pounds, so $540.00ish American or almost $580.00 Canadian per night)... I would not miss this hotel. Even if you stay somewhere else, all the door men dress in kilts.....

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wendy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2008

Even though it's been several years since I've been there, I just had to write a review because it's one of the best hotels I've ever stayed at (and I've stayed at quite a few). The staff are very friendly, classy and helpful. I loved the doorman dressed in typical Scottish regalia who opened the door for everyone. Our room was long but very spacious and it had a modern feel about it with browns, lime greens and earth tones. We had large windows surrounding most of the room so we could see out to the busy street below (although it wasn't noisy when the windows were shut). One good thing is if you wanted to catch a cab, you just waited at the entrance and within two seconds one showed up. Cabbing and walking were the best ways to see the city. Also, the restaurant downstairs called The Number One (I believe) had superb food with five people waiting on us (a table of two). We felt pampered the whole time. The last thing I'd like to mention is that no matter where we trompled off to, we always found our hotel easily due to the clock tower on top. The service was consistently friendly, the rooms were very clean and inviting and the food was fresh and tasty. I'd go back there in a heartbeat.......just have to save more money :o)

  • Stayed: August 2005, travelled with friends
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1  Thank MilitaryBrat72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
balmoraledingburgh, Ivan Artolli General Manager at The Balmoral Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2008

Dera Balmoral Guest,
I was delighted and extremely proud to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. We value greatly such encouraging and complimentary comments, which allow us to focus on the important issues of guest service and personal attention, and continue to inspire and motivate us to maintain the high level of service we aim to provide.

I will take great pride in sharing your generous comments with my colleagues. On behalf of all my team, may I thank you again for taking the time and trouble to share with us your kind comments.

We look forward to having the sincere pleasure of welcoming you back to The Balmoral on many more occasions in the future and if I personally can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.

With Season's wishes

Ivan Artolli

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Reviewed 12 December 2008

Myself and a friend had a great 4 night stay in this hotel. The room service is excellent, the spa superb and the bar is also very good.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled on business
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2  Thank UrbanAngel5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2008

I booked the Balmoral via lastminute.com and had a choice of here and the Sheraton. I chose the Balmoral on the basis of the reviews and a friend's recommendation however I was sadly disappointed.

My partner and I booked one night here - our first without our 4month old daughter - for a night of rest and relaxation however that wasn't our experience.

Firstly the room allocated was one with disabled facilities - a raised toilet, only one easy chair etc - which in itself wasn't a problem but detracted from the "luxurious" feel of the place and secondly and more importantly was the horrendous amount of noise from the busy junction outside and the late night revellers.

I complained to night staff who acknowledged there was a problem with noise on Fridays and Saturdays in the room we were given (148) but there were no others available (the hotel was full) and no ear plugs to be had. I was still awake at 3.30am and awake again before 8am. It was so awful I went down to the reception first thing in the morning virtually in tears because I was so bitterly disappointed. The receptionist was very nice, very apologetic but clearly there was nothing she could do to put the problem right altho' we were given a complimentary breakfast and late check out. Of course, the situation should never have arisen as the problem with the noise, which had already been acknowledged, should have been disclosed at the outset and I would not have stayed here.

We had ordered champagne for our room and I had a massage in the spa - both of which were lovely - but the therapeutic effects they both should have had were wiped clean away by the lack of sleep.

We also ate in Hadrians and that too was lovely but again, the subsequent disappointment spoiled everything else.

In total we spent around £500 for our night away from home, which for us is a lot of money, and I ended up checking out of the hotel more tired and stressed than when I checked in! I cannot help but feel, bearing in mind this was a late booking, that the hotel were simply being greedy by selling a sub standard room and I expected better of a 5* hotel with the reputation of the Balmoral.

I have given this hotel 2 out of 5 as the communal areas, the bars, the restaurants and the staff are all excellent but to be frank, they count for nothing if you cannot have a decent nights sleep.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Silver69
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 4 December 2008

Dear guest

I was extremely sorry to learn of your disappointment with your recent stay at the Balmoral, due to disturbances form outside the hotel. The city centre can be extremely busy over the weekend and I do regret that the street noise impaired the enjoyment of your weekend. As I mentioned in my reply letter to the guest comment card you completed, our engineering team are now checking the windows in room 148 to see if we can further soundproof the room, whilst keeping within the limitations of planning permissions for a listed building, such is ours.

I am sorry to learn that the noise has mired what would have been a most enjoyable stay, had this situation not occurred. I do sincerely hope that you will therefore allow us the opportunity to welcome you back in the future and again would ask that you contact me personally to take care of the arrangements.

With me best wishes to you and your family for a Happy Festive Season.

Yours sincerely
Ivan Artolli

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Reviewed 25 November 2008

I booked the hotel as a surprise birthday present for my husband, on the strength of other TA reviews. The hotel surprised me in turn by upgrading us to a suite. We were made welcome although we arrived early - at 11.30, and we relaxed with drinks in the Palm Court whilst our room was made ready. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and not at all stuffy or pretentious as so many other upmarket hotels can be. The Palm Court staff were keen to welcome us and we did not feel we had caused a problem in any way by arriving early.

Our suite was ready within 15 mins, and had a welcoming gas fire in the lounge, amazing views of the Castle, and everywhere was warm and spotlessly clean.

The handle of the toilet door kept jamming and was difficult for me to use, so I mentioned this to the reception staff. By the time we returned later in the day - there was a shiny new doorhandle - now that is service!

Although the hotel is right by Waverley Station - unless you have the windows open, you are not aware of any noise. Nor was there much noise from adjacent rooms. The mattress on the bed was that rare thing in a hotel these days - comfortable - with not a squeak to be heard. It was really one of the most comfortable and relaxing hotels we have ever stayed in. The bathroom was huge, with lovely fluffy towels and bathrobes to sink into and relax.

My husband rang down and ordered tea for two (tea tray not provided in the suite, although you can ask for one), and we were stunned when it arrived with complimentary champagne on ice and a fantastic fruit platter.

We ate in Hadrians in the evening, and although the prices are a bit high, you are well looked after and the food was fantastic. We will stay again and have afternoon tea in the Palm Court - they do a special cinammon version in December, a definite for next year!

Everyone took pains to remember our names, the service was faultless and yet even so, it was all so relaxed and friendly - it seemed very 'unforced'. All the staff take pains to make you feel a special guest. I wish we had found time to try the spa - the other TA reviews are glowing - but we will try it out next time.

If I had to mention anything, there are two points - one is that facilities for wheelchair users to access the Palm Court and the downstairs lavatories have to be requested - rather than having access ramps already in place. I have no doubt the staff would be fantastic at helping (and there are signs everywhere encouraging you to ask for assistance) - but many wheelchair users would prefer to not make a fuss, and be as independant as everyone else, and to access these areas at will would be preferable. Further, I had let the hotel know in advance that I am allergic to feathers - but in our upgraded suite all the cushions had feather inners, and the sofa in our lounge was filled with feathers. Because this was a surprise for my husband, I did not really feel able to disappoint him by turning down their amazing generosity in upgrading us and ask for a different room with no feathers. But this was an important detail that 'slipped through the net' and it meant that I spent most of the time in our suite in the bedroom (no feathers once cushions removed)...........for all the wrong reasons!!

But, we loved the hotel, the warmth and friendliness, and would not hesitate to return again - it is pricey by some standards, but I think you get excellent value for your money and it will be our regular Edinburgh hotel of choice now.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cannicUk
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: £169 - £658 (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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