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“perfect in every way”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #14 of 151 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 September 2009

We are just back from a two night stay at the Balmoral and must say it was wonderful.
We booked a luxury double room from late rooms for £185 per night.
The hotel is truly romantic. The decor is modern but has a cosy feel. The staff cant do enough for you but are not intrusive.
When we checked in our car was immediately taken away , check in went well and we were personally shown to our room which was lovely and spacious. We had a view of Princes Street as well as a view of the north bridge.
We had booked afternoon tea at the Palm Court . This was elegant as well as having a laid back atmosphere. The sandwiches and cakes were delicious!!!
The Balmoral bar was nice for a refreshment after having a stroll and not too pricey compared to other 5 star hotels we have stayed in. Janine the waitress was working very hard and service was with a smile.
Breakfast at hadrian's was very nice but we had a little wait for our eggs but they were cooked perfectly. we also ate at Number 1 as a spceial treat. This we would highly recommend. The food was first class.
The spa was a peaceful and tranquil place and the staff were really friendly and helpful. We only have one small criticism and that was that the televisions could be updated but then we wern't there to watch TV but They were on the old fashioned style
We enjoyed our time at the Balmoral immensley and did not want to come home. We are now thinking of booking again for Valentine's day, we will just have to save some pennies!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank finbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,306 - 3,312 of 3,920 reviews

Reviewed 24 September 2009

Just back from a 2 noght stay in The Balmoral. Location...location...location but also excellent service. Booked it thorugh Laterooms for £135 for a double. I'm sure it wasn't the finest room in the hotel (inside view) but we didn't pay the top price. The service is the best we have ever experienced - when I asked in the bar if it was OK to take the drinks to the room, the waitress offered to carry them for us....The only thing is the price of the car park. £25 per night. Ok, it is valet parking but it is still very steep. Would highly receommend the truly 5* Balmoral.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Leothescouser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2009

This was a wonderful place to stay. The staff is just spectacular -- among the best we've ever encountered anywhere. The facility itself is lovely and the location - at Princes St & North Bridge could not be better. All 5 stars.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank wandw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2009

I really enjoyed my stay at the Balmoral. The hotel is located in the city centre of Edinburgh, just opposite the train station. The service is great and the rooms are very clean. The decoration is very good too....not surprised....it's a Rocco Forte! Th only thing is the price....it's expnsive.....for a similar price, you can stay in a Boutique hotel and get the dinner on top....! Is this hotel for business travelers then???

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled on business
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Thank lefrancais
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2009

LOVE IT ~ The Balmoral is up there with the best.
I have stayed on a number of occasions & each time I dont want to leave !!
The Hotel is a Victorian gem with a Scottish & Italian feel to it. ( There is a beautiful Murano chandeier in the Palm Court )
From check in to check out everything is an effortless joy.
A visit to the spa & pool is a must ~ stunning & they even provide complimentary tea coffee & juice. ( the steam room & sauna are very clean & the pool is of a good size but a little chilly )
The breafast is delicious & the breakfast sausages are from the Queen Mothers recipe.
Very well placed for all the sight seeing in Edinburgh & right next to the rail way station.
A stay here is a must !
Im looking forward to my next visit for Christmas shopping .
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank watty77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2009

The Balmoral seems to be very much the Grande Dame of Edinburgh (although I can't vouch for the Caledonian), and has a very Grande Dame feel, although there's something a bit tired about it. The furnishings are all lovely, in muted colours, but when you go in the lift, it just reminds me of Blackpool - a bit faded. I expected a Rocco Forte hotel to be more glamorous somehow. The bathroom was fairly antiquated. Separate hot and cold taps in the basin (why do people still use these?? If you just want to wash your hands you have a choice of freezing or boiling). Shower that needed pinpoint accuracy on the handle to get the right temperature. Bath tap that gurgled and choked out a thin flow of water.

We ate two evening meals and one breakfast at Hadrian's brasserie. The food was good, although the service was a bit on the slow side (how long does it take to bring a beer? 15 minutes in this case). In fact service was a bit lacklustre. Part of the problem isn't unique to this hotel - many of the staff are foreign and their grasp of English isn't perfect. My husband asked for a shirt to be pressed by 8.30 the following morning, and when we called to find out where it was they said they'd only scheduled it for 8.30, so we had to hang around for it. After a bit of chasing it turned up, but the man who brought it said it wasn't finished (although it looked OK).

The valet parking service worked well for us - you just pull up in front of the hotel and they park your car for you, then bring it back when you need it (you have to give 30 minutes notice). It was quite pricey at £25 a night, but not considerably more than the NCP car parks which the other hotels use and you don't have to park yourself.

The hotel seemed very much a business one when we were there (midweek). Almost everyone at breakfast was in a suit. For the amount we paid (£180 for an executive room) it was fine - just nothing particularly special.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank rosiefromlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2009

I'd heard a lot about the Balmoral but hadn't stayed there on previous trips to Edinburgh. This time, I decided to give it a try. I won't be coming back.

First, let me say that the human side of the hotel, that is reception, maids, management, etc. are all excellent. Service is excellent, as you'd expect of a hotel of this caliber.

But, the hotel is long in the tooth. Furniture, rugs, etc. are ok, but lots of other things were quirky. I could hear everything my neighbors were doing, because where there are connection doors between rooms (my room had doors to the rooms on either side) there's an open gap of about an inch under each door. I had intimate knowledge that I really didn't want when my fellow traveler sneezed, coughed, went to the bathroom ... enough said.

Paint on the ceiling of my room was peeling ... as if there'd been water damage. The bathroom was clean, but appeared as if the last remodeling had been done in 1960. The faucets were hell to operate and leaked unless you took a monkey wrench to them. The toilet didn't flush properly unless you tried to flush two or three times. There was a severe musty smell in the bathroom that even housekeeping remarked upon. The solution? "Turn on the A/C, maybe that will get rid of it." Uh huh.

Through the night, there was a loud humming sound coming from the closet. Eventually, I got up to check it out; it's a switch box for the power supply. Not sure if all rooms have that, but if you're a light sleeper, it might bother you.

The windows are also circa 1960. You can feel air flow around them when they're shut. Not a big deal right now as it's autumn, but kind of weird for a top-tier hotel.

TV was the old CRT type. Again, not a big deal, but also not normally found in top-tier hotels.

Business accommodations were ok. The work desk is small, but at least there's internet connectivity via cable and wireless. Outlets and whatnot are adequately laid out.

In the middle of the night, I was awoken by a knock at the door. It was the night manager who asked whether there was something burning in my room. "What? No, let me check." We walked around the room and no, nothing was burning. "Please open the door to the adjoining room.", the manager asked. But of course, I don't have a key to the adjoining rooms. How silly. Turned out there'd been a complaint regarding smoke, and that the manager thought maybe it was coming from my room or maybe one next to me. And he also thought that I'd reserved multiple rooms. Strange.

I don't mean to say the Balmoral is horrible because it isn't. What it has is name recognition and excellent service (disregarding random managers waking up guests in the middle of the night). The rooms are dated with bathrooms that should be overhauled. On the lighter side, someone wrote "I Love You" in large letters on the front of the newspaper delivered to my room in the morning.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled on business
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2  Thank Two-Wheel_Traveler
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 11 September 2009

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion on Tripadvisor.com following your visit.

I am delighted that you found the service that the team provided “excellent”

I am sorry to read, however, that you had reason to complain about the general condition and the age of the room that you stayed in. Having been able to identify the room I will carry out a full inspection of it later in the day when we will be able to rectify the issues you have brought to our attention. All of our connecting rooms have been installed with a sound proof system recently and I will be also check that it is working properly. We are also going through a refurbishment plan which has not reached the second floor where you stayed. Refurbishment of a 107 year old hotel is an ongoing project but I am confident that at one point the entire building will be just as you were expecting it to be.

I am sorry for the inconvenience caused by the Night Manager. Whilst carrying out a floor walk he had identified a strong smell of smoke and he was worried for the safety of the guests occupying the rooms nearby. He eventually found that a light was causing this issue and thanks to his actions he was successful in preventing a full hotel evacuation. He was not prepared with the type of information you expected him to have due to the urgency in which he had to cope with the situation.

Your preference for a newly refurbished room has been noted and I would like to thank you again for taking this opportunity to express your opinion and hope we have the opportunity to welcome you again to The Balmoral Hotel in the future.

Ivan Artolli
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
#11 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range: £188 - £677 (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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