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“wonderful wedding night” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ, Scotland (Princes Street and Gardens)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 146 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Scotland
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“wonderful wedding night”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Balmoral for one night, after a small country wedding in Scotland and before flying off abroad on honeymoon the next day, from Edinburgh airport. We had a wonderful time at the Balmoral - everything was just perfect. It's hard to single out individual impressions, but we were particularly impressed with the fantastic service (reception, concierges, room service, spa staff, breakfast area staff), the room (facing outwards) and the swimming pool. I would definitely recommend the Balmoral for a wedding night; the honeymoon package was great and made us laugh (rose petals in your bed, no kidding!)

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,177 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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The Hague, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
126 hotel reviews
Reviews in 105 cities Reviews in 105 cities
141 helpful votes 141 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2009

The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh is part of the Rocco Forte Collection. It is an expensive and luxury five star hotel right in the center of Edinburgh. It is very central next to Waverly train station on Princess Street. All interesting parts of Edinburgh can easily be reached within 30 minutes walking distance and if you don't like walking, although Edinburgh should be explored that way, several buses are stopping in front of the hotel. We stayed in the Balmoral for four nights arriving on December 12 and departing om December 16, in a very nice room (number 428).

The hotel itself is pricy, but offers value for money. The service of all staff members from the doorman to the receptionist and the cleaning staff is excellent and correct. There are several nice restaurants, a nice swimming pool, a sauna and a steamroom to keep you occupied after a day exploring the city. I think we had one of the nicer twin room (room 428) which was spacious and had nice views towards Holyrood Park, Arthur's Peak and the Old Town including the Castle. Be sure to get a room facing the outside (even numbers) and not one facing the inside (odd numbers) of the hotel.

A view points of criticism only because the price of staying there is high.

1. We arrived early around noon and the room wasn't ready. We could leave our luggage and were told that the room would be ready around 2 pm. We returned at 2:30 only to be told that we had to wait another hour. We did get a complimentary cup of tea in the bar. But at the price you have to pay to stay in the Balmoral, a check-in time of 2 pm should be a check-in time of 2 pm. After all, check-out is at 12, so they have two hours to prepare the room for new arrivals.

2. There are no coffee and tea making facilities in the room. Coffee and tea are freely available in the swimming pool as well as juices. But since even two star hotels offer free coffee and tea in your room in almost every hotel in the United Kingdom, I expect that a five star hotel can buy coffee, tea, a kettle and a couple of cups for every room.

3. The price of the wireless Internet is outrageous. The Balmoral charges GBP 15 for access. When you face a room rate of GBP 220 per night (excluding breakfast), the use of internet should be included in the price. Other hotels across the road like the Carlton and The Scotsman don't charge you extra for internet use and even nearby four star hotels like the Apex Waterloo don't make you pay extra. It is a pity that the Balmoral does both for wireless and use of internet in the Business Center.

But overall, staying in the Balmoral was a nice experience and definitely worth doing again if there is a special offer.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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singapore
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2009

Second time around, I can truly say that The Balmoral Hotel deserves every star it has earned and many commendations that it has received.
Check-in was a breeze with several Balmoral touches that you'd say to yourself " how very nice of them". Crackling fireplace. Being asked if I liked my previous newspaper last time I was here, Your front desk walking you to your room. Bags quickly at your front door just about the right time. And the room... simply immaculate - a tad warmer than usual though. I just hope they reconsider free wifi in-room and putting a hold bar getting off their massive bathtub.
This exquisite grand dame in Princes Street is a destination in itself. I wish we had more time exploring the place.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2009

Had an overall lovely stay at The Balmoral for my girlfriends birthday.
Let me start with the many great points about my stay.
Had made a prior request for an outside room but was allocated an inside room.Didnt mind at all considering the size of the room.It was huge.
The spa is small but very ralaxing.
Both the Balmoral Bar and Palm Court are great places to go for a relaxing drink,the service really friendly and efficient.
Had meal at Number One Restaurant which was extremely memorable.
Room service was very professional and prompt.

The problems I had:

Had requested a double bed yet was allocated two singles which were pushed together.
Phoned reception and they assured me it would be changed before we returned later that evening.It wasnt!
Upon check-in my debit card was swiped for future reference but I was not informed that any monies would be debited until check-out.
The evening before check-out I had noticed an unaccounted for transaction on my account that my bank were unable to tell me where the money had gone.
I cancelled my card,fearing that someone had used my card fraudulently.
Later upon returning to the hotel,Reception informed me that the card had been debited for the entire stay plus £50 to cover any additional charges.
I was never told this when checking in and would not have cancelled my debit card had I been told.
In staying in some very upmarket hotels around Britain I have never known this to have happen prior to staying at The Balmoral.
I have either payed when booking or on check-out.
I have only just recieved my replacement card and this has caused me a great deal of inconvenience.
The hotel really should have informed me upon check-in,taking payment without informing the card holder is an extremely unprofessional thing to do.
This somewhat ruined my stay and caused many problems for me the following week.
The hotel told me that the money had been requested from my account but not taken.This really was splitiing hairs,the money had gone from my overall balance and therefore I no longer had it!
This should have been explained!
I did not even get an apology from Reception when I explained the situation,this really isn't acceptable.

Please dont let this put you off staying here as it is really a lovely place.
The rest of the staff were unbelievably friendly and couldnt do enough for us.
The kilted doormen were particularly friendly.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uk
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2009

Have just spent my first weekend in Scotland and was simply blown away by how friendly, clean, beautiful and magical Edinburgh is. Having travelled a fair amount I can honestly say it is one of my favourite cities now. Staying at the Balmoral was faultless, the staff could not have been more helpful and the location has to make this the best place to stay - not only are you walking distance from just about everything, you can also see the Balmoral from most of the city centre making it very easy to get back!
Swimming pool and spa were lovely - clean, relaxing, warm and the complimentary drinks in the spa is a very nice touch other 5 star hotels could pick up.
Unusual for a spa not to have a jacuzzi, but not a major point.
The only thing which slightly annoyed us was having to pay extra for internet in the room - in a hotel of this quality i would expect free wifi or at least free internet connection to be included as standard.
Also we were confused by why the whole building isn't lit up at night, just some ornage flood lights on the top level. It is a stunning building and would look amazing by night with the correct lighting.
Very minor niggles as the rest was so good. Paticularly the checking in receptionist, Katie, who did everything she could to make our stay perfect - thank you.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dacre
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2009

We spent 3 nights in the Balmoral Hotel to celebrate my husband's birthday. The hotel is classy and luxurious with rather hideous silver Christmas decorations and it has every reason for the hotel to be a once in a lifetime experience. My daughter had a wonderful time in the Spa and we had a first class time in the Palm Court Lounge with very pleasant waiters. The breakfast buffet was sumptuous and you knew you were in a 5 star hotel.
But
Check in was a complete nightmare with them unable to locate the booking (despite me handing them the e mail confirmation) smoking rooms being allocated and, best of all, them getting my name completely wrong all of the time. How to impress a guest! . The receptionist answered calls while she was supposed to be finding my room and the same happened at checkout.
The doorman was having a bad time as I was nearly knocked over twice (it's that "guests get in the way" syndrome again) and the service at breakfast was haphasard.
I dislike hotels setting the expectation of a 5 star experience and then failing to deliver. The manager needs to wake up and look at the level of training his staff are being given. My advice is to take all of ther eception staff and send them on an intensive programme. Ist impressions count and in this instance they were pretty poor.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
balmoraledinburgh, Resident Manager at The Balmoral Hotel, responded to this review, December 30, 2009
Dear Guest

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

I am delighted that you had a wonderful time in the Spa and Palm Court and also enjoyed our selection at breakfast.

I am disappointed to read, however, of your impression of reception, breakfast service and of our doorman and I apologise for this. We welcome all guest feedback as we strive for guest satisfaction and I wish you would have given us the opportunity to resolve any issues at the time. I would be grateful if you could contact me so that we may discuss this matter further and I hope you will give us another opportunity to welcome you back to The Balmoral in order to demonstrate our customer service we are well known for.

Harry Fernandes
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2009

We went to this hotel as a family group of six for a 50th birthday. The hotel was very good and rooms, service etc are to the standard one would expect. The one area that left a very sour taste in our mouth was that each of the three bills was overcharged - mine by nearly £200. I wrote to the hotel manager but received a very bland response blaming everything and everyone but taking no responsibility. All in all as good as one would expect but check your bill!!!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
balmoraledinburgh, Resident Manager at The Balmoral Hotel, responded to this review, December 30, 2009
Dear Guest

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

I am pleased to note that you a great time with us whilst celebrating 50th birthday and thank you for your positive feedback about the facilities, staff and standards of service.

I was under the impression that after our telephone conversation, your impression of the billing was clarified, if this is not the case please give me a call and I will be happy to speak with you.

I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to the Balmoral.



Harry Fernandes

Resident 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
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Princes Street and Gardens
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center 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
#6 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):
Rocco Forte Hotels' Balmoral is a luxury hotel in the true sense of the word. With its majestic clock tower, the hotel is a unique and contemporary luxury five-star property in the very heart of Edinburgh. While many Edinburgh hotels claim to have Edinburgh's landmarks on their doorstep, few can say their doorstep is a landmark. Located on Princes Street, in Edinburgh's main shopping area and next to Waverley Station, The Balmoral is close to the leading luxury department stores and within walking distance of many Edinburgh attractions.Edinburgh International Airport is just 25 minutes by car from the hotel, and its convenient location makes The Balmoral the ideal luxury hotel in Edinburgh for business or leisure, including the famous Edinburgh Festival and Hogmanay. There are also convenient transport links also from Glasgow or Prestwick Airports.The Balmoral offers 188 opulent suites and stylish rooms, many with views towards Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town. The Balmoral’s ten conference and banqueting suites, including the signature Sir Walter Scott Suite all enjoy natural daylight and can accommodate a wide range of events including: business conferences, intimate dinner parties, large receptions and weddings. The hotel and city also make for an ideal incentive destination with an abundance of history and culture readily available.When it comes to fine-dining, the choice of restaurants at The Balmoral matches the mood of the moment. With attentive but non-intrusive service, guests can choose from the hotel's Michelin-starred number one fine dining restaurant with outstanding cuisine provided by Chef Jeff Bland; Hadrian's for chic and informal dining; Palm Court for traditional afternoon tea or its very own Bollinger Bar. The newly refurbished and stylish Balmoral Bar is perfect for a relaxing cocktail or traditional whisky.For the ultimate in relaxation, the Balmoral Spa is an exclusive retreat in the heart of the city offering five treatment rooms with ESPA treatments, a 15 metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gymnasium and exercise studio. The Balmoral is the perfect choice for a luxurious city spa break.The Balmoral was named as the top Scottish hotel in the Telegraph Travel Awards 2012 and as the Top UK Business Hotel outside of London at the Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Travel Awards 2012. Be it for a luxury romantic break or important business meeting; make The Balmoral your address in Edinburgh. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh
Balmoral Edinburgh Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

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