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“An extremely good hotel”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #14 of 151 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 23, 2008

This is an extremely good hotel. Firstly, it is exquisitely located - at the end of Pricess Street and just above the railway station. It is an old hotel and the main entrance, whilst very pleasant and well maintained, does not have the spectacular atriums of some more modern creations. This was, however, more than made up with by the courtesy and helpfulness of every member of staff whom we came across.
We were greeted warmly and the receptionist was pleasant and efficient and confirmed with us the agreed room rate. We were very lucky in that we were upgraded to a room with a view of the castle and Princess Street. which must be one of the best hotel room views in the world. The room was a good size without being gigantic and was well furnished and modern. The air-conditioning worked very well and there was a safe. the bed was comfortable. The bathroom was large, all tiles and marble, with a gigantic bath with a plethora of hot water. The towels were proper bath sheets (rather than bath towels!) -other hotels please note!
My wife and her sister had afternoon tea which was very good and well served in tasteful surroundings although at £21 very expensive. Other than this and breakfast we did not eat in the hotel. Breakfast was excellent with a plentiful buffet if required. We had the full Scottish breakfast which was really good and, believe it or not it was hot AND served on hot plates. (Managers of most British hotels should come here and find out how to serve a HOT breakfast!!!!) The service was excellent and the restaurant manager found time to speak to us - we appreciated her efforts.
The main bar is not brilliant and according to the price list an unspecified beer (draught or bottle?) cost £5 - which was obviously ridiculous and we drank elsewhere. There is another bar (when it is not being used for afternoon teas) where we drank late at night with beer at £3.50 for 500ml - much more reasonable
Another unusual feature for a British hotel was that the bill was correct and we were wished farewell with the same style that we experienced throughout our stay. We really enjoyed our stay. It was not cheap although you should aim to pay well under the rack rates, especially off-peak. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel which rated well with 5 star hotels anywhere we have been.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ronfaddison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,441 - 3,447 of 3,923 reviews

Reviewed January 16, 2008

I have just returned from the balmoral, and can say how its 5 star is beyond me. the good points are staff,downstairs deco and the spar staff were excellent, great breakfast too.the poor points are no hairdryer in room,no kettle,no free water.leaking bathroom. horrible dated bathroom, noisy air con which was broken, broken heating,no parking except you might pay £25 for valet parking and lots more but im to stressed to remember! It calls itself 5 star but there is no way , 5 star would have dirty sheets scuffed walls etc. I think there might be a good balmoral edinburgh somewhere but it was not here. Please save your money and stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank quelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarryFernandes, Resident Manager at The Balmoral Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2008

Dear Guest,

Thank you for the feedback you have posted on the Trip Advisor website.

I was very sorry to learn of your disappointment and wish that you had given us an opportunity to rectify the aspects of your stay that you were not satisfied with.

I have since shared your comments with my team and we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Balmoral

Kind Regards

Harry Fernandes
Resident Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2008

Stayed at the Balmoral with my husband 11th and 12 January for a pampering belated Christmas present to each other. The experience was wonderful, mainly due to the staff being the most friendly of any hotel I have ever stayed at. From the warm welcome at reception, to the staff in the Palm Court, (especially Gary!), and every other employee we came accross, nothing was too much trouble. Not in the forced, polite, way you come accross in some hotels, just a genuine warmth and natural ease. Whoever is in charge of customer care is to be commended.

The standard room we were given was a pleasant surprise as I had presumed it would overlook the courtyard, but we had a view of Carlton Hill. The room was much more contemporary than I had expected, but the bed and pillows were extremely comfortable and the bathroom was enormous, with a huge bath big enough for two (we didn't test it!).

We didn't use the pool or No 1 restaurant, but had a lovely breakfast each day in Hadrian's, and had the fantastic champagne afternoon tea one day in the Palm Court while a harpist played. Bliss! Be warned though, we were advised to share as the amount of sandwiches, scones and cakes for one person would feed a family of four, and we're so glad we took the advice. Everything was very expensive, but we knew that when we booked, so if you're going to complain about the prices, don't go. On saying that, just one small complaint - why no tea/coffee making facilities in the room? I like a cup of tea whenever I open my eyes in the morning so the first morning we ordered a pot of tea for two from room service - we found out later we were charged £11.50 for it! We didn't bother the second morning!

That said, I wouldn't hesitate to go back to the Balmoral for that special treat every once in a while.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RossiFife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2008

We booked a spa treatment for 2 adults on new years day-- booked weeks in advance, we were contacted by the hotel to confirm we were coming and told we would be charged if we cancelled--all no problem because we were expecting a great experience.
That's not what happened--we arrived for our 4p
appointment, at least 15-20 minutes before our scheduled time.
The lady at the front desk of the spa took our names
then we stood at the desk while she helped another customer
we again told her our names she seemed tense and asked us to sit on 2 chairs in the lobby--which seemed odd, but we did it
I thought maybe they were running behind schedule--she ignored us for close to 15 minutes then i went up to ask what was happening--she said one minute--okay i sat again -
then she came over and took us into the pool area and said please wait here. Now this is really strange--people are in their bathing suits and robes and the pool area is incrediably hot because we are standing there with our winter entire--coat, hat, gloves, bags--what's going on--it's now way after 4p -- so after standing in the pool area feeling like a fool with everyone looking at us--i went back out to finally get an answer--
the manager was now at the desk with the young lady--I said "What's happening?" finally she tells us--that a mistake was made and we were booked at 3p not 4p and they were checking the correspondence with us to see who's fault it
was--yikes--why didn't you tell us that when we arrived now almost 40 minutes later--just such bad customer relations--
after admitting that the hotel made the mistake the manager offered to reschedule the next day but since we were leaving town that was impossible--then she offered us a complimentary cup of tea--(we declined) she apologized but there was nothing she could do--we spoke to the hotel manager on duty -- same result! Some customer service training needs to happen at the spa because a bad experince could easily have been avoided with a simple and immediate explanation.

Stayed: January 2008
12  Thank bankwest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2008

After extensive research including a visit to Tripadvisor I booked a 2 night 'Christmas Experience' package at the Balmoral Hotel as a pre-Christmas treat for my half-sister who is nine. I try to spend some quality time with her a couple of times a year as we live a distance apart and I was hoping for a city break that would provide plenty of children's entertainment combined with a luxury hotel that I wouldn't feel awkward and apologetic taking a child into. That was exactly what I got.

Firstly the hotel: the public areas are beautiful, especially at christmas with a roaring fire and large Christmas tree in the lobby. The room (we stayed in an Executive room) was very spacious and nicely decorated (a fairly corporate decor but I quite like that). The staff were wonderful and nothing was too much trouble. My only slight issue was with housekeeping who seemed to be slightly disconnected from the rest of the hotel's staff and did not operate as smoothly. The Balmoral advertises a 5 star kids programme (one of the main reasons I chose the hotel) and upon checkin I was given a list of entitlements for my sister. These included a 'teddy turndown service', junior bath products plus kids robe and slippers, DVD player and choice of DVDs and a few other things. We had the DVD player installed straight away and selected a movie to watch later. We'd only just started unpacking when there was a knock on the door and a complimentary child's fruit cocktail drink and christmas cookies were delivered. However, 'teddy turndown' and the bath products, robe and slippers didn't arrive automatically and I had to request them more than once which actually held us up using the swimming pool (which is also lovely). Housekeeping didn't seem fully aware of the kids programme which seemed odd. However, when they did arrive they brought a smile to my sister's face and it was a minor problem in an otherwise flawless stay. We ordered room service on the first night which was great, ate in Hadrian's twice for breakfast and once for dinner and the food was of a very good standard. It's not cheap for adults but you get what you pay for in my opinion and the children's menu was extremely reasonable with large child's portions. Would I stay there again? Yes, I definitely would and not just because I had a child with me. When my sister isn't with me I'm a thirty-something professional who avoids places that are overrun with families but, despite the kids programme, we didn't see hardly any other children. Maybe that's because we were there before the majority of children broke up for the holidays, I don't know.

Secondly the city: It's very proudly Scottish (lots of bagpipe players in the streets), the people were friendly, there was plenty to do and we had particular fun at the Winter Wonderland which is set up in Princes Street Gardens (just next to the hotel) at that time of year. There were fair rides, an open air ice rink, an ice gallery, christmas market and reindeer garden (which was a real hit). It was extremely cold so be warned if you visit in the winter. The walk up to the castle was bracing to say the least! The view was worth it and you can also see the Sottish Crown Jewels in one of the towers. The city is built on hills and, whilst everything is fairly close together, we seemed to do a lot of walking. I would recommend buying a ticket for one of the city bus tours which is valid for 24 hours. With this you can hop on and off at all the major attractions and avoid some of the weather and the steep climbs! Taxi transfers to/from the airport were approx. £20 each way but I think there is a shuttle bus that is cheaper.

Overall a great stay and somewhere I wouldn't hesitate to return to (especially as I didn't even get the chance to look in any of the nice shops!).

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank Mac7471
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2008

My daughter and I went to Edinburgh for a 2 night stay at the beginning of December. We ate in the Brasserie and it was wonderful. The food was excellent and the staff looked after us really well. Breakfast next morning was pretty good too!! I would stay there again in a heartbeat. All the staff we met were helpful and courteous and my overall view of the city was that it was a wonderful place for a city break and the people were very, very friendly.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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1  Thank BettyCardiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2007

We recently spent three nights at the Balmoral hotel, and got married whilst we were in Edinburgh. We would like like to express our delight and gratefulness and extend our sincere thanks to the staff for such a wonderful stay, and to thank especially the management for the generous gift of champagne and chocolates, which we found in our room when we returned from our wedding. All members of staff were thoroughly professional, courteous and totally respected us throughout our stay, especially Frank and David from the concierge desk, and Ms Garcia the guest relations manager.

In fact, we found every member of staff with whom we came into contact to be friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
It was a special trip for us, made even more special by the superlative facilities, staff and high standard of customer service, and, of course, the superb complimentary champagne which we enjoyed on our wedding night.

We dined in the Number One restaurant on the eve of our wedding, and that was a grand experience, highlighting again the sheer quality of service delivery which we found to be typical of the hotel.

Once again, many, many thanks to all at the Balmoral for making our stay so special and memorable, and we hope to return to celebrate our anniversary. Thanks to you all, the Balmoral in Edinburgh will be a significant and magical place for us for the remainder of our lives.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kempseye
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
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh > Princes Street and Gardens
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access 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
#10 Romantic Hotel in Edinburgh
#11 Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh
Price Range: $248 - $890 (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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