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“Understated elegance”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #12 of 149 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Scottish Borders
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Understated elegance”
Reviewed December 23, 2012

We came up to Edinburgh for a family birthday and stayed in the Balmoral for just the one night. From the doorman to the restaurant staff everyone was helpful, but in a discreet, unimposing way that happens too often when people try too hard (e.g. the intruding questions as to whether you are enjoying your meal when you have just taken a mouthful....). The room, a classic twin, was well proportioned and comfortable. The only nuisance was that you have to call room service for them to drop of the courtesy coffee and tea. Why it was not already in the room I don't know.
An excellent stay at an excellent hotel.

Room Tip: If you are new to Edinburgh request an outward facing room
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Robin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2012

My friend and I are chefs in Edinburgh, and last night was one of the busiest nights of the year for us, so we finished working quite late at night. My friend wanted to buy his mum a voucher for the Balmoral´s afternoon tea for her birthday, so after finishing work we decided to pop in to buy the voucher at the reception. My friend had called the Balmoral before we arrived to check it would be OK to buy the voucher after we finished work, and the girl who answered the phone said it was no problem and that we could come whenever we wanted. When we arrived (it was about 12.30pm), the bouncer asked us to wait at the door while he checked with reception. We were dressed casually (jeans & jumpers, like I say, we had just finished work), but we explained that we had just come to buy the voucher, and that we had phoned first to check. He came back and told us that high tea tomorrow was fully booked. My friend explained that his mum didn´t want to come tomorrow, he just wanted to buy the voucher now because it was her birthday tomorrow and he wasn´t going to have another chance, as he was heading to Jedburgh in the morning. He explained again that he had called before and he had been told there would be no problem. The bouncer disappeared inside again, came back, and told us to follow him to reception. Once at reception, we explained once again the situation, and the gentleman on reception said that he couldn´t sell us a voucher, and told us that we would have to do it on the internet, or come back the next day. My friend explained once again that his mum´s birthday was the next day, that he wouldn´t have another chance to buy the voucher, and that we had just finished work, so he had checked by phone before coming that it would be OK to buy the voucher, and asked what the problem was. The gentleman on reception was adamant, saying "Yes, we DO do vouchers, but I´m not selling one to you". He refused to explain why not, and in the end, instead of causing a scene, we left. As we were leaving, another hotel employee came after us and tried to apologise for his colleague´s behaviour, but by then it was too late. Needless to say we won´t be returning to the Balmoral for the voucher, or for anything else. I have no idea what the gentleman on reception took exception to, as we were casually but perfectly acceptably dressed and extremely polite at all times. Shame I can´t say the same about him. If he felt our appearance was not appropriate for a five-star hotel, I would have to say that his behaviour certainly was not. We felt discriminated against and looked down upon. I understand that at this time of year hotels and restaurants have trouble with drunk clients; I work in the hospitality industry myself and know what it can be like. We, however, had just finished work. This man treated us like second-class citizens with absolutely no grounds. I hope his employers are aware that he treats customers like this, as I will be doing my best to share my opinion of my treatment with anyone who will listen.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Service
Helpful?
69 Thank Hugo G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
520 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2012

As normal it is virtually impossible to fault this hotel - the staff, the rooms, the food etc are all second to none.
On our arrival there was obviously something special going on as the press were everywhere - it turned out to be a special cat walk show in Edinburgh for Channel and the models were in the hotel.
Really enjoyed the stay and would highly reccomend it to anyone looking for a really nice hotle in Edinburgh, perfectly placed for shops, food, bars etc

Room Tip: ................any of them!!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Brian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashington, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed December 20, 2012

From pulling up at the hotel to leaving the following evening our stay at the Balmoral was absolutely perfect. All of the staff were polite and nothing was a bother to them. We had afternoon tea accompanied by a harpist playing Christmas Carols and songs. The hotel is central for the park, shops and theatres. Our rooom was spotlessly clean,beds were so comfortable and we even had "James Bond" in our bathroom!!

We will definitely be returning next year!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Gillian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fife, Scotland
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2012

A few friends and I popped in for morning tea. The service was excellent, staff very polite, and the shortbread deilcious. The location is excellent, very handy for Waverley Rail Station, and thr shops.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sheila B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2012

Had a gift of Afternoon Tea at the balmoral from my daughter and used it yesterday, staff and surroundings exemplary. Food dreadful. This does not compare at all with other afternoon teas I have had in the City. The sandwiches were tiny and unidentifiable, adorned with plain crisps. The scones were more like biscuits and the clotted cream is served in a cardboard container, the jam was ....Marmalade. The small cakes were awful and the other opotion was either christmas cake or a sliver of chocolate gateaux which was solid. I felt like it was a case of the Emporars New Clothes!!. Will go to Missoni next time.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank lesley a
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 review, December 20, 2012
Dear Customer

Thank you for visiting The Balmoral recently for Afternoon Tea and posting a review on Trip Advisor.

Firstly, I am delighted that you found our team and surroundings exemplary and very much appreciate your positive comments. I am, however, concerned to read of the various issues you encountered with your Afternoon Tea experience. This is not representative of our usual high standards of food offering and our Director of Food and Beverage, Mr Alexander Feij, is personally investigating your concerns.

We would like to invite you to contact Mr Feij directly in order to discuss the issue further and to restore your confidence in The Balmoral. We shall be most grateful if you would please call Mr Feij on 0131 556 2414, at your convenience, to discuss your feedback.

Thank you once again and we look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Franck X Arnold
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2012

I must start by saying that this hotel is beautiful, and for the most part, the service was top notch and we were made to feel very special. The room was lovely (despite being an internal room, which we were most disappointed about) the beds were gorgeously cosy and the bathroom lovely. The turn down service was a really lovely touch. We felt like we never wanted to go home. I'd like to thank staff here (concierge, waitresses, maids) for the service.

I hate that there is a 'but' - but there is.

The breakfast was quite nice, but certainly no better in quality than I've had in any other hotel, budget hotels included. Food that was ordered direct from the kitchen (Vegetarian Sausages, baked beans) came out cold on both mornings, some of the food that was on the hot buffet was old and dry. On both occasions we didn't say anything because the poor breakfast staff all seemed to already be way over stretched.

We booked in for the cocktail tasting menu in the bar - it took two unanswered emails and two phone calls to confirm the booking, they were most unorganised. Although the service was great (in that the waitress was very nice to us) we were left waiting for about 30 minutes at one point for a drink, despite having reminded a waitress who was not our own (ours wasn't around, we assume she was on a break.) It was a real shame, as this had been organised as a part of a special anniversary surprise for my partner - I wish we had just stayed out after our meal instead of coming back to the hotel for the tasting menu.

Actually, one last point - when we checked in, despite having booked a double room, because we are two females, we were asked if we'd like a twin room. The receptionist looked from one of us to the other and then repeated "double?" in shock, when I declined. Heterosexism at it's finest.

Room Tip: Ask for an external room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Melanie79
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

Property: The Balmoral Hotel
Address: 1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ, Scotland
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
#9 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):
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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