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“wow, fantastic place”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #12 of 150 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We stayed in March 2013, what a great place, for such a large hotel, the staff were attentive to each detail, from check in to check out we were treated like royalty. Its probably a bit too expensive for us to become regulars, but if ever we win the lottery....

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jasona391
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 8, 2013

Excellent hotel in so many ways, classy and historic.
We went for New Year's Eve and it's right by the train station, making the train a super way to arrive.
Some of the rooms have a turret in the corner (a round alcove), which is very cool.
New Years' function - very good and lots of fun.
Breakfast was great.
The hotel is right in town and the view down the road is perfect for watching the New Year's festivities from (if you're facing the right way).
Do watch out for your old man checking out early and leaving you to pay the 300 pound room bill after he promised to shout you - an old trick, but a good 'un!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank iamthebluecow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

This is old school 5-star. We first had chosen another hotel. Trendy, boutique and out of town. Was fiully booked. All the best: because the Balmoral is a great option. Old-school palace, at the heart of the city, next to central station. One of the city's landmarks, with its clock tower. You arrive: the tartan-clad doorman is impeccable. Be warned: there are a few details here that you might not like in the first place, e.g. the skinny bunches of flowers in the lobby, the worn carpets or pieces of furniture here and there or also the unpleasant smell of fuel in some corridors. Luckily, this is immediately balanced by this hotel's best feature: a perfect service. Ever-present, friendly, resoectful, efficient. We had a superior room in 3rdc floor facing the Castle. Very large, very high ceiling, great view, Conran-style sober, perfect room design, Carrara marble bathroom: great! One enormous fault here: the sound-proofing. The windows are not properly insulated so you may hear the outside noise. Hard to understand in a newly refurbished hotel! We were lucky because our room was far enough from the main street, but this should be addressed, absolutely! The rest is only praise: classy in-room breakfast (prefer that to the buffet, too crowdy and cafeteria-like), gorgeous pool and spa, top notch one-star Michelin restaurant (The One), perfection in details ( "ren" amenities, shined-shoes wrapped in silk-paper, etc). So, definitely a place to remember. Just ask them to re-do the rooms' sound-proofing! Uh and also: we loved the compllimentary botttle of Champagne (part of our package), but next time know that we'd appreciate a half-botttle of great Champ rather than a full one of cheap bubbly. Looking forward to coming back!

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank martialbenard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

This hotel looked like an opulent dream for my Hogmany trip this past Dec/Jan, but when we arrived, the entrance was small, Christmas decor mediocre, and just no wow factor. The staff did not go out of their way, EXCEPT for the porter on our last day, on our trip to train station. HE WAS EXCEPTIONAL, but that was the only 5 star treatment we got on our trip. The rooms were nice and large, and the bathroom was awesome: white, new, clean. But the hotel itself is just not what it should be. The bar, which was written up as a 5 star luxury experience with dress code, etc, has OLD, torn banquettes with cheap tables and bad lighting! I was stunned! Looked like a diner. We went for drinks at the adjacent sitting lounge and there was ONE waiter on duty who was running all over not even trying to hide how over worked he was. He said because it's a holiday they are short staff. Great time to not staff your hotel. Not plush or regal. I would look into a boutique hotel if you are considering Edinburgh.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank lcc66
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 April 9, 2013

Dear Guest,

I am very sorry to learn of your disappointment following your stay with us at The Balmoral over Hogmanay. I am pleased that you were impressed by our bedrooms and bathrooms, which have all been recently refurbished and we are currently planning a refurbishment of our lounge bar to bring this in line with the rest of the hotel.
Our service is something that we typically pride ourselves on. Whilst the hotel is particularly busy during the period over New Year, this should not impact on the level of care and attention given to our guests and I am sorry that you felt this was not the case.
I would very much welcome further discussions with you regarding your experience and the points that you have highlighted in your review and to this end, I would be grateful if you would contact me directly at the hotel on the number below.

Yours sincerely

Franck X Arnold
General Manager
0131 556 2414

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We booked the Balmoral as we had planned a weekend in Edinburgh to look at wedding venues which we had planned for ages and were very much looking forward to. I have stayed at the Balmoral before and had always had a good experience.

The welcome from Concierge was warm and they immediately parked the car and emptied the car of luggage. However the receptionist was rude and very difficult to deal with. I had booked a double room and was prepared to upgrade as we wanted to make the stay extra special with a castle view room. The attitude was appalling and after paying a significant amount extra, there was still nothing pleasant about the experience. I felt embarrassed at how she was dealing with me and it damped the high spirits which we were both in.

The Balmoral never even offered to show us around the Hotel as a possible wedding venue and after the negative experience at the desk this really did not set a good example of the service offered.

However Concierge booked us a great restaurant and my car was ready and waiting for me early the next morning as we needed to leave on time.

We enjoyed many drinks and too much champagne late on Saturday night in the hotel bar and enjoyed the views from the room.

Feel disappointed that one person has spoilt our experience at the Balmoral which we tried to make special as we were looking for a wedding venue. Perhaps more staff training for customer serving members of staff would be beneficial.

Room Tip: Don't expect to get a good room unless you are prepared to pay large amounts. Fifth floor is am...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank holidayfan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

The Balmoral is a fantastic hotel that I always used to stay in when in Scotland. Sadly having moved jobs I no longer qualify for the preferential room rate. That said one day I will be back.
The rooms are lovely, the staff friendly and it is a pefect spot to start your exploration of this wonderful city.
I can't recommend this hotel enough. If you can afford it enjoy it I know you will!

  • Stayed: May 2012
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Thank Hurric8ne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I stayed here recently on a short business trip and was accompanied by my wife. The bedroom was nice and the property itself is well presented and in a very good location. However, there was a general absence of good lobby space to just lounge in. There's a nice horseshoe style bar, but it was entirely booked up with reservations and you couldn't get a seat there. Other than that, there was the bar, which was fine, but it's still a bar and you won't feel comfortable just sitting there letting the world go by, without ordering a drink. Dinner in the bistro was very disappointing ... sterile atmosphere, uninspiring food and cold (if professional) service. They use the same room for breakfast which again was something of a disappointment. I think I'll go with a different option when next I'm in Edinburgh.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank RolloPollo
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 April 10, 2013

Dear Guest,

I am sorry to learn that you left the hotel feeling underwhelmed with some aspects of our service and facilities. The hotel’s lounges and restaurants are extremely popular with both guests and local residents alike and can become very busy during peak times, such as during our afternoon tea service. We do always reserve a few seats for our hotel guests without advance bookings and I regret that these were occupied by the time of your visit and that you felt unable to relax in our bar area. I am also sorry to read that you were disappointed by your experience in our brasserie. I have shared your review with our food and beverage manager, Alexander Feij, who joins me in apologising for these apparent inconsistencies. Both myself and Alexander can be reached on telephone number below and would be pleased to have the opportunity to discuss your experience further.

Yours sincerely

Franck X Arnold
General Manager
0131 556 2414

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 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: $232 - $912 (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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