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“Rather disappointing!”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #10 of 149 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Tipperary
1 review
“Rather disappointing!”
Reviewed July 13, 2009

My husband and I stayed in this hotel for a weekend. The welcome was very nice, our room was ready promptly...., and I think that is everything nice I can say about this hotel. The heat in our room was not working, I reported it at 1PM, and at 10PM it was still not fixed. We were offered a heater!! I suspect that if I was staying in a hostel I could be satisfied, but in a 5* hotel... not! The night manager said he doesn't know why the heat was not fixed, he was not made aware of the problem, and basically that the problem was not his as he only started at 8PM. I am sorry, but who takes the responsibility! He was not able to change us to another room as according to him all were booked. He also did not seem at all perturbed. On top of that there were black hair in our bathtub!!!!!! By then, I didn't bother to complain, because by the way our first complaint was handled I would not be surprised if a sponge and cleaning milk was delivered for us to clean it ourselves.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank luncia
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, July 15, 2009
Dear Guest

I am glad to read that you received a warm welcome from my colleagues at the front desk on arrival and that we were able to check you in early in the morning. However, I was equally sorry to learn of your disappointment from the guest questionnaire you completed upon departure and your comments on Tripadvisor.
It would appear that your report of the faulty heating unit did not reach our engineer and I would like to assure you that we are investigating where the breakdown in communication occurred. Our night manager was unfortunately unable to provide you with an alternate room for the night, as the hotel was fully occupied. Therefore, a portable heater was supplied in order to provide you with the only immediate solution available.
I do wish that you had advised us also of the incident with your bath tub as I am certain that given the opportunity, the room attendant and floor supervisor would have attended immediately and dealt with the problem in a constructive way.

I believe that the shortcomings you experienced are not typical of our levels of service and rather the level of care and attention you received on arrival is more representative of the Balmoral. I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and may I again take this opportunity to offer you my apologies.

Yours sincerely
Ivan Artolli
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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US
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2009

My husband and I began our trip to the UK with three nights in this landmark hotel. We don’t usually stay in large hotels, but this seemed like the right choice in Edinburgh. Our room was huge and comfortable. The staff was friendly and very helpful with everything. They quickly attended to our requests. The central location made it possible to easily walk to all of the sights. Our top floor room was very quiet. The location next to the train station made it easy for us to pick up our rental car for the driving portion of our trip.

We ate breakfast at the hotel on one morning of our stay. It was rather expensive, but very good - I’m glad we did it once. On the other mornings we went to the Pret a Manger a few blocks away. Tea and coffee making facilities were provided in our room.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank enchanted7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2009

the hotel is central and quite nice, but I found a nest of hair in the bathtub drain and my boyfriend found dust in one of the glasses. I've never seen anything like that, even in the tackiest place I've ever been. Thankfully we only spent one night there.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kizette
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, July 15, 2009
Dear Guest

I am very sorry to learn that you found the standard of cleanliness in your bathroom less than satisfactory . I would be most grateful if you would let us know the date and room number of your stay, as well as whether it was the bathroom or minibar glass that you found to be dusty, in order that we can follow up with the individual team members who serviced your room.
As soon as I noticed your comments on Tripadvisor, my Executive Housekeeper and I checked many rooms within the hotel and I would like to assure you that this does not seem to be a re-occurring problem. However, we will continue to monitor and check the room attendants work closely to ensure that this situation does not arise in the future.

I do hope that you will accept my sincere apologies for the shortcoming you experienced on this occasion and very much hope that you may consider returning to the Balmoral in the future.

Yours sincerely
Ivan Artolli
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, SC
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2009

On a recent trip to Edinburgh, we knew we were too jet-lagged to do much on the first day, so we decided that afternoon tea at the Palm Court in the Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street would be a pleasant and easy start to our visit. We were right--the room is charmingly elegant, with a high ceiling with huge chandelier, beautiful sweeping bar, and a harpist in the little balcony over our heads. The tea service was perfect: tiny sandwiches of smoked salmon, cucumber, etc; plain and fruit scones with jam and clotted cream, and far too many tiny delicious sweets. They offer a nice selection of teas, plus the lovely choice of Bollinger champagne by the glass. Service was prompt and attentive without being intrusive.

I believe a set tea was 24GBP, and it was worth every pence.

Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank mybagsrpackd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed June 29, 2009

Of, course, the Balmoral is not for the bargain hunter but if the price can be found to be acceptable, the hotel is excellent all around. IF YOU ARE COMPARING TO THE GEORGE, stay at the Balmoral - hands down. We stayed at both hotels for two nights each and the Balmoral wins easily. If you stay at the George and expect a night of rest, take seriously the multitude of reviewers who cite the paper thin walls, and pack your earplugs. No such issues at the Balmoral. And, of course, the location cannot be beat.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VeryDiscriminating
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
umbria, italy
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2009

My adult daughter and I spent a full week at the Balmoral while in Edinburgh for a combination of business (an international university conference) and leisure. Many things "came together" to make it a marvellous week...especially the excellent experience at this amazing hotel. As a hotelier myself, I am well-attuned to the workings of a hotel. Staff recruiting and training is so often the "weak link" of even the greatest hotels. The Balmoral excells in this category: while the staff, from housekeeping to top management, is extremely professional, it is also personal and caring with remarkable dedication and friendly attention to each guest. Sincere smiles abound, sincere desire to serve is present across the board.

While the appreciation of style and decor is most certainly subjective, we found both to be absolutely harmonious to the grandiose landmark building. Modern amenities blend seamlessly and stylishly with the classic architecture and the color scheme throughout is well coordinated.

There is no better location in Edinburgh, central with all the major sights, transportation links and shopping in close proximity. At the same time, the location is quiet. Our room had a magnificent view over Old Town from its two beautifully draped windows.

The bathroom was large, beautifully coordinated between glass/mosaic tiles and marble with excellent Hansgrohe faucet fittings, a rain-shower and a large vanity with plenty of room to place ones personal things.
Towels were plentiful, thick and soft, as were the robes for use in the outstanding and welcoming Spa. An elevator is designated/reserved especially for those going down to the Spa, a very nice touch.

Our room was spacious and extremely comfortable, well-laid out with striking views and very quiet - truly a refined oasis to return to after full days of sightseeing.

The small touches of complimentary mineral water placed on the bedside tables each afternoon, the fresh fruit (and starched cloth napkins) brought in each day on a slate tray, the following day's weather forecast on a small card left in the room during the turn-down service, the daily, complimentary newspaper hung in a signature plastic bag on the door (rather than placed on the floor) were very welcome and appreciated.

The atmosphere of the stunningly elegant Palm Court Bar was always relaxed, familiar and friendly no matter how busy it was at times. The afternoon live harp music followed by live piano playing on a baby grand were an enchanting "backdrop" to the beautifully presented High Tea. The service here, as throughout the entire hotel, was attentive, personal, caring and beautifully professional.

A special word about the outstanding breakfast service: a lovely Khadijah remembered our name, our favorite table and was a cheerful morning presence. Throughout the hotel, we remember smiling faces but unfortunately only have a few names to go with those faces: we thank Nick and other excellent servers in the breakfast room, Katie and Nicole (for a "right-on" assessment/comparison of Jenners and Harvey Nichols) at the Reception, Elisabetta from Venice in the Palm Court, Andy and his staff at the Concierge desk, the charming and distinguished doorman, Michael Barton, the Palm Court Manager, the Resident Manager and the excellent General Manager, Ivan Artolli and his outstanding Personal Assistant, Susan Smith for their courteous attention to our desires and needs, special kindnesses and considerations. To all of them and to all the nameless but well-remembered smiling faces of the Balmoral team, we say "thank you" for a memorable stay, for an unforgettable week with you at the Balmoral.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank geniuslo
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, June 30, 2009
Dear Guest

I am delighted to read that you and your daughter enjoyed your time in Edinburgh. Your feedback of the Balmoral is extremely generous and I am glad to learn that my team took such good care of you. I will share your review with my colleagues, particularly those that you were kind enough to mention by name, as I know that they will be extremely appreciative of your feedback.

We very much hope to welcome you back to the Balmoral in the future.

Yours sincerely
Ivan Artolli
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2009

This is a top quality hotel, although the basic rooms are quite minimalistic. The staff were excellent; helpful and friendly. A very grand hotel and an experience to stay in. Very well located and close to all major attractions. Parking is available at £25 for 24 hours (valet). The only issue I had is that we had just got married and they refused to upgrade us unless we paid an extortionate additional fee (Balmoral - you should ashamed of yourselves!)

Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank mew20
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
#7 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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