My partner and I recently visited Edinburgh in November 2005 between visits in London (Le Meridien Piccadilly) and Paris (Pavillon de la Reine), and we chose the Balmoral. I had previously been to Edinburgh and stayed at the Caledonian Hilton in May 2004. Although the Balmoral is, indeed, more expensive, I can absolutely declare that the hotel is well worth the added expense if you value service and a more romantic atmosphere.
We stayed in a castle view suite, and the room was extraordinary. The bedroom and living room areas were comfortable, spacious (but not enormous), and extremely well appointed. The castle view was not even close to the spectacular view that I had previously from the Caledonian Hilston, but it was a pleasant castle view, nonetheless.
I chose the Balmoral for its more intimate and romantic atmosphere and its high level of service, and the hotel did not in any way disappoint. The Caledonian is a great hotel, to be sure, but the Balmoral just feels far more boutique and intimate and romantic in my opinion. The level of dining was far superior at the Balmoral for both dinner and breakfast, and the Michelin rated restaurant in the hotel was spectacular--well worth the expense and a highlight of our Edinburgh visit.
The hotel's service is absolutely first-rate. As frequent visitors at Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world, I can easily testify that the Balmoral was comparable, if not even a bit superior. They treated us like kings in all things, made wonderful dinner recommendations, went out of their way to get us into restaurants they thought would appeal, and did everything with a comfortable, stylish touch. They remembered us both by name throughout our visit, which also impressed us.
The hotel, as mentioned above, didn't have the same spectacular castle view as the Hilton, but it did have better proximity to the Royal Mile and shopping.
I would definitely choose the Balmoral again for its service and charm!
- 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