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“The excellence continues!”
Review of The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #10 of 149 Hotels in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
England
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The excellence continues!”
Reviewed December 26, 2009

Have stayed at the Balmoral many, many times over the years and it continues to be superb! From check-in to check-out the staff are fantastic---room service is very professional and prompt, spa staff are very helpful, and bar staff at both the Palm Court and Balmoral Bar are courteous and polite. Rooms are large, spotlessly clean and serviced fully twice a day. Hadrian's continues to be a great spot for a casual evening meal, with good quality at reasonable prices. If there is anything you need, all you have to do is ask, and the staff will assist you--they've obviously been thoroughly and professionally trained. Overall, we can't say enough good things about the Balmoral. We'll be back in January!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank newyorkersEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Scotland
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Balmoral for one night, after a small country wedding in Scotland and before flying off abroad on honeymoon the next day, from Edinburgh airport. We had a wonderful time at the Balmoral - everything was just perfect. It's hard to single out individual impressions, but we were particularly impressed with the fantastic service (reception, concierges, room service, spa staff, breakfast area staff), the room (facing outwards) and the swimming pool. I would definitely recommend the Balmoral for a wedding night; the honeymoon package was great and made us laugh (rose petals in your bed, no kidding!)

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank 1Magnus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
229 reviews
141 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2009

The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh is part of the Rocco Forte Collection. It is an expensive and luxury five star hotel right in the center of Edinburgh. It is very central next to Waverly train station on Princess Street. All interesting parts of Edinburgh can easily be reached within 30 minutes walking distance and if you don't like walking, although Edinburgh should be explored that way, several buses are stopping in front of the hotel. We stayed in the Balmoral for four nights arriving on December 12 and departing om December 16, in a very nice room (number 428).

The hotel itself is pricy, but offers value for money. The service of all staff members from the doorman to the receptionist and the cleaning staff is excellent and correct. There are several nice restaurants, a nice swimming pool, a sauna and a steamroom to keep you occupied after a day exploring the city. I think we had one of the nicer twin room (room 428) which was spacious and had nice views towards Holyrood Park, Arthur's Peak and the Old Town including the Castle. Be sure to get a room facing the outside (even numbers) and not one facing the inside (odd numbers) of the hotel.

A view points of criticism only because the price of staying there is high.

1. We arrived early around noon and the room wasn't ready. We could leave our luggage and were told that the room would be ready around 2 pm. We returned at 2:30 only to be told that we had to wait another hour. We did get a complimentary cup of tea in the bar. But at the price you have to pay to stay in the Balmoral, a check-in time of 2 pm should be a check-in time of 2 pm. After all, check-out is at 12, so they have two hours to prepare the room for new arrivals.

2. There are no coffee and tea making facilities in the room. Coffee and tea are freely available in the swimming pool as well as juices. But since even two star hotels offer free coffee and tea in your room in almost every hotel in the United Kingdom, I expect that a five star hotel can buy coffee, tea, a kettle and a couple of cups for every room.

3. The price of the wireless Internet is outrageous. The Balmoral charges GBP 15 for access. When you face a room rate of GBP 220 per night (excluding breakfast), the use of internet should be included in the price. Other hotels across the road like the Carlton and The Scotsman don't charge you extra for internet use and even nearby four star hotels like the Apex Waterloo don't make you pay extra. It is a pity that the Balmoral does both for wireless and use of internet in the Business Center.

But overall, staying in the Balmoral was a nice experience and definitely worth doing again if there is a special offer.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Will de d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2009

Second time around, I can truly say that The Balmoral Hotel deserves every star it has earned and many commendations that it has received.
Check-in was a breeze with several Balmoral touches that you'd say to yourself " how very nice of them". Crackling fireplace. Being asked if I liked my previous newspaper last time I was here, Your front desk walking you to your room. Bags quickly at your front door just about the right time. And the room... simply immaculate - a tad warmer than usual though. I just hope they reconsider free wifi in-room and putting a hold bar getting off their massive bathtub.
This exquisite grand dame in Princes Street is a destination in itself. I wish we had more time exploring the place.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank dantipolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 11, 2009

Had an overall lovely stay at The Balmoral for my girlfriends birthday.
Let me start with the many great points about my stay.
Had made a prior request for an outside room but was allocated an inside room.Didnt mind at all considering the size of the room.It was huge.
The spa is small but very ralaxing.
Both the Balmoral Bar and Palm Court are great places to go for a relaxing drink,the service really friendly and efficient.
Had meal at Number One Restaurant which was extremely memorable.
Room service was very professional and prompt.

The problems I had:

Had requested a double bed yet was allocated two singles which were pushed together.
Phoned reception and they assured me it would be changed before we returned later that evening.It wasnt!
Upon check-in my debit card was swiped for future reference but I was not informed that any monies would be debited until check-out.
The evening before check-out I had noticed an unaccounted for transaction on my account that my bank were unable to tell me where the money had gone.
I cancelled my card,fearing that someone had used my card fraudulently.
Later upon returning to the hotel,Reception informed me that the card had been debited for the entire stay plus £50 to cover any additional charges.
I was never told this when checking in and would not have cancelled my debit card had I been told.
In staying in some very upmarket hotels around Britain I have never known this to have happen prior to staying at The Balmoral.
I have either payed when booking or on check-out.
I have only just recieved my replacement card and this has caused me a great deal of inconvenience.
The hotel really should have informed me upon check-in,taking payment without informing the card holder is an extremely unprofessional thing to do.
This somewhat ruined my stay and caused many problems for me the following week.
The hotel told me that the money had been requested from my account but not taken.This really was splitiing hairs,the money had gone from my overall balance and therefore I no longer had it!
This should have been explained!
I did not even get an apology from Reception when I explained the situation,this really isn't acceptable.

Please dont let this put you off staying here as it is really a lovely place.
The rest of the staff were unbelievably friendly and couldnt do enough for us.
The kilted doormen were particularly friendly.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank David7321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uk
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2009

Have just spent my first weekend in Scotland and was simply blown away by how friendly, clean, beautiful and magical Edinburgh is. Having travelled a fair amount I can honestly say it is one of my favourite cities now. Staying at the Balmoral was faultless, the staff could not have been more helpful and the location has to make this the best place to stay - not only are you walking distance from just about everything, you can also see the Balmoral from most of the city centre making it very easy to get back!
Swimming pool and spa were lovely - clean, relaxing, warm and the complimentary drinks in the spa is a very nice touch other 5 star hotels could pick up.
Unusual for a spa not to have a jacuzzi, but not a major point.
The only thing which slightly annoyed us was having to pay extra for internet in the room - in a hotel of this quality i would expect free wifi or at least free internet connection to be included as standard.
Also we were confused by why the whole building isn't lit up at night, just some ornage flood lights on the top level. It is a stunning building and would look amazing by night with the correct lighting.
Very minor niggles as the rest was so good. Paticularly the checking in receptionist, Katie, who did everything she could to make our stay perfect - thank you.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank RP247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dacre
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2009

We spent 3 nights in the Balmoral Hotel to celebrate my husband's birthday. The hotel is classy and luxurious with rather hideous silver Christmas decorations and it has every reason for the hotel to be a once in a lifetime experience. My daughter had a wonderful time in the Spa and we had a first class time in the Palm Court Lounge with very pleasant waiters. The breakfast buffet was sumptuous and you knew you were in a 5 star hotel.
But
Check in was a complete nightmare with them unable to locate the booking (despite me handing them the e mail confirmation) smoking rooms being allocated and, best of all, them getting my name completely wrong all of the time. How to impress a guest! . The receptionist answered calls while she was supposed to be finding my room and the same happened at checkout.
The doorman was having a bad time as I was nearly knocked over twice (it's that "guests get in the way" syndrome again) and the service at breakfast was haphasard.
I dislike hotels setting the expectation of a 5 star experience and then failing to deliver. The manager needs to wake up and look at the level of training his staff are being given. My advice is to take all of ther eception staff and send them on an intensive programme. Ist impressions count and in this instance they were pretty poor.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Keptcalmandcarriedon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
balmoraledinburgh, Resident Manager at The Balmoral Hotel, responded to this review, December 30, 2009
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion on Tripadvisor.com following your visit.

I am delighted that you had a wonderful time in the Spa and Palm Court and also enjoyed our selection at breakfast.

I am disappointed to read, however, of your impression of reception, breakfast service and of our doorman and I apologise for this. We welcome all guest feedback as we strive for guest satisfaction and I wish you would have given us the opportunity to resolve any issues at the time. I would be grateful if you could contact me so that we may discuss this matter further and I hope you will give us another opportunity to welcome you back to The Balmoral in order to demonstrate our customer service we are well known for.

Harry Fernandes
Resident Manager
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

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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