The Balmoral Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh
This is a great hotel. It is very well located being at the head of Princes St, right on top of great shopping. The hotel is also next door to Waverley Station if travelling by train and close to buses, importantly the bus to and from the airport. When I say close to the station, in many European cities this usually means not a great area, but not so in Edinburgh. The hotel is also well located for sight-seeing and an easy walk from the Royal Mile and Castle. The hotel itself is a real landmark and a beautiful building. We stayed in one of their standard rooms and it was more than adequate. The bathroom was really nice and the bedroom furnished very nicely in a much more contemporary way than many of your standard hotels. The service was also of a very high standard, the staff were very nice. We eat in Hadrian's, their brasserie, which was also good and not too expensive, considering it is located in a major hotel in a capital city. The only complaint I had about the hotel was that the bed was a little uncomfortable with the mattress being very soft - but that is probably just me! An excellent place to stay in Edinburgh if you can afford it!
Old World Elegance
Beautifully appointed rooms, elegant common areas, excellent service, exceedingly polite and helpful staff -- the Balmoral delivers all this and more.We spent four nights here recently. Edinburgh is a magical city, ancient, historic, but also modern and stylish. Returning to the Balmoral at the end of a day was comforting, as we were able to relax in the pub or one of the smaller lounges, have tea or a pint, and contemplate dinner plans. The location could not have been better, easy to reach the Royal Mile and New Town by foot. In fact, we only hired a car to take us to and from the airport.We are looking forward to returning to the Balmoral and Edinburgh next year.
Great Hotel in Edinburgh
We stayed at the Balmoral in May 2003. The hotel is in a great location and has large comfortable rooms. This is definetly the grand hotel in the city.
The staff was at times a little gruff and the restraunt staff acted condesending and unaccomadating. We got the the restraunt 15 min before their posted closing time for lunch and were told we could not eat, and one night upon returning to the hotel asked for a table so we could grab deseret, and we were treated as if we must be cheap since we only wanted deseret-this is a dinner restrauant-we were told.
So, not quite the top 5 star status that they think they are, but nice rooms and a great status location make this a good hotel. If they improve the customer service it could be one of the better hotels in Europe.
New Year Proposal
We visited the Balmoral at Hogmanay 2003. I was very much looking forward to our stay as I had heard that it was the top hotel in Edinburgh. Driving to the hotel was fine apart from the fact that we mananged to drive right past it and had to rely on the satellite navigation to guide us back again to the layby at the front of the hotel, where a charming man in traditional scottish dress arranged for our bags to be taken inside, and he also arranged for parking of our vehicle (where? I have not a clue!). The room was very spacious, although it was not as colourful as the pictures on the website would have you believe. The bathroom was very nice, and the toiletries were lovely- they even provided a much needed sewing kit free of charge (so many hotels charge for them these days). The only thing that I could complain about was the fact that the shower was above the bath and was a fixed shower. Also, on our last day, they had a problem with the hot water, so we were unable to use the shower, but they did give us a discount.We attended the New Years Eve ball which was lovely, and gave us a chance to mix with all kinds of people- the meal was lovely, Scottish steak cooked to perfection, melted in the mouth. Luckily because we were at the New Years eve ball, we didn't venture onto the street party which was cancelled due to bad weather for the first time in about 11 years I believe.My boyfriend proposed on New Years Eve at the stroke of midnight, which topped off a superb evening. Of course, I said 'yes'!!The last day was spent at the excellent cinema in Leith to watch the Lord of the Rings, and a visit to North Berwick, which was very peaceful, scenic and amazingly mild in weather. All in all, we had a fantastic romantic 3 nights at the hotel. I would most certainly think about returning for another visit.
Could not have been more pleased
5 star all the way - staff, facilities, location, food were all top notch - would not hesitate to recommend to anyone
OK, but will try another hotel
This was my third trip to Ediburgh. I had previously stayed at the George Intercontinental and the Hilton Grosvenor. I had an excellent rate for a superior with taxes and breakfast at the Balmoral for three nights in July. The staff was somewhat friendly. The breakfast staff and brealfast hostess were excellent. The room was just OK. It was a non view room, second floor, overlooking Prince's Street. They had nothing higher and seemed to be doing some renovation in the hallways.
As others have said, the location is excellent. I am taking my mother in June 2004, but there was nothing to make me want to return to the Balmoral. Currently, I am looking at the Crowne Plaza or the Hilton Caledonian as options.
My husband and I have stayed at The Balmoral four times in the last two years. Each time we go back, they remember us, always give us an upgrade, and it truly feels like we are going to our "second home". The service, the rooms, the location are nothing less than excellent and if you watch the website there are deals at The Balmoral that makes it very affordable for anyone to stay there. Going back again in a few weeks, can't wait.
Please turn on the a/c....
I spent a week at the Balmoral a year or so ago. The location of the hotel cannot be beat, as it straddles "New Town" and "Old Town", and is a stone's throw away from Edinburgh Castle. Although the hotel is typically touted as the "grand old hotel" of Edinburgh, I found it to be a bit tired and disappointing.
First of all, it was pretty expensive, even for the business traveller.
Typically, I am not opposed to spending a good bit of dosh for a nice hotel, but for what I got, I thought it was just a tad overrated.
As you walk through the lobby, it is a bit small and under-whelming, although the kilt-wearing personnel are warm and hospitable. The front desk ladies were young and sweet, but had trouble finding the room.
When I stepped into the first room, I was surprised to find out I was about four feet away (it felt like it) from the main street, on what seemed to be the first floor. I rejected the room, and we went to try another. Although the hotel was not fully booked, the staff announced that they had only one other room to give me, and I relented, going into a small-ish and under-decorated room.
The room did have huge windows overlooking Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, and this view was spectacular, especially at night (everything is floodlit). Do everything you can to get a room with a view of the Castle, pay extra if you have to - you won't regret it.
It was unseasonably hot in Edinburgh at the time, and although the room had air-conditioning, it wasn't working properly. Although they called a (nice) service technician, he couldn't solve the problem and the only thing they could offer was a large fan. So here I was, paying $250 a night for a hotel room without air-conditioning. I had to sleep with the windows open to keep cool - imagine that - open windows in Edinburgh!
Anyway, the best thing about the room was the marble bath - very nice indeed. The Rocco Forte toiletries were outstanding, and I had to take a couple back home with me (the greenish vegetal soap was amazing).
I didn't meander too much around the hotel - I did like to sit in the room on the right of the lobby as you enter - it had nice leather armchairs and such - I can see spending an hour there with the paper.
Overall, a pleasant experience, as long as the weather is cold. If it's warm, you may have to suffer without proper a/c. It's not a cheap hotel, and it's not all it's advertised to be. I think next time I'll try the new Scotsman (refurbishment of the old newspaper building, about a couple of blocks away), or the Howard, a small boutique hotel that I hear is very nice. Cheers!
The Balmoral is the best!!!
The Balmoral Hotel is amazing! I really don't think you should stay anywhere else if you stay in a hotel in Edinburgh. I stayed there for 9 nights for a business trip, but every day when I would come back from work to the hotel, I felt as if I was on vacation. The view of Princes Street and the Edinburgh Castle from my room were spectacular. The food and service were excellent. It was probably all a little pricey, but all worth it for the 5-star hotel quality.
Stayed 3 nights at the Balmoral Edinburgh and could not have been happier. We paid about $200 a night and the luxury of the hotel more than matched what we paid.One of the reception staff showed us to our room and all the staff in general seemed to be happy to do whatever it took to make sure the customer was satisfied. The room was well furnished, the bathroom was amazing, and everything was as advertized. The attached pub was lively and fun and the hotel's location could not be matched. The breakfast buffet at Hadrian's Wall restaurant was very good, though quite expensive. If you can find a deal (under $200/night for a standard room) jump at it, this hotel is definitely worth recommending.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh
Travel Blogs from Edinburgh
... is so picturesque your eyes feel as though they aren't really looking at a physical building, but perhaps the image of one, like an altered photo meant for a postcard. The city is really lovely, tidy, clean cut. But across the river is a whole village on stilts. Wooden shacks, standing precariously on the water. They seem to be suspended there, impossibly held up by the rotting stilts of wood. Between the clean-cut city centre and the wooden town ...
... It was like going through an educational haunted house. We learned about Burke and Hare, the West Port Murderers who would murder people to sell their bodies for medical studies. The universities were running out of good bodies to do experiments on and teach, so many people would go and dig up graves and sell the bodies to the doctors. Burke and Hale found it much easier to just kill the people instead. We learned about ...
My last day in Edinburgh. Today took in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the Queen stays while in Edinburgh. She is due next week. I did the audio tour, which was great. So much history in each of these castles and palaces I’ve visited, and too much to try and remember as you’re going through the rooms. The abbey next to the palace is ...
... but both of us admit that this was the best we had ever seen. Not to talk it up too much. Durness was stunning and we set up camp on cliff overlooking white sandy beaches and mediteranian blue water, easily the best view of any accommodation we have had so far. We spent the afternoon at Smoo Cave which was just down the road. It was really interesting and we even got a photo of me waving in the cave. It was DAVE doing a WAVE in a CAVE, pure genius. I will have to make sure ...
... museum or two. There's a lot to do but unless Calum's around in the evening, I won't be seeing him here at least, maybe back in Bristol. If he's not having dinner with his family, we might grab a drink. It's nice to see a friendly face abroad. I'm scouting out where to eat lunch tomorrow, my preference either a place called Urban Angel or The Dogs, both on Hanover street.
Lots of love from Scotland,