The Balmoral Hotel
What We Love
- Kilted doorman and grand entrance make a stellar first impression
- Attentive yet unfussy staff deals adroitly with everyone: celebrities, tourists and the passing public
- Unfussy guestrooms give you a feel for Edinburgh’s history, plus restful ambience
What To Know
- Functions and Palm Court rendezvous bring a constant flow of people
- No tea or coffeemaking facilities in guestrooms — room service only
- J.K. Rowling finished writing the Harry Potter series here and now has a suite named after her
- Room Service
A baronial Edwardian pile opened in 1902, with gorgeous architectural details — clock tower and mini-turrets — presiding over Princes Street. Pale marble, white pillars and orchids in the lobby welcome guests with understated class and relaxed elan. Throughout the hotel old and new are combined tastefully.
Bed and Bath
Decor is unflashy and contemporary, with light walls complementing high-quality textured fabrics, including damasks and plaids. Historic prints, landscape photographs and botanical paintings further elaborate the Scots theme. There are 188 guestrooms and suites, many of which have been refurbished in stages in recent years. Expect spacious rooms with high ceilings and marble bathrooms, especially the suites. The 180-square-foot J.K. Rowling Suite, where the writer finished the Harry Potter series in 2007, has turret alcove views, her writing desk and a marble bust of Greek god Hermes.
The cavernous Palm Court retains the opulence of the Edwardian Age with refined harp music — it’s a popular spot for afternoon tea, champagne and cocktails. Choose from the chic Art Deco brasserie Hadrian’s — designed by Olga Polizzi — or the refined Michelin-starred Number One. Book ahead for a corner banquette and a tasting menu experience amid reimagined Edwardian sophistication. Next to the gym is the Balmoral Spa, which has a Finnish sauna, Turkish steam room, 15-meter pool and treatments.
In the Area
The location is a shopper’s dream. Historic department store Jenners is nearby, as are the New Town’s upscale and speciality boutiques on and around George Street and St. Andrew Square, including Harvey Nichols and quirky Hannah Zakari. For a slice of Victorian splendor and Edinburgh atmosphere, pop in for a pint at the Café Royal circle bar, and perhaps a seafood platter at the adjoining Oyster Bar restaurant. On the way to the Old Town and Royal Mile, visit the Princes Street Gardens, the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Museum of Scotland. Be adventurous and explore leafy Stockbridge along the Water of Leith for its independent shops and galleries — and herons.
How to Get There
The Balmoral is an outstanding luxury hotel with outstanding service and excellent central location to both new and old towns. i enjoyed my stay there very much. Room was well appointed, roomy and very comfortable. The only down side was the step into the shower is extremely high and would be difficult for anyone with mobility impairment.
We stayed at this beautiful hotel last weekend and felt thoroughly pampered from start to finish ! It does not have the feel of a chain hotel at all and that is down to the wonderful staff … they are all exceptionally friendly and will go to endless trouble to make sure your every need is met .We got an upgrade to an Executive room with a view … very spacious with a gorgeous bathroom and every amenity we could wish for . Breakfast was lovely… and so was dinner… but the highlight of our stay was the amazing afternoon tea . I meet friends regularly for tea in many of the famous London hotels but I can honestly say this was the best … we were even given a little tin of tea and a box of chocolates to take home at the end . So many cakes we couldn’t eat them and they were boxed up and whisked to our room in a flash ! This was our first visit to Edinburgh … and it certainly won’t be the last … and we were so glad we chose the Balmoral !
We wanted somewhere central that we could safely leave the car because it was packed with "stuff" for our onward trip to the Highlands. Loved, loved, loved this hotel. We left the car outside and the wonderful staff parked it for us. Not pricey at £35 per night if you want peace of mind for your car and its contents.
The hotel is old style decadence. Fabulous rooms, great spa facilities and wonderful restaurants. What an amazing experience. Thoroughly recommended.