Address: 1 Princes Street
Edinburgh / Midlothian / EH2 2EQ „
We stayed at the Balmoral on a Saturday night having chosen the hotel for its proximity to Waverley Railway Station and it's prime position in the heart of the city, being right on Princes Street, the main shopping thoroughfare of the Georgian 'New Town'. The welcome at reception was warm and friendly, check-in was a breeze, and a special request I had made on booking was acknowledged.
Our room was a couple of floors up and faced the internal atrium, so no great view, but the room itself was beautifully appointed, as was the bathroom. I do enjoy a room with a view, but on this occasion we did not spend much time in the room apart from sleeping, so an internal room was perfect - not a sound could be heard from the railway station or the busy streets below so a restful night's sleep ensued.
The room had most of the essentials that you would expect of a five star hotel, though a note advised guests to ring room-service for the tea and coffee making paraphenalia to be brought. This was done very promptly. The kettle came already filled with hot water and was accompanied by a package of the most delicious fresh shortbread.
As check-out was not until midday we made the most of the crystal clear swimming pool in the hotel's Spa. A special lift at the rear of the hotel took us straight down to the Spa (in our robes, slippers and swimming costumes) where we were welcomed by a member of staff and shown to the pool, steam room etc. There were plenty of loungers where you could just chill out reading the newspapers or just relax with a glass of juice or a cup of coffee. The changing rooms were spacious and well designed, and had everything you could possibly need in terms of shampoo, conditioner, handcream, hairdryers and even a GHD hair straightener.
Even before departing we were discussing how long it would be until we returned to the Balmoral, and that we would definitely try and make it for more than just one night next time. Due to our itinerary we didn't get the chance to eat at the hotel, but I have my eye on an afternoon tea in the Palm Court in the not too distant future. It was lovely hearing the live music wafting out of there in the middle of the afternoon, and it looked like a very attractive place in which to while away and hour or two.
The location was perfect for us in every way, especially as we were arriving and departing by train and spending the evening across the road. In a city full of good hotels The Balmoral definitely deserves its place at the top. If you are considering a visit to the fabulous Fringe Festival next August it's worth booking as soon as you can.
My husband and I visited Edinburgh for a few days with friends. We found a serviced apartment a mile out of city centre for the first three nights and then splashed out £150 for bed and breakfast at the Balmoral for our last night of the trip.
We had heard that it was an amazing hotel and we were, overall not disappointed. The Balmoral is one of the two most famous hotels in Edinburgh - the Scotsman being the other. Royalty apparently often stay here, but we didn't get to see anyone famous. I had been told to expect a traditional, but beautifully decorated hotel with great service and this is what we got.
LOCATION: It is located in Princes St which is one of the most famous streets in Edinburgh. You can walk very easily to the shops in Princes St, to the Royal Mile or to the Castle. There are also lots of busses going from nearby. Perfect for a city break!
RECEPTION AND CHECK IN: The hotel staff were very friendly and welcoming. They took a card for any extras and then checked us in very quickly and efficiently. We were shown to our room by a porter who was very sweet and insisted on asking us about our trip to Edinburgh and recommending places to eat. He also gave suggestions for the best places to visit and the best way to get around.
BEDROOMS: One word - A-MAZ-ING - there is a superking sized bed which was beautifully designed and so comfortable it is unbelievable. Of course there is sky TV (very large) and a desk and sofa too. Additional touches include a fruit bowl with complementary fruit and magazines about the local area. The décor looks very fresh as if the hotel has been recently re-decorated. Nothing tired or out of date here!
BATHROOM: This is the best bathroom in the world - it is enormous - there is a sunken bath (perfect for sharing on the romantic weekend away from home) and lovely cosmetics. There is also a great view of the city from the window and the location means that you cant be seen from the windows. There is also a great power shower and toilet and bidet. My recommendation would be to buy a bottle of bubbly from an off licence (the hotel is way too expensive), run a long bubble bath and I will let your imagination do the rest.
CLEALINESS: The hotel is spotless. Staff will come in and clean your room - there is also an evening turn down service.
STAFF: Are friendly and meet your every need.
FOOD: Expect the best cooked breakfast that you possibly can get and prepare to be stuffed full of food so that you cant move. There is an amazing selection of items on the menu including porridge and a full scottish breakfast.
OVERALL: Brilliant place to stay - worth splashing out (look on Last Minute.com or Expedia for a good deal!). I would probably not recommend this for a long break unless you are very wealthy but everyone deserves a treat!